Member Profile:  
Identifying Allergy Triggers
by Cecli O’Grady
The AEHA Quarterly - Winter 93-Spring 94

Cecli lives and teaches in Newmarket.  Eventually, she would like to form a support group or AEHA branch there.

Cecli now knows that she has severe reactions to phenol and has a candida condition which she manages with a rotary diversified diet.  She is extremely thankful for the support of her husband, his seven year old, and her parents in the period where she was struggling to regain her good health.

It was in February 1990 that Cecli first began to experience severe pains in her right side.  In an effort to identify her problem, her regular doctor subjected her to many tests over the period of a year.  During that year, Cecli was vaguely aware that the new paint smell at school was bothering her.  When a new floor was put in the gym, she experienced slurred speech.  In February 1991, she was rushed over to the doctor’s office with pain and nausea.  By January 1992, she was visiting her doctor or a specialist every third day.

One doctor did find that her white blood cell count was higher than normal and told her this was usually associated with Hodgkin’s, parasites or severe allergic reactions (and this latter seemed very unlikely to her doctor.)

She was advised to have a minor intestinal operation.  She did so.  They found that her intestines were swollen and wrapped around her ovaries causing her severe pain.  They also found an unusual amount of scarring inside her intestines.  During her three-month recuperation period and the ensuing summer holidays, she felt fine.

In the fall, she went to each at another school where they proceeded to paint, put down a new carpet, and removed asbestos and PCB’s.  By October 1992, she was experiencing pain in her side again and from October through December 1992, she was treated for 4 cases of strep throat.  In January 1993, a young doctor at a local clinic suggested that the strep throat and white blood cell count might be the result of an allergic reaction.

Cecli then went to an M.D. who specialized in allergies and food sensitivities.  She found that she was allergic to 41 foods, formaldehyde and phenol.

After these were identified, Cecli went on a 10 day diet where she only ate foods she had never before eaten (e.g., duck, dandelion, kale, and turnip).  By the fifth day, she was experiencing withdrawal symptoms and was extremely impatient and irritable.  She wanted to scream and hit but she stuck with the diet.

Then she started introducing a new item every day and would monitor her reactions.  She recorded her reactions on a chart similar to the attached.  She noted how she felt before and after each meal - her mood, her skin, her digestive system common food reactions including hyperactivity, feeling out of control, irritability, hives, bloating, nausea, and a dry sore throat.

She learned that endive, beans, peas, corn and beef made her violently sick.  Within 15 minutes after eating any of these she would throw up, and the sickness would last 1 1/2 days.

She developed hives on her neck after eating cheese.  The day after she ate sugar, she would be very irritable and pick fights with her husband.  Five days after eating a cucumber, she would have nausea.

The hardest reaction to identify was yogurt.  If she ate it every 8 days, it bothered her.  If she ate it every 14 days, she had no pain.  In the end, she decided to eliminate yogurt completely.

To plan her rotary diet, Cecli used Sally Rockwell’s Allergy Recipes and colour-coordinated chart.

After she was on the rotary diet for 3 weeks, Cecli’s skin improved.  Within 2 months, her yeast infections disappeared; her periods began to be regular; her PMS symptoms disappeared; and, her headaches and eczema disappeared.  Her formerly calm, easy-going personality resurfaced.

Most of the time, Cecli now feels fantastic...except when she is exposed to phenol or anything with a smell - photocopy machine, chlorine from tap water, perfume, nail polish remover, markers, new vinyl flooring, paint, and Bounce.  She starts shaking or faints when she is exposed to such products and this happens about once a week.

The other teachers have been supportive and no longer wear hair spray or perfume to school.

Books have been an important source of information for Cecli.  Some of the most important include:

The Alternative Health Services Directory
 Clean and Green, by A. Berthold-Bond. 
 The Yeast Connection, by W. Crook. 
 Nontoxic, Natural and Earthwise, by D.L. Dadd
 An Alternative Approach to Allergies, by T. Randolph & R. Moss.
 Allergy Recipes.  Coping with Candida Cookbook, by Sally Rockwell.  
 If This Is Tuesday It Must Be Chicken
 The Yeast Syndrome, by J.P. Trowbridge & M. Walker. 

Betty Auslander

(MASTER - make copies for daily use)

Date: Food Medications Supplements Vitamins Weather Indoor/Outdoor Pollution Activities Misc. Symptoms

A Diet/Activity/Environment/Symptom Diary is one of the most valuable tools to help you understand what is causing your particular symptoms.
Reactions are not always immediate.  Symptoms from food sensitivities can take up to 72 hours to manifest themselves and go away.  Come and go symptoms can be most easily detected by a diary.  Constant symptoms would relate to what is eaten, breathed or touched frequently or everyday.

Record all symptoms, even such as ringing ears; cold hands and feet; back or joint pain; blurred vision; memory loss; being confused; fearful, or irritable; as well as the more common symptoms such as headaches, itching and vomiting.  Women record their menstrual cycles.  The weather can be important.  For example, the mold count is very high just before a rain.