I am no longer sensitive to amines
So, this blog was supposed to be about food chemical intolerance, and perhaps some readers have thought I’ve gone off-topic over the last few months by talking about my thyroid diagnosis.
Far from it.
Since I’ve started having high energy days recently, I’ve been indulging in all kinds of foods that used to be off-limits to me.
Christmas consisted of eating a lot of cheese, ham, chocolate, and other high glutamate and amine foods, over several days in a row, so I guess that counts as a food trial.
I am no longer sensitive to amines and glutamates. I used to get horrible symptoms – heart palpitations and heart block, nightmares, anger, tearfulness, and a lot of pain and muscle tension. I can’t even remember all of the symptoms I used to get, because there were so many.
I’ve eaten a lot of cheese over Christmas. By this, I mean, several ounces per day, and we’re not talking fresh cheese, we’re talking vintage Cheddar, Stilton, Wensleydale, Cheshire, stuff with apricots, chillies, herbs, you name it. I’ve also eaten a great deal of chocolate – and not just Cadbury’s, but the really strong 70% dark stuff too – dates, ham, slow cooked (12 hours) pork with crackling, chicken skin, tomatoes, you name it, I’ve eaten it.
I am no longer sensitive to amines. Not even a single skipped heart beat. No neck pain, no fuzzy brain. The worst I’ve had is to remember a couple of dreams in the morning, which is actually kind of nice.
I haven’t yet done a proper salicylate trial, but I have been eating cornflakes, some bits of fruit like dates and jam, nuts, herbs, pepper, and a few root vegetables and so on. I have wondered on and off whether they might be contributing to a bit of back pain and grogginess in the morning, but I’m having a terrible time getting my thyroid dose right, so I’m reserving the proper trial for a time when my body has stopped trying to kill me.
So here’s the big news: if you are food chemical sensitive, you MUST GET YOUR THYROID CHECKED. By getting your thyroid checked, I mean:
- Free T4
- Free T3
and ALL FIVE thyroid antibody tests (for both Hashimoto’s and Graves diseases). These are:
- TPO (thyroid peroxidase antibodies)
- TG (thyroglobulin antibodies)
- TBII (thyroid binding inhibiting immunoglobulins)
- TGI (thyroid growth immunoglobulins)
- TSI (thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins)
You need ALL of these tests, because often your TSH and T4 will appear normal. Even though I had an abnormal TSH, my T4 level was near the top of the normal range! Other people have a normal TSH and are low on T4, or have normal TSH and T4, but their T3 shows up too low. Many doctors don’t even test T3, which is crazy. Even if all of your hormone tests look normal, your antibodies may tell a different story.
Even though many doctors do not consider a TSH of below 5 to be abnormal, I would suggest a cut-off of 1.5. The average healthy person has a TSH of 0.8. The Bell curve is extremely steep.
If your thyroid hormone panel turns out to be “unequivocally normal”, what you need to do is find a doctor who will consider treating you based on your symptoms rather than your blood tests. Such doctors can be found on Mary Shomon’s site. If your thyroid is normal, you would become thyrotoxic straight away from taking thyroid hormone. You should trial increasing amounts of thyroid hormone over several months, until you are thyrotoxic. Then you should go back down a dose. Then wait. It takes time for your body to heal.
It’s taken me nine or ten months to get this far, but now I’m here, I can’t tell you how incredible it is to be able to eat food again. When my thyroid has settled down, I’ll do a full salicylate trial and let you know the results.