I visited an allergist last week to see if my digestive issues, red face, and itchiness were caused by a food allergy. I had previously had allergy tests ~4 years ago, but I was not tested for any food allergies. I only had one allergy back then, and that was to two different types of dust mites. I never really worried much about that, as it didn’t seem to be a problem. Nothing else really showed up, so while I knew I had some kind of seasonal allergy that obviously wasn’t in the testing scheme, I just assumed I was allergy-free
The allergy test I had last week were completely different… The new doctor (the previous medical facility stopped taking my insurance) did a larger panel, including some foods that I suggested as a starting point. My back looked like a red polka-dot pattern and itched like crazy. I am now very allergic to dust mites (the reaction was huge, compared to the positive control), have a couple of tree pollen allergies, and several more that showed up the next day as a delayed reaction. Interestingly, it’s been a week now and the delayed reaction spots still itch!! Everything else, including the foods and negative control, gave a decent size reaction, indicating that I am very sensitive currently, but nothing else can be positive because the rest of the spots were the same size as the negative control.
Initially, I think the doctor thought my itchiness was caused by my nerves, but after seeing how big the dust mite reaction was (he even repeated it for good measure), his perspective changed. He encouraged me to try and get my dust mite allergy under control with new pillows, mattress encasings (and thankfully, this is a good justification to get a new bed as we have been wanting to), and frequent washings of all linens, including my quilt. He also wants me to take Zyrtec and Prilosec, thinking that some of my digestive problems may be alleviated by the acid reflux medication. The doctor thinks that maybe if I get my dust mite allergy under control, the overall reactivity of my skin will decrease. I’m cautiously optimistic, but I really think the underlying factor is my stress, which I cannot figure out how to manage.
The good news is that I get a break from my elimination diet for a month while I try his suggestions. At that point, provided the problems are still there, I will try a new baseline diet to see if I can solve the sensitivity problem. The doctor suggested pork and rice as a place to begin. Apparently pork is the least allergic of all meats and rice is generally good for people form an allergy perspective. I’ve also looked into IgG and IgA testing for sensitivities, but I’m not sure how accurate those are. The doctor said that if you want to have a big list of things you may or may not be sensitive to, then go for the IgG testing, but I didn’t get the impression it would be that helpful.
I’ve also been reading a lot about “leaky gut” and maybe that’s part of my digestive issues… Who knows? But, luckily I get a month to figure out the next step. I am also trying this new lifestyle program created from a psychology perspective. I’ll tell you more if it works for me…
Never a dull moment!