Could I be allergic to Flax seed? I have other food allergies - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My food allergies that I know of are nuts, soy, some beans, peas (which is a nut).

I started eating ground flax seed last May on the advice of my naturopath. When I had tried it previously, in bread, my tummy was NOT happy until it digested and got through my system. She said maybe it was just too much at once and my system needed to get used to it.

I started out with a very small amount of flax then gradually increased to 3 TBSP a day. If I get a higher concentration of the flax in my mouth while eating it, my mouth WILL itch just a little bit. I also wonder if it is causing me to have mucousy poohs (sorry TMI) but I may have that regardless, although it may be worse when I'm eating flax regularly. When DH tried some, he said it tasted exactly like walnut, which really worried me because I am highly allergic to walnut.

I seem to have issues with seed items, as sesame seed makes me very sick also.

How would I know for sure? If it does turn out it's a problem, what is comparable? Hemp? I may have problems with that too, since it's a seed!

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#2 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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Definitely sounds like an allergy to me!

Why are you eating the flax (so that we can brainstorm replacements)? For the fiber, the EFA's, the nutrients??

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#3 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yep, the fiber, EFA, pretty much everything and I know it's very good for you. I haven't ate any in about week, and the tummy output issues I'm noticing a difference.

I need to have my food allergies tested again at some point but don't even know if they test for flax seed. For goodness sake, i wonder if I'm allergic to all seed. Being off gluten doesn't seem to have made a difference with anything though. Are grains and seeds pretty much the same thing? Or no?

So my hunch may be right. I'll have to talk to my naturopath about it soon. We are trying to get rid of my symptoms, not add to them. Thanks!

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#4 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Maybe its the seed/nut/bean coats that are causing your problems? Have you tried soaking everything before eating them?

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#5 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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peas are legumes, not nuts, for the record.
You aren't supposed to eat flaxseeds raw, if that's what you're doing.
"Flaxseeds, like lima and cassava beans, contain a chemical called cyanogen that your body converts into another chemical called thiocyanate (SCN)... Cyanogen is inactivated during cooking." Are you baking with them? Or just eating it straight? I can't imagine eating them straight...
Grains and seeds aren't the same, but it seems like a lot of people are sensitive to seeds... have you tried using the Flaxseed oil and see if you can tolerate it that way? Or doesn't that have the same benefits?

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#6 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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My dd is allergic to flax and other seeds.
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#7 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the pea clarification, thought for sure I read they are a nut. I think I am allergic to some legumes, anyways (baked beans? Kidney beans?). I do eat them occassionally in small amounts.

I was told to grind the flax, that is all. Nothing about soaking or cooking. I grind them in a coffee grinder and it gets them pretty fine most of the time. Then I put on my breakfast cereal. I store the flax in the fridge. So basically I am eating them raw, just ground. Not cooked.

Does soaking remove the coats? I have not tried flax oil. I'd ask my naturopath if there is a nutritional difference.

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#8 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia View Post
Thanks for the pea clarification, thought for sure I read they are a nut. I think I am allergic to some legumes, anyways (baked beans? Kidney beans?). I do eat them occassionally in small amounts.

I was told to grind the flax, that is all. Nothing about soaking or cooking. I grind them in a coffee grinder and it gets them pretty fine most of the time. Then I put on my breakfast cereal. I store the flax in the fridge. So basically I am eating them raw, just ground. Not cooked.

Does soaking remove the coats? I have not tried flax oil. I'd ask my naturopath if there is a nutritional difference.
Peas are legumes, and peanuts are legumes (that's why it gets confusing.) Tree nuts are not.

I was told that ground flax really is only good for adding fiber to your diet, not EFA's- for EFA's you need to do flax oil, otherwise you'd have to eat pounds and pounds of flax seeds daily to get a decent amount of the EFAs.

If it's just for fiber, can you just up your veggie intake? Or do other soaked and/or sprouted grains?

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#9 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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What are you trying to accomplish by adding fiber to your diet? Not everybody does well on high-fiber diets.

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#10 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Apparently I have been suffering from constipation basically my whole life and not known it (although my veggie input was dismal before I started seeing my naturopath. It's still not perfect but a lot better). So that would probably be one of the main reasons she has me on flax seed, for the fiber.
I think I may have some leaky gut issues also, not sure. Just working with my naturopath since May to try and eliminate reasons for symptoms and so I can remove reliance on asthma/allergy perscriptions.

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#11 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 06:27 PM
 
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I would recommend reading Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski.

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#12 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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Apparently I have been suffering from constipation basically my whole life and not known it (although my veggie input was dismal before I started seeing my naturopath. It's still not perfect but a lot better). So that would probably be one of the main reasons she has me on flax seed, for the fiber.
Constipation is one of the signs that I am eating a food that is bad for me. For awhile I was eating raisins to try and help...turns out that grapes (and therefore raisins) are a food that I am sensitive to. So when I removed the raisins...the constipation cleared up. Seems kind of counterintuitive, but not really. If a food is inflaming your digestive tract (particularly lower down) it can cause constipation.

Not all of my offending foods cause constipation, but this one is particular to raisins for me. Other offending foods cause different issues for me.

