Food Allergies – The Unexpected

All my life I have been sick, from mild headaches, backaches, to dizziness. Never in my life did I suspect I had any types of allergies. It all started when I was in elementary school. I remember being mildly sick a lot. I missed lots of school, and spent a lot of time in bed reading. I had a waterbed also, and that probably didn’t help my dizziness! 🙂 But I just lived with it, I thought that is how I was supposed to feel. I have no idea what it feels like to be healthy, my whole life.

Why did my allergies get missed? Well , there is such a thing as delayed allergic reaction. I would not be sick until 24-48 hours after eating the food. Also, I wasn’t vomiting, my throat wasn’t closing up, I didn’t break out in hives, and I wasn’t dying. I was just mildly ill. Also the symptoms came out in weird ways, neck and back pain, dizziness (from lack of blood pressure). I thought for years I had vertigo.

What are my allergies? Shellfish, and fresh fish. Yes, I’m allergic to both, not all fish, but I’ve tried a few, and maybe due to cross contamination, I get ill. In the end, I got ill immediately, the last time I had shrimp, within 30 minutes I was projectile vomiting. It was then that I finally knew it had to be the food. Many times, the reaction was delayed, and then I just felt very low energy, back pain, and dizziness but for days. It was in my system and would take some time before it left.

But it took me almost 35 years to figure this out. For a long time I thought I was having other issues, like menstrual cramps, due to being a female. A man may have realized much sooner. I was told to have a hysterectomy when I was in my early 30’s. For some reason, I did not, I was a bit afraid of the surgery. I am so glad looking back that I did not. It was an unnecessary surgery.

The worst symptom I had was loss of blood pressure. I was fainting since I was in high school. I always attributed it too lack of sleep, or I drank alcohol. I fainted while driving, while working, while giving a speech once in college and even while out shopping. I never realized it was food because, it was not something that happened immediately after eating, and I didn’t have any stomach issues. It was only towards the end, that I realized it was due to food.

I had learned to manage my pain, I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I also broke my tailbone and so that made me think my back pain was from that issue. I still have pain from that, but not like the pain before. It was excruciating. Who would have known that food can cause back pain, and neck pain? I was probably so swollen, my whole system was trying to adjust.

Over the years, I have been to every kind of doctor imaginable except the allergist. After one of the last times I fainted, I thought I had food poisoning, and passed out from the pain. No. I passed out due to lack of blood pressure. That was my main symptom.

I was not living. Please if you have a child, who is mildly sick, or has dizziness, or just complains about not feeling well in general and the doctor can’t find out what is wrong. Ask to have them tested for allergies. Not everyone gets hives, or their throat closes, or need to be rushed to the hospital immediately. This is how most people find out they have allergies. There is such a thing as delayed reaction, and it can make allergies very hard to detect. My mom was a nurse, my husband was a medic, and my brother too, and no one had any idea, I was allergic. I have blogged about wonderful crab dinners I had, and I am sure, I was very ill, days later, but had no idea there was a connection.

Much of my life I was sleeping, and resting, and just trying to manage my life, while being very ill. Don’t let this happen to you or any other family member. Your doctor can run a blood test, and test for the major food allergies. You do not have to go to an allergist, you can try that first. I was the one that figured it out, I told my doctor, I think I am allergic to something. You can be sick for days and days after also, for a week I would have very very low blood pressure after eating shrimp, or crab and especially trout.