New Recipes & Diet Update

As this blog was only started a few weeks ago it’s taken a while to get the Recipe page up and running.  It takes 3 or 4 attempts to adapt an existing recipe to make it low in histamine, consequently it will take some time to add new recipes to the site.  Recent additions include Leek & Potato Soup, Carrot & Sweet Potato Casserole, Veggie Mac ‘N Cheese & the easiest Rhubarb Jam known to man.

I’ve also added a Shopping List page.  In an ideal world everything on a low histamine diet would be fresh and home-made, but when you’re very ill making every single item from scratch is impossible and I personally need to be able to buy at least some items of processed food.  It’s taken months for me to learn what I can and can’t buy, so I thought I’d save you the trouble and produce a shopping list of low histamine items (with ingredients listed where applicable).  Not all the processed food is brilliant in terms of ingredients and of course it would be better to make your own wraps, ice-cream, dips and crisps, but most of the time I personally don’t have the energy (or, if I’m honest, the inclination).   I hope you find the shopping list useful and if you have any great items I’ve missed do let me know!

I’ve now been on a low histamine diet for 3 months.  It’s been a rollercoaster: initially feeling dreadful and exhausted beyond words; progressing to sleeping well and having more ‘normal’ levels of energy; to currently feeling fairly much rubbish again, with dreadful insomnia, heartburn and a huge increase in nerve pain.

The positives have been:

  • I’ve not had a single reaction after eating for an entire month.  No palpitations, no feeling ‘wired’ or anxious, no muscle spasms, no pins & needles in my bum, no flushing.
  • Nausea is reduced by about 80%.  Today I’m feeling sick to my stomach, but I think that’s because my EDS bowel is playing up, rather than anything to do with histamine production.  I’d forgotten what it’s like to go through an entire day and not feel nauseous – it’s fab :-).
  • I’ve only had one migraine in the last 7 weeks, and even that didn’t really develop but just lingered as a tension-type one-sided headache.  I even had my period this month with no associated migraine, which is unheard of.

The negatives are:

  • My heartburn has gone off the Richter Scale and I have no idea why.
  • My sleep disturbance is the worst it’s been in years.
  • My bowel pain is the worst it’s ever been.
  • I’ve had hives (admittedly they only lasted a week, but are the first hives I’ve had in 8 months).
  • I currently feel more exhausted, poorly and M.E.ish than I have in some considerable time.
  • My mood is persistently very low, which isn’t like me (but I suppose is understandable considering how unwell I’m feeling).

I really am at a loss to know why some of my symptoms have actually increased in intensity.  I haven’t introduced any new foods to my diet, simply adapted existing food groups, eg. Ricotta cheese instead of Cheddar, rhubarb instead of strawberries, carrot/beetroot sauce instead of a tin of tomatoes, yeast-free bread instead of bread with yeast, carob instead of chocolate etc.

It may be that I’m reacting to a large food group such as Dairy or Gluten.  I’d be surprised if it’s Gluten, as I’ve had both a blood test and a stomach biopsy for gluten intolerance/Coeliac Disease and have neither.  I won’t know if I’m reacting to Dairy unless I have some proper skin-prick allergy tests done – I’ll see what the Immunologist suggests when I see him in a few weeks time.  Of course, I could just be having an M.E. flare-up, or an EDS flare-up, which I often do when the seasons change – when you have several health issues it’s difficult to know which symptoms to attribute to which disease.  It’s scary when you suddenly get worse for no obvious reason though, and quite soul-destroying when I’m putting in so much effort and energy into my low histamine diet and seeing some symptoms actually get worse.

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