September 25th, 2011
Being an engineer, I have to have a test plan to systematically determine my food allergies and intolerances. Foods that will be reintroduced (order subject to change, but here is an outline):
Cheese – Obviously, this is not vegan, but it will allow me to determine if I am dairy intolerant (casein protein intolerant). (For Science!)
Tomatoes – I really hope these aren’t an issue; I love tomatoes.
Strawberries – Same as tomatoes
Milk – Also not vegan, but will allow me to determine if I am lactose intolerant.
Eggs – Also not vegan
Wine – To determine alcohol’s affect on me and allergy to sulfites
A note on cheese and milk: If I have a reaction to cheese it is likely a casein reaction since cheese is low in lactose. This means that there is no reason to try milk as I will react to the casein in milk as well and will not be able to differentiate between the casein and lactose. However, if I do not react to cheese, I will try milk to determine lactose intolerance.
Adding immediately post-cleanse (not allergenic): Bananas and other sweet fruits
1. Eat possible allergenic or intolerant food
2. Look for signs of allergy or intolerance for 24 hours
3. If there is a reaction, discontinue food and wait for three days until trying next possible allergen or intolerant food
4. Otherwise, try food again the following day.
5. If there is a reaction the second day, discontinue food and wait three days until trying next food.
6. If there is no reaction on the second day, discontinue food and try new food the following day.
The extra day gives me more data. Eliminating that food after the trial allows me to ensure that I am only changing one variable at a time.
Allergy vs Intolerance
A food allergy, like all allergies, is a reaction of your immune system to an ingredient in a food. This is usually a protein that causes this response. Your body sees this protein as an invading substance and releases antibodies to contest it.
The symptoms are
Rash or hives
Shortness of breath
Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Food intolerance, on the other hand, is a digestive issue. If your body can’t break down a food, or the food irritates the digestive tract, then you are intolerant to that food. Lactose intolerance affects about 10% of Americans.
The symptoms are
Gas, cramps or bloating
Irritability or nervousness
Allergies are usually easier to tell, with the outward visible symptoms of rash and hives. Irritability and nervousness are harder to directly attribute to food consumption as opposed to outside forces (hormones, human interaction, etc.). Because of this, a repeat test may have to be performed to ensure the same results.
This test will start Tuesday Sept. 27. It’s total duration is unknown, as it will depend on how many foods to which I react.