Anyone who lives with food allergies knows how difficult it can be. Eating out, grocery shopping, even something as simple as going for coffee can pose a challenge. This post is about my journey with food allergies how I went from hiding my severe skin condition to finding the root cause, healing and transforming into the healthiest version of me.
Where It Began
I have struggled with allergies since I was born. Ever since I was young I had severe skin problems, I was constantly visiting doctors and specialists for various reasons from stomach pains, to severe rashes and breathing problems. My poor mother said as a baby I never stopped crying and in my earlier years would randomly break out in rashes. My parents and doctor had no idea what was wrong with me, normal tests revealed nothing. During my earlier years leading into my pre-teens I suffered with painful eczema outbreaks that lead to dry and itchy skin. These outbreaks usually only happened during the winters months, and therefore the root cause of my problems was never discovered or seriously investigated because I was told that the severe eczema outbreaks were due to the winter weather.
The Breaking Point
My skin condition worsened with every passing year. It wasn’t until I was 19 when my skin condition became so unbearable that it was time to do our own investigation. My mom was at work one day speaking to a coworker about all the issues I was having and had been having for years. Her coworker suggested taking me to get a food allergy test with a naturopath, as her daughter had similar problems that cleared once she discovered and avoided the foods she was allergic to.
Taking the First Step
Upon taking the allergy test I discovered I had over 15 different food allergies ranging from serious to mild. Once the test revealed all the food allergies, the naturopath informed me of the seriousness of eating foods that the body is allergic to it. I had been eating these foods for so long that I developed “leaky gut.” Leaky gut is a condition that occurs when the body attempts to digest foods that are recognized as “poison.” My liver and kidney could not remove these “poisons” and ultimately caused holes in my liver. These holes resulted in skin rashes. At this point I was so sick, in so much pain and feeling so insecure about the condition of my skin that I was considering dropping out of college. I had to remove all foods for at least 6 months in order to cleanse my liver. I lived away from home and did not know how to cook, I thought how would I ever be able to recover.
I cleansed for 7 months, but I still had years ahead before reaching a full recovery. I wanted to share this brief story with everyone to help spread awareness about how serious a food allergy can be, especially if it goes undiscovered for so long. Food allergies are on the rise in North America, with nuts being one of the top allergies but it is still not an issue often talked about. Although we have come a long way, I know we still have a ways to go. The most important thing to me is to spread awareness through talking about food allergies and encouraging people to get checked so they don’t have to suffer like I did. It’s time to start the conversation, share your story with the hashtag #VegtagoAllergyAwareness and let’s get the conversation going.