My physician, Allergist and Immunologist, Dr Colin Little, has put me on an Elimination Diet. It’s horrid. And what’s worse, is that in the 9.2 years that I’ve been like this (chronically sensitive to most chemicals (luckily there were a few–chlorine, plastics and pesticides that were not a problem), then after living an extremely ‘clean’ lifestyle in virtual isolation, I was left only mildly sensitive to chemicals (unluckily, there were a few–solvents and fragrances that were still a problem), I’ve met many people–via support groups, and the internet–who have are sensitive to chemicals but also have the additional problem of food sensitivities. Often, I was told by many that I was lucky I only had the chemicals to worry about. And, as usual, looking back through my retrospecterscope, I see that is blatantly true!
This Elimination Diet consists of turkey, rice, pears, peaches, 100% pear juice, Perrier mineral water, Pureau spring water, buckwheat, quinoa, popcorn, salt and olive oil, and luckily for me, all my favourite vegetables: pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, celery and many others (not tomatoes though). However, there is no chicken, apples, coffee or chocolate (my seemingly safe and feel-good-happy foods that I’ve practically been living on for the last few months). Not having apples in my life is a form of torture.
The pears, and more so, the pear juice, turned into an absolute disaster: the itchiness that, for the last nine months, has appeared like clockwork every three days, mainly on my scalp and a few broad areas of my body, came out in full force after eating pears (in the same way I eat apples–en masse; for breakfast, lunch and dinner). My whole body, my face, neck, inside my ears, my nose, my eyes, between my fingers and toes itched and swelled into red lumps for around twelve hours. I then noticed in the documentation that I received on my last visit, that the good doctor had placed an asterisks above the pears, meaning that if they were a problem to eliminate them from my diet immediately. This has left me with peaches as my only source of fruit; and the question also itching for an answer: what does this mean? I’ve blogged extensively about gut issues and my efforts to heal mine, and the fact that eating fruit, apples mostly, soothes my indigestion and helps ‘things’ to run smoothy. If my tummy hurts, I eat an apple and it goes away. Luckily, seemingly so, I’m fine with the peaches…
So, yes, I feel tortured. But I also feel in good company, as there are many who have trod through this tunnel of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and come out the other side, clearer, and more knowledgeable with the learnings of how to manage chemical sensitivities via their diet!
I don’t know what the itchy symptoms caused by eating the pears means, or what the intensely maddening itchy debacle caused by the pear juice, itself, meant; but I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. It will have been seven days by then, and my follow up visit is at 11 am (in Dr Little’s Fragrance Free Clinic).
This is all weird, unknown territory to me. The symptoms I get from so many different foods have been haunting me for well over a year, and have become progressively worse, sneaking up on me, taking each food away, one by one. The good thing: I have the beach house to go to where there is clean air (most of the time), but still, if I eat the wrong foods, I pay dearly. (*Pizza anyone?) But even with the hunger pangs of missing my safe foods, and the painful gut issues, I need to keep the gratefulness I feel for my new life close to me. Let that be my focus and trust that it all will get better, and blessedly, lead me out of here… And keep eating those yummy, soothing peaches!
But, my question is this: what does it all mean? And, has anyone else had this kind of symptom from pears and/or pear juice?