Monday, August 20, 2012

Can allergies be menopause related?

I found an article that talks about developing allergies during menopause. I found this to be fascinating because since I hit menopause I have developed somewhat "severe" allergies, but instead of hives, wheezing, sneezing, or other unpleasantries in reaction to my surroundings I seem to have developed allergies to food groups.  Three years ago I became terribly allergic to anything that contained cows milk.  Sadly I had to give up cheese, milk and therefore cereal, and so much more.

Imagine going to a Mexican restaurant and ordering enchiladas, and then asking them to please hold the cheese.  It was difficult at first, but once I went without dairy it became very easy.  I tried lactose pills and that helped for a short time but not always successfully.  In the past year I have had 2 slices of Swiss cheese and possibly 4 bites of sour cream.  Oddly enough the only dairy product that I had NO negative reaction to was frozen yogurt. Interesting!

Somewhere in the last year I realized I was having a reaction to wheat as well, so I am taking wheat out of my diet slowly but surely.  Although I won't give up pizza, it's been hard enough to not have cheese on my pizza.  But pizza with no cheese AND no crust, well, that's just not right!

Two weeks ago, after three solid years of no dairy, I got fed up, tired of missing a few of my favorite things, and bought a small wheel of brie.  Pre-dinner we enjoyed some French brie with some rice crackers, and voila, no reaction.  A week later I tried brie again.  And again, no reaction.  The next day I had cottage cheese, no reaction.  So I bought some milk and some cottage cheese at the grocery store yesterday.  And I will slowly add in some select dairy items back into my diet and see how it goes.

Is this menopause related?  I don't know.  To be honest, maybe and maybe not.  But for 45 years I have had not one allergy and now I am definitely having negative reactions to food groups, so I think the chances are pretty good that it's menopause related.  I hope so, and hopefully it will pass as well.

And now going wheat free, well that's just a new adventure!

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