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tehalynn

Help Diagnosing A Food Intolerance

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For a while I kept a food log, tracking daily what I ate and how severe my acne was. By looking at foods I ate several days before my worst acne days, I was able to identify wheat as a possible culprit. Eliminating wheat from my diet reduced my acne by about 50%!

After eliminating wheat, my acne stopped fluctuating significantly in severity, making it difficult to use the food log technique a second time. However, I recently identified a food that seems to worsen my acne:

Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage

Ingredients: Pork, water, corn syrup and less than 2% of the following: salt, spice, dextrose, paprika, monosodium glutamate, flavoring, BHA, propyl gallate, citric acid

Given the above, it seems likely to me that whatever is causing my remaining acne has high levels in the sausage, and appears in many foods that I eat regularly (because I have a roughly constant amount of acne). Though it's possible there's more than one remaining causes of my acne.

Can you help me diagnose my intolerance? I've supplied additional information below that may assist you in doing so. If you need to know more, please ask!

Symptoms: (may or may not be relevant)

  • Acne — moderate, mostly whiteheads, lots of redness
  • Dandruff, itchy scalp
  • Frequent bloating and belching
  • Mild candidiasis (probably)
  • Occasional canker sores

Previous elimination diets:

  • No added sugar — no noticable effect
  • No wheat — approximately 50% improvement in acne
  • Paleolithic diet — no noticable effect
  • Vegetarian diet — no noticable effect
  • High omega-3 / omega-6 ratio diet — no noticable effect

Current diet: mostly vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, nuts, corn, cheese, and spices (very little junk food)

Edited by tehalynn

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Well it has MSG for starters, which should be avoided by everyone anyway. Corn is very inflammatory, is 99% likely to be from genetically modified corn, and is high in omega-6's. Personally, I get inflamed spots from corn. I don't know what BHA or propyl gallate is but it's the fact that I don't that makes them scary, do some research and stick to sausage from farmers markets. Mmmmm.

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Hey there,

There are numerous unhealthy things in that sausage. Honestly, all of those things would cause me some nasty reactions. But since you react to wheat, you should know that both monosodium glutamate and "flavoring" (could be anything) are possible sources of gluten. I'd definitely steer clear of MSG in general. Just know whenever you see flavoring, or "natural flavorings" on a label, it is usually a gluten ingrediant.

Your best bet is to steer completely clear of processed foods like this. That sausage is cured (aka, cancer causing) and no good.

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Thank you both for the replies.

I don't think corn is the problem, or at least not exclusively the problem. When I tried out the paleolithic diet I wasn't eating any of it.

I forgot to mention that the sausage was gluten free (or at least claimed to be). Still, it wasn't my first choice of things to eat. The reason I brought it up is it might be a clue to a deeper food intolerance.

The wikipedia page for food intolerance mentions naturally occurring food chemicals as a possible cause of reactions to food. Anyone know whether that might be my problem?

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It could be anything. Personally, after I discovered my gluten intolerance I also found intolerances to soy, corn, msg, dairy, chickpeas and potatoes. I don't think there is anyone who reacts well to MSG. And yes, naturally occuring food chemicals (MSG can also be that) too, I react badly to any sort of broth that has been cooked down for a long time (releases chemicals).

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get an allergy test done if you can. its totally worth it. i found i am allergic to wheat, almonds, cashews and hazelnut. the place i go to had a ton of different types of food for testing and i even had them test for fruit as well. i had to bring them the fruit to test but it was totally worth it. they just do a simple prick test and then you have to sit there for 30 minutes before they can read the results. so you will know right away what you are allergic to and it is covered by insurance. any allergy doctor should be able to do that for you. good luck!!

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Just know whenever you see flavoring, or "natural flavorings" on a label, it is usually a gluten ingrediant.

Do you have a link to somewhere that explains this? My research on "natural flavorings" has only ever yielded that it's normally flavor coming from food byproduct (like orange peel, shavings of various things, etc.) that wouldn't sound good on a label. Not sure why that would include gluten, especially becuase food that does have gluten normally doesn't have a strong enough flavor to be used exclusively as a concentrated flavor ingredient.

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get an allergy test done if you can. its totally worth it. i found i am allergic to wheat, almonds, cashews and hazelnut. the place i go to had a ton of different types of food for testing and i even had them test for fruit as well. i had to bring them the fruit to test but it was totally worth it. they just do a simple prick test and then you have to sit there for 30 minutes before they can read the results. so you will know right away what you are allergic to and it is covered by insurance. any allergy doctor should be able to do that for you. good luck!!

I was under the impression that an allergy test only detects true allergies (which cause an immediate reaction), and not food intolerances (which cause a delayed reaction). Is that true?

Furthermore, is it possible for true allergies to cause acne?

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Just know whenever you see flavoring, or "natural flavorings" on a label, it is usually a gluten ingrediant.

Do you have a link to somewhere that explains this? My research on "natural flavorings" has only ever yielded that it's normally flavor coming from food byproduct (like orange peel, shavings of various things, etc.) that wouldn't sound good on a label. Not sure why that would include gluten, especially becuase food that does have gluten normally doesn't have a strong enough flavor to be used exclusively as a concentrated flavor ingredient.

You're right that it isn't always gluten. But it can be. Sometimes barley malt and things like that are put in to thicken things. I did a bit more research about this and now, apparently, if natural flavorings are derived from a wheat product, it has to say "wheat" somewhere on the label. That wasn't the case back when I first went gluten free. So maybe avoiding wheat is easier now, but the problem is, not all gluten comes from wheat.

For me, there are so many other intolerances that I have, and my body is so iffy over so many things, that I just avoid processed food all together.

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get an allergy test done if you can. its totally worth it. i found i am allergic to wheat, almonds, cashews and hazelnut. the place i go to had a ton of different types of food for testing and i even had them test for fruit as well. i had to bring them the fruit to test but it was totally worth it. they just do a simple prick test and then you have to sit there for 30 minutes before they can read the results. so you will know right away what you are allergic to and it is covered by insurance. any allergy doctor should be able to do that for you. good luck!!

I was under the impression that an allergy test only detects true allergies (which cause an immediate reaction), and not food intolerances (which cause a delayed reaction). Is that true?

Furthermore, is it possible for true allergies to cause acne?

i just know for me with the wheat thing that it was definitley a delayed reaction in the sense that if breakout from it its not immediate. i think its one of the things that contributes to my acne but i dont believe that just not eating wheat is going to keep me clear. i also cut out caffeine and cut way back on sugar as well as i use benzaclin twice a day and take 50mg of doxy. all of those helps to keep my acne under control right now. i do know that when i had my allergy test i had sensitivities to everything they tested me for but that there was only 4 things that i was truly allergic to so for now i just limit my consumption of those things.

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Try to eliminate dairy.

I wasn't eating any dairy when I tried the paleolithic diet, and it didn't seem to make a difference.

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