The Monday before my upcoming and eagerly anticipated Disney cruise (which was scheduled to depart on Saturday), I went to see my new functional medicine specialist. She talked to me in length about my history and the problems I have been having and she asked me a lot of questions about my diet. When she asked about my hives, I lost it! I couldn’t help but cry, I am embarrassed to say. They have just had such an impact on my quality of life that I get so mad and frustrated even talking about it. I apologized for crying and then she said something that was music to my ears, “you’re a pretty sick lady but we ARE going to find the problem and we ARE going to provide you with the help you need.”
I was relieved to hear her resolve and I think it strengthened mine as well. During the visit, she determined that I not only needed to strictly follow the Paleo AIP Diet but that, pending a full adrenal workup, I needed to follow the Low-Histamine protocol as well. I had never heard of that.
As it turns out, many of the foods I was eating regularly “on my road to help myself” were actually completely sabotaging my efforts. These high histamine foods were fueling my hives — peas, bananas, avocado, shellfish, citrus, pineapple and others in my diet were the likely culprits.
During this first visit, she took blood work to run as many tests as she could and addressed my concerns about how to be able to be “normal” on the cruise, if at all possible, without being plagued by hives, itching out of my mind, looking horrible and having to wear all long-sleeved clothing to cover my neck, chest and arms. Her decision, with which I whole-heartedly agree, was a course of Prednisone just for the cruise, taken in conjunction with Benadryl and trying my best to stick to the Whole30 Paleo Auto-Immune Protocol combined with the Low Histamine Diet Plan.
This avenue requires complete elimination of many foods. I have already been dairy and gluten free for a while now but, in addition to that, there is no sugar of any kind, real or artificial; no alcohol in any form, not even for cooking; no grains of any kind; no legumes including peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts; no citrus; no shellfish; no soy; no vinegar; no olives; no carrageenan, MSG or sulfites; no dried herbs, and do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients.
This list is not exhaustive but you can get the idea, I have a very limited diet! Every food must be as fresh as possible. And this, during my Disney cruise? How did I do on the cruise? Stay tuned to find out.