Sunday, August 21, 2011

What? Not My Pizza!


I have suffered with food allergies and intolerances most of my life. My children have them, too, but because I recognized the symptoms when they were babies, I was able to limit their damage. They still can't do dairy and citrus, my son adds apples and chocolate to his list, but those are pretty manageable.

I haven't been so lucky. Living in Houston is not for allergic people. We are surrounded by chemical plants, there is little effort made as far as mass transit and the year round summer adds to the serious air pollution problems. That alone fills up my allergy tank. Then I developed a trio of "invisible" illnesses (Lyme, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome). These only complicated an already stressed immune system. Each year, it seems, I add another food to my huge list of things I simply cannot eat. Each food has its own reaction, too. Some cause asthma, some cause hives, some cause abdominal pain and some cause migraine. Just to give you an idea here's a few problems: eggs, soy, fish, shell fish, chocolate, all tree nuts, peanuts, coconut, oranges, grapefruit, poultry ... there's more but you get the idea.

Unlike my kids, I have been fortunate to tolerate dairy. Cheese, yogurt, sour cream, milk--none of them cause problems, thank goodness. But Thursday night, I ordered a pizza. I love pizza. Next to a good steak, it is probably my favorite food. I alwlays top with onions, bell peppers and pineapple. No meats, since they all have nitrites and I am allergic to those, too. As soon as I finished my second piece, the hives started. On my face, my neck and my arms. Within fifteen minutes I had a migraine. Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the last few years, I have noticed my hands get red and itchy when I handle tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes didn't seem to be a problem. Until now. The next time I order pizza--who can live without pizza???--no sauce. We'll see what happens (and see how it tastes). Ordinarily I would take an antihistamine after a reaction like that, but since I get absolutely loopy for days after taking any kind of antihistamine, I chose not to take one. I have a book due and I must be able to write paragraphs that make sense. I still have lingering hives on my face even three days later. It's a sad day when you lose your pizza, my friends. A sad, sad day.

How about you? Any allergies or intolerances (like chocolate giving you a migraine like it does me) that make you want to cry?

24 comments:

Diane P said...

You can make your own pizza so that you can control what goes on it. Trader Joe has some great pizza dough already made. Try grilling it on the barbecue with a variety of toppings like pesto & cheese.

Heather J. said...

Thankfully no food allergies that I know of but to make you feel a bit better, I don't really like pizza sauce (though I love tomatoes) and make pizzas at home all the time with no sauce. I just do extra cheese instead.

I occasionally will have a some problems with eating too many mushrooms as I have a mold allergy but not enough that I've had to stop eating them. Being in Michigan and moving from one chemical area to another I can sympathize with air quality and no mass transportation.

Laura K. Curtis said...

Between August of 07 and February of 08 I had hive so badly that I was on 4 doses of 24-hr antihistamines a day PLUS 40-60mg of steroids every day. It turned out to be something called "drug-induced pseudo-lymphoma" caused by my epilepsy drugs, which I had been on for years.

Before that, I wasn't allergic to much of anything. (Well, I was allergic to chicken pox when I was 4 -- fifth child in medical history, yay me!) I had a few food sensitivities, but nothing I couldn't handle.

I still have food sensitivities, but now I am also allergic to every medication out there. Every. Single. One. NSAIDS? Forget it. NyQuil? It's a disaster. Penicillin? Better give me a dose of steroids to go along with the scrip.

I am also allergic to myself. Hormone surges cause hives. You can imagine how much I hate my life.

If I were allergic to food, I would have nothing left. It would kill me. I don't know how people like you do it.

One thing I did discover from my various specialists is that NSAIDS are one of the primary causes of hives. It can take up to 3 days for the hives to appear, so lots of people don't make the connection. But it's something to look out for.

Katreader said...

Oh nooooo. You could always try a white pizza. I like them for a change of pace-I put sliced jalapenos on it and dip it in ranch dressing.

havenwriter said...

Milk gives me incredible migraines. Milk cooked in food is okay but not a cold, fresh glass of the stuff. Took me 12 long years to figure it out.

FirstOfMay said...

I don't have any food allergies that I know of. BUT I do have a ton of things that suddenly started disagreeing with me that I have had to cut out of my diet. Macaroni/potato salad, seafood salad(basically anything with mayo or miracle whip). liverwurst, hot dogs, marshmallow, yogurt (I have to get the McDonald's smoothies without yogurt), bologna, sausage, stuff like that. Lately, though I've managed to be able to start using Light Mayo/Miracle Whip and being able to eat macaroni/potato salad again(in small doses),

Katy Cameron said...

I have a horrible allergy to bananas and kiwi fruit (anphylactic shock type allergy) and I find it mortifying when I have to ask my immediate colleagues to eat their bananas elsewhere, and if I drop by to see someone in the office to ask them to clear their desk of discarded skins (mind you, they know how to ensure I don't hang around lol) I've had to do it in public too, like on trains and planes. Thankfully people don't seem to have kiwi fruit around as much, as that's the one I have the more severe allergy to...

Liss said...

