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 →

Dragon*Con is a sci-fi/fantasy convention in Atlanta, GA that takes place over the Labor Day holiday weekend every year. Attendees go to panels, meet stars, cosplay, and do much, much more. I’ve been going with a close friend almost every year since 2007. We’ve only ever gone for one day, either Friday or Saturday. 2013 was the first year I went where I had any food restrictions, and they’ve changed over the years since then. My foods-to-avoid list hasn’t changed as much as my sensitivity to the foods I’m currently avoiding. What I had to do in the past for meals was quite different from what I have to do now since I have to be so much more careful how I handle things. This would be my first year going where I really had to be careful how I handled my food. Read More →

I’ve decided to update my original post on the vitamins and supplements I take to reflect my new regimen. It seems to be working well for me so far. I’ve been on the regimen since the beginning of April, with minimal changes. My iron was last checked in June, and while things were not exactly where they needed to be at that time, they did seem better. My doctor only suggested taking a good multivitamin, which I was already doing. I’m hoping with time my levels will get to where they need to be. Here’s a link to the original post with my updates.

Vitamins and Supplements I Use

My hope is that others will also find this regimen helpful.

I discovered last weekend that I don’t react to vinegar!  I cut vinegar out of my diet almost two years ago when I began to notice symptoms after ingesting food items that contained vinegar.  Recently, I really began to question if I truly reacted to vinegar.  I’ll share how I decided to reintroduce vinegar and what I think is truly the cause of my reactions that I thought were being caused by vinegar. Read More →