I Got Sick Last Week

Deborah Manners

At my son’s wedding

Let me introduce myself, I am Deborah – of the many food intolerances, the years of illnesses, the serial coughs, asthma and bronchitis, the glandular fever, the miscarriages – and of course the rare blood clotting disease which took me to the very brink of life.

All down to gluten and/or milk products. All avoidable – if only my doctors had known. But they didn’t. The sad thing is  – they still don’t.

To clarify: I am healthy at last – better than I have been for all of my life. Paleo is not for everyone. But my shift to the Paleo diet has been even more effective than the whole gluten-free, dairy-free, watch-out-for-nightshades thing I had been doing for years. Legumes had been tripping me up!

So last week I experimented with a food I suspected, but for which I did not have a definitive answer. I had been avoiding soy (a legume).

The test was tender tasty Asian pork ribs braised in gluten-free soy sauce and spices by my husband – they were so delicious! Just four ribs, that’s all I had. And things seemed okay . . . until the next morning.

My head was splitting, there was neck pain, stiff shoulders, crunching hip joints, nausea – and overwhelming tiredness. Just lolled moaning on the sofa for the day. The trouble was, I did the same the next day, and the day after that. On the fourth day first signs of a cold appeared. Metallic taste in the mouth, rhinitis (cold nasal passages), blocked sinuses, two mouth ulcers – oh, and the headache stayed with me throughout.

Oh yes! Now I remember! The miseries hung around for another four days until today – where I actually feel human again.

All from one meal. Two things to note.

  • the reaction was delayed by ~10 hours (classic!)
  • the symptoms were not the ‘stomach issues’ people usually associate with food intolerance

At my daughter’s wedding

Before changing my diet years ago – this was a fairly typical week for me. And it does me good (in a perverse sort of way) to be reminded of all that … How a ‘wrong’ food punishes my body just as a poison would – making huge demands on my immune system. So huge in fact that any old infection can jump in and flourish, amplifying and extending my suffering.

At least these days I know what has caused any illness I get (I only get sick when I choose the wrong stuff.) In the old days there was nothing but misery and mystery in equal measure. The doctors didn’t know what was making me sick. They are not trained in food intolerance.

Food intolerance goes undiagnosed, underdiagnosed – and frequently misdiagnosed. How many of us catch a cold – and blame a virus? Why don’t we ask, ‘Why didn’t my immune system fight this off?’.

The power of ‘wrong’ foods to cripple your immune system is significant.

So – you actually don’t need to catch those ‘bugs‘ and ‘common colds’ every year. If you are on the right diet – your immune system will fight them off without you even noticing.

Thankfully, despite two miscarriages (proven gluten links) I did have two beautiful kids. Both gluten and dairy sensitive. Both healthy and married with children.

medjournalIt’s been a long and rocky road – since 1996 as I sat amongst the dusty medical journals at Melbourne University. This knowledge has taken two decades to accumulate! And now it has all been captured and distilled down into the proprietary algorithm in foodintol® Ranking WhatNot2Eat.

Food intolerance only happens with grains, dairy, legumes, excess sugars and nightshades.

This is who I am. These are the roads I have travelled since 1996 – twenty years! And this is how the Food Intolerance Institute of Australia was born.


Want to feel better fast? Reduce your f-Ranking

What’s your f-Ranking right now? Well – what have you eaten today? Just enter today’s food and drinks – and read the meter. Simple.

foodintol® Ranking WhatNot2Eat – the app that revolutionises food intolerance.

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