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How I Found out Allergies Were Contributing to My Mental Health Issues

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Allergic Reactions

Mild reactions (affecting a specific area of your body and do not spread)

Moderate reactions (spread to other parts of your body)

  • Itchiness
  • hives
  • swelling
  • trouble breathing.

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis: rare, life-threatening emergency affects the whole body)

The Sense of Doom

This feeling is difficult to pinpoint because it comes out of nowhere.

It mimics the same depressive feeling that mental illness offers, but it has it's own edge.

Last December of 2021, I started to really experience this after months of sudden stomach issues and overall feeling ill.

I have always struggled with anxiety and depression but this particular feeling raised my suspicions that something was not quite right.

I felt like my life was near an end. Oddly, I started to feel at peace with that idea which raised my concern even more.

I was never really that depressed and if anything I was beyond those days of struggling. I learned to manage theses feelings and recognize moments when I needed to pay attention to my mental health.

So I started to focus on my diet. I knew something was off.

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The Stomach Attack

I had tampered with food insensitivities before, but more and more I was beginning to suspect other types of food.

Egg was the first to go. In September, I had the most unbearable cramps. Not like an ache and not quite like period cramps. It was something a little more extreme. I should have gone to the doctor but I live in America. It isn't cheap for just a potential tummy ache.

This was an initial success. I started to think back to how I was eating eggs for literally every meal and already had a mild irritation with them, so my body had gone into overdrive and said ENOUGH.

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I also had many panic attacks for years that would just come out of nowhere. Well that all stopped when I cut eggs out too. Just to put that to the test, after months of no eggs I reintroduced them for a week. Yup. Same random panic attacks started again.

Turns out the mild irritation of food allergens can really mess with your brain chemistry.


The Environmental Discovery

After cutting eggs I started to feel a bit better, but the fatigue started to come on like none other.

I thought maybe since cutting out eggs I wasn't getting enough of other nutrients. That wasn't it. I ruled out any possible fluctuations in hormones. There was suspicions of maybe thyroid issues or something else.

So I recalled the last time I felt this way was when I was living in a toxic environment that had mold in my apartment. I also smelled something in the other room that was heavily musky to me. No one seemed to believe it was a mold issue which led me to realize it probably wasn't. Turns out it wasn't.

Then it happened.

Just last month there was some moving around of rooms at my place of residence and I felt a sickness like nothing I ever felt before. A feeling which I later discovered was a mild form of anaphylaxis response. If it wasn't for me deciding to get away from the house that day, it could have been much worse.

I still didn't know what had happened until i suddenly smelled candle smoke and the feeling hit me like a ton of bricks once again. I was so sick I knew at this moment it was something to do with the candle.

It's so sad because I love pure oils and smells of candles :(

It's so sad because I love pure oils and smells of candles :(

The Candle

I discovered that this burning candle was setting me off. I thought maybe the smoke was making us all sick with some mild carbon monoxide or something like that.

Coincidentally the carbon monoxide detectors malfunctioned that same day. Totally unrelated, but that situation really drew my attention to force some problem solving.

And then my dad suggested that the specific fragrance may be an issue. I went to see what the candle was and found out it is a pure essential oil Cedar and Balsam.

I knew I had a sensitivity to cedar and initially ignored the balsam part.

Just for kick and giggles I decided to see if Balsam was at all a problem .

YUP.

There were tons of stories about this particular scent causing a serious allergic reaction with some people.

And with more research, looking into may past with oil interactions, and mild testing, I found that essential oils as a whole were making me sick. They are like tiny concentrations of pollen death.

I also noticed reactions my dad was having in the house were similar and mildly related to this candle.

The key to this puzzle was remembering that my depression increased around the same time I started a "natural" lifestyle and I used essential oils in everything! My body just now was like ENOUGH.

The Latex Fruit Allergy

After the candle fiasco and a good convincing of my house mates to agree to not try to kill me, I started to feel like myself again. After almost a YEAR of feeling so sick and tired.

The feeling would flare up every once in awhile though, and each time I found out that it was a food item on my already suspected list of irritants.

Swelling and Red Face (not so obvious but occasional suspects) :

Mangoes

Papaya

Apple

Kiwi

Pretty much any fruit.

Peanuts

Almonds

Potatoes

Carrots

Zucchini

Tomato

Wheat

Oats

Gut hurting (Very obvious and cut out for months) :

Avocados

Bananas


Then I Found a List of All My Suspects

All of these foods have been a suspicion for over a year.

To find them under one simple category, Latex Fruit Allergy, was like a breath of fresh air (something I struggled to get with all this respiratory distress)

Side Note: I have a Latex allergy, making this so incredibly validating

Then I found a list of all my suspects under one category: The Latex Fruit Allergy

Then I found a list of all my suspects under one category: The Latex Fruit Allergy

Conclusion and Advice

I went on this journey to seek out this weird sense of doom feeling and was successful in finding the root of my problems.

My advice is if you start to have a mental health decline out of nowhere and just over all feel fatigue and ill, find out if there are any allergens in your diet and environment. They can be so mild to your body yet so effective on your brain chemistry. Not enough to cause death but also too much sensitivity on your overall mental health.

Good Luck out there!

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