Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Great Allergy Experiment

All my life I've been an allergy sufferer - the dreaded ragweed.  For 6 weeks in August and September, I can hardly breathe; it feels like cement in my sinuses.

As a kid I took Sudafed, and other allergy medications which really did no good.  I remember trying nose sprays, also pretty much pointless.  My eyes itched terrible; I'd lay on the couch and have Dad put drops in them to try to find relief.

During the summer between my 7th and 8th grade years, my parents decided to try some funky diet my dad read about.  It was a diet for arthritics, if I recall.  I'm not sure why they chose that one as neither one of them had arthritis, but I was doomed to a summer of healthy food.

No sugar, no pop, no beef, no fruit or tomatoes!  We ate whole wheat spaghetti, whole wheat homemade bread, chicken salad, and who knows what else.  One thing that lasted from the diet was Carob Cookies.  They are still my favorite today, and so healthy!

August, 1978 arrived.  I seemed to almost breeze through allergy season.  It was still a battle and the stuffy nose and runny eyes weren't non-existent, but I did fairly well.  We decided it was a positive effect of the diet that had plaged me all summer.

Each year after that I thought about how I should change my diet from the typical Western diet back to that arthritic diet, just to get me through the fall.  But each year I thought of it too late and didn't feel like doing the work to eat healthy.

For all of my adult life I lived on Benadryl 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks in the fall.  I lived in a fog.  My nose was red from all the sneezing and nose-blowing I did.  I always thought of how much of my life was wasted sitting inside with my air conditioning on and my head turned just right to try to drain the 'cement'.

A couple of years ago when I got pretty serious about changing my eating habits, I noticed that I didn't have too much trouble with allergies.  I was stuffy and I still took Benadryl, but only at bedtime.  I went through about one box of Kleenex, instead of 2 of them in a 6-week period.

Last year I was really serious about my diet, eating only whole foods.  From April on, I completely cut out ALL processed foods, including sodas, sugar and refined flour.  I ate only fruits, vegetables, nuts, chicken or salmon, and very limited grains, although still in true whole-grain form.  I also had very little dairy, if any.

Allergy season hit, or so I was told.  I even heard it was a bad year.  Not for me.  I had a couple of days that were particularly hard and took a Benadryl at bedtime, but that was it.  And I used about 1/2 of a box of Kleenex.

I saw my chiropractor last week and reminded him of the season so he'd be sure to give me a good adjustment.  He started to suggest some supplements to take and I stopped him.  We talked about my allergy history and how well I did last year.  I asked him what he thought if I didn't try anything this year and see how I do since I've been on a whole foods diet for so long.  He said, "I'm game!"  Well, of course HE is...he doesn't suffer like me.

So far this year I've taken one Benadryl, and it was after being outside in Grand Haven all day the other day.  I was stuffy and miserable.  I made a bee-line to the store to look for my nose spray that has worked wonders for me in previous years.  I bought it, but I haven't opened it yet.  I'm hoping I won't have to. (Update: I never did open it!)

I'm part way through the season and I'm staring to think this allergy experiment is going to completely work!  I still have the air conditioning on because the humidity does make it worse (and it's humid out), but going from full dose of Benadryl for 6 weeks down to only one so far?  I'm game too, Doc!

So, do you need healing for something too?  I went for YEARS to the prayer lines, looking for God to do a miracle and heal me of allergies.  But I found that my miracle came when I ate the way God designed my body to work.  NOW I'm healed.  What do you need to be healed of that God will do through diet change?

Do you need help with diet change?  Let's talk!