excruciating pain, severe dizziness, and all over malaise. This may not be a symptom for everyone out there, but it is one that should be addressed for those that suffer from it.
A day could be going along tolerable, then all of a sudden out of now where, a foreign food or chemical is ingested that the body associates with poison. All of a sudden extreme spine pain ensues, all over extreme fatigue, and then that awful joint pain begins. Who knows how long it will last? It depends on the individual reaction to that associated food or substance. Times assessed can be as minimal as 20 minutes to over 12 hours. This also includes new prescription medications and supplements. Any new formulary change or new script can send the body into such waves of pain it can make one bedridden. Hence, any new medications are abhorred and it is imperative I take only items my body is familiar with.
About one third of CFS and fibromyalgia patients experience food sensitivities or food allergies or have difficulty absorbing nutrients. Negative reactions include gastrointestinal symptoms such
as heartburn, gas, nausea, diarrhea constipation, as well as other symptoms such as headaches, severe muscle pain, rapid pulse, dialation of pupils, and fatigue.
FM patients also often experience allergic reactions to other substances besides food. The range of reactions varies greatly among patients, from mild annoyance to serious threat. Those on the far end of the spectrum may be housebound.
Sensitivities to mold, dust mites and grasses are common. Patients also react to perfumes, scented products, cigarette smoke, household chemicals, car exhaust and diesel fumes, glues, inks and dyes.
Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, faintness and nausea. (Because many patients are chemically sensitive, most FM support groups ask people to come "fragrance free.")
The most useful coping strategy is avoidance, which includes eliminating offending substances from the home and diet. Limit exposure to offensive products while outside the house, too. If you think you might be chemically sensitive, check the products in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry, such as cleaners, soaps, detergents, pesticides, and personal care products such as deodorants, shampoos, toothpaste,
lotions and perfumes.
What to do to when you have no choice
Occasionally, a food product or chemical substance may be important for the quality of life. This happens when I need antibiotics, that my body will not tolerate, or a formulary change in my supplements. I
cannot control the mass market production of my supplements that keep me going, and occasionally the formula has been changed without notice. Follow these steps with the advice of your healthcare professional. Most doctors that have knowledge are hypersensitivity will share this with you.
- Each time you take notice of a new food product or recipe, take one or two small forkfulls, wait 5-10 minutes and note if there is any effect.
- Listen to your body: If a food or substance makes you feel worse, don't eat it. Sensitivities vary tremendously; it's possible that you might not tolerate "good foods," such as some fruits and vegetables
- Avoid some foods and substances: Almost all FM patients are intolerant of alcohol and stimulants like the caffeine found in coffee and tea. Many are sensitive to sweeteners and food additives. Eliminating or reducing these products makes sense for most patients.
- Always read the bottle before ingesting to see if there are any chemical changes to your supplements or prescriptions..
- For new items that must be tolerated start taking 1/8 - 1/4 of the normal dosage. (Check with your healthcare provider for advice on mandatory prescriptions.)
- Wait. Pain can be immediate, or can come as late as two hours with fury lasting another 2-4 hours. If full dosage is taken, pain can last 12-36 hours. Be prepared for bed rest.
- Skip a day if pain is severe. This builds tolerance. When the body heals, begin again.
- As the body acclimates, incorporate another 1/8 -1/4 of the dosage.
- Keep doing this until you are at the recommended dose. Remember, take, rest, repeat, include more.
- Drink lots of water. It will flush the chemical through your system faster.
- Eat raw honey for anti-histamine properties.
- Never, never, never force greater amounts on your body until it is ready. If not, be prepared for extreme repercussions!