Brandon

Alpha Galactose

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I have the alpha galactose allergy. Long story short, my symptoms went from very infrequent (roughly 1/300 days) anaphylaxis to much more moderate but consistent wheezing when I laid down at night approximately 2.5 years ago. Since then a daily dose of Zyrtec manages all symptoms. No discernible reactions for 2.5 years. 

My allergist did not suggest that I eliminate mammal meat but rather be aware of it and always have an epi pen handy just in case and to never eat mammal meat when away from civilization i.e. when I’m in the wilderness. I am about to begin my first whole30  

My questions are:

1) Can I continue to take my Zyrtec so I can continue eating mammal meat? I am guessing not because there are off plan ingredients in Zyrtec and perhaps the active ingredient is off plan as well. 

2) if I cannot continue takin Zyrtec is there something else I can take?

3) if not, is it compliant that I discontinue my Zyrtec and continue to occasionally eat mammal meat until such a time as I have some sort of a reaction? It is quite possible that my allergy has changed in the last 2.5 years and I’ve simply not realized it because I continue to take Zyrtec. It is also possible that other potential food allergens will be eliminated on the whole30 resulting in a reduced histamine load and therefore causing my alpha galactose allergy to not cross the line into a reaction. 

Obviously eliminating mammal meat is an option but I would like to include it if at all possible. I appreciate any helpful advice. Thank you!

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This is something that is better discussed with your doctor. No one here is going to give you medical advice. 

If the doctor has told you to take the Zyrtec to manage your symptoms, then those orders trump any Whole30 rules regarding the ingredients in the medication. 

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Ok. Thank you for your response. A doctor has never told me to take the Zyrtec. That’s just what I found that worked to prevent any reaction. In fact the allergist just told me to keep eating mammal meat if I’d like to... but be careful about it.

I know that doctor’s orders Trump whole30 and all that but that’s not what I mean to ask. Perhaps my questions are better worded this way...

In what way and to what extent will Zyrtec effect my whole30 should I continue to use it (a decision I probably won’t make depending on your response)?

If I discontinue using my Zyrtec and continue to eat mammal meat (both perfectly acceptable according to my allergist) in what way, if any, will it effect my whole30? For example, does a potentially elevated histamine load effect any of the important physiological targets of whole30 like systemic inflammation, gut health etc? 

Sorry to be so specific, but I am trying to incorporate mammal meat in my whole30 (so long as I remain symptom free) if possible. For variety’s sake as well as the experience of learning new cooking techniques and such.  But I am of course willing to not experiment with the mammal meat if necessary. 

 

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That's way beyond the scope of this forum.  The Whole30 is all about finding out what foods work for you.  You could consider doing two Whole30s - one with Zyrtec and one without and have the data for yourself.

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54 minutes ago, slc_melissa said:

That's way beyond the scope of this forum.  The Whole30 is all about finding out what foods work for you.  You could consider doing two Whole30s - one with Zyrtec and one without and have the data for yourself.

My apologies. Do you know an appropriate place for the question? I will simply exclude the Zyrtec but would like to know what effect (if any) eating mammal meat will have on my whole30... assuming I remain symptom free of course. If you don’t know of a good place to ask the question I will just leave it out of my whole30. Thank you. 

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22 minutes ago, Brandon said:

My apologies. Do you know an appropriate place for the question? I will simply exclude the Zyrtec but would like to know what effect (if any) eating mammal meat will have on my whole30... assuming I remain symptom free of course. If you don’t know of a good place to ask the question I will just leave it out of my whole30. Thank you. 

I'm not sure I understand.  The program is an omnivore program - if you choose to do the program without animal protein but still with fish, seafood, poultry and eggs, then you would have just as successful a program as you would if you were eating pork and beef. 

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You're asking a general internet forum to answer a question that would need a very specific scientific study behind it.  Funding, hypothesis, test subjects, control subjects, peer review, etc. 

Some random stranger on the internet hopefully isn't going to recommend you eat something that could send you into anaphylactic shock.  I stand by recommendation that you can do your own experiment on yourself - do two whole 30s (while closely monitoring, working with doctor about the allergies).  Or, do three - one without mammal meat, one with, one with + Zyrtec.  Only way to know is to try it.  Also, what works for one person might not work for you specifically. 

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5 hours ago, slc_melissa said:

You're asking a general internet forum to answer a question that would need a very specific scientific study behind it.  Funding, hypothesis, test subjects, control subjects, peer review, etc. 

Some random stranger on the internet hopefully isn't going to recommend you eat something that could send you into anaphylactic shock.  I stand by recommendation that you can do your own experiment on yourself - do two whole 30s (while closely monitoring, working with doctor about the allergies).  Or, do three - one without mammal meat, one with, one with + Zyrtec.  Only way to know is to try it.  Also, what works for one person might not work for you specifically. 

