Why would the four of these things make up the title of a blog post? They’re the latest things I’ve suspected and determined were causing me to have allergen exposure issues. I’ve felt better since dealing with each of these things, so chances seem high that these really were issues, but knowing how crazy these things seem, I’m still a little skeptical. Time will tell. Read More →

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 →

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 →

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 →

I’ve had another contamination issue crop up that had me dealing with symptoms and tracking down the cause for the past week and a half or so.  It turned out it was another issue with my vitamins and supplements.  This time, I believe it was from contamination of one of my supplements from the manufacturer, rather than through my mishandling, or an actual ingredient in it that is tied to one of my reactive foods.

Sometimes you just can't escape your allergens!

Sometimes you just can’t escape your allergens!

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I continue to be amazed by the things I’m discovering that are causing me issues. It’s hard at times not to deny these things and not start to think about something else possibly causing issues. It’s hard not to think that I’m going crazy. It seems like the tiniest traces cause me symptoms, and they seem to come from some pretty unlikely places. Sometimes I never really know for sure and just have to resolve to be more careful in the future. Read More →

At work, I love getting assignments that require me to debug a program or process. I love digging in and researching to figure out the cause of a problem. It’s a skill that God has blessed me with, but I never thought I’d be using that skill for something like this, tracking down what’s giving me gluten exposure symptoms. It’s something I’ve had to do again and again over the course of my gluten-free life to this point. I hate wasting food, and I’ve had to get used to throwing things away if I can’t give them away. I don’t even share a kitchen with gluten-eaters, and yet I feel I have to be as careful and cautious as someone who does because of my level of sensitivity. Dealing with gluten cross-contamination is the one thing that has made me want to give up and wave the white flag of surrender many times.

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