Compounded medications are prepared by pharmacists specially trained and are usually prepared for patients who have allergies or who need a medication in a certain form factor (e.g., liquid vs. tablet) or with a certain formulation. Since these medications are prepared for people with allergies, I certainly never expected to react to a compounded medication I was given! Read More →

I recently discovered that my problems with iron deficiency were due to the multivitamin I was taking. It contained minerals in amounts that were preventing my body from absorbing iron. Switching to another brand of multivitamin has helped me greatly. This is something I want to share in the hopes it will help others, because I probably had the issues for years but didn’t realize them until recently. Read More →

Christmas luncheons and similar events at the workplace can lead someone with celiac disease, food allergies, or other food issues to feel less than festive. It can be difficult to figure out how to handle dealing with the food. Sometimes it may not even be possible to participate. Even then, things don’t have to turn into “bah humbug” experiences. It can still be possible to have a good time and do something enjoyable. Read More →

When I was trying to figure out how vinegar was making me react over two years ago, I did a lot of reading and research online about the gluten content of vinegar and whether or not it was gluten-free. All the information I turned up said that vinegar, even distilled vinegar from gluten grains, was gluten-free. Also, if “vinegar” appeared by itself on the food label, it was supposed to be apple cider vinegar. I saw this information provided in several places. Read More →

In one of my support groups, one of the members posted that she had symptoms after eating gluten-free flour tortillas. In response, I suggested that she consider xanthan gum if the tortillas contained it since it can be wheat-based. I said that I avoided xanthan gum if I did not know the source. Someone posted in response to my suggestion that xanthan gum, if made from wheat, soy, or other top-8 allergen, would have to have that declared on the ingredients label. That was complete news to me. I know that Bob’s Red Mill xanthan gum is made using wheat, but there’s not even a suggestion of this in the ingredients list or anywhere else on the packaging. Read More →

After I decided to eliminate xanthan gum from the foods and products I’d been using because it could potentially be derived from wheat, I went through my pantry, refrigerator, freezers, bathroom cabinets, etc. to look for things that would need replacing. I immediately threw out things with xanthan gum where I didn’t know of the source. However, my toothpaste was one thing I’d been using regularly and had not noticed problems with it, so I continued using it. I was working through one tube and still had another one in the bathroom. I figured when I’d finished that second tube, I would look for a replacement toothpaste that did not have xanthan gum. Read More →

When I initially began researching wheat allergy, I knew that there was an association between allergy to grass pollens and positive IgE testing to the wheat protein. I had read that low positive results on the wheat food IgE tests are rarely clinically significant in those with grass pollen allergies. I ended up requesting grass pollen allergy tests from my allergist to see if this association existed for me. I knew that I reacted somehow to grasses. If I didn’t wear a mask when mowing the grass during the spring, I would experience nasty symptoms for the next few days. I would always take Benadryl before bed in those cases to calm things down and help me sleep. Every grass pollen that was tested at that time, including cultivated rye, came back at Class IV or higher. Did this mean that the

Some of my grass pollen allergy test results

Some of my grass pollen allergy test results

wheat food IgE test result that I had at the beginning of the year was truly a false positive as suggested by the allergist who ordered it? Read More →

Your desk job could be making you sick in ways you're not expecting!

Your desk job could be making you sick in ways you’re not expecting!

At the beginning of August, my department moved to a different building on the college campus where I work. We moved into offices that already had used furniture in them. My office had a really nice desk, a corner-type desk with a hutch. The surface had the appearance of wood. Once I got set up and settled into my new desk and office, I really liked it and didn’t even miss where we were before. However, it wasn’t long before I started having problems. At first, I thought environmental allergies were flaring up. I tossed some facial wipes that I thought were causing problems due to their fragrance. I only had a few left, so it wasn’t a huge waste. There was a trial garden and ecology pond near our new building, and I wondered if the presence of those nearby was adding more pollen into the air, more than I was used to. I didn’t normally feel symptoms or illness with pollen exposure. It was usually run-of-the-mill hay fever symptoms. However, I could think of no other reason for the symptoms. I was already taking Allegra daily to see if it would help with throat irritation. Read More →