Archive for the ‘Stress and food intolerance’ Category

In the last post I mentioned Ada’s sypmtom of throwing up every few weeks.

As her tummy has healed on a gluten free diet, her health as improved steadily. Her symptoms stuck around, taking a year to fade. Bowel symptoms, rash/red skin in the diaper area, skin bumps, cradle cap, vomiting, slow weight gain– all have gotten better. Yet, she does still throw up once every few weeks. Her dentist asked if she did that because she was nervous, and it really annoyed me. In my last post, two friends of mine reminded me that sometimes that is the reason, even if it isn’t Ada’s reason.

I started to think about it. Why did that particular detail stick out in my mind? When something that isn’t that odd of a question makes you bristle, I think it’s worth examining your feelings.

And wouldn’t you know, everything can totally be blamed on your mother-in-law.

She has mentioned several times, though I didn’t realize it at first, about Ada throwing up because she has a nervous stomach. She has also insisted that she throws up because she eats fruit. Not because of the acid, not because of well-known intolerance like oranges or strawberries– just fruit in general. We think if she had her say, the kid’s would be raised on healthy food like McDonald’s and store bought pastries. Note the sarcasm.

She herself suffers from vomiting (I really detest that word but I can’t tell you why) when she gets emotionally upset or nervous. Her esophagus starts to itch and act funny. I have met many other women who have told me that their anxiety attacks and similar symptoms went away when they went on the elimination diet for their kid. One that says if she ever eats soy, she gets an anxiety attack again. But as long as she doesn’t eat it, she is emotionally stable and happy, within the normal limits of life.

Payman’s mother stopped eating gluten and dairy for 2 months last year. Besides losing weight, her anxiety and emotional ups and downs were clearly affected. She usually talks to me about her nervousness and vomiting on a regular basis. For those two months, she didn’t. We were overjoyed and just wish that it had lasted.

Stress clearly affects us all. I do believe even the AMA had an article about how 80 percent (that’s a whopping amount) of our immune system function is related to our stress levels. And in some of us, that stress my manifest in nausea or vomiting.

In her case, it does. But then why does it get so much better when she’s eating a healthy diet (and for her, we do believe that gluten-free is a part of a healthy diet, though she eats so horribly it would be hard to tell)? And why do I know someone whose anxiety attacks are triggered by soy? There has not been an absense of stress in her life since being soy-free, actually… she’s been through quite a bit. It’s a blessing that she figured out something that helps her food wise to cope with that stress.

My theory is that for some of us, the food intolerance makes our bodies so taxed that the stress pushes the body over its limits and it reacts in a harsher way than it might if we were avoiding the food that also stresses the body out. I guess from knowing someone that seems to blame stress for all of their health difficulties, when the solutions to those health issues are plain to see to me, it makes me question the “nervous” stomach idea. But I do remember that not everyone is like that, or like Ada. But my family and the other moms I’ve met with similar experiences can’t be the only ones.

I find it amazing that someone actually chooses stress in return for eating all the junk they like.

This link discusses finding triggers for a nervous stomach, but doesn’t go into much detail, and doesn’t sound quite as severe as some people describe it:


And here’s another link where someone discusses their nervous stomach and is diagnosed with IBS and finds that eggs, dairy and meat trigger it. I’m getting the impression that some people use the term nervous stomach to describe IBS-type symptoms, while others use it to mean more specifically a very stressful situation triggering vomiting or nausea. I wonder if that is part of the confusion I get when people are trying to talk about Ada’s issues with me.

And then, here is the link that I believe affects my family members— mental health and gluten–


It looks like there are some good links at the end of the article I’ll have to make time to look at.

This concludes my inconsequential thoughts for the day.


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