My Own Food Sensitivity Story
I suffered from constipation, bloating, and embarrassing (and very often, quite horrible smelling) gas for as long as I can remember, but it became a real problem to me in my high school, college, and early adult years. I had no idea what caused this mysterious problem, and certainly did not know what to do about it. Fast forward to my early 40’s, when I developed a condition called Raynaud’s Syndrome. This only manifested itself when I got cold, and the tips of my fingers and toes would shrink and kind of shrivel up. They also became numb and white, and it could sometimes be quite painful. Little did I know that Raynaud’s Syndrome was associated with having an autoimmune disease.
A few years later, I had a most painful attack of an autoimmune disease that most people, including myself, have never even heard of it. I had an attack of Iritis. This is where your immune system attacks the iris of your eye! I had no idea what was happening, but the entire side of my head was red and inflamed and I could not stand for that eye to be exposed to even a glimmer of light, or to feel heat. I pretty much could not do anything but wish I could die. When I finally made it to the eye doctor, they freaked! I was given steroid drops in that eye every 30 seconds for a while, then every minute, then every other minute, until I could be taken to an ophthalmologist who was waiting for me. After his examination, I was put on very high doses of steroids and tested for everything under the sun.
The ophthalmologist said that I would be blind in that eye, but I was determined not to be. In addition to the steroids, I started consuming quite a bit of an antioxidant drink and was able to eventually wean off the steroids. During this time, I went to the ophthalmologist twice a week, and then once a week for quite some time. I regained sight in that eye, but had developed a really bad cataract, which I suppose is the eye’s way of protecting the inflamed iris from the light, or perhaps is a result of the inflammation itself. Since I regained my sight, the ophthalmologist changed his tune from saying that I would be blind in that eye to saying that I would have to have cataract surgery. He also said that I would have repeat attacks of Iritis, which would cause more cataracts to develop, and make it necessary to have several cataract surgeries over my lifetime. I continued to consume high amounts of antioxidants and started massaging around the eye in a certain way because it felt “right” and the cataract went away!
At first I didn’t know that food could have anything to do with an autoimmune attack. I was a busy mom with 5 children at home and one married son with a growing family, and I didn’t take the time to research Iritis or autoimmunity or anything else for that matter. But later, as I learned of the role that food sensitivities have on our immune systems, I took a much closer look at this. I discovered the MRT (Mediator Release Test) for food sensitivities and learned of its efficacy over other food sensitivity tests.
I started using this test with some of my clients, and after quite a few patient successes, decided to test myself. Truthfully, what I was really after was to get rid of my embarrassingly bloated belly, and my more often than not swollen hands and feet were a telltale sign that I had food sensitivities. Plus, I sure wouldn’t mind if my immune system quit attacking the iris of my eye!
When my test results came back, I was so surprised at the foods I was sensitive to (spinach-really?) and quite thankful that I was not sensitive to some of my favorite foods, like cashews and black tea. Following the food protocol turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. It’s funny that when you are only eating foods that are not causing inflammation for you that you don’t really crave other foods. And you feel so good! I slept better, I had more energy, and best of all, my belly was flat and I my hands and feet weren’t swollen!
It has been three years since I did the MRT test and food protocol. My belly is still flat and my rings practically fall off my fingers! I have only had one attack of Iritis, which I attribute to eating a lot of corn tortilla chips (with which to scoop up the guacamole and salsa) while on vacation. I was very sensitive to corn on my MRT results and didn’t manage to keep it out of my diet 100% when I was following the food protocol. I learned that corn is very tricky and hides in so many foods, including tonic water! Because I didn’t keep corn completely out of my diet during my food protocol, it still causes some inflammation (as noted by swollen hands) if I consume a lot of it.
Because I know that food sensitivities change slowly over time, I plan to do the MRT test every few years just to stay ahead of the game. I also make gut health a priority and continue to follow an antioxidant-rich diet.
One of my goals is to get the word out to others to not wait until digestive issues or an autoimmune condition happens to do the MRT test and food protocol after. If you are having any inflammatory symptoms (such as my symptoms of constipation, bloating, gas, and Raynaud’s Syndrome), why not get tested and nip any potential problems in the bud before trouble develops?