Introduction

1 Jun

Hello!

My name is Michelle and I have eosinophilic esophagitis. You’re probably wondering who I am and what the heck that is.

I’ll give some background first.

Who I am: I’m a 22 year old who just graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics. As of right now, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. In the future I want to become a Registered Dietitian and help people with food allergies (or prenatal counseling)! I don’t know how I’m going to get there. All I know is I like food and helping people. That’s a big reason I started this blog. I previously had a blog (you can find it here – http://eat-freely.blogspot.com/). I wasn’t keeping up with it during school. I decided to start over because it was filled with spam and I wanted to do healthier recipes. So that is what I plan on doing with this blog – taking recipes and making them allergy friendly and healthier!

What the heck is eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)? Starting in the fall of 2009, I was having a “heartburn-like” feeling in upper abdomen. It would be so bad that I would often roll around in bed and miss classes and social events. Then in January of 2010, I woke up in the middle of the night with severe “heartburn,” which seemed to get worse by the minute. It was the worst pain I had ever experienced. I panicked, and couldn’t breathe. My back and abdomen muscles were tensed. I thought I was dying. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I decided enough was enough and went to a doctor. She thought I had acid reflux disease. After 6 months of not knowing what was wrong and all medications failing (along with multiple pain episodes and ER visits), I went to a gastroenterologist who performed an endoscopy and took biopsies of my esophagus. The next time I saw him, he told me I had eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). He didn’t know much about it, saying it was a rare and fairly new disease, so he gave me a huge packet to read. Feeling frustrated and confused, I did what I do best: research. EoE is a disease in which eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, swarm the esophagus (though they aren’t even supposed to be there) in order to “attack” the food, what they think is an intruder. I also discovered that food allergies are often associated with EoE and immediately got tested. Turns out I was allergic to milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, peas, and oats. On top of that I have environmental allergies to trees, grasses, molds, weeds, and cat dander. So I rushed out and purchased all the food allergy cookbooks I could find. I spent my time making foods that I formerly enjoyed, most of them being sweets. After learning more about foods through this process, and switching my major to nutrition, my tastes have progressed to a more healthy lifestyle.

So what’s changed since my diagnosis? Not much, but I feel a heck of a lot better. For awhile, I was still having reactions, just not as constant. My doctor and everyone around me was confused. I attempted NAET, an allergy elimination technique, but it became too time consuming and expensive, though it did help. Then, one night in August, I had that awful pain in the middle of the night and had to go to the ER because it was so unbearable. Turns out I had gallstones and had to have my gallbladder removed. My doctor is still unsure if my gallbladder was causing the awful-pain-in-the-middle-of-the-night episodes or if it was related to my EoE because I had my pains in my esophagus area. This past December 2012, I was starting to have reactions again. I was retested for my allergies, and found out they had changed. I am now allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, peas, almonds, and sunflower seeds. I was able to add back in soy (thanks to NAET). However, I still reacted to that so I have to be careful not too have too much or too often. Since then, I’ve been symptom free! They’re still researching EoE  and I’m always hoping for new treatments. As of now, I eliminate my trigger foods and I’m okay, though it’s nerve-wracking eating out at restaurants and planning trips.

So what’s the point of this blog? To help my fellow food allergy strugglers, of course! I’ll be posting allergy friendly recipes (some healthy and some not so much). I’ll also occasionally post common allergen replacements, restaurant reviews, and product reviews.

I’ve made this short (though maybe not for some of you) and left a lot out and it’s been a long struggle, so if any of you have ANY questions, feel free to contact me. I also made a manual on how to survive with food allergies if any of you would like a copy.

Thanks for reading!

-Michelle

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One Response to “Introduction”

  1. Dayna August 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM #

    Can you tell me more about your NAET experience as an EoE person? I have a 6 year old son who has EoE and is pretty much allergic to everything we have ever tested him (we do mostly blood tests). So some friend have told me about NAET but I am not to sure it would help because of the EoE.?

    You said “I was able to add back in soy (thanks to NAET). However, I still reacted to that so I have to be careful not too have too much or too often.” — so what does that mean? And how did you get there?

    Thanks for your help!

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