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Food Allergies

  • t

I am curious about hounds with food allergies and how it affects your eating.

I have a weird allergy to certain raw fruits and vegetables. If they are cooked even slightly I have no problem. I have noticed it with organic and commercial foods. Sometimes the reaction is mild and sometimes moderate. I havn't had a severe reaction in years. A few minutes after eating these foods I get some or all of the following symptoms: Slight asthma, itchy mouth and tongu, slight stomach ache, blisters on my lips, tongue, or mouth.

I am not sure if it is a reaction to pesticides or to certain enzymes. Allergests seem clueless.
For some reason heirloom produce affects me less or not at all. I have met a few folks with apx. the same reaction.

The foods that affect me are:

Carrots- the first time I had the reaction when I was about 14 it was to a carrot and I went unconscious.

Potatoes- I get asthma and itchy hands even peeling them.

Apples- last fall I went to a pick your own orchard that had almost a 100 varieties of herloom apples and was able to eat 10-20 pounds a week for a month with no problems. I eat one store bought mac or red boring (I mean deliscious) and whammo.

Plums, pears, strawberries, peaches, and more.

When I forage for wild edibles I don't get a reaction except on a very rare occasion. I almost always get a reaction when I eat a salad in a restaurant but not at home (maybe because restaurants always put raw carrot in the salad.)

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  1. Maybe you are allergic to pesticides ?

    1. The only partial clue I can offer is with the fruits: most of them, other than the berries, are pomes or drupes, all members of the Rose family of plants.

      1. i have a once in a blue moon reaction to carrots and/or tomatoes. So far my reaction has only been a little bit of itching and maybe a bit of gum swelling. This is similar to the way my allergy to swiss cheese (i kid you not!) began to present itself. NOW, when i attempt to consume swiss cheese my gums swell and bleed, my tongue swells a little and i get very scared. if i consume (again, no joke) 5 or 6 glasses of ice water very quickly i can prevent any further damage. When (if...) my tomato carrot thing becomes this serious i will have to give them up, but i don't htink i will miss them as much as swiss.

        1 Reply
        1. re: renee

          I get anaphlaxis from Swiss cheese. Not all Swiss cheese but who wants to experiment? I live all other cheeses. Apparently Swiss is made from a particular culture which makes the holes.

        2. My son and sister developed similar allergies in adulthood, apples and carrots (raw ony) being the worst offenders. Very peculiar. Nothing life threatening, but very uncomfortable. They do their best to avoid these foods.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Pat Hammond
            Caitlin McGrath

            I'm certainly starting to think there's something to the pome/drupe distinction (though that doesn't explain carrots). My SO has allergic--major itch and discomfort--reactions to raw apples and chesrries, and to raw peach skins (peeled raw peaches are fine, as are cooked peaches w/skins). He says his mother's had similar reactions in the past. I don't *think* he has a carrot problem, but he doesn't like them and so actively avoids them anyway, so he could (and in terms of family connections, his sister was very allergic to carrots).

            Regarding getting allergies as adults, all kinds of allergies are definitely something one can grow into and out of (unfortunately, more often into, it seems!).

          2. I get an itch in my mouth and throat when I eat raw pears and peaches. I think it's from the micro-fuzz. When cooked, however, they're fine for me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: EatDrinkMan

              I would say it's definately the fuzz on the peaches. Do you eat them skin and all? Here in peach-growing country I've never seen anyone eat one without peeling it first. I think they are much fuzzier right off the tree than in the grocery store.

            2. My big curse in life.... Lactose Intolerance, heavy sigh...

              Actually, I heard somewhere (and I kind of believe it), that a very large percentage (over half?) of asians become lactose intolerant in adulthood. This is clearly the case with me, I've become progressively more and more lactose intolerant since hitting my late teens/early twenties (I'm now in my mid 30s).

              Funny thing though, it's not really consistent with all dairy products.

              Whole Milk - KILLS ME... for example a bowl of cereal with milk (low fat, whole, skim, whatever) will give me severe cramps and frequent bathroom trips within 30 minutes... bummer. Imagine not being able to have a glass of cold milk with Oreos or a PB&J sandwich? That's my life...

              Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt - Funny thing, about 50%-75% I can eat a normal portion of ice cream and there is little to no affect, the other times maybe a little discomfort, but nothing at all like the Milk problem.

