I Hate Food Intolerances

I Hate Food Intolerances CradleRockingMama.com

I’m going to say something that will probably really raise the hackles of Food Allergy Mama’s everywhere: in a straight comparison, I love food allergies and I hate food intolerances. 

Of course I’d rather not deal with ANY of them, but let’s face it: allergies are easy in comparison. This is a problem food? Avoid it! Problem solved!

Before anyone hits the comment button with vitriol in their hearts, understand that I have kids with IgE allergies, non-IgE allergies AND food intolerances. I know how hard it is to deal with allergies. I’m not being flippant here. It’s very challenging to avoid allergens, and true IgE allergies have immediate life-threatening responses, so yes, food allergies are horrible. 

But more difficult than a food allergy by far is this murky world of food intolerances my family is wading in deeper by the day.

How can you avoid a problem food when there are no tests for a reaction, and every list you find of “safe” or “unsafe” foods contradicts?

I’ve written about fructose before; how every list I found said something different, often contradicting each other. We’ve unwittingly fed Jed foods that he has been perfectly fine with since the beginning that I later found out were almost universally problematic for other FructMal kiddos!

We got lucky; my friend sent us the diet we are currently following and it has been very good to us. We’ve had few problems with the safe foods on that list, and Jed has been doing extraordinarily better the last year and a half.

Now we’re in the world of probable histamine intolerance with Zac, and it is just as confusing and frustrating as FructMal!

Every list is different, contradicting the others. Then when I talk with other histamine mom’s, they report that their kid can eat certain foods that are listed as “absolutely avoid” just fine, but have problems with foods that are on the “safe to eat” side of the column.

It’s absolutely maddening!

This came to a head two days ago when we declared bananas a safe food and set about determining our next food trial.

Since my garden hasn’t come in yet, and we have nothing else “food” to trial, we decided to give the maple syrup we found a shot.

The timing was impeccable: just as I’d sat a plate of Quinoa Egg Bread in front of Zac with a ramekin of maple syrup to dip them in, Darrel came back from his Mom’s house with a quart of fresh strawberries from my step-father-in-laws garden.

Turns out, he never sprays or dusts his strawberries with anything – so they’re completely organic, totally in season, and absolutely FREE. 


But…I just started the maple syrup trial! Ack!

Guess what, though, y’all. Zac HATED maple syrup!

He ate swiss chard and broccoli with more gusto than maple syrup! Seriously??

If he managed to get more than a drop of maple syrup into his mouth, then put a squeeze box in my hands and call me a monkey. He pushed his plate away and refused to eat anything for dinner.

So maybe we could just forget we ever gave him the maple syrup and move on to strawberries?

Except…I thought I remembered reading that strawberries were on the avoid list for histamine.

I don’t intend to avoid all histamine foods forever, but since right now he’s only got FIVE safe foods, and two of them are definite histamine liberators/high histamine foods (pork and egg), and one is on the maybe list (bananas), I’d like to get a few more low histamine foods in his diet before pursuing other potentially histamine wonking foods.

So I double checked. And yes, strawberries are on the avoid list.

In fact, according to my well-histamine-versed fellow mama, they’re a REALLY wonky food. According to her allergist, they can cause IgE reactions in people – even when the person is not IgE to strawberries at all!

They just are that darned good at liberating histamine in the cells of the body. 

They’re not only a high histamine food, they’re also a histamine liberator. Double whammy!

You’d think that would be enough to convince us that strawberries are a definite RUN – RUN FAR AWAY food, right?


I’d cross-referenced the best histamine list I’ve found with the fructose list I have, and this is what I found were potentially safe foods to trial for Zac:

  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Potatos
  • Radishes
  • Millet

Yeah. Overwhelming list there, I tell ya.

When I shared this with my histamine brilliant friend, though, she informed me that, well…actually…

  • the berries are actually moderately high in histamine
  • carrots are tricky and seem to cause lots of problems for folks with histamine intolerance
  • stone fruits are also moderate in histamine

What does that leave me with for foods that are LOW in both fructose and histamine?

  • Apricots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Potatos
  • Radishes
  • Millet

Potatos are out because I’m eating them and can’t afford to lose them.

Corn is probably out. (That’s a long story I’ll share later.)

So that leaves me with these potential foods to trial:

  • Apricots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Millet


Call me uninspired.

Radishes aren’t easy to find right now. I’ve already had a hard time finding broccoli and cauliflower that are not sprayed with something, plus he had bloody poop from his broccoli trial last fall. We don’t really need millet right now, since quinoa is so awesome. Celery will probably be a challenge to find, too. And I have no idea where to find apricots.

So as crazy as it might seem, we’re going to shoot for the long shot and give strawberries a try. 

Hey, it worked for goat milk, right?

We’ll see. But it’s a crying shame to turn our backs on organic, abundant, free strawberries simply because they *might* be a problem.

After all, ANY food *might* be a problem, right? Whatever food we trial has to pass the FPIES, FructMal and Histamine Intolerance “tests” before it could be safe!

Sort of seems like the deck is stacked against anything being safe, right?

We’ve had FOUR food passes in a row, though, and I would really like our “winning streak” to continue. So just thinking about giving Zac strawberries made me a little nauseous.

I’ll do it anyway this morning. 

But I’ll start researching where to find safe apricots and cauliflower, too.

Just in case.

What’s the most insane food you’ve ever trialed for your kiddo? And if you don’t mind, say a little prayer for Zac this morning?

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8 Responses to I Hate Food Intolerances

  1. kmpelters says:

    Carrie! I had to laugh as I read this! My 15yo is allergic to strawberries 🙂 And we avoid them for that reason and the fact that I believe Nicole is allergic as well! I also agree, I’d take a straight peanut allergy over this craziness any day! Oh and did I mention we’ve had benadryl 2 days in a row now because, well I am not sure why!

  2. Amy in SC says:

    I agree. Straight up allergy any day! Intolerances are awful. My shellfish allergy daughter, easy. We avoid many local places and I don’t cook it in the house because the fumes make her react and the residue scares me. Another daughter had a dairy intolerance in until she was about 8. A cup of milk would make her throw up and feel awful, but a few M&M’s would be OK once a week or so. She had a tipping point that I needed to monitor.

    The rest of the world doesn’t seem to get intolerances, either. They think if it isn’t an allergy, it must be ok. I never wanted to call an intolerance and allergy, either. I just wanted people to stop giving her a little bit of cheese or crackers.

    • Carrie says:

      Oh, Amy, I know! It’s as if an intolerance isn’t serious or “real”, and the fact that a kid can eat some of the food on occasion in limited amounts seems to make people think that the food is purely “safe”, so our motherly concerns are written off.

      Really, anything is easier for people to wrap their brains around when it is black and white, clear cut and precise. Since food intolerances are the opposite of that, people have a really hard time understanding them.

      So nice to know I’m not alone in this! Though I wish none of us were dealing with this…

  3. Pingback: Apricot Trial - Cradle Rocking Mama

  4. Jeannie says:

    This is the story of my freaken life and I’m beyond over it! Thank you for posting this, it explains my shear hate for food… 🙂

  5. Pingback: Why We Decided to Homeschool Part III: Food Issues - Cradle Rocking Mama

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