Augmentin (a sister/daughter drug to penicillin - thereby ruling out everything in that category). Then there is the raw carrots make me hiccup. self-diagnosed lactose intolerance in milk or ice cream but not cheese or milk cooked into things. I once threw up after eating shrimp (everyone else is fine) and won't touch it now. NSAIDS make me bruise. And citrus fruits give both my mother and I canker sores.

Anonymous said...

I recommend a white pizza. My husband doesn't like pizza sauce so we use olive oil and garlic instead. Put the garlic in a food processor, drizzle in the olive oil, emulsify. Paint a Boboli with the emulsified garlic and olive oil, top with your favorite ingredients. Love, love, love!

Leann Sweeney said...

I see I am not alone by ANY means. The world is changing, our food is "modified" either by the growing process or the preservatives used. I noticed the NSAIDs allergy and boy do I have that, too. First the itchy throat, then the wheezing. It's scary. And bananas? At first they're okay, but as they ripen, I'm the same as you Katy. Get them away from me! We are quite a crew! :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm allergic to citrus to the point that I have to check for citric acid in foods. But one wierd thing about it is I can drink alcholic drinks that have citrus as long as I only have one, something about the alchol counters the citric acid.

Aurian said...

I am very sorry to read all of your stories. I myself am allerig to lots of things in the air I guess, often my head is "blocked", lots of headaches. I used to love paprika chips, but get really ill when I try it once a year. Allergic to all hairy animals, plants, flowers, etc.

K said...

I am lactose and soy intolerant. I also cannot eat anything with garlic, onions or wine since I am alergic to sulphur (it's a phytochemical in garlic and onions). With that said, I make a lot of my own food from scratch. Sorry to hear about your allergy to tomatoes. Thanx for the info about Trader Joe's pizza dough. I also love their coconut milk chocolate "ice cream," but they keep running out of it.

Vickie said...

I think the only thing I am allergic to is newspaper print. I have to lay the newspaper flat on a surface to read it. If I use newspaper to wrap items, I have to keep a wet cloth nearby to wipe or just wait til I feel the tingling and numbness to start and go wash my hands and take a break.

I get the weirdest looks from docs when they see that allergy on the questionaire.

sosarahsew said...

I couldn't figure out what led my brother to being tested for allergies. Nearly all the foods he found he was allergic to, he never ate anyway since he was such a picky eater! Good luck in determining this latest glitch.

Michele L. said...

I have never had food allergies but I am allergic to dogs, cats, dust, mold, mites, trees and grasses. I sneeze my head off, get itchy water eyes around cats. They are what I am most allergic too. My mom when she was young had allergies to food. She couldn't eat eggs. I am very sorry to hear about your allergy to certain foods. That sure is bummer! Well, I am not that crazy about pizza but do love a slice now and then. My husband can eat pizza morning, noon and night and for a late night snack. I get serious indigestion if I eat pizza at night. Maybe you could say I am kind of allergic to it.

Chaplain Jan said...

I also have multiple allergies, both food & environmental, in addition to an extreme lactose intolerance (nothing dairy!) & IBS (which rules out many foods, too).

However, when you mentioned "throat itchiness", I wondered if you have an "Epi-pen" since that is an early sign of anaphalatic shock. Do you? If not, please discuss this with your doctor. Allergies & food intolerances can be a pain and limit our enjoyment of life, but don't let them lead to death.

Leann Sweeney said...

What a bunch of allergics we are! Yes, Jan, I have an Epi-pen as I am HIGLY allergic to wasps and bees. They scare me to death when they get in the house. Thankfully my newest kitten seems to know this and alerted me just last week to a mean looking wasp in the house. Love my kitties!

Tempewytch said...

Epi-pens for tree nuts and peanuts, also some anti-biotics (which gets fun!)

Books by Heather said...

Within the last year, there's been a huge upheaval in our dietary lives. It's been an interesting challenge, but worth it. Sometimes.

Min said...

I second the white pizza suggestion. I LOVE white pizzas - all that extra garlicky goodness - yum!

I've developed an allergy to mozzarella and Parm cheeses. It's a quick way to a migraine. I'm such a cheese lover that I was once given the "Cheese Bible" for Christmas, so this has been especially sad.

The Cat Bastet said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your food allergies. Until now all my allergies have been airborne. I just found out that I'm allergic to soy and it's in everything (or so it seems)! I'm awaiting results of my test for food allergies and hoping soy is the only one.

Barbara said...

It seems like more and more people are allergic to various things. I'm 71 and when I was young I never heard of anyone being allergic to anything besides maybe ragweed or beestings. Could it be that my generation was exposed to more things as children and therefore developed immunities?

Jody said...

I'm lucky - lots of allergies but no food allergies. Unfortunately both of my daughters are allergic to legumes - there goes all soy flour products & peanuts! Every time my husband & I have a peanut butter cup or Snickers or I make no-bake cookies, my one daughter sighs & passes them up. She skips chili. She doesn't get anaphylactic, but the legumes make her excema get much worse (cracked, red hands & aggravated skin). Both girls have problems with fresh fruits & vegetables as well. Not good for a healthy diet!!