Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why Yes, it Was the Xanthan Gum!

I am amazed at what the body tells you, if you stop and listen.  Of course, it helps to be pretty analytical and into details and connections too, lol.  I guess I am blessed with those interests in dealing with my health issues.  I seriously think that I would be much worse off if I wasn't so.....me. LOL

I went in today for an allergy appointment and sure enough, Xanthan Gum is a definite reaction-causing substance for my body.  Heh, the body doesn't lie, no matter how much we might be in denial about something....  The pure Xanthan Gum was a definite allergy-inducer, as was my Earl Gray/Lady Gray tea(from the corn-avoiding background, it's probably in the natural flavors or the adhesive in the bag) and the toothpaste that started this whole anti-Xanthan Gum thing. The plain black tea(that I drink every day) was fine.

For those who are unaware, Xanthan Gum is derived from fermented corn sugar (and ya'll might remember I have a history of corn allergy...do I sense a theme here?). According to WiseGeek, the name Xanthan Gum comes from the strain of bacteria grown on that fermented corn sugar, Xanthomonas campestris, and is the same strain of bacteria responsible for causing black rot on broccoli, cauliflower, and other leafy vegetables.


It is a thickening agent used in many products such as bottled salad dressings and sauces, fast food(might explain the reactions after the McDonald's run the last month or two ago...), in dairy products,  personal care products, and toothpaste, just to name a few. 

Hmm. Probably a good reason not to go the way of the highly-processed-gluten-free-diet. Or any highly-processed-food diet, for that matter.   Even though I got treated for it today, it's still going to be on my radar...


I posted previously about my problems with what I thought I had narrowed down to the Xanthan Gum. I'd also mentioned I am avoiding nightshades because I suspect I *still* am reacting to them(and am currently avoiding).

Yep, it was the nightshades, too. Simultaneous "Ugh!" and "Yay, I'm learning to listen to/trust my body's signals."

I am apparently the only patient who has had things crop up repeatedly after being treated (nightshades and corny derivatives). Not really something to be proud of, either...I'd really kind of rather get rid of the problems and go on with life, thank you very much.  But it seems that such is not my lot in life. For some reason, I think I am *supposed* to be thinking about what is our sustenance.

So...in the meantime, I am going to continue on the gluten-free, nightshade-free, (and Xanthan Gum-free for at least a few days more if not longer) elimination diet and continue to watch for changes. Perhaps, as my gut heals, so will my immune system response, and I will in turn quit reacting to the nightshades and other stuff that sneaks up on me when I am not so careful about what I eat.

It will be interesting, too, to see how my seasonal allergies do while I am gluten- and nightshade-free.

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