Friday, April 20, 2012

Encouraging responses and sharing of information

I recently received some encouraging comments and queries with which I was thrilled to be able to help -- check out the comments exchange on the bottom half of my "Substitutions" page.

Also, a big thank you to Jenny, creator of the website "", who mentions my blog and whose website has thus referred many readers searching for help with less commonly seen food allergies.  To provide that help as much as I can is exactly my goal!  Link to Jenny's website:


Esther said...

Hi Bethany
Thanks so much for your insights and valuable information. I've suffered for over 10 years from painful reactions to many different foods, and as you know, these often don't show up on allergy tests, so trial and error (lots of error) is the only way to figure it out.

I'm curious as to whether you have found any patterns in your family's reactions? Do they go away over time or just change? I feel like food is booby-trapped for me, because one thing will work for awhile but then I develop an allergy to it. How is one to know what is "safe"?

I'm happy to share what I've learned if its helpful to you or anyone else.

Bethany Niazian said...

Hi Esther and thanks for joining the discussion!

Yes, in my family we've seen some patterns regarding reactions to food -- one of the most important is that even a "safe" food if eaten too often can become a food your body reacts to as an allergen. This happened with me with peanuts (recently, after years of eating peanut butter!) and I'm now experiencing it with tomatoes.

It is possible that if one food in a food family is an allergen, the other members of that food family will become allergens over time -- hence with my avoiding peanuts I was OK but now other legumes/beans in the same food family as peanuts are starting to bother me too.

On the other hand, my mother, who only has about 28 "safe" foods she can actually eat, has been eating the same foods on her limited list for a very long time now and still those foods have not become allergens nor are they ruled out even if they belong to a food family that has other members in it which she can't eat (e.g. she can eat brussels sprouts but not any type of cabbage).

I wish there were a magic formula to determine which foods are safe and always will be safe, but experience and what I've learned from other people's experience says that any food if eaten too frequently can become an allergen -- this makes sense when we see that rice is one of the top allergens in some Asian countries, for example. Then there's the individual person's reaction patterns, which can vary from person to person. Since you're finding previously "safe" foods to be a problem, it sounds like you're in the same boat as I am, having to watch out for frequently eaten foods.

Thanks again for writing, and I'm glad you found the info on my blog helpful. Please do continue to share what you've learned -- we all have information that can be helpful to others, and one of the best things we can do is share that knowledge :-)