Weekly roundup

Looking for fresh inspiration for my meals, I decided to purchase Gwynneth Paltrow’s  ‘It’s All Good’ cookbook, as I thought it would be free from most of the foods prohibited on a low histamine diet.  Think again.  Sadly nearly every main course recipe includes either fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, yoghurt, tomatoes or meat *sigh*.  It might as well go straight to the charity shop as I have zero use for it.

However, I’ve had the Low Histamine Cook’s ‘On the Go’ cookbook for months, and this week got round to trying my first meal of lentil Daal.  The recipe included 1 tblsp fresh chilli (a whole tablespoon for 2 servings?!); 1 tblsp freshly grated ginger (!!!) and 1 tblsp fresh turmeric (I stood no chance. I live in a virtually all white rural county with not much call for ethnic stores – my closest specialist Asian grocery shop is 90 miles away, so I made do with a tsp of ground which in hindsight was a stroke of luck).  After trying the recipe, and nearly blowing my head off, I’ve come to the realization that USA tablespoons are much smaller than UK tablespoons and I should really have been using a dessert spoon (one UK dessert spoon = 10ml, which is one USA table spoon.  One UK tablespoon is 15ml, which is 1½ USA tablespoons – although this does assume all our teaspoons are 5ml!).  I have recently bought some cheap USA measuring cups off Amazon though and they came in handy for the lentils.  I do have to say, however, that the USA measuring cup system is absolutely bonkers.  A cup of flour is totally different to a cup of butter, which is totally different to a cup of potato, which is totally different to a cup of lentils (and I struggled to fit my cauliflower florets in the cup at all!). They seriously need to go metric: one set of weighing scales, one large bowl.  Measure 100g of anything you like and Bob’s your Uncle – my American friends you have no idea how much easier your life would be 😉

I haven’t tried a kiwi since starting my low histamine diet but they were on offer this week at Tesco so I bought a pack and used them in my daily fresh juice. Unfortunately, I got some mild lip tingling so I’m not sure whether I’m tolerating them all that well.   I also had a mild allergic reaction to some unknown trigger one evening completely without warning.  I’d had supper at my parent’s house, and my Mum had put me a glass of orange squash to drink without thinking.  I should just have refused it, but she’d gone to so much trouble I thought it would be rude.  So I drank the squash at 5.30pm.  I came home, took my Tagamet at 6.15pm and had a bath.  Was really tired, so got into bed and opened my laptop to check my mail.  Was just sitting relaxed in bed at 7.45pm when I got the sudden cessation of the pins&needles in my hands and feet (I constantly feel like I’m plugged into the electric, and when I have a reaction it’s like someone simply turns the power supply off).  This is never a good sign, because it’s always followed within a minute or two by pounding heartbeats, then flushing and anxiety.  I checked my blood pressure and my Systolic was up by 20, my Diastolic by 15 and my pulse by 23bpm.  As I said, it was only a mild reaction which lasted about 30 minutes, but it still had me panicked.  It could have been the squash, although my reactions to foods are usually immediate.  It could be I’m starting to react to the Tagamet, although again it doesn’t usually take 90 minutes to see a drug reaction.  Or it could just be that I was tired and my hormones are playing up being as though it’s that time of the month.  It’s the first reaction I’ve had in 6 months though and kind’ve freaked me out.  I’ve taken my Tagamet today without incident (thank you God!), so am just chalking it down to “one of those things”.  I’m feeling ‘hung over’ today though and very very tired, so instead of currently being in my favourite café with my dog reading the paper and eating home-made soup as I usually do on a Saturday morning, I’m still in bed.

It’s my pre-menstrual week and my itching and sneezing have gone nuts again.  My recent research blog post shows that menstruation causes mast cell activation due to estrogen receptors on mast cells, which gives me validation that I haven’t been imagining this worsening of symptoms around my menstrual cycle and I really do get worse the week before my period.  As my arms and shoulders are highly hypermobile, and my hypermobility goes off the Richter Scale during this week, I do try to be very careful how I sleep, as I sleep on my side with one arm stretched out underneath me.  Despite my care, I woke yesterday having obviously pulled something in my shoulderblade during the night which is nigglingly painful and means I can’t turn my head to the left.  I’m fine to drive, just so long as I keep to straight roads with no junctions or roundabouts 😉 .

My butt has developed a new symptom (yes, another one!).  I have no clue why my behind is so obviously mast cell reactive and find it all a bit funny (as in giggly funny, not weird funny….although there is no doubt that it is also weird!).  I have what I’m calling ‘nappy’ rash (ie ‘diaper’ rash) in the crack between my cheeks, despite making absolutely sure I dry myself thoroughly after bathing.  It showed up last week totally out of the blue and the inflammation goes all the way down my bum crevice and surrounds my anus (I know, TMI 😉 )  It does make you wonder that if it’s like this on the outside there’s the possibility that it’s like this on the inside of my bowel, which is quite a disturbing thought.  I don’t mind sharing this information with you all, but even I draw the line at a photograph of the crack in my backside being searchable in Google images, so you’ll have to make do with a teaser which doesn’t do the quite severe and bright red inflammation justice:

The good news is that Sudocrem (often used for nappy rash) clears it up a treat – in fact, it’s been nothing short of miraculous.  Sadly, if I stop using the cream the inflammation is back within 24 hours, but at least I’ve found something which is keeping it under control.  In fact, I was so impressed with it I thought I’d try it on the new hive which has developed (naturally, also on my butt) and within 3 days the hive was on its way out.  I have no clue why this cream would work when steroids and anti-histamines haven’t, but I’m grateful that it does.

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