“So…you don’t think having permanent diarrhea is…a sign? Unusual?” asked my functional medicine practitioner, a different expert than my Lyme doc.
“Nope!” I said. And told her that after taking antibiotics for 13 months, I had just figured that diarrhea was my new norm after so much damage and trauma to the gut. Even 2 years after I had finished taking them. In hindsight, I really should have given it more thought.
She didn’t think that was the case, however, and suspected food allergies were to blame. The Alletess allergy test she ordered revealed an IgE allergy to almond. This type of antibody result typically indicates a more permanent allergy to the food. And as a result, this food should be completely avoided.
It felt like I’d just been caught red-handed in a twisted game of “Clue” for Food Allergies! “The Lyme Whisperer, in the kitchen, with a KIND bar!”. There was no hiding it. I had been guilty of poisoning myself…with almonds! So much worse than Colonel Mustard, in the study, with a candlestick!
I’d have to avoid the single largest staples in my diet. Almond butter. Almond milk. Handfuls upon handfuls of almonds that I grabbed as breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. I was sentenced to a life without almonds, with no chance for parole.
The Alletess results also showed an IgG food sensitivity to gluten, wheat, peanuts, lima beans, cashews, cinnamon, cocoa, coconut, haddock, honey, malt, cow’s milk, green pea, black pepper, shrimp, sunflower, baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast. IgG reactions are typically scored from 1-3, with 3 being the most significant. This type of food sensitivity can resolve with time, after a period of avoidance that allows the gut to heal.
So what happened when I avoided all my IgE and IgG triggers for 2 months? NO diarrhea. None. For the first time in 2 years.
What happened when I tried to reintroduce some of the IgG foods? Diarrhea. Guess my gut isn’t ready yet. Back to avoidance.
What happened when I tried to reintroduce my IgE food–almonds? Nothing! Because I haven’t and won’t reintroduce them. I’m deathly scared of them now, actually. Like Mrs. Peacock, with an axe, in the cellar scared! And I’ve found new staples. Soynut butter. Pumpkin seeds. Brazil nuts. Hazelnuts.
My message to you: Make sure you have a “clue” about your food allergies and food sensitivities, even if you don’t feel bad. I didn’t feel badly and could have lived with the diarrhea and continued to shrug it off. Now, I feel like I have an even better path to health in my post Lyme treatment recovery phase. It’s important, however, regardless of what phase in your Lyme journey you are. Eliminating foods you are allergic or sensitive to will ease your already compromised gut and reduce inflammation. And ultimately, it will give your body another edge in the quest for the best fighting chance. And we are all about fighting chances!
That’s all. From the Lyme Whisperer, in the t.v. room, with sesame nut butter on a rice cake.