Your intolerance isn’t real… except when it is

You know histamine intolerance winehow it goes these days… it seems that everyone is on some kind of special diet… everyone is intolerant to something. Look… it’s not like I don’t believe them, because I know plenty of people who have legitimate intolerances… but it’s almost like sometimes… well… I don’t really believe them.

This is not helped by the fact that it seems there are those who practice ‘selective’ intolerance. They make a big deal to get a gluten free meal in a restaurant, but on Sunday afternoon gorge on ‘standard’ pizza with apparently no ill affect.

There are those who deal with their intolerances (and really any kind of debilitation) with ease. They politely decline dessert, they bring their own biscuits along for an afternoon of cheese and wine, and they don’t insist everyone have almond milk on hand.

And I think there needs to be a bit of back and forth. If a vegetarian is coming to my house, or someone I know doesn’t tolerate dairy, I will do my best to provide an alternative option so they can at least partake in whatever is going on. But it’s not always possible or easy. If you’re a vegan, fructose-intolerant individual, I don’t think it can be expected that I spend excess time researching, cooking and creating something special.

Lucky for me I am not intolerant to anything. This is especially lucky because I am a lover of all foods and I don’t want to give anything up. Also I do not want to become an annoying intolerant person who screws her nose up at hor dorves at dinner parties because they contain so and so.

Except that I’ve had problems with my stomach for years.

I’ve been tested for different intolerances in the past; I’ve done countless exclusion diets and nothing significant ever changed. After a while I figured everyone was like me. Feeling full after not eating much, nausea in the mornings, bloating, tummy aches and so on. That must be normal. And if it’s not consistent it must just be my stupid body. I will just have to live with it.

But after announcing I had a lot of air in my stomach, my doctor here in Austria sent my blood off for testing. Stupid idea, I scoffed, I’ve already had all the tests.

Except it seemed, I hadn’t.

Because what they came back with was histamine intolerance.

And suddenly it all made sense.

Because the histamine in foods changes as food ages, and the ill affects come from a build-up. Which is why I can eat a mass of tomatoes one day and feel nothing, but the next day a small glass of wine can set me off.

I’m one of the lucky ones. My intolerance isn’t bad enough to bother me much. And according to the doc it’s not doing me any harm except for the personal discomfort it occasionally brings. Drinking red wine is something I’m not going to give up, though I have learnt there are some varieties that are best avoided. I’m certainly not going to give up tomatoes altogether, but cutting back is doable. And not eating leftovers and sliced meat after it’s been open a few days is manageable.

But it’s such a relief to finally know the cause. Now when I get a tummy ache, I can often pin-point it back to something I’ve recently eaten, that usually has a high histamine content, and I can watch my intake for a few days.

And yes, sometimes I do decline something for fear of a sore tummy. But sometimes I decline also because I’m full… or that I just don’t like it. But I don’t except anyone to cater to my personal intolerances. I would rather bring my own, or go without.

You can choose to believe me or not 😉


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