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When allergens take over…

When allergens take over…

**I am not a doctor, I am just a person who has lived with these allergens and intolerances for 26 years.  My words are only advice, and are specific to my body and my own sensitivities.  Make sure to use these ideas as they work for you.  Please consult a doctor if you are feeling things that are not normal for you or exhaustion is persisting for long periods of time.  Listen to your own body!!**

Have you ever had those days when you are so exhausted you can barely function, coffee does nothing, and you don’t know how to solve it?  Those come for everyone- new moms, busy grad students, starting a new job- but they also occur in those of us who have food allergies and intolerances. Guess what?  This has been one of those weeks.  Exhausted beyond belief, pain in my stomach, my body screaming at me.  Ring a bell anyone?

First off, why would a food allergen or intolerance cause you to feel completely exhausted?  This is a question I’ve asked myself many times over the years.  Well, according to ibstreatmentcenter.com, it is because your “immune system is attacking your food, which is the equivalent of being sick.”  This means it’s treating that food like an alien or “foreign invader” and trying to get it out of your body.

Now I’m a teacher, which means exhaustion can easily mean it’s been one of those weeks.  So how do I know food was the culprit?  Well there are usually a few warning signs for me:

  1. I ate gluten three days in a row.  (Oops…see, I told you I’m not perfect.  It’s just so good…and easy…)
  2. The exhaustion lasted for more than two days.
  3. Coffee and caffeine never helped.
  4. I had lots of discomfort and stomach pain.
  5. I lost interest in doing anything except functioning until that glorious word “Friday” was uttered.

The final straw was Wednesday night.  I thought I had done well that day, watching what I ate the last few days and trying to rehab, and suddenly at 7pm I was struggling to stand up straight and crawled into bed.  Thankfully I have a wonderful hubby who cooked dinner for us (something bland for me, as always in this situation), ate in bed with me, and encouraged me to rest while he proceeded to take care of laundry.  (Seriously, how did I get so lucky??).

So what did I do, you ask?  Because I’m sure we’ve all been there a time or two.  Well, I decided it was rehabbing time, and put my “rehab” plan into action.  Here are my 3 steps to rehabbing my stomach.

 

Rehab Plan for Food Allergy Exhaustion

1. Listen to your body.

Your body is telling you exactly how it is feeling and what is wrong all the time.  It is your best and most valuable tool.  For example, when my stomach is aching right under my rib cage, I know it was something I ate.  If I’m feeling tired but a little caffeine and self-care fixes it, it’s just stress.  If I feel like I’m walking through jello all day, it’s my allergies.

Unfortunately we tend to listen when it is too late. “If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream.” (yogaworldpro.com).

So how can we listen each and every day?  By being mindful.  My mindfulness practice consists of yoga, meditation, and journaling.  What does your mindfulness practice look like?

2. Drink a lot of water.

This is a tip that I’ve heard many times, over and over.  I’ve already mentioned it in my post with 5 Ways to Recover When You’re Stomach is Out of Control , so why am I mentioning it again?  Well because it is just that important. When I am exhausted from my allergens or I am having a great deal of discomfort, I’m usually quite thirsty, so I use this to my advantage.  The water will flush the allergens out of your system quickly to help you get back on track, and you will be more hydrated which will increase energy.

Try adding lemon and fresh ginger for added detoxifying benefits.  Want something warm and comforting to drink?  Warm the water and add lemon and fresh ginger (one of my personal favorites!) or make a cup of decaffeinated green tea and add a little ginger.

3. Eat your fruits and vegetables.

This one is definitely the hardest for me to get on board with, but when I do I feel much, much better.  The last thing I want to do is eat a salad when my stomach is killing me or I am exhausted.  I’d rather have my go-to sandwich (turkey on white with mayo, just like my dad used to get me when I was sick :)) or a bag of chips.  Something much more comforting than a salad.  But what ends up happening is I get into a rut because I’m only eating carbs and fats, which makes you feel even worse.

If salad sounds too hard to digest, make a comforting homemade vegetable soup or chicken stew (make sure all of the components are homemade, or you will make your stomach worse).  If you’re craving something sweet, make a banana smoothie or strawberry smoothie that is low-FODMAP.

Recently, my new favorite is the Ginger Melon Smoothie from the new cookbook I picked up- The Flexible FODMAP Diet Cookbook .  I bought this a few weeks ago after hearing about it on a podcast and I loved the smoothie!  It is sweet but very refreshing, and so soothing on the stomach.

**Note: This cookbook is not an affiliate link.  I simply enjoyed the cookbook and the recipes and wanted to pass it on!**

 

These three tips have helped me get back on track, and I’m already feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.  The exhaustion has passed and I’m ready to start a new week (kind of…).  Make sure you try out these tips next time you are feeling exhausted from your allergies and intolerances, and let me know below if it helped!  As always, listen to your body, it is your best expert.

Do you have anything else you use to help beat exhaustion from food allergies and intolerances?