Monday, September 30, 2013

HITting a brick wall

Yesterday started pleasantly but had some REALLY uncomfortable periods!  As we drove away from the city we had to visit for the funeral, the post-storm weather just plain lovely.  The richly-blue sky was studded with enough fluffy little clouds to set off its beauty.  The air smelled good and we could even scent the conifers by the side of the highway.  We decided to visit another of the Missouri state parks that lay pretty much in our way as we returned home.

Rewind about ten hours -- after the funeral i had about a glass of "cremante de Limoux" because, as Napoleon put it, in victory we DESERVE champagne whereas in defeat we NEED it.  Immediately pre-drive, there had been beautiful strawberries on the breakfast buffet, and i indulged in a small bowlful garnished with cream cheese (after my bacon and eggs).  As we got out of the car at the park, i was oddly stiff, and walking only loosened me up a little.  Our late lunch included a few ingredients i SHOULD have avoided under normal circumstances, but i thought a small amount wouldn't hurt.  WRONG.

I'm glad i wasn't driving.  I felt crummy as all hell, and SLEEPY too.  We're always told that post-meal sleepiness can be attributed to rebound hypoglycemia, but i've tested myself on occasion when it happened, and it wasn't THAT.  I know now -- it's HIT, a histamine "attack."

I hadn't been traveling with my DAO supplement, but i'll never omit it again, and i had even exhausted my purse-supply of benedryl.    Knowing from experience that nicotine gum is a good remedy for excessive fatigue, i popped a 2mg nugget and took out my smartphone....

Turns out, nicotine has a lot of virtues that people never hear about, who grew up during the push to discourage smoking.  You need to be using some pretty high dosages to become hooked on the stuff -- a few milligrams a day isn't going to do it.  In fact, almost all of the deleterious effects of "tobacco use" are the result of setting the damned stuff on fire, or concentrating its properties, or inserting it in what Dr. Donaldson termed "sacred ground" (the nose).  Native Americans used it for god-knows-how-long without developing "diseases of civilization."  ..."Civilization" -- HAH!

Although study design makes all the difference, nicotine seems to be a good anti-inflammatory as well as an antihistamine.  It's legendary as an energizing relaxant, like hot tea.  Perhaps one of the reasons people like to smoke after a meal is that it DOES allay histamine reactions to food.

At any rate, i felt better pretty soon after i took the "nicotine cure."  We arrived home, did all we needed to do, i made a quick burger dinner for us (it was later than our usual dinner hour), and i made my next mistake -- i put a slice of cheese on my beef and about a tablespoonful of "grapefruit barbecue sauce."  No problem YET....  I got to bed early and slept well for about four hours, but my throat was feeling a bit raw, and instead of having a zinc lozenge i made a cup of coconut-milk hot chocolate.  The "histamine bucket" overflowed.

If you've ever read up on the HIT concept, you've probably heard the bucket analogy.  Throughout the day, thimbleful by thimbleful, we add to our histamine load with what we breathe, rub on our skin, eat or don't intake enough of, and also through frustration or annoyance -- our emotions and ... even THOUGHTS OF FOOD.  If one is inclined to under-produce the breakdown enzyme, DAO, through age, hormone production, or whatever, the threshold can be reached in an unpredictable way!

When circumstances are less than ideal, it well behooves us to take the very best care of ourselves.  This is NOT the time for saying "i deserve a forbidden treat" -- but rather, eat ONLY, drink ONLY, supplement and spice and scent ONLY with THE most harmless known substances.  Now, THAT is life-affirming.


  1. It is our want that get us into trouble. |I must learn to let go of my wants.

    1. unfortunately, there are a lot of foods that are wholesome to others but problematic to me, especially when the air is full of pollens and such. :-( berries, cheese, vegetables.... everybody with food-tolerance issues has days when it seems there's NOTHING "safe" to eat. today is one of those days, alas.

  2. Yes, when I feel tired without a good reason, it is often the only symptom (or the first one) of a flaring allergy. Some foods are more trouble, for example, chocolate in my case. When I am in an argent need to feel better, especially if I have trouble to figure out what went wrong, the combination of fast and sleep could be the way to go when it is possible.
    I never though about a nicotine as a useful substance. You picked my curiosity.

    1. [nodding] instinctively, fasting seems to be the fast-track for feeling better! my dogs, when they've felt bad, have ALWAYS refused food. i listen to my body, and anything that makes me feel a bit nauseated when i think about eating it, i avoid.

  3. When my son went to school, I often volunteered during his school trips. They went a lot into natural preserves where they usually had a guide who explained how native Americans used to live in our area. Some details are still stuck in my head. For example, there are a lot of so called Holy Tries in the forest here. They named it in such way because native men(not women) used their very high in a caffeine red berries during ceremonies in order to induce vomiting because they believed it would cleanse their bodies.
    Just think about it, Tess, they missuses caffeine to overdose themselves into a vomiting, and their females were excluded even from that unappetizing way of a caffeine consumption. I am so glad I am not a real Paleo person. I rather eat liver pate and use internet at the same time. I would be considered an old crone after 50, probably earlier.
    I know, it doesn't make much sense, but more than once I had a bad reaction on coffee samples in stores, last time in a Whole Food. Is it some possible Robusta in mixes? I always drink a single bean Arabica at home, and Starbucks seems to be fine. I annoy regularly some people by my comments because I base it on anecdotal evidence , probably my constant alert toward what is causing my allergies worsen such tendency. I trust more to what I witneseds and experienced than any studies because I know - all internet could rave about some food as being the perfect one , but my experience may be different.
    Champagne is the worst alcohol-containing thing to drink for me, + I need too little to get too drank from it.

    1. yes, it doesn't matter what all the studies show, if YOUR body doesn't behave the same way! it amazes me, the range of different experiences we see among people you'd expect to be similar.

      i found it very interesting when i lived in Oklahoma and learned that in many of the tribes there, the chief was historically chosen by the old women of the groups. :-) nowadays they're democratically elected....