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Hack my lunch from today

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 19, 2011 at 6:54 PM

At work today, we had lunch brought in for a meeting. Within 30 minutes of having the foods listed below, I experienced nasal/sinus congestion and had a pulsing headache (there for <30 seconds, gone for several minutes, back for <30 seconds, etc.) for about 20 minutes. The congestion is still there.

Anyone experience similar symptoms after eating certain foods, particularly any of these foods? I know some of these (like the nightshades) can cause issues, but congestion?

Lunch:

  • Salad (mixed lettuces, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, oil&vinegar - smelled like balsamic)
  • Roast beef sandwich without the bread (roast beef, tomato, lettuce, cheese...maybe swiss?)
  • Fried veggie chips (bananas and sweet potatoes - I don't know what they were fried in)

Thanks for your thoughts!

7f483d16ea35b29a6e721051b863d0ef

(10)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:49 PM

For more information try: http://www.histamineintolerance.org.uk There is only one sure method: a lab test. Be sure to take both the blood AND the stool test. Only if both come back negative histamine intolerance can be excluded.

7f483d16ea35b29a6e721051b863d0ef

(10)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Detecting histamine intolerance through an elimination diet might be a little bit tricky. Histamine itself builds up in every food with age: it's part of the ageing process. At some level histamine becomes toxic for everybody, that's where food poisoning comes from. So if you try to eliminate foods containing histamine, you might just by chance come by a food which itself is low in histamine but has build it up through ageing: e.g. chicken, which has been stored in a warm place. Furthermore you may or may not also react to biogen amines or food which is known to release histamine.

5266ac5977ec9d80ac8047697dbbe55b

(738)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Great advice, will definitely do that the next time! I'm glad everyone talks about these meals we just can't avoid when living a modern lifestyle instead of advocating that we become outspoken obnoxious extremists. There are certain compromises we have to make. So next time I have to go to the grade D protein with sugar sauce restaurant, I will be ordering steamed with sauce on the side!

Medium avatar

(5639)

on April 20, 2011
at 06:59 AM

I always order anything from Chinese or Thai, steamed with the sauce on the side. Those places use tons of cornstarch in all their sauces to thicken them. They also love to use caramel sauce (thickened HFCS juice), oyster sauce (synthetic oyster "flavor" with lots of HFCS), duck sauce (ha! don't make me laugh), etc... Bad, bad, BAD stuff. An old boss of mine used to call it "Grade D protein-with-sugar-sauce-restaurant."

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:35 AM

cornstarch perhaps

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:34 AM

I think Histame works for dietary amines, including histamine, but I don't think Zyrtec does. Histame is an enzyme product.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:05 PM

@TS incredible ain't it?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:05 PM

incredible ain't it?

Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Certainly. Actually, as I recall, I got congested after making a reduction with balsamic vinegar as the base. I remember the smell was extremely strong as the vinegar evaporated into the kitchen. Standing over the pot made my eyes water, a sign of membrane irritation. Same thing must have irritated my sinuses. Smells are just looses molecules binding to your olfactory nerves; those same molecules can enter your sinus cavities and react with the lining as you breathe them in. If you're extremely sensitive to something, it won't take much to elicit a congestive reaction.

5266ac5977ec9d80ac8047697dbbe55b

(738)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:01 PM

It is so strange - I feel like I used to work every single day with this "fog" that I am currently battling...sometimes a good hard look into the past is a good reminder of why I love paleo so much.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:38 PM

Hmmm, not that I recall. The vinegar did have a very strong smell, though. Maybe smells can cause congestion?

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:37 PM

I read a post about histamine intolerance and am considering doing an elimination diet to see if certain foods are the cause of my ongoing allergy/sinus issues; however, antihistamines (Zyrtec) did nothing to quell my symptoms (took it for 2 weeks...couldn't stand the side effects after that), so I'm not sure if it's a histamine thing.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:35 PM

I know what you mean! I went to a Thai restaurant awhile ago and everything looked fine, but who knows what sauces were on everything. It messed me up for the rest of the day.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:33 PM

hmm, it was really thin and basically plastered on the roast beef, so I'm not sure. The only reason why I say swiss is because it was white...lol...8)

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:23 PM

Totally not making fun- just to clarify :P

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:23 PM

"cheese... maybe swiss" made me laugh. Me too. Ali, are you sure it was even cheese? Could be "cheesefood"... Or are you just not that familiar?

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Pardon the weirdo title on the list of questions...it's showing up corrected once you click on it...!

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7 Answers

best answer

4
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:14 PM

could be soybean oil in the dressing, or, sadly, some of the stuff they put in the roast beef. High fructose corn syrup and dextrose is used, a lot of "spice" used on meat contains msg, etc etc.

"cheese... maybe swiss" made me laugh.

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:23 PM

Totally not making fun- just to clarify :P

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:33 PM

hmm, it was really thin and basically plastered on the roast beef, so I'm not sure. The only reason why I say swiss is because it was white...lol...8)

23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:23 PM

"cheese... maybe swiss" made me laugh. Me too. Ali, are you sure it was even cheese? Could be "cheesefood"... Or are you just not that familiar?

1
7f483d16ea35b29a6e721051b863d0ef

(10)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:16 PM

This may be connected to a histamine intollerance, especially the balsamico vinegar and the cheese. Did you maybe experience other symptoms like: a flush on your face, a feeling of high heat in your body, increased heart beat rate, irritation, trouble breathing?

