I don't know about you, but allergies have been a life-long thorn in my side. MTHFRs are especially prone to allergies due to a vulnerability to leaky gut syndrome and histamine intolerance. As a teenager, I did homeopathic allergy shots for some of my worst culprits, like cats, dust, and mold. My cat allergy was so severe that it was considered life-threatening due to my throat closing up. Even though I never finished the full two year shot therapy (I went to college and was more interested in, well, lots of things more than sticking needles in my thighs), my allergies to those specific stimuli were greatly reduced. However, as the years rolled on, I found myself having allergy attacks for what seemed like no reason at all! Even when there seemed to be no presence of any allergens, I'd be plagued with endless sneezing and runny nose attacks. Sometimes, the attacks would get so bad that it turned into a secondary chest infection!
So, what was it? I remember when I first started working for a certain company, everyone thought I was sick because I sneezed so much. When I told them it was just allergies, they didn't seem to believe me, considering it was not allergy season. It really didn't seem to make sense. I also was under the impression that food intolerances only caused digestive disturbance (other than nut and shellfish allergies that can cause anaphylactic shock). I had no idea that foods, such as corn and white potatoes in my case, could cause such miserable sinus reactions. It got to the point that I began taking 24 hour Allegra...every single day of the year...in order to be able to function normally.
That definitely helped a great deal, but as we all know, if you're not addressing the root cause, nothing is really solved. I was still eating foods that triggered these allergic reactions and using Allegra (and Benadryl, when it got really bad), as a band-aid. And as I'm sure you can imagine, it's not healthy to take that kind of medication every single day for the long-term. But what can I say? I needed it to survive! When I tried the Auto-Immune Protocol paleo (AIP) diet and removed problematic foods, something magical happened - not only did my eczema clear up (the reason I tried this diet in the first place), but my allergies got dramatically better as well. This was something I wasn't anticipating, as I thought my sinus issues were all environmental. It was so engrained in my mind that my allergies were environmental, that even as I saw my symptoms clear up, I didn't fully make the connection that it was due to changing my diet. Therefore, I continued to take Allegra every day because I felt I needed it.
Well, MTHFRs, I have some cool news! I stopped cold turkey as an experiment a few weeks ago and braced myself for the worst. To my amazement, nothing happened. The allergy medication did help to get my symptoms under control while I was triggering them through food, but now that I removed the source of the problem, I don't need it anymore. Isn't that cool?! Of course, the deepest root of the problem of food intolerances in the first place is gut health, but that's another post for another day.
Do you have food intolerances that manifest as sinus allergies? Have you ever had to take allergy medication long-term? Tell us about it!