I know the only way to get to the bottom of this for me is to construct food elimination experiments and isolate variables, and only introduce one thing at a time, but if anyone has any thoughts on my situation, I'd be eternally grateful:
I have a problem with grinding tension headaches (the feeling of a rubber-band constricting around my head/scalp). It is accompanied by severe muscle tightness in my neck/shoulder muscles. It often is accompanied with my eyeballs actually hurting, and becoming bloodshot.
I also get the following which I'm not sure coincides or is related to the above: my feet cramp (sometimes my legs), and sometimes I get muscle twitching (various body parts), and restless legs jumping around.
I also get the following which I'm not sure coincides or is related to the above: sneezing fits which last about 5 minutes, sudden congestion, very red /bloodshot eyes. This seems to very much correlate to high histamine foods (chocolate, almonds, ripe banana).
I'm embarrassed to say I've been unable to determine the exact cause despite frequent experiments, food eliminations, and maintaining a very detailed food diary.
I am convinced it's food related.
My latest hypothesis is nightshades and high-histamine foods. Looking back through my food diary for past bad reactions, there is a very high correlation with nightshades.
Initially, I got good advice here which directed me to the more likely cause of electrolytes, magnesium, etc. I think I've ruled that out (got an RBC magnesium blood test, experimented with high and low qty of salt, calcium, etc. I think I can safely conclude it's not that.)
I know there's been some conflicting info on whether or not blueberries and strawberries might be a problem for someone with nightshade issues, so I've ruled that out during my recent trial.
I was feeling really great on Sunday but had all the symptoms described above appeared Monday. Here's what I ate:
Sunday: orange, kale, 3 squares 88% dark choc, 6oz heavy grass fed cream, frozen peaches, 3 squares 88% dark choc, McDonalds double cheeseburger plain, double hamburger plain (only half the bun on each), orange, kale, chicken (white & dark), 1.5 kerrygold butter.
Monday: 3oz kale, 1 orange, 12oz grass fed milk, 3 squares 88% dark choc, 6oz frozen peaches. 15 minutes later, I had a huge sneezing fit for 5 minutes, and became immediately congested. For lunch I had 4oz of chicken (dark & white meat) I cooked last night, bone broth (cooked last night), 6 quaker rice cakes (only puffed brown rice). After lunch, the twitching in my leg got really bad (it actually started before lunch, but not as bad). For dinner, I had a double cheese burger at Wendys (plain), I did eat the bun (which does contain paprika). By evening, my headache was really terrible, neck muscles tight.
I find it hard to believe that a tiny bit of paprika could have any significant effect.
The sneezing does seem to point to histamines.
I decided to stop with the chocolate and oranges and cheese and fast food anything (buns). For breakfast I had 4 egg yolks, 2oz kerry gold butter, and 6oz of rice noodles. For lunch I'm having the chicken I made 2 days ago, and the bone broth, and some more rice noodles.
Here it is today (Tuesday), and my neck muscles are still really tight and head hurting (but maybe that's left over from last night)?
When I observed high correlation in my food diary to nightshades, I was really excited, hoping that was all my problems, but it really seems like 2 things might be going on at once, which really sent me in various (and wrong) directions before.
BTW, I located a doctor on the paleo physicians network in my area, and had my first visit last week. He's doing fancy nutrient & blood tests and I'll have a physical with him in 2 weeks.
Any thoughts would be very much appreciated, Mike
asked byCaveMan_Mike (3275)
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on February 12, 2013
at 06:03 PM
Really, Wendy's and McDonalds double cheese burgers...? And you're worried about the nightshades and histamine... why don't you just start with autoimmune Paleo and add things back in after stabilizing for a few weeks? http://paleononpaleo.com/paleo-autoimmune-protocol/
on November 06, 2014
at 03:37 PM
Hi Cave man. Mcdonalds and wheat is never a good idea but I don't want to preach but I will say I followed the auto immune protocol for a while but was still having terrible headaches and digestive trouble even when all home cooked. It now turns out I have SIBOand very highly suspected Histamine intolorence which includes an even wider spectrum of no no foods. Diet is the key to almost im modiste relief but one had to be very strict. Leftovers are a no no unless frozen immidiatelt after cooking and meat must be very very fresh. Fish is a big trigger for me and even dried herbs are out. I also react to NIGHTSHADES so I would recommends a Autoimmune /low histamine diet for the best results. The Paleo approach is a great book and there are loads of good resources on the Internet about histamine intolorence. It is not well known -even amongst the Paleo community. It is still my opinion that the paleo diet is the best diet for optimal health but in my case I reckon SIBO and leaky gut have caused my histamine issues.once these are under control I can then up my protein levels again. Good luck and I hope this helps -remember all take away/processed food is always a no no x
on February 14, 2013
at 12:22 PM
Though eliminating everything perfectly for a month and only adding one thing at a time might be good on paper, from a practical perspective, it's really not good unless living in a hospital ward and having controlled food given to you for every meal.
Since I have 2 hypothesis, I decided I'm going to try a nightshade challenge: If nightshades are a problem, having white potatoes with bay seasonings 3 times a day for several days should reveal if I'm sensitive to that: I would expect I would get progressively worse and it should be noticeable (especially if I'm soo sensitive that trace amounts of paprika are causing me problems).
I'll report back on the results.