Finding out about food allergies

A question I get asked often…..How did you find out you were allergic to flour/wheat? 🌾

Soooo over a period of a few months I noticed some weird, irregular things happening with my body. After eating, I would get this unbearable itch in my right leg to the left of my shin. It would itch so bad I would sometimes scratch till it bled. Crazy I know! 😳

Other times I would get severe stomach pains that felt like my stomach was trying to rip itself out of my body. Sometimes that was followed by the runs. Or other times I would start to turn red and splotchy, get red bumps all over my body, start to feel really hot and itch a bit. As some people like to call it…..hot hives! 😩

I went to the doctor and they told me it was anxiety. It didn’t make sense. I don’t get anxiety after eating. I feel happy and content after I eat. So I brushed off that doctor and tried another. Who told he he had no idea what it was and maybe it would go away in its own. 🤦🏼‍♀️

It took me going to 4 doctors to finally have one tell me it’s possibly a food allergy. So he told me to fast for a full 24 hours to get everything out of my system. Then try one thing at a time and see the reaction. I started with fruits, then veggies, then meats, then cheeses and nothing was happening. One day I made a sandwich and BAM! Stomach pains and the runs. The only thing new I’d eaten was the bread on the sandwich! So I figured that was it! After a few more trial and errors I learned that I have a wheat/flour allergy. I tell people it’s a gluten allergy because it’s just easier to explain and I get less questions since gluten allergies are like a “thing” now. But for me it’s wheat and flour. Different types of wheat/flour affect me differently. Hence one time I’ll get hives, and another the runs. 🍴

My food allergy and my auto immune run hand in hand. They each affect each other. Turns out the itching in my leg is due to inflammation of the skin and tissue caused by eating wheat/flour. My body becomes inflamed, doesn’t understand what’s happening and goes on the attack. Therefore causing an itching reaction. It’s crazy but makes sense how one thing affects another.

I’m not missing out too much in life. People always give me the poor pitiful you look and ask what I can eat. Well I can eat pretty much what I want within reason…..fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, etc. Instead of flour tortillas I do corn, when at a Mexican restaurant. I have always hated pasta so there was no loss there. They make gluten free bread/wraps and gluten free pizza crust so I can still enjoy a good sandwich or pizza when I want. I honestly don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Going wheat/flour free hasn’t changed my life other than ridden me of stomach pain, itching, etc. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Building your child’s immune system

I’m a huge advocate for letting your immune system build and do its job. I have a few close friends that are the opposite. At even the slightest hint of illness they immediately push for medication. (Medication not immunization. Two totally different topics) 💪🏻

When my little one gets sick, I hold off on medication unless absolutely necessary. I want his immune system to try to work and do it’s job first. Your body is stronger than you think. By letting it work and “learn” it will be able to battle and fight stronger through other illnesses in the future. 🤢

By medicating for things that the immune system can handle, you actually cause the immune system to weaken itself. Therefore causing more and possible worse illness risks later on down the road. This is why I love that we found a doctor who believes the same. She encourages us to use honey to help soothe Ryder’s throat or help suppress his cough as opposed to using cough medicine. 💊

Mind you, there are obviously some illnesses the body cannot fight off on its own and medication is a must. It’s definitely up to you and your doctor to make this call. But when possible, natural is always your best route! God knew what he was doing when he built us these bodies! 😉

Pregnancy and Autoimmune

If you thought you were exhausted, achy, etc just being pregnant, try being pregnant while having autoimmune! My body is constantly overworked. It’s straining daily just to keep me and baby healthy while also battling against itself.

If you’re unfamiliar with autoimmune, it’s a non communicable disorder/disease. So you can’t catch it from someone sneezing near you, coughing, blood, inheritance, etc. They actually don’t know what causes autoimmune diseases.

In short, your body’s immune system protects you from disease and infection. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. The classic signs of an autoimmune disease are exhaustion and inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain and swelling. Depending on the autoimmune disease, for some the symptoms can actually be worse.

So for me, not only is my body working to grow a baby and protect the baby, but it’s also fighting against itself by mistake. My body feels overly exhausted daily. I also get a lot of non pregnancy related aches and pains. Combine that with pregnancy discomfort and I’m just one big ball of fun!

If you know someone who has autoimmune or even someone pregnant with autoimmune, give them a big hug or do what you can to try to be sympathetic! (Or if you’re like me, leave them alone and just be understanding 😂) They’re definitely fighting a difficult battle. 💪🏻

Pregnancy and workouts

I think it’s interesting to see a “new aged” doctors view vs an “old school” one. My first pregnancy I went to an older doctor. Despite being perfectly healthy, she put me on SO many physical restrictions while pregnant. She wouldn’t allow me to lift more than 20lbs or get my heart rate above 140. She told me to limit back exercises and avoid any workout involving my core.

