Your Food is Killing You!

Additives Suck

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I want to tell you about my experience with food additives. But first, I want to tell you where I stand. I am very much against the additives that are put in our food.

They are not food. If they ever were food, they are so far removed from the initial product, it doesn’t matter.

For instance, Carrageenan is found in nature. It is extracted from red, edible seaweed. Carrageenan is one of the food ingredients that affect me badly.

Very early in the food detection process…as in no changes at this point

I don’t want you to think that I just read some article in some blog and came to this decision. This is based on personal knowledge. You see…I have the (mis)fortune to react quickly to something if I am going to be affected by it.  That way, it is much easier to identify what made me feel like crap (whichever version of crap it was).

Below, I will talk about my various ‘issues’ and its history.

What Started the Whole Process

It's amazing the chemicals you find in a commercial bacon cheeseburger
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When we finally began figuring out and identifying all of my issues, it all started with going out to eat. I realized that I after eating at the restaurant, that it was urgent that I go straight home. We had just made it a habit. The restaurant was the last stop before home, because we knew what would happen. That was just the way things were.

My roommate had watched a show on PBS about Celiac Disease and it occurred to her that maybe it was gluten. When your stomach hurts like that and it’s predictable, it is time that you do something about it, so we immediately removed gluten from what I ate.

The effect was immediate, although, I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t notice that it was better, until I accidentally ate something with wheat maltodextrin. But, in between dry heaving into the toilet, I figured out that I had been feeling much better, until then.

There are tests for Celiac Disease, and I that test was administered twice. The results were negative, which meant that I do not have celiac disease. I believe, what I suffer from is an intolerance.  As long as I keep my gluten exposure to a minimum, I am ok with it. But removing the restaurant visits (temporarily),  also reduced my exposure to all of the other food(s) that were the problem and allowed me to start out while feeling well.  What that allowed me to do was identify some of the ingredients that were bothering me. 

EDTA is used in various types of dressings. It is used to give it a longer shelf life. It is also used to treat mercury and lead poisoning, as well as many other things.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a product that originally comes from a natural process. It is a type of salt which is what allows it to be a preservative. What exposure to MSG does to me is give me pimple like bumps on my neck. They are uncomfortable and impossible for me to ignore. If I get a lot of it, I will feel sick and dizzy. No fun, but one of the lesser ingredients that I worry about. At a restaurant, the MSG could be in all of the foods. It is used as a seasoning and a preservative.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

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Wow. I fought long and hard against this one. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is in EVERYTHING (well, darn near everything.) After I began suspecting HFCS, I just quit having it in the food.  This was before I developed any type of protocol.  However, when someone bought me a Vitamin Water, I thought I would try it out.

I didn’t even drink half of it, and I was in the bathroom. My stomach roils (or gurgles), and while it isn’t quite diarrhea, it is close enough to be really uncomfortable.  And it is everywhere (at least it seems like it).

Sodium Nitrites (Nitrates)

 

Public Domain – By Ondřej Mangl – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2899599

Sodium nitrates are another one that you really need to watch out for. They are preservatives that you will find in most meat products. They use it to prevent it from spoilage and is added during the process of fast freezing, presumably to help preserve it. They make me react differently than with just about everything else. The only thing that has come even close was the wheat maltodextrin.

Whatever is in these ingredients causes a more immediate and violent reaction. I will either start vomiting, almost immediately, or within an hour.

Caffeine

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For a long time, I just thought it was the caffeine that was in carbonated beverages. I had constant ‘intestinal distress’ and I couldn’t nail it down. Through the years, I just slowly quit with most carbonated beverages, and none with caffeine. I finally figured it out one time, when we were moving and my BFF made me some tea.  Before the cup was finished, I was in the bathroom hating life.

I have a type of ‘protocol’ when I think something is affecting me. I make sure that I am sufficiently recovered and that I feel as good as can be expected at the moment (in no intestinal distress). Then I do it again, and see if I react.

I did this when I suspected the tea, and it was confirmed. Now that I knew it was the tea, I had to figure out what about the tea. With my history of not being able to drink caffeinated beverages, once I knew that there was caffeine in the tea, the caffeine as an additive that makes me sick was definitely verified.

What Does This Mean to You

I really do consider myself very lucky that I react so quickly to these ingredients. If I were not seeing it for myself how sick it makes me, I don’t know that I would believe it, or be as healthy as I am. Maybe you are having reactions that you weren’t aware of.

Is your stomach always giving you problems? Does it swell up for, seemingly, no reason? Do you find yourself in the bathroom a lot, in pain? Is diarrhea (or constipation) a constant in your life? There may just be a reason for it.

Long ago, I was given an IBS diagnosis. That is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It didn’t seem like an answer to me then, and it still doesn’t.  To be honest, once I figured out that they didn’t really know what the problem was, I started with the ‘detective’ work. What am I eating that is making me so sick?

As it turned out, it was a lot of somethings that I was eating that was making me so sick. It was the hamburgers, mayo, cheese, carbonated beverages, french fries, salad, dressing, etc.  As you can imagine, it is very difficult to find a place that I can eat without paying some kind of price.

