Hey Honey, What's for Dinner?
I really thought we were making progress. I thought the Lord was finally answering our prayers.
Amy was doing the Autoimmune Paleo Diet and seeing some results regarding the Hashimoto’s Disease, Palindromic Reheumatism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Urticaria, Lipo-Lymphedema and Insulin Resistance.
But she was still covered in hives from head-to-toe. She would itch all day and all night. She couldn’t sleep, but would just lay in bed for hours scratching. The hives were so bad on her legs she looked like she had leprosy.
One night, out of sheer exhaustion, Amy took Benedryl to help calm the hives and hopefully help her fall asleep. But the Benedryl caused two side effects: first, it kept her wide awake all night and secondly, it gave her a severe case of tinnitus, which is the sensation of hearing a very loud constant noise in her ears. She said it sounded like a truck horn, and it was so intense it made her dizzy and nauseous. She had difficulty speaking, thinking, and it impaired her ability to walk or drive. After a few days of this—and REALLY not sleeping—she went to an ear doctor, who told her the condition might be permanent.
After one sleepless night, while Amy was crying, I went downstairs at about 5:00am and just stared out the window. I wasn’t thinking about anything. I wasn’t praying. I just sat there for a really long time—just feeling completely numb; as though my strength and optimism and faith had finally run out once and for all.
But that day passed. And the next. And eventually, praise the Lord, Amy’s Tinnitus disapated, and shortly thereafter she found a new holistic doctor (one who treats the problems rather than just masking the symptoms with pharmaceuticals). The doctor’s dietician has been trying to reduce the histamines in Amy’s diet.
What is histamine? Well I’m told it’s a little thing found in foods, but also in our body, that is part of our immune systems. One of histamine’s most important roles is to cause inflammation at the site of a wound in order to begin the healing process. But Amy’s mast cells (where histamine is supposed to be safely housed) break open too easily and they unload their inflammatory cargo in excess. So to help fix this, the plan is to add the Anti-Histamine Diet to the Autoimmune Diet.
The Autoimmune Diet was what Amy was doing. This means she cannot eat gluten, sugar, caffeine, dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, soy, corn, wheat, rice, rye, oats, dried fruits, fructose, any dairy product, any processed foods, alcohol, chocolate, eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, vegetable oils, or culinary herbs. Yeah that’s quite a list.
But now she has added the Antihistamine Diet to the Autoimmune Diet. This means, in addition to the list above, she needs to cut out fermented foods (sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, yogurt, kombucha, etc.), vinegar-containing foods (pickles, mayonnaise, olives), cured meats (bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats and hot dogs), dried fruit (apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins), most citrus fruits (oranges, etc.), vegetables (avocados, spinach, and tomatoes), and smoked fish and certain species of fish (mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna). She also needs to steer clear of histamine-releasing foods like bananas, papaya, pineapple, shellfish, strawberries, tomatoes and most artificial preservatives and dyes.
“Hey, honey, what’s for dinner?”