Ok. My apologies. But my query was more specific than what you’re saying as I was really looking for someone with sufficient enoughknowledge to approach and analyze the topic from the spirit and science of “It Starts with Food”. That’s all. But I am satisfied that I am in the incorrect place for such a query. Thank you for your help in bringing this to my attention. No need to respond unless you feel the need to! I look forward to checking in with the forum as I go through my whole30... mammals meat-free! I’ll reintroduce it during my reintroduction. Thanks again!

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7 minutes ago, Brandon said:

Ok. My apologies. But my query was more specific than what you’re saying as I was really looking for someone with sufficient enoughknowledge to approach and analyze the topic from the spirit and science of “It Starts with Food”. That’s all. But I am satisfied that I am in the incorrect place for such a query. Thank you for your help in bringing this to my attention. No need to respond unless you feel the need to! I look forward to checking in with the forum as I go through my whole30... mammals meat-free! I’ll reintroduce it during my reintroduction. Thanks again!

I think if you come from the understanding that no one, not even Melissa (who wrote the book!), is going to tell you to stop medication or experiment with allergies when on Whole 30, you'll have a less frustrating time. Whole 30 is a way of eating, it can do great things for the body, but any questions of how it will affect medical conditions, or be affected by medications (including over the counter) are for your doctor or pharmacist. 

The program is very clear that medical needs trump Whole 30 every time, so we are to keep taking out meds and get the best out of the program we can. 

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1 hour ago, SchrodingersCat said:

I think if you come from the understanding that no one, not even Melissa (who wrote the book!), is going to tell you to stop medication or experiment with allergies when on Whole 30, you'll have a less frustrating time. Whole 30 is a way of eating, it can do great things for the body, but any questions of how it will affect medical conditions, or be affected by medications (including over the counter) are for your doctor or pharmacist. 

The program is very clear that medical needs trump Whole 30 every time, so we are to keep taking out meds and get the best out of the program we can. 

Yes, and thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am aware of that coming in. Knowing that medical trumps whole30 is one thing and understanding how it will effect things is another. And hearing that “medical trumps whole30” doesn’t always help. For example, on a different forum I witnessed lots of people using that phrase as a sort of mantra to rationalize all sorts of off-plan things. One person even told me to keep using Zyrtec invoking that phrase. However, clearly that’s an abuse of the intent of the phrase because I could simply eliminate mammal meat and stay on plan!

My interest here was more about understanding the way in which allergies factor into the science of it all. See, alpha gal is very different from other food allergies... this is why my doctor didn’t tell me to stop eating mammal meat but rather be aware of it. Zyrtec was never a recommendation but rather something I used once the allergy made a drastic change to much less serious but more frequent symptoms. I have no problem simply laying off the Zyrtec, continuing to eat the meat and seeing what happens which may very well be nothing at all! That’s how weird the allergy is. I just wanted to know from a whole30/food-science perspective what that would mean if I did. I now understand that I am in the incorrect place to pose such a question and therefore do not wish to waste anymore of anyone’s time on the matter. However, I know that if I were to bump into Melissa or Dallas or someone with similar such knowledge at a health food store I could get answers to my questions. But even if so I very much understand that they would likely be reluctant to give the answers here because I think there’s also a legal concern in the statement “medical/doctors trump whole30”. But again, I was more interested in the the science of the whole30 in the spirit of “it starts with food” on this matter and nothing else. I will be excluding mammal meat from my whole30 and ceasing my query into this matter here. Thanks again to all who took the time to respond. I am sure we will bump into each other in the future.

 

Please, feel free to respond but understand that I don’t expect it. I don’t want anyone to think I am belaboring a settled matter. Eat and be well fellow whole30’ers!!! I start in a couple of days!

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Have you looked at any of the citations/papers in "It Starts With Food?"  I can't remember off the top of my head if there was a specific chapter about allergies, but it had plenty of stuff to look into that might get you onto a path.  

Robb Wolf may be another writer/blogger to look into.  Can't say for sure he's done anything on allergies, but you never know.

Good luck!

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44 minutes ago, slc_melissa said:

Have you looked at any of the citations/papers in "It Starts With Food?"  I can't remember off the top of my head if there was a specific chapter about allergies, but it had plenty of stuff to look into that might get you onto a path.  

Robb Wolf may be another writer/blogger to look into.  Can't say for sure he's done anything on allergies, but you never know.

Good luck!

I have not dug that deeply yet but that’s a good idea. I was actually reading Robb Wolf recently but not about allergies. Thank you for the suggestions. 

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