The roller coaster of weight loss continued, and I went up yet again. So, I decided to follow the advice of a friend who lost 30 or so pounds on the “elimination diet.” Not a weight loss diet, but it does have the nice side effect of producing weight loss.
The elimination diet is essentially a restriction of certain foods that are known to be allergic or at least cause food sensitivities. One completely avoids those foods for a month, then systematically adds them back one at a time every 3-4 days to see if the body reacts negatively in any way to the foods. I found that gluten is a sensitivity (causing bloating) and sugar makes me feel terrible in excess quantities. Inadvertently, I discovered I am allergic to Brazil nuts – very bad, actually, as I had anaphylactic shock after eating 5-6 raw Brazil nuts. I was tested by an allergist and the allergy was confirmed.
Speaking of my allergist, I mentioned a while back when I was up again that I had trouble breathing. Well, I didn’t think it was that bad, except mostly when lying down. This March, I had a really bad cold and the cough was the worst I ever had, to the point I totally couldn’t breathe at several points. I had to sleep sitting up, even that wasn’t that helpful. Once the severity of the cold passed, I noticed between April – May that I developed a cough. It worsened sometimes and I would go into coughing fits. Drinking really cold drinks, laughing too hard, etc…all caused severe coughing fits. My doctor sent me to a pulmonologist but long story short, after every test imaginable, my lungs themselves had no issues. I even had tests on my heart for congestive heart failure (there’s a pleasant thought…). All negative. The scariest proposition was one of a genetic problem called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. My mom said my dad was diagnosed with some sort of genetic issue that caused the air sacs in the lungs to not expand and contract, effectively causing emphysema. Combined with his smoking (VERY bad, which I have never done), caused him to have breathing and coughing problems all his short life.
I asked my doctor about it, and I was tested twice (technical glitches…) but was found negative. That was a relief but what was causing the problem? My doctor basically gave up and said he did all he could do. I was crushed!! Well, luckily I had a symptom very much like Pat’s – he had a clearing of the throat that he attributed to allergy-induced post-nasal drip and suggested zyrtec. I tried it and it helped a little. I explained that to the doctors, and they referred me to an allergist. I was tested for allergies and found to be allergic to all sorts of things, like trees (every variety but a few), grasses, pollen, dander, cats, dogs, dust, mold, etc. After starting a course of allergy meds, I felt better and have ever since.
So, I lost 15 pounds at that point on the elimination diet, breathing was better, but still a long way to go!