Saturday, May 2, 2015

Nut Allergy?

WARNING: A post that contains health concerns. could be deemed #tmi

So it has come to my recent attention that I might have a nut allergy.  As long as I can remember I've hated peanut butter. Its not even that I hate it, I am unable to eat it. I've tried but I just can't end up swallowing it. It just gets stuck in my mouth, I physically can't make my mouth swallow the bread with peanut butter on it. For years I've thought I wished I like peanut butter it seems like such a versatile snack, not only it is full of protein and healthy fats it is shelf stable!

I am the same with almonds and walnuts, I can chew them up but I physically can't swallow them, no matter how much I try they stay in my mouth.
Funny thing my oldest child as a toddler absolutely refused to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with his father. He had no idea I didn't eat them, he just knew he himself would not eat them. His grandfather use to feed him almonds and he would chew them up and then come and spit them up in my lap. It drove me absolutely batty every time his grandpa would feed him almonds! Never once did I see him swallow a single almond. It took months before my son finally stopped taking them.

So fast forward to the last few months I've been trying to eat "healthier". Everyone talks about how healthy nuts are and then I'm filled with shame that I'm such "picky eater" and don't like most nuts. (I use the quotes because this is what other people say to me.)  So I bought a large bucket of cashews at the store, they are one of the few nuts I can physically swallow.
Also as the time went on, I was getting these wicked headaches, that would last for days, and my mouth would break out in huge canker sores all over my mouth. Covered-- I felt like I maybe should visit the CDC. I assumed it was related to hormones since I was in the process of weaning my baby.
We went on vacation for spring break and I didn't eat any nuts all week, and I was taking the herb myrrh because it is antiseptic and I thought it might help the canker infestation. It did, I felt great by the time we got back from vacation. My mouth after months finally stopped hurting every waking minute.
One day after this I was feeling great, but hungry for a snack, I grabbed a handful of cashews. I instantly got a headache. So thinking that I should "eat more non-animal protein" grabbed another handful. My head hurt so bad, I had to lay down. So I stopped eating cashews.
Then a few weeks later I was talking with a few friends and one mentioned her nut allergy. After awhile another one said yeah, I have a tree nut sensitivity and my mouth breaks out in canker sores when I eat them, but sometimes I really just crave walnuts. All of sudden all the dots clicked. I practically jumped out of my seat asking for more information.

All the stars aligned, that's what was causing the canker sores, the headaches, why I've always been a "picky eater" and not liked nuts, why I'm physically unable to swallow so many nuts.

Here is the real question, I hate coconut. For very much the same reason. I'm physically unable to swallow coconut, it just stays in my mouth. Now I know its coconut, but I've assumed its not really a nut. Its just called a nut, but it does grow in trees....  
So I googled it, this is what I found "Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet." source
Hmm, it says most people, what if I'm not most people...

I'm pretty sure my oldest inherited this lovely tree nut, peanut and coconut sensitivity from me. My daughter liked peanut as a toddler when her daddy would eat it until she noticed her brother and I never ate it. I don't think she has the same problem. She also likes coconut. My third child, LOVES nuts, every type of nut I've feed him, including peanut butter sandwiches.
Funny back story, years ago we mentioned to a cousin of mine that my oldest didn't like peanut butter. They said he might have an allergy, because they just found out their toddler was allergic to peanut butter. She said they were always trying to feed it to him, and no matter how much they hid it he would not eat it. We said, nah, he is just picky. Hmm, maybe he might be allergic too....

Lastly, before I posted this I wanted to make sure I wasn't totally crazy, so I looked it up.
The Mayo Clinic website says,
The precise cause of canker sores remains unclear, though researchers suspect that a combination of factors contributes to outbreaks, even in the same person.

Possible triggers for canker sores include:
  • A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps or an accidental cheek bite
  • Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese, and spicy or acidic foods
  • A diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron
  • An allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth
  • Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers
  • Hormonal shifts during menstruation
  • Emotional stress
Now I know this is #tmi, so continue under your own choice. Other than helicobacter pylori and other bacterias, I pretty much am a case study for every thing on that list. :(
I can't use crest pro-health toothpaste.

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