Monday, May 12, 2014

Low Histamine Week Two

The second week of a new diet is generally the hardest – the cravings for what you were eating before can be quite intense and difficult to ignore.  You eat and can feel full but you are still HUNGRY.    In my experience, after two full weeks your body’s worse cravings are over and you can feel full physically and mentally.  I am so glad to be at that point.  There is generally another hiccup around one month but it is very useful to have a partner doing the diet change with you or someone really cheering you on.  My husband has been such a wonderful support for me this time and all the times in the past when I tried a diet in hopes of relieving some of my physical issues.  He does the diet with me 100% and doesn't even cheat on the side (if he does while his isn't home he doesn't mention it).  J 

The second week of my diet was hard because of the cravings and hard because the first two days were high pain and fatigue days.  I am not sure exactly what set me off except that I had not had ice cream that week until Day 7 after dinner.  I continued to consume butter and cooked/baked milk with no issues.  I may try ice cream again at some point but it currently isn't worth two days of my life.  I am certainly hopeful that my overall health will improve significantly in the future that eating a particular food item won’t be so debilitating.

I did start a mast stabilizing flavonoid this week called Quercetin.  Quercetin is found in many different edible plants and was recently found to be better at stabilizing mast cells than a prescription drug called Cromolyn.  I am not sure yet if what I am experiencing is psychosomatic, but within about two hours my sinuses felt less irritated/swollen and have stayed that way.  I still have a continuous headache and post nasal drip, though, so I am waiting for a more definitive change in symptoms before declaring this supplementation a success.

A high nutrient diet automatically contains Quercetin and many other beneficial flavonoids.  Since that is the ultimate goal of my diet/lifestyle change I also started to try some of the higher histamine food items this week, all concurrently with the addition of the Quercetin supplement.  If the Quercetin can keep my mast cells stable and thereby decrease the amount of histamine (and other inflammatory compounds) already in my body limiting ingested histamine is not as important.  It is important to note, however, that the best choice for optimum health and keeping your mast cells stable is to spend that histamine on high nutrient food that contains many beneficial flavonoids.  So, in effect I am taking Quercetin to help my body ingest more Quercetin and other flavonoids and not to routinely consume non beneficial high histamine food (fermented, aged, over ripe fruits, etc).

I was very happy to enjoy potato, grapes and bananas this week.  Since they went well, I will continue to add in more high nutrient food while keeping not beneficial high histamine food out.  I hope that as my consumption of more flavonoids increases my physical manifestations of a mast cell activation disorder will diminish.  I am concerned about the berries so will wait a little longer on those if I can (berries are the only fruit that I truly enjoy).  Berries are also naturally high in benzoates and I definitely react to those in prepared foods and body products (headaches and rashes, usually).

For the details of what I ate and what happened, please see my Low Histamine Experiment Page.

Oh, and here are pictures of my hands.

Before starting this diet:

 One week on this diet (and post wheat and sunflower reactions):

And two weeks on the diet, no significant skin reactions in over a week:

I have never recalled in my entire life hands that looked like these.  They also feel like normal, hydrated skin. 

Another clue that I am overall feeling better is that I am not posting as frequently.  I have more energy and find sitting at the computer rather boring currently.