A Fun Allergy Update

Well I have a quick (well maybe not super quick) update on my allergies, and I hope that my next post on this topic is a ‘I am feeling so much better!’ post.  I finally got all of my ‘safe’ products two weeks ago, hooray for amazon and a few other online sites  and thought I was ready to go and set for the month of being compliant. However, that Friday after doing more research on one of the substances I was allergic to, Balsam of Peru (BOP), I realized it was in much more than just products listed on the little handout I got:

  • Fruits that contain peel of citrus fruits (ex: juice, marmalade)
  • Candy, chewing gum, mints
  • Cough medicine and lozenges
  • Ice cream
  • Cola and other spiced drinks
  • Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, curry (ex: ketchup, chili sauce)

Easy enough right? I don’t consume any juice/jam, I’ll quit gum, drop the ice cream, I have quit drinking soda and just avoid those few spices in baked goods, ketchup and chili sauce.  I was very very wrong.  Vanilla is in a lot of stuff including most chocolate, almost all of my nutrition products (it also goes under the name ‘natural flavoring’), my beloved fig newtons, Larabars, and even my favorite sparkling water.  On top of that there are actually more spices than just the four listed (I guess I should have known with the ‘such as’) it also includes: allspice, basil, bay leaves, dill, nutmeg, paprika.  When I started looking up the ingredients in a lot of my foods at home… so many of them contained at least one of those spices.  So other than using herbs, it’s going to be just salt and pepper for me.  Dining out was going to be tough though (I’ve still yet to eat out in the past three weeks).

The vegetables listed also threw me through a loop, the last one mainly: Asparagus, beets, blueberry, cranberry, huckleberry (I highly doubt I’ll ever eat that in my life though) and TOMATO.  Woah.  Hold the phone.  That is in everything (or it seems like it to me) and it’s one of the vegetables that contains the most of BOP, so it’s the one to avoid the most.  So that omits other items such as pasta sauce and red sauce (adios pizza) which made me really sad.

However, I was about to get more sad.  Under beverages, other than the obvious from my handout, which was ‘citrus juices’, it also listed beer and wine.  Now I was boredline depressed (kidding, kind of not kidding).  Sh*t’s getting real now.  I realize that not every beer or wine will contain it, but for now until my next appt on June 6th I need to try to be 100% compliant.  And honestly after that, I’m not sure if it’s worth drinking to tae the gamble of swollen red eyes and rashes.  Sigh.  Talk about a lifestyle change.

So currently I have tried to clean up my diet, omit any foods with BOP and so far the rashes are better, but not gone.  I’m itchy now as I type this but am hoping that if I am consistent and persistent with only eating safe foods (and using only my safe products for shampoo, etc), it will go away.  I wasn’t going to post this post, but after doing a lot of research I found a few other on the interwebs and it made me think that it might help someone else with the same allergy so they don’t feel so alone, so why not. (Note: I do realize this is a first world problem, things could be much much worse, and all I need to do is just avoid the foods/substances….but man. Pizza has my heart)

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