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Coconut tolerance

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I am on Day 8 of Whole 30 and loving it! Beyond my digestion issues (IBS, possible Chrons) I also had issues with on and off sleeping issues, congestion, and mood/irritability/anxiety issues. I feel like for being Paleo and taking care of myself I should feel AMAZING..but haven't been.

Since starting Whole 30 and the meal times, I can for once go for HOURS without eating and not feel irritable, etc. LOVE it!

I am doing a mostly autoimmune/IBS protocol (including ghee) but noticed I am still having some issues that seem to come and go (or some linger). I do know it takes time so not worried on that, but I was talking to a girl about how coconut oil had made me break out and itch when used as a lotion and she said I am probably intolerant to it.

Honestly I have wondered on this for a while about coconut products (even though I LOVE them) and found yesterday that in addition to a lot of foods I eat, it is also in our dish soap, water filters (home), and my shampoo.

I decided to get coconut out of my system as much as humanly possible checking all things.

Have others had this issue? I have read a lot about how some people tolerate some coconut stuff and not others (and I might experiment down the road with this once out of my system), while others say sulfites bother them...

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as much as i luuuuuuv coconut, especially coconut cream (the unsweetened stuff), i found on my first W30 that my back was itchy when i began consuming coconut everday in the form of oil, manna, cream, and flakes. i am continuing for another 30 days without coconut this time, so I am cooking with ghee, which hasn't caused my any problems at this point. i also experience IBS, although i am fortunate that i can still eat my nightshades.

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I have had this same problem (I am on Day 11) and find it bothers me even more so when I am eating more nuts than usual. If you have nut allergies (I am deathly allergic to walnuts) then you could also be sensitive to other nuts, including coconut. It is wise to watch and even exclude the consumption of coconut for while and see how you do.

I have resorted to cooking with organic ghee and bacon fat. It is all I can do for now, until my system calms down from all of the nut glory I found myself in after the first week of the Whole30 Challenge.

I am also VERY allergic to sulfites...so you may want to be VERY careful with prepackaged greens and precut veg if you are sensitive to sulfa. Sulfur dioxide is sprayed on all greens at salad bars to keep them fresh, and also in bagged salad/spinach. So if you have an allergy to sulfa you will want to avoid these types of greens. Same goes for dried fruits, including coconut.

Consuming these products and putting them on your skin is giving your immune system a double whammy. Therefore, I think you are on the right track in taking a break from them for a while and then slowly adding coconut back in, to see if that is, in fact, what is bothering you. Of course, this is just my opinion.

As far as skin products go, I don't want to name brands on here because I am not sure it is allowed, but there are many product lines that are chemical and nut free. While pricier...they are worth it, especially if you are sensitive to nuts and sulfa based products.

It also helped me to start taking a probiotic acidophilous capsule...that helped the initial gut reactions (no pun intended) until I got smart and realized that the overdose of almond butter and coconut milk, coconut oil, etc. was the culprit.

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Do you get a lot of congestion? I find that most times I eat (worst is when it's warm food) or when I work out enough to get a sweat I get congested. I assume this means my body has some sort of allergic response to something and it comes out then??!!

I know coconut bothers me mainly as I tried to use it as a moisturizer and I got really itchy etc. So will do my best to get it out..how soon after you take it out do you find you are back to "normal"? I don't think I have problems with nuts in general but I did exclude them for the AI protocol.

I do fermented veggies and kombucha so don't take an actual probiotic as I get it from those foods.

Sulfites..hmm that could very well be. What else do you find that in? How did you find that out?

Thanks for the insights!

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Yes, my head feels "full" and my nose will feel stuffy. My scalp also gets itchy, as does the outside of my lips and the edges of my gums around my teeth. It usually takes about two to three days for my skin to calm down, after eliminating the culprit. Oftentimes, I have to resort to taking an antihistamine, which I hate doing.

I found out I was allergic to sulfa after getting the hives from an antibiotic drug and then was tested by an allergist. Later, I found out about the sprays on food from a friend who is a food scientist...I was telling her about the irony of being able to eat a greasy burger and feel great, but then feel horrible after eating a salad from a salad bar or a restaurant (I always have stomach trouble). She asked me if I happened to have a sulfa allergy, to which I replied, "YES!"...mystery solved.

All around the Forum they mention time and time again about adequate sleep and stress management...this is key, too, in keeping your immune system thresholds aligned, as well. I know this is also true for migraine management, too, so it makes sense that it would work for digestive issues, as well! The digestive system is our lower "brain", afterall!

I hope limiting it can help! Hopefully a moderator or other Whole30 pro will have more ideas for you, too!

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I don't find that I get itchy or skin issues (the only time was when I put coconut oil on my legs or used like a body wash with coconut). I get kind of blotchy red in spots if I sit near a space heater or fire too..but not like itchy. I just have congestion when I eat (most times) or workout to where I get warmer. Does that usually mean allergy of some sort?

I hope it's just coconut-but what all do you avoid with the sulfites? I know my sisters are allergic to sulfa but I don't think I ever was..though it's been YEARS since I've taken a med..

Thanks for all your help..I know for as amazing as I take care of myself I should feel better. I go through short periods where I feel amazing so I know that it's possible..just gotta hunt down the cause. And I could not agree more on the sleep and stress management!

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First thing you should do is seek a physicians help in testing what you could be allergic to...first and foremost. This way, you don't have to wonder, which will help with some of the stress of trying to figure it all out.

I should also clarify that an allergy to sulfa drugs does not automatically mean you are allergic to sulfides (preservatives), but people with a sulfa allergy do tend to be sensitive to these perservatives, which I find that I am...thus, my "know-it-all" attitude on this topic.

Trust me, if you have walked around for a week looking like Hitch (from the movie Hitch, have you seen it?) with your face all puffy and swollen) you will do what is necessary to never, ever look like that again!!!

As far as sulfites go...I try to avoid (even before Whole30) anything with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives (basically, all of these lab-created chemicals that come with high-sugar processed foods). Before Whole30, I avoided diet sodas which contain acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium), which is a sulfite. If you are allergic to sulfa drugs or have a reaction to sulfites in wine, you might want to avoid diet soda too. Some brands of balsamic vinegar have sulfites, too...I always look for the best, organic, sulfite-free balsamic I can find.

I also avoid, or limit, packaged salad greens (avoid), dried fruit (avoid, unless it is marked as not having sulfites), maraschino cherries, pickles (read ingredients), saurkraut, lemon (limit), lime (limit) and grape juice (limit). I am also very choosey about shrimp and shellfish and wine...some contain sulfites. But, that is just me...I would never suggest someone do as I do, without consulting their allergist or physician, etc.

So there you go...my amateur version of an answer for you. I would say, if you are really worried about it, you might want to just give your physician a buzz and discuss.

Don't worry about it TOO much...or, at least, try not to...avoid it for a while, talk to your doc, and if you feel better in a few days and your physician is okay with it, add it back in and see how you feel! Good luck!

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