"For each of us there is some mission in life if we but find it. All have some definite thing to do, something for which they have been created; and only the doing of this thing will justify their existence here on earth. If we come into the world and occupy space and time without giving back for this privilege, we have not justified ourselves, and our lives in the end are barren." ~ Hay

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The IgG Allergy Test - Sugar Cane Allergy

Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!  I’m allergic to SUGAR!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Okay, I just needed to get that out.  I feel better now.  Actually, it really isn’t that much of a surprise.  It’s something I should have figured out 25 years ago.  I have to say, I’m actually quite glad to have  an answer, something concrete and tangible after so many years of questions.  To that, I owe Dr. Steve Nenninger and his persuasive lecture on IgG testing.  (www.stevenenninger.com)
It all started twenty five years ago, when I was 20, I began suffering from extreme fatigue.  In addition, my body temperature was too low, I was always cold, had weekly headaches and difficulty focusing.  I always had that just woke up in the middle of the night feeling.   I went to the doctor and had a series of tests done.  He checked me for mononucleosis, hypoglycemia and anemia, among other things.  Every single test came back negative.  The diagnosis was that there was nothing wrong with me.  But….why was I so incredibly tired?  The doctor told me to carry around some sugar so whenever I felt tired, I could have a “pick-up.”  Hence began my Starburst stage.  They were ALWAYS in my pocketbook.  I would just pop a few in my mouth whenever I felt tired, which was just about every day.  Of course, we all know what happens when you have a sugar rush,….you have a quick up then a fast down.  Well, my downs were bad.  Driving a car was really scary.  I can recall so many times while driving a car that I had to repeat over and over again to “KEEP MY EYES OPEN.”  After I got home I remember falling on the floor and the room would just spin.
 I had the same symptoms during my 30’s too, except I picked up a few more.  You can add candida, vaginal yeast infections, fibromyalgia and numerous dental cavities to my previous list.  I remember crawling into bed before my kids got home from school, not because I was sleepy because sleep usually eluded me, but just to rest and shut my eyes.  You see, I learned to plug on despite the foggy brain because I had to.  Because as a wife and mother,  things just had to get done.  I learned not to complain or go to the doctors because there were never any answers. 
When I turned 39, I read a book “The 5 Principles of Ageless Living” by Dayle Haddon.  In the book, the author recommends cutting out all refined sugar.  Since I enjoyed the book so much, I decided to give it a try.  I’m sorry to say, it lasted only eight weeks.  The first few weeks, it was really hard and my body felt like it needed hours upon hours of sleep, like up to 10 hours each night.  It was as if my body was sleeping soundly for the first time in a while.  All those symptoms that I wrote about above, were slowly fading away.  I was even more alert during the day and my brain felt less foggy.   However, I found it too hard and didn’t have enough motivation and determination to stay away from sugar so after two months, I went back to eating it. Until this week,  I never connected the dots and figured out that maybe I was allergic to sugar. 
Now all this brings us to three years ago, my husband got sick and had to give up sugar, I decided to join him.  I was 42 years old then.  My new policy would be to cut out all white sugar and white flour except during a birthday or holiday.  There was only one exception to this:  a piece of dark chocolate every day.  Since it was still a dramatic cutback in sugar, I experienced the same detox effects which gave way to a lessening of symptoms and increased energy as I had before.  Whenever I ate sugar, I felt great while eating it, but the very next day there was a return of my symptoms.  Just recently, I made chocolate chip cookies.  Even though I used cane sugar, I still had a reaction after eating only two cookies.  Again, I felt extreme fatigue .  Even after all that, I still never made the connection that I had a sugar allergy.  Was I dense??  Maybe not.  Usually when I think of allergies I think of an immediate cause and effect like a reaction someone has to eating peanuts.  Not the symptoms I was displaying. 
I recently went to a lecture by Dr. Steve Nenninger.  He highly recommends and advocates food allergy testing (IgG test).  I honestly thought that I wouldn’t find anything but, for the sake of it, I decided to take the test.  My results showed I was highly allergic to bananas, asparagus, sesame, egg whites, almonds and very highly allergic to cane sugar.  In fact, I was off the charts!  Again, I cannot say it was a real surprise.  I just feel like hitting myself on the head 100 times.  Boy I am glad I took that test!
The IgG test measures the IgG (Immunoglobulin G) response to 96 specific foods including wheat and dairy.  An allergy is caused when the body mistakenly identifies certain proteins as harmful then reacts to it, resulting in various allergic symptoms, such as mine.  There are studies that show that most of the population can have toxic reactions to common foods that you eat every day.  However, what may produce a reaction in one person, may not produce a reaction in another person.  In other words, the phrase “one man’s food is another man’s poison” is totally applicable in this instance.  Everyone’s systems are different so it is imperative that you find out which ones may be affecting yours.   Testing is easy, it is a simple pin prick in the finger and a few drops of blood are drawn.  The lab will analyze the results and they will be sent back to you via your doctor. 
Dr. Steve Nenninger says this about the IgG testing  as it pertains to a high sugar cane reading , “How can a person be allergic to sugar?  All of the cells of our bodies use sugar as their primary energy source.  So if we were allergic to something so essential to our health then wouldn’t our function be so severely affected that we would be basically dead or dying?  A person needs to restrict sugar when their IgG food allergen panel shows a sugar allergy.  The true reaction to sugar cane has to be proteins or glycoproteins.  In other words, to be allergic to sugar it must be a protein or a sugar connected to a protein.  The most likely culprit for the allergy is a sugar-protein combination that is part of a cell wall.”
For more reading and understanding about IgG testing:  Follow this link to Dr. Nenninger’s blog:  http://drstevenenningerdailyblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/understanding-your-igg-food-allergies.html

What’s the bottom line for me?  No more cane sugar, and the rest of the foods I tested highly for.   Instead, I will sweeten with honey…or as I like to joke…put my birthday candles in a cucumber.  I am excited because I know this will take my health to a new plateau, and I cannot wait to see what I will be able to accomplish as a result of it.   I will write another blog post in a few months and let you know how I feel after eliminating these foods from my diet.