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:37 PM

I read a post about histamine intolerance and am considering doing an elimination diet to see if certain foods are the cause of my ongoing allergy/sinus issues; however, antihistamines (Zyrtec) did nothing to quell my symptoms (took it for 2 weeks...couldn't stand the side effects after that), so I'm not sure if it's a histamine thing.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:34 AM

I think Histame works for dietary amines, including histamine, but I don't think Zyrtec does. Histame is an enzyme product.

7f483d16ea35b29a6e721051b863d0ef

(10)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:49 PM

For more information try: http://www.histamineintolerance.org.uk There is only one sure method: a lab test. Be sure to take both the blood AND the stool test. Only if both come back negative histamine intolerance can be excluded.

7f483d16ea35b29a6e721051b863d0ef

(10)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Detecting histamine intolerance through an elimination diet might be a little bit tricky. Histamine itself builds up in every food with age: it's part of the ageing process. At some level histamine becomes toxic for everybody, that's where food poisoning comes from. So if you try to eliminate foods containing histamine, you might just by chance come by a food which itself is low in histamine but has build it up through ageing: e.g. chicken, which has been stored in a warm place. Furthermore you may or may not also react to biogen amines or food which is known to release histamine.

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on April 20, 2011
at 02:38 AM

It could be a billion things aside form what you ate - the air, an old lady with too much perfume. Your car.

0
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:04 PM

no answers here, wish i could help, but god knows what it could be. pesticides? bad oils? additives in the roast beast? histamines? fake cheese (soy)?

it's so frustrating isn't it? you just want to be able to AT LEAST eat food that APPEARS to be simple. Meat, raw vegs, cheese, no prob right? but when you get obvious adverse reactions from apparently benign food.. yeesh. i hate it! it's overwhelming and making me paranoid. the healthier i get, the more alienated from 'normalcy'. (not that i've ever been normal, but still.) it's an ongoing battle, and i don't see it getting easier if the trend of 'regular' food being increasingly adulterated with additives and genetically modified.

it's exhausting to think about every single bite i take and fear eating food for which i didn't personally inspect the label (not that there's a guarantee either). I want to 'just relax' - but it's not worh feeling like shit. conundrum.

sorry this happened, wish it was something obvious. just wanted to commiserate.

0
5266ac5977ec9d80ac8047697dbbe55b

(738)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Ugh forced into Chinese food for a celebratory work lunch and I didn't want to be too "preachy" over a generous free lunch. Now I am paying the price and am having plenty of tea, ACV water, an extra fish oil caplet, etc. Can not wait to get this crap out of my system. I went for chicken with ginger, scallions, and vegetables, and everything I could SEE was entirely paleo...but who knows what was really in that sauce. I'm thinking peanut oil and MSG. Not going to guilt myself, but am considering it a valuable lesson after a very long stretch of strict paleo.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:35 AM

cornstarch perhaps

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:05 PM

@TS incredible ain't it?

5266ac5977ec9d80ac8047697dbbe55b

(738)

on April 20, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Great advice, will definitely do that the next time! I'm glad everyone talks about these meals we just can't avoid when living a modern lifestyle instead of advocating that we become outspoken obnoxious extremists. There are certain compromises we have to make. So next time I have to go to the grade D protein with sugar sauce restaurant, I will be ordering steamed with sauce on the side!

5266ac5977ec9d80ac8047697dbbe55b

(738)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:01 PM

It is so strange - I feel like I used to work every single day with this "fog" that I am currently battling...sometimes a good hard look into the past is a good reminder of why I love paleo so much.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:05 PM

incredible ain't it?

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:35 PM

I know what you mean! I went to a Thai restaurant awhile ago and everything looked fine, but who knows what sauces were on everything. It messed me up for the rest of the day.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on April 20, 2011
at 06:59 AM

I always order anything from Chinese or Thai, steamed with the sauce on the side. Those places use tons of cornstarch in all their sauces to thicken them. They also love to use caramel sauce (thickened HFCS juice), oyster sauce (synthetic oyster "flavor" with lots of HFCS), duck sauce (ha! don't make me laugh), etc... Bad, bad, BAD stuff. An old boss of mine used to call it "Grade D protein-with-sugar-sauce-restaurant."

0
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:22 PM

I was thinking the cheese maybe, then the oil and lastly, the additives in the meat.

0
Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 19, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Did you accidentally get some vinegar in your nose or swallow something "wrong"? Seriously. The lining of your cranial cavities (besides your mouth) are extremely sensitive, especially to fairly drastic pH changes like those vinegar would cause. This could lead to some inflammation, some congestion.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:38 PM

Hmmm, not that I recall. The vinegar did have a very strong smell, though. Maybe smells can cause congestion?

Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Certainly. Actually, as I recall, I got congested after making a reduction with balsamic vinegar as the base. I remember the smell was extremely strong as the vinegar evaporated into the kitchen. Standing over the pot made my eyes water, a sign of membrane irritation. Same thing must have irritated my sinuses. Smells are just looses molecules binding to your olfactory nerves; those same molecules can enter your sinus cavities and react with the lining as you breathe them in. If you're extremely sensitive to something, it won't take much to elicit a congestive reaction.

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