A few months ago I had some discussions with fellow foodie and blogger Michelle Ferris on allergies. We swapped sites, checked each other’s blogs out, and decided we’d be a great pair.
Personally, I have to admit I knew nothing about amine allergies when we first started chatting. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I seriously had barely even heard of them!
So I did some research which came up a little bland.. not many people are talking about amine allergies, which is a complete shame. Aren’t we all out here in this blogverse to help each other?
I asked Michelle just to let us in on how she found out she had amine allergies and what it means for her. You should definitely check out her site, Low Amine Recipes ASAP and sign up for her email updates on the right hand side because she is always posting delicious-looking recipes that I want to eat through the computer screen!
Just look at this Celery Root & Potato Au Gratin (also in November’s Thanksgiving Bon Appetit – though Michelle tweaked to be low amine)… Swap out the flour for some gluten free flour, use Daiya cheese instead of regular cheese, Spectrum for the butter, rice milk for the cream and milk (reduce the amounts a little bit since rice milk is thinner), and you’re good to go – YUM!
If you have food allergies and are reading this, I’m sure you may be able to relate to the experience Michelle had when she found out she had Amine Allergies because, as many of us food allergic people know, doctors aren’t always right…
Take it away Michelle!!
I was dancing three times a week, and running twice a week. My job was active; I was on my feet all day at a clothing retail shop. I led an active, healthy life, until my body started breaking down. It started with wrist problems, from carrying too many heavy loads of clothing repeatedly.
My wrist got so bad that I couldn’t even hold a half-full glass of water.
I thought it was tendinitis, and my doctors did, too. Then my knee swelled to the size of a Pomelo. I assumed it was the running that caused an injury. I went to my doctor, then a knee specialist at Swedish, and their answer was, “there’s nothing wrong with you.” I had to disagree, though, since my knee was huge, and it shot excruciating pain through my body to put weight on it.
For the next ten years of my life, it was joint after joint exploding on me – wrists, ankles, knees, and doctor after doctor telling me there was nothing wrong. I am forever thankful to have gone to the Seattle Arthritis Clinic, where they did blood work, sent me to a nutritionist, had me do an elimination diet, and finally diagnosed me. I was not happy with the “amine allergy” diagnosis, but at least I had one. I was happy to at least have an answer. Now I could start working on a solution.
I had no idea how sparse the resources on amine allergies are. All I knew was what my nutritionist told me about amines. So few websites online gave me useful amine information. This is why, after battling with my amine-free diet for a year, I decided to start a blog, “Low Amine Recipes,” to help other amine allergy sufferers. I may not be able to take away the allergies, but I can at least help make it a tastier experience.
Amine allergies are a balancing act – it’s a threshold allergy. Everyone has different sensitivities, but for me, I can have a little chocolate, for instance, if I’m careful and have kept my amine intake low.
But if I have a little chocolate, and two hours later, have some tomato, my amine count will have gone up again. This can go on for a while before I start noticing symptoms, since they come on slow, but once the amines get too high, it can take anywhere from a day to over a week for the symptoms and the amines to get back down to a neutral level.
Amine allergies induce a wide variety of symptoms, such as: rashes, joint pain and swelling, trouble breathing, stomach issues, mood disorders, migraines, and more. I suspect its variety of symptoms is part of what makes it so difficult to diagnose.
Living with an amine allergy is difficult, especially if you don’t know how to cook. But with some basic cooking skills, it is quite doable. I’ve been cooking for years, but am a “add ’till it tastes right” cook. I had to learn how to measure for this blog, which was a challenge in itself. I couldn’t have been happier that I did, though. I am constantly inspired to share new dishes and develop new recipes to share with my readers.
I know that by doing what I love — cooking — I can make a difference in their lives and their long-term happiness while on a low-amine diet. That’s what keeps me going, and keeps me cooking delicious, low-amine foods.
I think most of us with allergies can relate to a lot of what Michelle has experienced – whether it’s pain or discomfort, doctors not knowing what’s wrong with you, the pain of finding things you can eat, and more.
Amine allergies are tricky. The best thing I can show you so you can understand exactly what people with amine allergies can and cannot eat is this Amine Allergy List Michelle provided me with when I was trying to come up with an amine allergy free cake recipe for her site.
If you have amine allergies, you want to stay below the MODERATE section on this list. Hope that helps!
Have amine allergies? I’d love to hear your experience and comments below. And don’t forget to check out Michelle’s site for her delicious recipes and updates – Low Amine Recipes!