What kind of issues are you facing, and have you gotten a diagnosis that you doubt? Comment below.

 

My Life Gone Crazy

What Happened?

Wow. Things can change in a year. A year ago, I lived in a city (or the edge of it, anyway), and I loved it.

We had our two dogs and two cats and finally had some peace and quiet around the house. It was about time we caught a break!!! I had recently regained my health and figure after a very long time. My BFF’s diabetes was under control. Things were good.

Mocha is hyper and Bobby loves dogs

And then they weren’t. In August, we found ourselves fostering a dog for a friend. She had spent most of every day in a crate and I couldn’t stand it.  We took her under our collective ‘wings’ and started work on calming her down. She was an EXTREMELY hyperactive dog.

 

She adored our dog Ginger, but Ginger was very old and in a delicate condition. Crush’s way of loving someone is to manhandle them. You could tell that she wasn’t trying to hurt Ginger, but that was the end result. 🙁

Then Things Started Going Downhill

We decided that we couldn’t deal with her name. Crush made no sense to us and we had a lot of trouble wrapping our mouths around that name. We actually went through a list of names and picked one that she seemed to react to. Whether that is what it was, or not, Mocha is now her name.

One of our rescue dogs – a 3 time ‘loser’ at the human society until my BFF adopted her!

About six weeks after we got Mocha, we had to put Ginger to sleep. The day that we came back from the vet after having her put down, our landlord knocked on the door. We were given 30 days to move. No prior notice, no warning, but the landlord wanted her house and too bad, so sad.

I never held it against the landlord; she had every right to want her house back so that she could move into it. It was much closer to her work than where she was living, but ya know. A little more warning would have been GREATLY appreciated.

First Move Was Hell

We found a place, after a couple of weeks. A friend had offered to share his house with us. Not an ideal situation, but better than the alternative. There were three of us doing the move and I was the youngest and healthiest at 55. You may wonder why that even matters, but wait for it.

The first day of packing, I was emptying the hallway closet. Everything in there had just been stored there and would be going to the storage unit. Once the closet was mostly empty, I reached for the box that was on the shelf in the closet. The only problem with that, is that there was a Reader’s Digest DIY Encyclopedia on top of the box, and I didn’t know it.

Carefully slanting the box, so that I could make sure I wouldn’t hurt myself lifting it, the very large book on it, fell directly onto the bridge of my nose. Have you ever broken a bone? When the bone that is broken is in your face, you will hear the break very well. You know it is broken.

If I remember, correctly, I voiced quite a few expletives when it happened. I have to admit, I was surprised at how long it took anyone to react. Maybe they were busy…you know…moving.

We rented a Uhaul a couple of days later.  We were going to fill it up with storage stuff to allow us to see what was left. Backing the dolly into the van with the first load, my foot got stuck and I went down. That hurt. A lot. I stepped away from the van and endeavored to help by moving things around in the house.

It Just Keeps Getting Better

By now, I am gimping around with a jacked up knee and a broken nose. I really felt the need to help, so I was moving boxes around. If you haven’t seen a pattern, you will now. I was moving boxes around, backed up over another one, and hurt my back. I was down for the count. My days of being the ‘muscle’ were over, for a while, anyway.

During the rest of the move, which took way longer than it should have, I was relegated to the couch with boxes brought to me. I was barely allowed to move while they were packing up.

Pretty red snow collector

So now, we have relocated in Shelton, Washington, and as an Uber driver, I needed to go to Olympia to get any rides. Because, we obviously needed another challenge, I noticed the brakes were squealing and took it to Les Schwabs. The rotors were cracked.

When I told my roommate (who was in another city helping to take care of her dying father, she told me to park it and not drive it again. Good, now we are in the middle of BF Egypt with only one store of any size, nearby, with no car!!!

Then Things Go South!

The beginning of 2017 didn’t immediately turn for the better (does it ever?). The living situation became unbearable very quickly. Let’s just say, it was a clash of personalities and leave it at that. One thing led to another and we were moving again 2 months later.

Traveling east for another new start

A trip halfway across the country is never ‘fun’, unless you have some pretty ideal circumstances.  We had to fit everything that we needed in the trunk and on the roof of a Mazda 6 (after its many repairs).

We also had 2 large cats and 2 not as large dogs. We did it, fairly trouble free, but I do not recommend it.  And did I mention that it was in the middle of winter!?

The Best and the Worst in 2016

Keep working and you will get through it

I remember around spring of 2016, thinking things were just doing really great! You know it can’t last forever, but you can hope! 2016 contained the best and the worst events that had happened in my life for a while

Sometimes, you wonder if you are really going to get through it…there doesn’t seem to be any way that you can get through it. But you can. Maybe you will do it all by yourself, or with some help, but you will get through it.  One way, or another.

I know that I am not as bad off as a lot of people. I have had my challenges, but I still feel fortunate with my friends and family that I have. Things are getting better. Let me hear from you about challenges you have had and how you got through them.