P Hoffman said...

This blog was helpful and seems to ring true to my situation.
It will give me that much more motivation to do what I know my body is telling me to do. PSH

Annie Speck said...

Good article Christine! And good for you for taking your health into your own hands!

Dr. Steve Nenninger NMD - Daily Blog said...

Looks great Christine, very clear and readable, I think a lot of people will relate to what you are learning about yourself. Fondly - Dr. Steve

Anonymous said...

Christine, thanks for sharing this! So very informative! I am thrilled you received a valid diagnosis and are effectively working it all out! xo Lizie

Jeanne said...

Great blog piece Christine!

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Sneedle said...

I enjoyed your article.
I have suffered from allergies my entire life.
I recently did a different type of test to see which foods I am allergic to and it was about half of what I eat! I eliminated all of them for the past 11 days except sugar and I still feel miserable.
I was hoping you can post an update for us.
Thank You!

Christine (Inner Beauty Workshops) said...

Hi Sneedle:

I have completely cut out cane sugar since I wrote this article. I definately can feel the difference. I could never go back. I didn't realize how many foods cane sugar is in. I went to buy a loaf of bread from whole foods only to discover that they use cane sugar in every loaf. I am also learning how to bake without cane sugar. I made myself a chocolate cake with honey for my birthday, which I enjoyed immensely!

You just started cutting out allergic foods from your diet. It takes a while for the body to adjust and start healing itself. Give it some time and stick with it. If you don't feel well eating cane sugar, cut it out of your diet for a while. There are many natural sweeteners you can use for a substitute. Just expect your body to have some withdrawal symptoms. That is normal because sugar is as powerful as a drug.

Good luck and keep me posted...:)


Anonymous said...

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Maya said...

hi christine,
i m so glad i found ur blog..my 1 and half yr old baby was recently diagnosed positive for IGg. we assumed it was gluten and stoppped everything which contains gluten..she still hasnt shown any improvement after 3 months...i had no clue that the same test id done for other food groups!! u mentioned 96 food groups! is there some site where i can get more details.. thanks so much


Christine (Inner Beauty Workshops) said...

Hi Maya:

I know how frustrating it is when you are trying to find out information for your child. If you haven't done so already, please take your child to a naturopath doctor and have a complete allergy screening done. Unfortunately, most of these doctors do not take insurance but it is the only way you will find the cause of your child's problems. Our conventional medical establishment likes to treat symptoms and not the causes. I'm sending you positive thoughts that you will find the answers you seek...


GingerPeachT said...

Not sure on how things are going for you lately but I'm so glad I'm not the only one with this! I had the intolerance test for the 95 foods, and for those wondering where it's from the lab is called biotek based out of Seattle. My cousin's chiro did the test for me and sends it there.
I'm not as high as you are with cane sugar but it still causes me issues along with dairy,eggs, and gluten. I've cut out those 3 completely but I just can't cut out sugar yet!! I love my choc. Lol any tips?

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Kat said...

Hi Christine! Thank you so much for sharing this! I felt as if I was reading about myself! I just had the Alcat Test for food and chemical sensitivities done, and my results show I have a severe intolerance to cane sugar. Of course, as soon as I received my results, I got online to see how I would be affected. I never thought that the foods I ate had something to do with how I felt day-to-day. Similar to you, I suffer from fatigue, I am CONSTANTLY cold, I have headaches and body aches, and I cannot pay attention to save my life! But, it makes sense! I crave sweets! Chocolate candy is my weakness, figuratively and literally! The thought of cutting out sugar seems impossible to me, but your story gives me motivation. I think I can ultimately embrace that feeling well and living a healthy and happy life is more important than eating the sweets I love. Thanks again!

Adrienne Dyer said...

Hi there,
Great article. I'm grappling with my daughter's multiple food sensitivities, which include cane sugar, as diagnosed by an IgG blood test. She is highly sensitive to even small amounts. Since avoiding refined sugars and gluten, we've all lost weight and I feel better than I have in years. Now, if I eat sugar, I spend the next day sleeping it off. Like you, sugar causes severe fatigue for me!
For clarification: IgG food reactions are not true allergies, but sensitivities. True IgE food allergies are immediate reactions, and usually give symptoms like hives, etc. In contrast, an IgG food sensitivity can take hours to days to produce symptoms, which makes pinpointing the problem food extremely difficult! It can also take months for the body to eliminate the IgG antibody/food antigen complexes, so it's important to stay away from offending foods for several months in order for the body to heal. Of course, once you've eliminated all the nasty symptoms associated with the food, why eat that food ever again, right? Anyway, good luck with your new diet. We've had great results using honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup as our only sweeteners. We are all healthier for it!

Adrienne Dyer said...

I just read through Dr. Steve's article on IgG food sensitivities and everything made so much sense. For all of you struggling to cut out sugar, take heart--if you're willing to play around in the kitchen, you can still enjoy the things you love by making them yourself with safe ingredients. I make all our chocolates using coconut oil, cocoa powder (or melted unsweetened chocolate), and often various nut butters. I sweeten them with honey, or coconut sugar, or maple syrup, depending on the flavour I want. They are delicious and so nutritious too. And quick and easy! I make wonderful cake frostings and puddings from things like avocado whipped with coconut oil, cocoa powder and ground coconut sugar. There are all sorts of ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without eating refined sugars. You just have to think a little differently!