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Allergic To Bread: The Mouth Test

Posts: 5529
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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It's been about 5 years since I mostly stopped eating wheat. I dropped 60 pounds. I feel healthy, and I look healthy. I didn't replace the wheat with another grain. Since I hadn't been eating much grain other than wheat, I basically just stopped eating grains. (I eat some corn, particularly sweet corn, and masa.) These days, I eat what I think of as a paleo-ish diet: Meat and vegetables. Stir-fry is my most common meal, if it isn't raw vegetables grazed directly from the garden. I eat a lot of oils, in the form of butter, coconut, and olive.

I have been saying for years that I don't eat wheat because it makes me feel bad: I swell up with water-weight. I get phantom aches in my body. During August, I am practicing what I think of as my "Summer Fast". The bulk of my food is eaten raw, directly from the garden. So my diet has been particularly clean and wholesome lately.

Six days ago, the local bakery gave me a loaf of sourdough bread. I felt like being scientific about what effects wheat has on my body. So I weighed myself, ate a half-loaf of the bread, and started keeping a log of symptoms.... I was expecting aches and pains in my shoulder, neck, and hands. So no surprise there.  I expected to be congested. But we are having smoky air from fires, so whatever. What I wasn't expecting, was for my mouth to go numb... And not just a little numb. It was numb for days afterwards. I had been eating a lot of apricots and sweet corn raw in the same day. That is also unusual for me, so I couldn't rule them out as the cause of the numbness. It's been 5 days since I ate the half loaf of bread, so my mouth wasn't numb any more. Today, I decided to test the bread again. This time, I wasn't willing to eat the bread, so I broke off a piece and held it in my mouth between cheek and teeth. Ha!!! My cheek, gums, and tongue are numb where the bread was resting against them. It's been a few hours since then. So like last time, I expect that the numbness will last for days. At least I didn't swallow it this time...

I know that this test is only for one particular loaf of bread from one particular bakery, and it doesn't specifically test wheat, or any of the ingredients in the bread. What it does do, however, is give me a strategy to test how these things may affect me without actually eating them... People often ask me if I can eat this or that form of bread, or wheat. And how they affect me. This test might give me a way to answer those inquiries in a more informed way. If it turns out that I am generally allergic to wheat, then that will give me even more incentive to avoid wheat, and even more tools to deflect peer-pressure to conform to the practices of a wheat-addicted society.

So how about it? Have any of you tried this test? Did your mouth go numb? Is this test generally applicable to a variety of food allergies?

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Location: S. Ontario Canada
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Never had the numb thing but I haven't given up all bread - just 30 pounds worth - I still eat a bit of rye bread. Any bread tastes like cake to me now.
No more "hunger pangs leading to migraine if not satisfied" as before.
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Location: Wyoming Zone 4
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That's interesting.  When I eat bread, I bloat really bad.  I've had several people tell me I may be developing gluten intolerance, but I have no problem with tortillas or crackers or cake.  I think my problem is the yeast.

When I eat eggs my jaw tingles.  And standard/non-organic milk causes serious lower back pain.  I suppose we all have different warning signs.  Maybe even different signs for different allergens or sensitivities.

Interesting that wheat causes you aches and pains.  I'm going to have to try no wheat for awhile.  I really really want to get off this celebrex crap.

Thanks for posting.  It's interesting to see other peoples reactions to various problem foods.  My doctors have always looked at me like I'm crazy.  And, of course, want to give me another prescription.
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Joseph, how interesting that you had a numb mouth as a reaction. Most people would probably say tingling or itchy I would expect. But I'd say numbness is your body's way of telling you to avoid this food.

The two things I am certain that I am allergic to are rabbit and squirrel, both which I used to love. Now since episodes of vomiting, diarrhea and awful hives I'd be too scared to try them ever again. I don't think I would be willing to hold them in my mouth to see what reaction I find.

I don't know if I have an actual gluten allergy, I've not been tested. 6 months ago I was diagnosed with Sjogrens syndrome (autoimmune disease) and in researching this I read many times on forums that others felt much better after giving up gluten. So I decided to try it. I had been having a strange ITCHY rash on my eyelids and throat (outside), that would last about a week each time. I have not had that since giving up gluten. Although, I was invited to a pizza party during this time and did have 2 slices, I noticed the next day that my eyelids were very pink but not itchy.

I also have problems with aches and pains in my joints, my left elbow gives me a time. I had been seeing a chiropractor which helped but ive gotten very irregular in keeping my appointments. Short on both time and money.

I've replaced my bread with corn tortillas and a venison burger between two of those is a pitiful site. It still don't taste terrible but...sigh. I find that the gluten free pastas I can buy from the grocery store aren't half bad but I had bought some biscuit mix that made the worst flat, crumbly, couldn't even cut it, sad attempt biscuit mess.
So glad we have fresh vegetables right now!

Marla, you mentioned yeast, in the past couple of days I have been reading about candida overgrowth. I relate to so many of the symptoms there. I've read about the diet in which to kill off the overgrowth (some in your digestive system is normal) but the diet means giving up sooo much. Id have to give up not only breads but sugars, starches (including starchy vegetables), alcohol, coffee, several types of nuts...a long list. And I'm not sure for how long before i could have any of these again. Months? Years? I'm not sure I'd be willing to torture myself for very long.
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