Monday, May 26, 2014

Low Histamine Week Four - Incredibly Disappointing

This was easily the worst week on the low histamine diet and it was entirely unexpected.  After I did experience some relief during the first two weeks and a complete resolution of my eczema/chronic rash on my hands by the end of the second week I honestly expected a wonderful fourth week.

The week started off with sick kids and thus empty shelves and fridge at home.  It had been graduation weekend at the university at which my husband works, so he was unavailable to help at home and the week started off on the poor side.  We had eaten at a restaurant Saturday night.  I got a little itchy several hours later and then Sunday had itchy eye lids.  By Monday, the start of week four, my eyes still weren't great and they got bad enough that I needed to take an antihistamine.  They improved but then with again no food to eat in the house, my husband brought food home.  I made as wise a choice as I could but got some hives from eating it.  By the next day, things were improving and I didn't need to take another antihistamine (I generally take 24 hour antihistamines, FYI.)  I even had some blueberries and did not worsen –I would not recommend trying something new if you have recently reacted to another food item except in desperation.

Wednesday things were close to baseline and we needed food and some other household things.  I packed up all three kids and we went to Walmart.  I got itchy and broke out in hives while there.  This is the third time since 2003 that I have broken into hives after leaving my house.  Each time that this has happened it has signaled the beginning of an extended “body freak out” time.  During body freak out times going places, smelling things, touching things all can cause a reaction somewhere in my body (hives, weird rashes, asthma attacks, severe joint pain, severe headaches, intense itchiness, severe fatigue, etc).  Extended body freak out times can last for years – the skin stuff generally diminishes but the others increase.

Things worsened on Wednesday with my lips and tongue feeling weird (unusual - I can’t recall having this particular reaction in the past).  I took Vitamin C and Quercetin and was also to stop the progression and hence avoid going to the ER.  My nursing ten month old got enough histamine and immune compounds to scream all night long, though.  I had heartburn and nausea all night long and didn't get much sleep trying to comfort my baby.  He improved after a dose of Benadryl.

Thursday I had gastrointestinal issues and then a solicitor stopped by (and my kids ran to the window once the doorbell rang so I felt obligated to open the door – mistake!).  I reacted to his cologne enough that I needed another antihistamine.  I had a rash by lunch the next day.

Since I was clearly worsening at an accelerated rate, I went to my doctor Friday afternoon who referred me to an allergist.  While I am waiting for the appointment on Thursday I will go back to the baseline low histamine diet as best as I can in hopes to dial back this reaction.  By the end of Friday I was very itchy again and took another antihistamine.

Saturday I woke up very itchy and got itchier as the day progressed.  My eye lids were also itchy and swelling and the right eye progressed to be very painful, too.  I took an antihistamine just for my eyes by mid day.  I then progressed to pain all over my body.  Nerve pain all the way to my fingers, pain just to the touch on both of my sides, increased pain in all the fibromyalgia spots…I took a four hour antihistamine at bed time to call down my eyes again so that I could sleep.  Overall pain was maybe a five but since I was able to sleep I did not medicate for it.

Sunday I was better over all but still a little itchy.  I was able to go to church but I didn't actually sit around other people.  Eyes got a little bit worse but resolved after we left.  My knees felt unstable like they were going to bend backwards several times.  I also had a weird pain behind my left knee as if I had pulled a muscle back there.  After dinner I had heartburn and stiff fingers.  With dinner, I did have coconut flour with is supposed to be ok, I think.  At this point it is hard to tell what is going on.

So, that was my awful week.  I am hopeful that the allergist will be able to help me sort out this latest week and also what has been going on for the last twenty plus years.

What has gone wrong?

Natural salicylates?
Has food suddenly become a major trigger for me?
Do I need to add a food item and wait more than two days before adding the next?
Do I have a max histamine level that I need to stay beneath all the time?
Is a high nutrient diet possible for me right now?
Am I actually reacting specifically to something here in PA that wasn't in IL?

This diet and treatment plan was attractive to me because I was experiencing warning signs of an approaching body freak out time.  I was very hopeful that by doing this I could cut off this progression at the very beginning and save our family perhaps years of grief.  I never know exactly how bad things will be.  I am now a stay at home mom to three young children living far away from family.  I appreciate everyone’s prayers for my health.  But also pray that we would not be fearful and trust fully in the Lord.  He really knows what He is doing.

As always, I have the details of what I ate and what happened on My Low Histamine Experiment page.