Sat | Jul 20, 2019

Stop eating what you’re allergic to

Published:Wednesday | April 17, 2019 | 12:10 AMMahalia Lawes/Contributor

In fall 2018, my energy level dropped and I started to feel a tingling sensation in my hand like sticking needles. I knew the work I did overseas in summer 2018 had contributed to it, so I thought it would clear up itself.

In summer 2018 while in the United States, I also consumed a lot of dairies, which at this point I was fully allergic to. The allergy started out as lactose intolerance in 2015 and later developed into an allergy because I continued to consume dairy products. The symptoms ranged from itchy bumps on the elbows in the early stages to large lumps in the groin and now, I believe, a full-blown disease.

In January 2019, the symptoms got worse. My body felt heavy, I started to feel upper back pain and it was now hard for me to close my hands just to write my notes and the tingling sensation now felt like stabbings from needles. The back pain got unbearable and so I decided to visit the doctor on January 22, 2019.

After evaluation and testing, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and given Celecoxib-Apo 100mg medication to start treatment. I am a vegetarian and an aspiring naturopathic doctor, therefore, pharmaceuticals were going to be my last resort. I researched the drug and, as expected, it was going to treat my symptoms and not the cause, therefore, I will have to live on medication all my life. I went back to the books and the knowledge I was aware of.

CHANGING YOUR DIET

I researched a lot and started to analyse my symptoms and realised I felt worse when I eat. Upon researching, I figured the biochemical error that had occurred. I did a job that was very demanding to my joints, my back, feet, and especially on my hands. Dairy causes a lot of mucus buildup, especially along the intestinal walls, and also decreases the permeability of the small intestines. This is known as the leaky gut syndrome, which allows toxins, undigested foods and waste to circulate in the blood; and this was taken to cells that demanded it the most. This causes an autoimmune response and thus my diagnosis. It took me some time to figure out this, so the symptoms got worse – the pain was in every joint, lump in throat, cloudy mind, depression, itchy skin, migraines, speech impediment and chronic fatigue I later experienced.

I believe in the power of the healing of the body, thus I changed my diet after realisation. I worked to heal the leaky gut by reducing sugar consumption and removing food allergens.

My symptoms have cleared and I am 90 per cent pain-free. It took years to damage my gut, so it would take a somewhat lengthy time to heal.

I believe the leaky gut syndrome is the cause of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac diseases, and these diseases can be reversed by removing food allergens and adjusting one’s diet.

Mahalia A. Lawes is a student at Northern Caribbean University. Email mahalialawes@gmail.com and yourhealth@gleanerjm.com.