Let me first put out a disclaimer I am not an allergist, nutritionist, dietician, or specialist in foods or the environment. I hope that by sharing my related tribulations, some of you who read this article can also be helped in some way.
I consider myself active physically and if something were to interfere with that, I want to do everything in my power to fix it. Recently I developed asthma after smelling and eating certain foods. Now, I’m not talking about reacting to eating a fast food burger or a pizza. I’m talking that after eating an organic apple, strawberry, almonds or banana just to name a few, I would within minutes have chest tightness, wheezing, congestion, coughing, brain fog and extreme fatigue that could last for at least an hour after eating. Eating, which I love to do and is necessary for the amount of exercise I do, became not desirable. Eating foods became an experiment to find out what was safe and what would trigger a reaction.
I came across the idea of latex food allergies from a friend of mine who said that she was thus allergic. I have since learned that such knowledge is not widespread. Here are a couple good links to learn about this particular allergy: http://dmd.nihs.go.jp/latex/cross-e.html&http://latexallergyresources.org/latex-cross-reactive-foods-fact-sheet.
As I educated myself about latex-allergies, I realized that about 80% of my diet was on that list of suspected foods. I decided to eliminate the foods from the high to moderate list: banana, avocado, apple, carrot, celery, potatoes, tomatoes and melons and only eat a few items in small amounts from what are called the low or undetermined categories.
The results astounded me. Within 2 days of eliminating latex-allergy foods, I no longer was congested and coughing first thing in the morning. The amount of coughing and chest congestion and wheezing experienced was reduced subjectively by 80%. I no longer experienced the brain fog or extreme fatigue. My sleep improved. I had typically stirred at 3:30am every morning for months. Now I sleep through till at least 5am. I was able to take a deep breath and resume my workouts. My brain fog lifted and even my vision became clearer. I was able to be more productive at work and treating clients.
I want to make it clear that I don’t think everybody has a latex food allergy. However I think this type of allergy is more prevalent than the public is currently aware of.
I do recommend that one seek trained medical assistance if such symptoms occur. Special blood tests, including testing for the IgE antibodies, can further determine which antigens one might be sensitive to.
I’m not sure how the allergy came about. I will inquire further. Until then, I am grateful for every breath I can take. Now back to exercising!
Michele S Jang, PT is a physical therapist who likes to look outside the box. She has been a physical therapist for over 22 years and has extensive training in manual therapy or the use of hands to help rehabilitate the body. Michele has been an instructor both in the United States and abroad. Her clinic offers Free Consults on Tuesday afternoons. Michele also has a team of therapists at Spirit Winds who offer an array of expertise on exercise, fall prevention, foot and shoe assessments, body mechanics and proper breathing technique to increase awareness and healing. Her team can be reached at 805 543-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.