This second time around I have a younger doctor. Her views are quite a bit different. She gave me no restrictions other than to not push myself too hard and to rest when needed. Since I lifted weights pre baby, she saw no reason to restrict my weight lifting. However, she recommended I not push myself more than my usual. Adding heavier weights than what I’m used to would obviously not be a good idea. But I was allowed to run, lift weights, etc as I please. She also saw no reason for me to worry about my heart rate. Since my body was used to workouts pre baby, and baby and I are currently very healthy, she saw no risks in me getting my heart rate above 140. She did say to make sure I could breathe well and wasn’t struggling or wheezing. You want to be able to get enough oxygen to your muscles and the baby.

I love how people are finally accepting fitness in pregnancy rather than running scared from it. Restricting workouts doesn’t benefit the mother (unless there is a physical need for restriction.) It actually has so many amazing benefits!

I have almost no back or hip pain this time around. I credit that to my workouts and the fact that I still have most of my strength. I have way less joint pain and I’ve had very few headaches compared to what I had the first time around.

Obviously you should talk to your doctor before participating in any physical activity while pregnant. But don’t be afraid to go for a walk, lift weights, etc if given the green light. Your body, and your baby will thank you!

Pregnancy Flu

Pregnancy flu….never heard of it? That’s because I made it up. Well, the name at least. 😂 Not to be confused with morning sickness. This is way worse and it hit me REAL hard yesterday.

It’s just like the normal flu, but not caused by a virus or bacteria and not contagious. It’s caused by hormones and a growing child sucking every bit of life out of you. Sounds harsh, busy seriously that’s how it feels.

I’ll wake up some mornings feeling like death. Nausea, headaches, body aches, you name it. Luckily the “pregnancy flu” doesn’t last as long as the normal flu. However it does come and go when it wants.

Good news is, there’s a cure! It’s called birth! 😂 Once your adorable little one is here your hormone levels start to settle and the pregnancy flu symptoms disappear for good……until the next pregnancy if you decide. It’s a miserable experience and completely exhausting but so worth it in the end. I keep trying to remind myself of that when it takes over…..💙

The dreaded ADD battle

Attention deficit disorder aka ADD. If you have it, you know how miserable it can be. If you don’t have it, it’s hard to understand.

I think kids are over-diagnosed so often. Just because a kid can’t sit still or has a little trouble focusing, doctors automatically slap them with an ADHD or ADD label and put them on meds. Maybe they’re just being a kid! Lots of kids don’t want to sit still, run like crazy and have a short attention span! But they eventually grow out of it.

Someone with true ADD has a hard battle. I have it and have never been medicated for it. That was a personal choice of my parents and later mine as an adult. Having ADD is very difficult. I struggle often to focus, even on little tasks. If I’m watching tv, I can’t listen to a conversation at the same time. My mind can’t focus on two things. There’s too much going on at once.

My husband gets frustrated because at times he will be talking to me and I have no idea. If I’m watching tv or doing something my mind is so focused on that item, I don’t realize someone is talking to me. It’s as if I go deaf to everything around me. I’m not purposely ignoring the person. My brain literally doesn’t register they are talking to me. That’s hard for someone without ADD to understand.

I remember trying to study in HS and college, and just getting so frustrated. I literally had to study in a room without other people, no tv and no objects to distract me. So a cubicle in the library was ideal. If I tried to study around other people, I would get distracted watching people or daydreaming. An attempt at a one hour study session would turn into a three hour session where I spent most of the time rereading the same page over and over because I got distracted and completely forgot what I read. 📚

I also struggle to remember little things. When I was younger my mom would play a “game” with me and ask me to go get 3 things from my room and bring them to her. A majority of the time I could only remember 2 of those items requested by the time I got to my room. I’m still that way. If someone gives me a list of things to do or get, I have to write it down or I’ll never remember any of it. It sounds ridiculous but I literally write everything down. I do that so I won’t forget. It’s also a great way to keep me organized. I enjoy checking things off a list.

If you know someone with true ADD, go easy on them. They’re already in a hard battle themselves. Living with ADD isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work to learn how to deal with it and work around it.

Pregnancy Hangover

A few times a month I wake up feeling EXTREMELY hungover. It literally feels like I drank 2 bottles of wine to myself. Yet I haven’t had a drop of alcohol and I drank plenty of water the day before. 🍷

Apparently it’s the pregnancy hormones. They can actually give you a feeling of being hungover! 🤢

It’s one thing to consciously make the decision to drink, and possibly drink too much therefore leading to a hangover. I however have zero control over this feeling. It’s like my body just says, hey you haven’t drank in a while, let’s have some fun and make you feel hungover without the actual alcohol involved! 🤦🏼‍♀️

Seriously, pregnancy and hormones are so weird. And so not fun at times. 🤔