most common food allergies
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Elimination Diet for Food Allergies - Vegan Nutrition with Marty Davey
I am 19 years old and have several issues that I am now wondering might be diet related. My energy levels are very low and I fall asleep easily if I am not actively doing something. I fall asleep in class, I feel extremely tired after eating, and I seem to feel even worse if I sleep 7-8 hours straight at night. I suffer from eczema with patches of it on my arms, my hands, and between my eyes on my forehead. I cannot concentrate very long and I have a hard time staying motivated to do anything. I breathe through my mouth because I am constantly congested. My ears itch deep inside too. I admit my diet is low in fruits and vegetables but I always opt for fast food when I eat, other than breakfast, which I eat at home. I fall off the vegan wagon from time to time and drink dairy products which I notice makes my problems worse. I am about 30 pounds overweight and I have borderline high blood pressure. I also have difficulty with my bowel movements - sometimes diarrhea and sometimes constipation. Someone has suggested to me that I might be allergic to gluten but with my reaction to dairy I wonder if it is also dairy too. What do you suggest?
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I'm starting this out with a disclaimer. I do not have any medical tests on which to base the following for this person and I would recommend you getting tested for dairy and gluten allergies as well as consulting with an MD before going any further.
Now, reality. Let's say you are a citizen of the United States and you don't have health insurance. Thus, a doctor visit and testing is cost prohibitive or you like to live dangerously. Then, I would do the following.
Realize that your health is your business, and yours alone. You are headed down a path toward medical intervention that is hard on the body and costly. [Begin sound clip of Beethoven's Ninth - Da,Da,Da, Doom] That might sound like gloom and doom, but I want you scared enough to take care of yourself. I had someone agree to let me help them. They were borderline glaucoma, pre-diabetic, obese, had their gallbladder removed, and then found that they had breast cancer. I worked intensely with them for a week. At the end of the week, they said how much better they felt. A few days after our work together, they blew off everything we did. Now they are on a host of medications daily. Please don't let this be you.
[Begin playing soft music with sounds of birds in trees] Taking care of yourself is not that difficult. In fact, you will be amazed at how little it takes to feel so much better.
Real food doesn't come in boxes, wax paper wrappers or Styrofoam containers. You need fresh fruit, veggies, legumes and grains everyday. How can this happen? Plan for it.
You are 19. You go to school and possibly work, too. You probably plan for your job or school daily, the same as for what you eat. Commit to shopping once a week and getting portable fruit such as apples, oranges or dried fruit on a daily basis. That means at least 14 pieces or 14 servings of fruit per week.
There are no specific symptoms for celiac disease. This is the disease to which you refer when mentioning a gluten-free diet. However, within your writing there are a number of symptoms which match symptoms of celiac patients. These are the bowel issues, lethargy, and inability to concentrate. Because you are eating "fast food" from establishments, the type of which I am not certain, you may be getting dairy in ways you don't know of such as in bread products, condiments and veggie burgers or other mock meat products themselves.
I would immediately cut out all of the grains in BROW - Barley, Rye NOT RICE, Oats and Wheat. This means reading labels and asking questions. Wheat is hidden everywhere, not just pasta and bread items, so be diligent. Even a small amount can throw you off.
I don't know what you have for breakfast, but I would stick to a smoothie with enriched rice milk, calcium enriched orange juice, a tablespoon or 15 mL of flax meal, banana, a collard leaf or kale, and another fruit. Take some celery sticks filled with nut butter (the only ingredient is nuts) on your way out the door. You need flax and nuts, but not just for breakfast. Take some along with you.
Why do you need nuts? The fat. Nuts have the good kind of fat people need. From what you write, you aren't getting the right type. Essential fatty acids have strong scientific support that they do 4 things that relate to your symptoms: keep skin healthy, strengthen the immune system, effect mood and behavior, and regulate blood pressure.1,2,3 They don't weigh a lot and can fit into a small plastic bag or container. You need raw ones, and especially walnuts because you have got to get what is causing these problems out of your system. I have walnuts everyday, and just a few will do. Also, you need a DHA supplement. DHA is a fat. You should take 300 mg per day, especially if you haven't been taking flax meal.
Also, it appears that you haven't been supplementing with vitamin B 12. This is also essential for vegetarian and vegans. Again this deals with lethargy. You will not get any B 12 from vegetable sources. There are B 12 tablets that are vegan. Supplement with 100 mcg per day or 2000mcg per week. For you, I would take 2000 mcg two times per week for the first month.
The last supplement should be vitamin D. Most people need 400 I.U. per day. Make sure you get vitamin D2, not D3. D3 is from animals. This should help with your blood pressure.
Put it in your head that you absolutely must get 5 to 8 cups of green leafy vegetables every day. No ifs, and, or buts. You have some serious health compromises. These vegetables do a lot of things, but one especially true for you is cardiac health. The faster you get on track with vegetables, the faster you will get rid of these symptoms. You should have another cup or so of other vegetables. The celery with nut butter counts as half a cup.
Grains and legumes are your good friends. Plan on eating them at every meal relegating the nuts and fruits serving as two snacks a day. Any legumes will do. As for the gluten-free grains, here is a list to get you started: