I get terrible migraines. They stay on one side of my head, cause vision breaks, numb appendages and extreme light sensitivity. After dealing with them for what seemed like forever, it seemed like the time to go to the doctor and see if there was anything I could do to cure them besides taking painkillers like Excedrin. My doctor recommended a holistic food sensitivity test to see if something I was eating could be a trigger. I laid on the table and the doctor put concentrated drops of various food types under my tongue. Once he had put the drops under my tongue, he asked me to hold my arm by my side while he lightly tugged on it to try and get it to move. I swallowed in between each set of drops to clear out the previous ones, and there were probably 10 types of food that went by where I held my arm tight.
Then the weirdness.
He put two drops under my tongue like normal, and when he pulled on my arm it was like I had no control, it lifted right up. I flexed my muscles but they didn’t do anything. It was like my body was turning on me! He did a couple other drops and then came back to that same vial, but once again I had no control. Then he said the word that would haunt me for months after. Yeast.
“So…gluten?” I said
“Nope, yeast,” He said, “it’s very different.”
So ya, I have a yeast sensitivity! I’m not allergic by any means, but he said he wanted me to cut it out and record how my migraines reacted. Whether or not this will be a long-term thing is still yet to be determined. However, at least this way, if it is just a buildup that is causing migraines I’m giving my body a break from the evil stuff. It turns out that there are tons of things that contained yeast that you would have no idea about. Cheese, vinegar, beer, wine, lunch meat, condiments, nuts, canned fuits and vegetables, even tea leaves and coffee beans are coated with a mixture that has yeast in it. Read my article on cutting out coffee to see why that last part was especially painful for me.
“….so what the heck am I actually going to be able to eat!?” I whined to my mom on the phone.
When I got past the “woe is me” phase I did what most of us do when looking for recipes, went straight to Pinterest! There I kept seeing the phrase “The Candida Diet” associated with yeast free recipes. A good amount of Googling taught me that Candida is a fungal infection that can be found in colonies throughout the body (mostly in the intestines). Candida feeds on dead tissue, sugars from various foods, and yeast. While, to my knowledge, I didn’t have a Candida overgrowth, I had a lot of the symptoms that accompany an overgrowth. One of which was migraines.
I started cooking the yeast free recipes and have learned to read every food label that I pick up to see if there is yeast, yeast extract, vinegar, malt, or any other ingredient that can hide yeast. (Let me tell you, yeast free bread is incredibly weird. Not only is it $6 for a loaf half the size of the kind you get a Kwik Trip, the consistency reminds me of….I don’t even know how to describe it it’s so weird.) I’ve started baking my own bread and cutting out sugars as well. This on top of my already dairy free lifestyle has been a bit of a struggle. But the magic is, I haven’t had a migraine since I started.
If any of you have a doctor recommend a dietary change for your health, please seriously consider it. Cutting out yeast, most sugar, and coffee was definitely a life style change, but I have never felt better in my life. You only have one body, so do your best to respect it and listen to it when it’s hurting. In my case, missing pizza and chocolate is a small price to pay for feeling more energized, more alert and migraine free.