Food Sensitivities

IMG_1917 (2)This has been a week dominated by fire watching from afar. We have watched fire consume acres of land around our private bit of Idaho ravishing livestock and wildlife as it raged through. For the last few days we have watched as hungry flames quite literally eat the landscape around Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley but for now our cabin and land remain untouched.

We, my SU and I, watch our computer monitors with mouths agape as fire fighting helicopters wrestle with what they are calling “Fire-nadoes”. These are virtual whirlwinds made entirely of fire fueled by summer dried trees and sagebrush. Fire fighters on the ground are filthy with soot but keep doing their job of saving lives and structures.

They have done their job very well indeed, as few structures have been lost and no humans have perished thus far. Even the animal shelter near Hailey, Idaho was protected so well you can see the burn came right down to the structures but nothing was touched, it wasn’t even licked by flame and that, my friends, is fire fighting at its best. Just so you know, all the animals (including some bomb sniffing dogs) were safely removed and re-housed in other locations until the fire danger passed.

Meanwhile, here in Minnesota it is dry and warm. It is mostly stereotypically August although we often are much warmer than we have been. I don’t hear anyone complaining (with possible exception of those who own boats who shall remain nameless). Today, smoke from the western fires will waft over us but mostly it will be a Sunday like many others, me writing my blog for publication tomorrow morning bright and early and John catching up with unfinished business from Friday.

Food sensitivities


I have talked about food sensitivities on this site many times and it is still a subject of some curiosity for me. You all know about my burning mouth syndrome and irregular heartbeat issues. I explored numerous food issues from MSG (excitotoxins) to gluten in the past. Through very unscientific research I concluded that MSG wasn’t causing my irregular heartbeat but excitotoxins (as described by Dr. Russ Blaylock) are not good for us whether or not we have obvious reactions and I avoid them if at all possible.

Bioactive Amines, Salicylates,Nightshades and others

I found this great article titled “Natural Food Toxins” in my research this week. Chloe, research assistant and friend, and I were talking this week about aches and pains and causes of said A&Ps. She brought up nightshade vegetables and the fact that eating potatoes makes her feel quite upset. Nightshades are notorious for reacting this way on people and sure enough they are included in the article “Natural Food Toxins”.

You all know about my Burning Mouth Syndrome and I remain perplexed by the causes but I am starting to narrow down some of the culprits. I am not sure of their connection, if any to each other, but coffee is a definite culprit. Ground peppercorns on my eggs this morning caught my mouth on fire. I believe that supplements with rosemary extract ignite the issue as well. Any kind of mint be it peppermint, spearmint or wintergreen will make my mouth burn for days. What do all of these things have in common? Yup, you guessed it, they are all natural food toxins.

This is a broad category of foods including some dairy, meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs. The article at is well worth reading and the link is there if you click on the first mention of “Natural Food Toxins”.


Gluten free has become the new buzzword for food sensitivities and allergies. For some, the mere hint of gluten in their food can cause their throats to tighten and swallowing impossible.  Others are more intolerant than allergic. For me it is a culprit behind many negative health issues including ensuing malaise and seemingly irregular heartbeat. I cannot tell you, the reader, how or why gluten affects my heart but I think and have had it confirmed by others in the thyroid groups that being “glutened” can and does cause autoimmune attacks and since my heart is prone to irregularity an autoimmune attack seems to be a trigger.


Lactose intolerance is the number one food people have trouble with. Whether it is a true allergy or an intolerance doesn’t really matter to the person who is having issues with a food. My friend Chloe totally eliminated dairy from her diet to see if it was a culprit in her fibromyalgia and found, perhaps to her delight, it really didn’t seem to make any difference. Nothing changed and she was true to no dairy for months. I can’t see that dairy affects me negatively. I never ache after consuming dairy products. My heart never bothers me (no change in pulse even). I cannot see that dairy is a negative for me in any way other than calorie content. That is not true for others and for them lactose causes too much distress to make consuming it worthwhile.


Consuming gluten causes me to ache all over, have autoimmune issues within weeks of consumption and my heart reacts negatively within hours of consumption. The odd thing (at least it seems odd to me) is for most Celiac patients coffee has a similarly negative effect. They cannot tolerate coffee and this week after two episodes of achy joints I connected the dots.  I don’t have coffee very often but I do have it as a treat once in a while particularly on weekends and at my daughter’s house.

Last Saturday, we had coffee and that night I had a ruined night’s sleep as I tossed and turned with aches and pains in my knees like you wouldn’t believe. Sunday night was okay and I slept well but then I didn’t have coffee on Sunday. Monday I had coffee at my daughters and unbelievably I hurt all night long again. My knees ached and my hip ached. I got up during the night and I could barely walk my ankles were so stiff (I thought this was from running barefoot on my driveway at the time). I was starting to feel very old for 59. Then Tuesday, Wednesday and the rest of the nights this week were full of good sleep with no achiness. Of course, I have avoided coffee ever since Monday.