              Cheese - 80%+ of the time, no problems or very minor problems. Often times the ultra-ripe, softer cheeses may cause more discomfort, but less than 5% of the time do I have a situation like I do with Milk.

              Cream based sauces - Depends on the situation, sometimes no affect, sometimes it KILLS ME like with Mile. Real whipped cream is also somewhat hit and miss, but more bad than good, I can probably count on a 25% "success" rate.

              Does this mean I stay away from dairy products? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! I love cream based sauces, I can't ever in my life eat enough cheese, and I love ice cream. The only thing I really try and avoid is straight milk, as in drinking a glass of it or having it with cereal.

              For some reason, soy milk gives me some problems as well, but not nearly as bad, and I've found a product that I can use cereal that tastes OK called VitaMite, but I won't drink it straight out of a glass. To be on the safe side, I almost always carry around a bunch of "Lactaid" pills and will pop a couple of them before having dairy products... the reaction guesstimates above are those that occur without the help of Lactaid... although, sometimes I've noticed that the Lactaid doesn't always help either.

              I've looked around a bit to research alternatives, but haven't really found much other than "take a couple of Lactaid Ultras, and that should help". Does anyone else out there have the same issue, and does anyone out there have any suggestions? Thanks, and good topic idea!

              13 Replies
              1. re: woo!

                You might try to stick with cow's milk alternatives, such as goat's milk and cheeses, cheeses from sheep's milk, etc. One of my friends is also lactose intolerant and has found this a good way to enjoy some dairy products without discomfort or lactaid. My son likes the Lactaid fluid milk on his cereal, but I've never seen him drink it by the glassful.

                1. re: LBQT

                  Yes.. forgot that one.

                  Goat cheeses are more friendly to me too.

                  If your son likes whole milk, the Lactaid whole milk product might suit him fine in a glass.

                  It sells out quick here, so might be hard to get.

                  1. re: TR

                    My Lactaid is coming from Stater Bros in Upland, and they never seem to be out of it. Just got a delivery a few minutes ago and the date on the carton is about a month out. I wonder, does lactose free milk hold up better in terms of going bad? Sometimes I have a carton that has sat in the fridge for three or four weeks, and almost everytime, except once, it has still been good.

                    1. re: Chino Wayne

                      I too think it lasts longer or maybe it's delivered sooner? -- A LOT sooner.

                      The only one that runs out on us here is the 'whole' milk 100% lactose free. That's the one I like. I like my fat, but it's nice it does not taste as fatty as regular whole milk. The other varieties, 2%, fat-free, etc don't disappear as quickly.

                      I tried to use the 2% once for a rice pudding and it wasn't as good.

                      Another thought: Maybe lactose causes milk to spoil faster or their process of removing it (breaking it down) preserves the milk?

                      Great stuff. I am so glad someone invented it.

                2. re: woo!


                  I'm lactose intolerant too, but have a pattern straight with myself now, but of course, don't always avoid what I should.

                  It seems I can, like you, tolerate some lactose sometimes. I can have ice cream but not if I had say...... pizza in the same day.

                  I found the lactaid pills didn't really work well for me, and their success rate was just as good as if I had not taken them at all. So I stopped using them. On the other hand their milk 'Lactaid', and I use the 100% lactose free whole milk product, is just fine, even as a glass of straight milk, although I'm still a kid at heart and still love chocolate milk at 38.

                  There was a time I stayed away from milk, but need my calcium big time...... so. If you are female, which I believe you are, you might want to check out their milk too, especially before you hit menopause.

                  I also use same milk to cook; have used it in puddings, cakes, and sauces, etc.. with no ill effects upon the taste or consistency. You might like it better with your cereal. -- I've linked the product info below.

                  I find I can eat a lot of gelato, which I like better (instead of American ice cream) and tolerate that fine. Sorbet is another alternative.

                  Hard cheeses are also much better for me too, although I do go nuts with cheese and pay the consequences.

                  Btw, milk chocolate bothers me, but dark chocolate does not, which is great, because dark is my favorite anyway. -- I don't think good dark contains milk.

                  Hope that helps.

                  Link: http://www.lactaid.com/products/index...

                  1. re: TR

                    Thanks for the suggestions... actually on the calcium front, I try pretty hard to keep my calcium intake up, everything from drinking OJ w/calcium in it to other items... oh by the way, I'm a man, not a woman, no big deal, but just curious, why did you think I was a woman? Typical male-ego, self-conscious question... :)

                    1. re: woo!

