Since first developing allergies at the age of 12, and because of my inherited hypochondriac tendencies, I've always thought of myself as a human guinea pig. I prefer this term over "laboratory rat."
Let me see if I can lay this out for you without sounding totally crazy.
Here is a list of chemicals/food ingredients I've learned that my body can't handle:
1. Food dye Red No. 40 - turns me (and my oldest son) into the Incredible Hulk.
2. Monosodium glutamate - gives me (and my 1st and 3rd sons) migraine headaches. These are true migraines which include visual disturbances, headache, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and damage to brain cells (a scientific fact).
3. Aspartame, Splenda, sucralose, and any other artificial sweetener - make the skin on my face go numb. When I've had enough of one of these sugar substitutes, I can run a sharp fingernail down my cheek and not feel it.
4. High Fructose Corn Syrup - extended use or overingestion makes my heart feel like it's going to explode out of my chest. (Coincidentally, a study among actual laboratory rats resulted in female rats having their hearts enlarge until they exploded, and male rats not developing testicles.) So, yeah...you could also say it makes me feel like I have no balls. Just kidding!! And I notice a feeling of numbness around the joints in my fingers, wrists and knees.
5. Sulfites - found in every bottle of wine sold in America (unless someone can tell me otherwise). Again with the heart pounding and elevated blood pressure.
6. Common table salt and pure cane sugar - not sure about these, but I seem to be finding out that when I have too much of either, my blood pressure numbers skyrocket. It's well known that sodium levels affect blood pressure, but I wasn't sure about the effect of high blood sugar levels on blood pressure. Last night I found some info on the internet (yay) which may support that. And while I really don't eat a lot of sweets, I do occasionally have a lemonade, or make my own barbecue sauce out of catsup and brown sugar, or any number of other things that allow sugar to sneak its way into my body...
including chewing gum. And guess what ALL chewing gums on the market contain now, including Wrigley's? Aspartame. Which has probably been unleashing all kinds of weird chemical reactions in my body every time I pop a piece of gum in my mouth, all day long at work. Which may be why I can't get my blood pressure under control, despite my doctor having doubled the strength of my prescription. (In case you're wondering, two nights this week, the numbers were 140/100.)
So now I won't even chew gum. I hope someone steals all of it out of my desk this weekend.
And white bread? Pfft. Fuggeddaboutit. Not after what I read last night. In fact, I may just stop eating altogether. Because guess what? After not eating at all, my blood pressure is perfectly normal.