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I'm scared to eat

When Jane told me all the foods that made her feel ill, it read like a full week's supermarket shopping list. "I'm scared to eat," she lamented, "going out to dinner is a nightmare."

Her allergies included the usual culprits, namely wheat and milk, but she was also reacting to rice, potatoes, onions, cauliflower, green beans, strawberries, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, apples, mango, banana, all dried fruit, as well as coffee, red wine and cheddar. She also seemed to be slightly allergic to animal hair, pollen and dust but this was just a side show compared to her reactions to foods.

On any given day, if she had even a single bite of her trigger foods, she would find her heart racing and her stomach would swell as tight as a drum. Then came the griping, twisting pains and 'mini explosions' inside with lots of gurgling and a 'corrosive' raw feeling, followed by loose stools or constipation. Her GP suspected IBS.

Jane also complained of itching ears, a sore tongue, a peculiar 'dead weight' feeling in her calves or restless legs, and her wrists would feel tight and swollen within 10 minutes of eating. Yoghurt gave her a 'cold' feeling inside, and red wine made her feel 'poisoned'. Coffee would give her white spots before her eyes.

It was an impressive list of symptoms which was complicated by bouts of depression and an hormonal picture of bad PMS. She was also fitted with a contraceptive coil. This was not going to be a simple case to solve.

Our first step was to look at when Jane's symptoms began and to our mutual surprise it soon became clear that the depression and PMS landed within a month or so of her coil fitting. My first thought was not to give Jane a remedy but to ask her what she thought about the coil. Jane was amazed she hadn't put the timeline of her symptoms together herself and happily had the coil removed that very day. Within a week she called to say 'it's like a mist has lifted,' saying she felt so much happier and lighter. Her periods from then on were PMS free too.

And the allergies? No change.

We immediately got to work looking for a remedy that not only covered the allergies but all her other niggling complaints as well - dandruff, flaky splitting nails, styes on her eyes, as well as an addiction to high intensity workouts - 'I get cranky without it' she admitted. She preferred her own company and was also a perfectionist, 'Actually, I'm a control freak. I'm not good at joint projects, I'll get frustrated but I do try to remain charming,' she laughed.

Her overall picture pointed to the remedy Sepia but given her general sensitivities she started on a low potency of 30c. Gradually over the next two years as the remedy was repeated in stronger doses her food allergies faded apart from the occasional itching in her ears when she went near milk. She also admitted being less of a perfectionist, 'These days I don't let things bother me'. It was now in fact only the hay fever that bothered her, and after taking the remedy Thuja she saw a huge improvement.

Suddenly, however, a few years later Jane started developing a new symptom picture showing signs of GERD with lots of belching, occasional regurgitation of food and much bloating and cramping. Sepia did not fit this picture at all but another remedy did - Pulsatilla. Soon Jane was back to good health only taking a dose when her GERD symptoms started to reappear.

I last saw Jane over five years ago as she headed off for New Zealand. Let's hope she's doing well.

If you have food allergies or digestive problems then please get in touch or make an appointment. I work internationally via Skype and face-to-face in Brixton, London, UK.


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