                      Not a bad thing at all, but just from the way you wrote. I don't want to generalize, but most men typically write in a more direct, more blunt fashion and on a less personal level.

                      You write well. (And so do many other men on these chow boards.)

                      1. re: TR

                        Oh, I didn't think it was a bad thing... just curious really. Funny you say that, my wife is always telling me that I ramble on and on when making a point, she's always yelling "LAND THE PLANE!" :)

                        1. re: woo!

                          "LAND THE PLANE!"? Oh THAT is good. Gave me a laugh, but I will be sure to keep those three words away from those who live with me.

                  2. re: woo!

                    Hey Woo, have you tried Lacaid milk? I use the non-fat Lactaid Milk for The Liquid Diet and it tastes like the real thing.

                    1. re: Chino Wayne

                      Lactaid milk tastes vile to me. I'll use it for cooking but not to drink or add to coffee. The one with added calcium is particularly disgusting.

                      I am recently Lactose F**ked, as I now call it. There is a big webpage on this subject which I'll add at the end. One thing that was odd in the detection of what was SERIOUSLY bothering me was the reaction time. I wouldn't get the symptoms right away or in the usual 2 hours, I'd get them as late as the next day.

                      Link: http://www.panix.com/~nomilk/intro.htm

                    2. re: woo!

                      It sounds as if milk that has been processed and cultured has been changed enough for you to tolerate it and that the more AGED the cheese the better you tolerate it.

                      As for breakfast. If you like granola and/or oatmeal, try them with yogurt. If you add berries to granola and yogurt, it is almost like dessert.

                      1. re: woo!

                        technically, lactose intolerance is not a food allergy because your body does not produce an immune response to milk sugar. lactose intolerance is when there is not enough lactase in your body to quickly digest the amounts of lactose present. E. coli picks up the slack by fermenting lactose into (glucose) and CO2 which causes bloating, etc. Some lactose also passes through your gut unmolested. Lactose Intolerance equally affects Blacks and Africans as well.

                        anyway, i am partially lactose intolerant myself, but i do eat cheese, ice cream, and milk. the key is knowing that your body still produces lactase, however little it is, and your body can produce more if prodded.

                        cheese and yogurt are ok. I know that some of the lactose in cheese and yogurt has been already digested down by the cheese bacteria (acidophillus, lactobacillus sp. -- propionibacter in swis cheese)

                        milk is another story. downing a glass after abstaining a lengthy period will cause problems, but if I drink a little at a time, over time, I can eventually down a glass with little problem.

                        ice cream i have no problems with, unless if its quality stuff with fresh cream, and I overindulge and suffer a stomache ache as a result.

                      2. I thought I had some weird food allergies!!

                        First, and most drastic allergy is to peppers. I can't handle them at all without a rash developing. When ingested, most varieties will make me quite ill within 30 minutes (meaning you better keep a bathroom open for me!). I'm able to tolerate some chilies better; it takes several hours, depending on the chilies. Sad part is, I love spicy food!

                        I'm also allergic to fresh parsley, fresh basil and fresh cilantro. My throat closes up and I can't breathe (inhaler doesn't fix it either!). Cooked is fine. Gin is another strange food allergy - I have an airborne pine allergy so gin makes sense.

                        How do I get around it? Ask for ingredients and see if the dish can have the offending ingredient eliminated. If it arrives at my table with something in it, I politely ask to have the dish prepared again (if I specifically asked to have it removed) or will bag it up for the hubby and order something different. It makes eating out complicated!

                        At home, I simply rearrange any recipes and cook around it. I make a mean gumbo without using peppers!

                        1. There is something in soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt that I am allergic to. As soon as I finish eating it my asthma acts up, sometimes to the point of an asthma attack. Any idea what's in these 2 products that causes it? I still eat them, but I just keep my inhalers handy (probably not a good idea, but sometimes I can't resist). I am not allergic to regular ice cream or yogurt, so I know it has to be something that makes the ice cream/yogurt into that soft consistency.

                          1. Well, your post could almost have been written by myself. I seem to have an allergy to raw onion. All varieties of raw onion. If an onion is even sliced in the same house I am before I can shut myself into a far away room, it gets me. If I only get a smiff of it, I have an asthma attack and my eyes itch and swell almost shut. If I eat a tiny piece, i have tha ashtma, get hives, lips swell, tongue swells, eyes itch and swell, and I generally freak out. But cook that onion, whether boiled, carmelized, fried, etc., I can eat them until the only sign of sickness is being stuffed and bloated.

