This post is the most frustrating one I’ve ever had to write.
That may sound melodramatic, but it’s honestly where I am in this moment. There’s been a sea change in my life, my heart is crushed, and I am genuinely grieving right now.
I’ve been diagnosed with Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). For those unfamiliar with it, OAS occurs when someone who has severe pollen allergies also starts to have symptoms when they eat certain foods — primarily raw fruit and nuts. In my case, the reactions have been on the milder side: it’s been mostly itching in my nose, mouth and throat. One symptom I’ve experienced that I haven’t seen reported anywhere, though, is an oddly heavy sensation in my head. It’s hard to explain — it’s sort of like the fuzzy feeling you get when you take one of the older antihistamines like Benadryl (which I’ve had a fair amount of experience with this week, thanks to new reactions popping up that have never occurred before).
If you’ve read this blog much at all, you know how I love food. Especially summer food. I adore stone fruits and berries and have only just developed an affection for melon, .
I’m not exaggerating when I say about half of what I eat from June to September is fruit and/or nut-based, and mostly raw at that. So for those foods to suddenly be taken away from me — the sadness is indescribable. I have cried more in the last week than I have in the previous six months.
I’m told (and have seen in one instance) that I may be able to have the cooked versions of most fruits, but I have not experimented with that very much as of yet. I’m still trying to get my system to calm down. Thus far that means regular doses of one of the newer antihistamines, coupled with a short course of oral steroids and Benadryl if I’m feeling a reaction. My new allergist also prescribed a longer term nasal steroid as well. I’m having blood tests done, and may also do skin testing once this allergy season is over.
In addition to my doctors’ recommendations, I’m also trying to boost my immune system. As always when I’m studying, I’ve been less strict than I want to be with my diet, but that’s got to change. I’m going to be focusing on doing the right thing. That means no more junky food, for a start.
It also means I’m going to help myself feel better via reducing inflammation by taking omega-3, improving gut health with fermented foods and probiotics; increasing my intake of healing foods like gelatin and bone broth; and taking vitamin C to help make up for what I’m missing by not eating fruits as usual. I’m not going to say that I will make my OAS go away, necessarily, but I am definitely going to commit to this regimen, because even if it doesn’t ‘fix’ my allergies, it can only do me good.