Allergic to Everything, Part Two

This post is a response to a few comments I’ve had recently about being allergic to everything. To read the original article, click here: I’m allergic to everything.

Food Allergies

What to do if you can’t eat anything

There is a food trap that some people fall in to where the number of foods that they feel that they can eat slowly dwindles down to almost nothing.

I’m going to suggest to you that this problem doesn’t have to make you crazy and is largely your brain’s fault (or maybe it is better described as your genes fault).

This problem is probably best explained by the book .

Omnivores have a problem that no other type of eater has: deciding what to eat. A cow, for example, never wonders what it is going to put in its’ mouth, the grass it is walking on is always the answer. Likewise, you don’t see lions or sharks contemplating their dinner choices; if it is running or swimming away then it is on the menu.

We omnivores, though, have to test foods to see if they are okay for us. The key to understand why this might be a problem is to understand that omnivores attach how they feel after they eat something with whether the food is good for them or not. This is a handy tool to have: You eat some berries you think are okay to eat and later you get a stomach ache; next time you see that berry, you stay away from it.

The problem is that this omnivore-avoidance-system isn’t very accurate. Studies have shown that people are poor predictors of what might be good or bad for them. Part of the problem also lies in the complexity of the food we eat; many of the meals we eat are a mixture of many different foods. To add to the difficulty deciding what to eat is that we might be feeling bad for other reasons and just think it is the food we are eating.

So, when you are spiraling out of control and unable to find anything to eat, consider that many things you think are not good for you, may be okay.

What to do next?

Let’s say that you have thought about the above and tried to add in more foods, but still find that there are foods that you still cannot eat. Here is a plan for taking your diet to the next level.

  • Testing: Many people want to turn to testing to find out what foods they are allergic to. My experience is that testing generally doesn’t help. Testing done on the skin is silly as the part of the immune system responsible for protecting the skin is different from the immune system in your gut. Blood testing gets you a bit closer, but will only show foods that you are allergic to and not those you have an intolerance to (read the Food Allergy vs Food intolerance part of the previous article). The best testing is removal and reintroducing of foods.
  • Brain/Gut: Your brain is closely tied to your digestive system. Scientists are now calling this the Gut/Brain axis: as you think, so your gut feels. If you are stressed out or anxious, your gut will respond. Many people with digestive problems find that they go away when they are on vacation (and they usually eat worse than they normally do). Consider taking supplements for anxiety such as , , , or others.
  • Digestive Enzymes: Some of your problems may be due to not having enough digestive enzymes. Get a very high quality and see if that helps.
  • Rebalance Bacteria: The bacteria in your gut may also be part of the problem. Try using a product called that is used for inflammation, but I have found works wonders on the gut. You can also go on an anti-yeast or anti-parasite program; make sure you take enough of the herbs for it to be successful. I recommend these products:
    • I’m also a big fan of traditionally fermented foods: such as sauerkraut, pickles… (make sure they are traditional and non-fermented)

Some combination of the above will work for you. It is a difficult path to return to normalish eating, but one well worth the journey.

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About the Author

I'm Dr. Scott Olson ND. I'm a Naturopathic doctor who specializes in diet, health, nutrition, and alternative medicine. I've written numerous books and articles on health, medicine, and alternative medicine I want to help you get healthy! Take a look at my blog and make sure you join in the conversation!

16 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. linda McCormick April 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I have delveloped extreme food allergies after Graves disease. I have been tested by many allergists and have been told by all I have the most food allergies they have ever seen. I am allergic to all food except meat and water
    I have been put on Megagencis and taken off all food for 3 months however I only made it 2 months before I had to eat, so the allergist quit working with me as I did not follow her directions.
    I have been going though this for many years now and it has changed my life, no soical events or vacations or even dating.
    I just started self treatments…I am juicing 3 times a day and have elimated all food except an apple mid morning and melon in the afternoon. I guess I need to do this for a good 3 months and then reindroduce one food at a time?
    My symptons are extreme bloating, gas and constipation. I also have nasal congestion and very red and painful eyes. I have always had a weight problem so I count every carb and calorie. I try to stay under 20 carbs daily and under 1,000 cal. I exercise over 2 hours daily but have still been gaining weight.
    I recently went to an accupunctist for a knee problem and when he kept putting so many needles around my stomach I asked him why..he replied that I had a complete metabolic breakdown…any suggestion? thanks Linda

    • Dr. Scott April 22, 2012 at 5:50 am - Reply


      It sounds like you are doing a lot right, but I do have one suggestion for you. You say that you are trying to stay under 20 grams of carbs a day, but the melon and apple are most likely more than 20 grams and, depending on what you are juicing, that would add even more. I’m not a big fan of counting carbs for weight loss, but carbs are classic for creating gas and bloating (most animals that eat fruits ferment them; we don’t have the stomachs to do that). I do believe in juicing, just make sure that you are juicing mostly greens. I would also focus on increasing the meat that you are eating. You say it works for you, but it sounds like it is not in your diet. Think about a Paleolithic diet (no grains, no sugars, low fruit, no vegetable oils) and see how it goes.

      Best of luck,


  2. Truman Green January 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Hi. My problem is that, as years go by, I seem to be allergic to or intolerant of almost anything that can roughly be described as food.

    In fact, I think the only thing that doesns’t make me sick is applesauce. If I eat the wrong thing the first time I try to sleep I get the most bizarre nightmares. For some stupid reason, I thought I’d try one of the most delicious foods ever created–thin-crust
    spinach pizza. After a few slices I fell asleep and was terrorized the whole night with ridiculous nightmares about trying to find places to throw-up without seeming crazy and pathetic to friends and strangers. I can handle the migraine headaches, stomach aches and nausea that cheese precipitates, but the vomiting dreams and really disgusting.

    Anyone else experience weird dreams after eating foods which make them sick?


    • Ann March 16, 2012 at 12:27 am - Reply

      I understand what you’re going thru. I too have numberous intolerances to so many foods, chemicals, etc. And Yes…I get the worse nightmare when I eat things that I’m allergic to. In fact there are nights I fear sleep because I am terrified by these dreams and wake up with my heart pounding and in a frenzy.
      I’m only eating a few foods now and I find it hard as I have cravings and cannot control myself so there are many times I get sick when I lose my self control.

      Keep searching and reading..You’ll probably find more information and help on the web.

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