Food Allergies

My mom has been hospitalized twice in the last three weeks with food allergies. We two are allergic to nightshades. That apparently explains my mom’s bizarre reactions to many medicines, because quite a few medicines are made from nightshades. What are nightshades?

The Allergy Society of South Africa gives this list:
Bell pepper
Cayenne pepper
Eggplant
Ground cherry
Melon pear
Potato (white)
Tobacco
Tomato

I’ve never liked eggplant, cherries, pears, or bell peppers. I’ve always known I was allergic to tobacco. But potatoes, tomatoes, and cayenne pepper…. I like those- a lot.

New Life Journal includes hot peppers, such as chili and paprika.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

But you can’t go to McD’s or Burger King and get a burger with ketchup or mustard. Ketchup, obviously, has tomatoes. Mustard has paprika. And forget the french fries. If your allergies are really bad, you can’t even have the onion rings, because they’re cooked in the same oil as the french fries.

What about Chili’s? Can you go there? Sure. But you can’t eat their salsa, their queso, the tomato basil chicken, the marinara sauce with their cheese sticks… I am not sure you can eat their sweet and spicy chicken bites either. (Whatever they’re called.)

So, Mexican is hard… You can’t have the rice, many beans include spices, and salsa and queso….. So forget that.

Italian is out. Unless you only eat the creamy foods.

American is hard. Burgers and fries. Out. Pizza. Out. Chicken, okay but you can’t have the honey mustard dressing to dip it in.

Most dressings have one of the nightshades.

It’s a lot of work to avoid nightshades. But my health would benefit from doing it and I don’t want to go where my mother is now. I’m going to have to do it.

What are the symptoms?

They range from burning sensation in your mouth, to closing off your throat, to not being able to get your muscles to work. They include what feels like shock therapy on parts of your body.

When I went off them for six months and then ate a meal with tomatoes in it I had a blinding headache and could not walk for about 12 hours from the pain in my back. (Since I’ve had the experience of being unable to walk four times before in my life, was hospitalized twice, you’d think that would be enough to get me off nightshades. But it wasn’t.)

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