                            1. Wintergreen! Which wouldn't be such a big deal except that I've always been a big root beer fan, and I can't drink it any more without triggering an asthma attack. It's when we order pizza that my craving is the worst. Sometimes I'll have a tiny sip of my husband's root beer, just for old times' sake. The 'hounds helped out a few months back when I was looking for wintergreen-free root beer, but I tell ya, I'm still looking.

                              I've also noticed a similar reaction to artificial cherry-flavored candies, like tootsie roll pop cherry flavor. . . don't know if that's a wintergreen thing, too, or a food coloring thing, or what.

                              1. For years after my apple allergy started (in my early twenties), I used to be able to eat cooked apples (sauce, pie) and drink cider. Raw apples gave me major allergic symptoms--lymphedema, asthma, hives. Then I reacted to cooked apples, but could still drink cider. Now that's gone from my life as well. At least I can still drink Calvados. An allergist told me that it's because the protein changes when it is cooked or oxidized. For a number of years i was allergic to strawberries, peaches and pears. Now I'm not--can eat as much as I want, thank goodness. Quite allergic to walnuts, like visited the ER for adrenalin and Benadryl the time I ate Waldorf salad, not ever having reacted to apples or walnuts before. Somewhat to pecans, and pistachio is on-and-off. Sometimes they make my throat itch and my lips swell, and sometimes they don't bother me at all. I am accustomed to avoiding foods I'm allergic to, and it doesn't really cramp my style all that much. More problematic is my mosquito allergy, which turns every bite into a major misery for days. It makes it very hard for me to spend time outside in the summer, here in hot, humid, mosquito-ridden Washington, DC, unless I slather myself with noxious chemicals.

                                1. The HMO's should have a field day with this one.

                                  1. l
                                    Lynne Hodgman

                                    Wow, I thought I was alone with these strange allergies. When I had the scratch tests (ugh) when I was 10 years old, the only foods I tested allergic to were carrots and walnuts, both only slightly.

                                    I have never had ANY sort of reaction to carrots. I reacted to raw walnuts but not toasted ones. Itchy mouth, slight puffiness, no big deal.

                                    When I hit puberty, I developed much more severe allergies to fruits: apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines. My lips and gums and tongue swelled, my throat closed, I coughed...stopped eating those FAST. But I could eat them cooked! And could drink PASTEURIZED apple cider. Talked to a biologist who said that cooking changed them chemically and probably destroyed whatever allergen it was.

                                    NOT allergic to grapes, berries (except underripe strawberries, which must have some different irritant?), bananas, melon, or citrus and thought that was strange until I realized that the "allergic" fruits all grow on deciduous trees and have edible skins, where the tolerated ones grow on vines or have inedible skins. Hmmm... AND not allergic to peanuts but allergic to walnuts? Ah, walnuts grow on deciduous trees.

                                    Was eating clove lifesavers during the movie "Bonnie and Clyde" and had to race to the rest room and drink tons of water. New severe allergy to cloves (grow on deciduous trees? Dunno...) Never did see the end of that movie. Constant Comment tea a BIG no-no.

                                    Got pregnant. Could eat ALL the forbidden foods. A few months later...allergies returned.

                                    Had "surgically induced" menopause. All allergies gone! Haven't dared tried clove lifesavers, but I am so happy to be eating an apple a day (!) and trying to make up for 35 years of deprivation.

                                    Puberty...menopause. Is it all hormonal? The allergy and asthma folks can't seem to tell me anything about this. But I am looking forward to the cherries I bought today!

                                    1. My daughter has, what I think is, a weird food allergy: Her skin is allergic to the liquid in which lobster or clams are cooked - but she can eat them. She's been eating both ever since infancy - we'd grind them up in her grinder :) When she became old enough to try to pick the food up, she immediately had a skin reaction. Skin would turn bright red, like it was burned, and she would *scream* that it burned. She is almost 11 now and still has that reaction. Running cold water (for a very long time) over the affected area helps, eventually. We grill her lobsters and take the steamers out of their shells for her (the only one at the table eating 'em with a fork!). I *do* watch her carefully. Strange.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I get oral allergy syndrome from butternut squash but I can eat it cooked without issue.