10 months after my last intentional taste of Gluten, and for the first time in my life, I’m going to see an allergist. 

I’m extremely excited at the prospect of discovering just exactly what I am allergic too.  I have been waiting until I felt like my body had settled, before battling with my doctor for a referral.  I didn’t want to go in the midst of an allergic reaction only to receive false positive tests, nor did I want to go when my body was plagued with infection and using all its resources to make it through the day.  I wanted to be relatively healthy before having my allergies tested.

In addition to having an issue with Gluten, which up until this point has been classified as an intolerance, I have always had a mild sensitivity to dairy.  Note that I did not say lactose-intolerance; I do not get the classic stomach response to dairy, rather I tend to get a sandpaper rash or an increase in my eczema when I have multiple servings of milk or ice cream on multiple days.  My brother and sister have a similar response, and apparently this is fairly common in Asians, as the culture does not traditionally consume dairy products.

Continuing on with food sensitivities, over the last few years, I have begun to notice (or perhaps develop) a number of oral allergies.  As my sister (who has had allergy testing) explained to me, those foods, which cause an itchy, scratchy sensation at the very back of the throat and often deep in the ears are considered oral allergies.  They are not life threatening, although oral allergies are both annoying and frustrating.  Truth is, I’m pretty sure I have them.  For example, although I eat soybeans (Edamame and Tofu), I seem to have a bit of a problem with fermented soy.  I have only been able to find one brand of soy milk, which is of the light variety, that I can consume without an immediate oral allergy, not to mention the fact that even the smallest amount of Soya Sauce contamination (which has both fermented soy and wheat) causes an immediate stomach response, contrary to some of my Celiac friends, who seem to be able to tolerate similar contamination.  Having had a similar problem, my sister informed me that with soy it has to do with the fermentation process; how the soybeans are fermented and for how long.  Similarly, I’ve also noticed oral allergy responses to fresh/raw snap peas, pitted fruits, oranges and some nuts (when I consume a lot).

With regard to environmental sensitivities, I have hay fever and presumably some sensitivity to pollen, grass and dust.  I’m fairly certain that mold and pet dander/saliva are also on the list.  But of course since I’ve never had any testing this is all speculation and personal experience, I do however believe I am fairly in tune with my body, and would be surprised if I was completely wrong about all these sensitivities.

Having said all of that, it seems to me that seeing an allergist should be a no-brainer – my doctor on the other hand questioned my need to get tested despite the fact that the last time I was in to see her she attributed half of my symptoms to “allergies”.  After questioning my motives, she also felt the need to inform me that a) people with allergies know what they are allergic to as they get sick or vomit and b) that the allergist will tell me to get rid of my cats.  Thanks for the help doc, but I WANT to get my allergies tested.

By some stroke of luck, when my doctor’s office called the Allergist yesterday, there was a cancellation and I get to go in today.  I’m not excited about the process, but I can’t wait for the results; perhaps finally I will know what I need to avoid and what I can safely experiment with.  The idea of my body finding its harmony is more than a little bit intriguing.

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