I mentioned that my ankles were stiff and they were and I did blame the running but it suddenly went away with no residual soreness or stiffness once I had the coffee at least 48 hours out of my system. I have since run barefoot all over my driveway and yard with no issues. Yesterday, I even did lunges across our backyard in addition to jogging. This did affect my left hip-joint last night but nothing else ached, so I conclude coffee is as bad for me as gluten.

I don’t know about you but I keep wondering what will be next and why. Do people with autoimmune issues just have more aches and pains? Or, as I tend to think, do we know that this is not normal? Do we just not accept? I know that aches and pains are not a normal part of aging, that they represent a problem. The problem is inflammation. That inflammation is a result of some thing that your body is missing, is reacting to and/or to which your body just wants you to pay attention.

I think it is important to pay attention to these aches and pains before you need a hip replacement, before your fingers are crooked with arthritis. Pay attention before your cells go crazy and multiply and some doctor tells you that in order to live you need chemotherapy and radiation. Hello Kristin!!!! Are you paying attention now? I sure hope I am. I am going to try really hard to do as I say and stop doing as I have been doing and get rid of these aches and pains.






9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Josiah Page on 6:59 at Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    I’m not sure what you mean by AF (atrial fibrillation)? And how about the “nth forum”. I Googled it an didn’t get anything. Thanks


    • Good questions Josiah. Everyone seems to have a different definition of Atrial Fibrillation but also I wasn’t absolutely sure what Cindy meant by AF and nth forum. Cindy, I hope you check and/or can see this question as both of us would like to know.


      • Sorry! The AF is for adrenal fatigue and the natural thyroid hormone Yahoo group (Janie’s group) was where it was recommended to me. 🙂

      • Thanks Cindy, I thought AF was adrenal fatigue but the nth group had me thinking but it makes perfect sense now. The reason I was curious about The Virgin Diet is that two people on my Facebook health group are talking about it. They have each lost weight (which makes sense given what you eliminate) and feel great, so it would seem like a success. I was just surprised by how many people were suddenly talking about JJ Virgin. I’m not sure if the two women on my group were part of NTH or not but I thought they heard about it from Dr. Oz. I guess I have a suspicious nature and when someone comes out of the woodwork and everyone is talking about them I start thinking it is a pyramid scheme but I don’t think that is what JJ is all about. Obviously, she is making money with something but not by getting everybody to sell her program. Thanks for clarifying those two points.

  2. Posted by Josiah Page on 15:59 at Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    When I first considered your comment about aches and pains being a consequence of food sensitivities my reaction was that it seemed like a very strange cause and effect combination. But upon further thought I remembered a strange episode in my much earlier life (1969). In those liberated years my wife and I indulged in occasional weed smoking. I was recovering from disc surgery without much discomfort except when I lit up a joint. . .within two minutes of the first drag my back was suddenly wracked with intense pain which only dissipated after a couple of hours. I’ve never heard of anyone else having such a reaction, in fact marijuana is often touted as a way to relieve pain.

    On a less personal note, what makes you think that there is a connection between food sensitivities and any autoimmune response?

    I’m certainly glad that your cabin survived a nearby wildfire. That must have been very scary.



    • Josiah, there is a proven connection between autoimmune disorders and food sensitivities. Many Hashimoto folks have Celiac’s and the theory, to put it very simply, is, your body is “allergic” to itself and therefore could easily be allergic or sensitive to many allergenic foods. Many thyroid types have food allergies and that includes those with fibromyalgia. The top fibro docs in the Twin Cities take their patients off gluten right away because they assume a sensitivity or outright allergy. Check out Mark Hyman’s article, and then type into your favorite search engine “autoimmune disease and food allergies” and look at what comes up. That allergy to marijuana was not in your head and listening to your body when it complains is a huge part of the answer to our autoimmune disorders. The fires rage on in Idaho and I read tonight the bill for fighting the fires is now almost at $12,000,000.00. That is a lot of money but there were a lot of people’s livelihoods at stake. Our little cabin would have been left to burn I am sure but still knowing how hard these folks work to save structures is reassuring.


  3. Kris,

    I did the Virgin Diet earlier this year and found eggs was a HUGE culprit behind my AF…..and I ate them daily! Just thought I would add to the madness 😉 Have a great day!



    • Cindy, eggs are a huge contributor to various issues for people. I can’t say that they affect me one way or another (at least pain-wise). I have studied the Virgin Diet some and think it has merit but it is basically an elimination diet. What did you like about the Virgin Diet? What really worked for you?


      • Posted by Anonymous on 19:00 at Tuesday, August 20, 2013

        Yes totally agree. It is an elimination plan. It was recommended to me by the nth forum. I liked the organization of it….wasn’t confusing, like others I had looked at. I did it simply to feel better and I do!! Plus I lost 20 pds;)

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