Also, if removing gluten has not helped you, then you may not be sensitive to gluten. I am not. In fact if I tried to go off gluten, I'd probably be eating more of the things that I am sensitive to (particularly rice), and therefore things would actually get worse for me.

It does sound like flax is an issue for you. You could try flax oil, but if flax is truly an issue for you then this would also cause problems. Then you need to find some other way to get the EFAs.

Re: fiber...I don't eat a particularly veggie-rich diet. I eat some of the ones I can tolerate, but I seem to have issues with many veggie plant foods. I try to get my fiber through the veggies and fruits that I can tolerate, plus also be sure to get whole grains where I can tolerate them.

Hope that helps.

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#13 of 22 Old 01-15-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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Other, non-fiber ideas for treating constipation:

More dietary fat
Supplemental magnesium
more vitamin C (but you need to take a LOT to get a laxative effect.)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#14 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the book and other suggestions, I am definitely checking them out. I am only GF for my son who has a reaction to wheat and/or gluten (see my previous posts, I'm still trying to figure that out).

naturpath did suggest elimination diet soon, but I'm not sure what that means as far as what foods I WOULD be allowed to eat.

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#15 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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Usually they take out the top 8. I used the elimination diet in Dr. Rapp's "Is This Your Child" and kept taking out more foods until I reached baseline, then added the food back in one at a time, every 4-5 days to figure out which were the problem (a lot). Have you tried taking out the big 3 (dairy, soy, gluten)? Corn and egg are next. But I'd suspect dairy if you're already gluten free.

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#16 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to hear dairy. Really, I don't It makes other healthy foods tolerable to me that I otherwise normally wouldn't eat and I do love cheese. Yogurt I could live w/o and I can use rice milk in my cereal. Cheese is irreplaceable. I cannot have soy cheese, and rice cheese was nasty.

I tried cutting it out for 2 weeks and it was horrible, I was very unhappy and didn't enjoy food AT ALL. Did not notice any difference for those 2 weeks, but maybe it wasn't long enough, or also I may have been ingesting something else bothering me (Like the flax??). Wah! I think at some point though, i'm going to have to try it again with the other common allergens.

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#17 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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I hate to tell you this, but if you can't live without cheese, you're probably allergic to dairy. That craving is body's way of avoiding withdrawal symtpoms- it's just like an alcohol addiction.

Trust me- cheese was my all time favorite food. I could eat dairy products all day, every day, nothing else, and be happy. But DD's biggest allergy is dairy, so I had to cut it. The first couple months were hell, I won't lie. The cravings were intense, and I was miserable and depressed. But after I went through that withdrawal period, the cravings stopped. I've been off dairy for just over a year now, and have absolutely no desire for it anymore.

I think it's worth it to try. Dairy takes a couple weeks to get out of your system, so you need to cut it for at least that long. And watch out for hidden dairy (I have a list of hidden dairy ingredients in my blog- link in sig.)

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#18 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I've read that here before about the craving. I don't know if I crave it (like have to have it right now) so much as I haven't found other things that I like better. For example, I prefer the taste of ranch dressing over italian, etc. I do like it for protein snacks also as I get low blood sugar easily.

I'm just very unsure of what I could replace it with. If I can find comparable replacements, then I'd be fine. I am a very picky eater, so that doesn't help although better than I used to be

Do you know if dairy contributes to yeast overgrowth? I think I may have that problem (or is that leaky gut).

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#19 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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I hate to tell you this, but if you can't live without cheese, you're probably allergic to dairy. That craving is body's way of avoiding withdrawal symtpoms- it's just like an alcohol addiction.

Trust me- cheese was my all time favorite food. I could eat dairy products all day, every day, nothing else, and be happy. But DD's biggest allergy is dairy, so I had to cut it. The first couple months were hell, I won't lie. The cravings were intense, and I was miserable and depressed. But after I went through that withdrawal period, the cravings stopped. I've been off dairy for just over a year now, and have absolutely no desire for it anymore.

I think it's worth it to try. Dairy takes a couple weeks to get out of your system, so you need to cut it for at least that long. And watch out for hidden dairy (I have a list of hidden dairy ingredients in my blog- link in sig.)
:

I've been dairy free for nearly 2 years now. Not only did it help my LO, my health improved dramatically in a lot of ways as well. It was awful and really hard at first, but the results were indisputable. It took months for the cravings to go away, but now, cheese even seems icky to me!
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#20 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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What are you trying to accomplish by adding fiber to your diet? Not everybody does well on high-fiber diets.
Yes to this. I am finding out that the whole fiber thing is a bit of a myth. I really thought we needed fiber, but finally figured out that we do better with less fiber. But I have to make sure we get enough fat. If we don't get enough fat, then we go the other way and have harder stools. BUT fiber can be very irritating to an inflamed gut.
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#21 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Flax can have a laxative effect, including causing mucousy bowel movements. The mucous can be from you, or it can be the mucilaginous flaxseed itself, which gets all gooey in the presence of moisture.

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#22 of 22 Old 01-16-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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Just want to say quickly that I was doing the ground raw flax too and it was making me feel like I was being poisoned. Seriously. I could not sleep and had to drink gallons of water. This would go on until I pooped it out. Then suddenly I was fine. So much for it being healthy! I had read it was better to use it raw, I am much too scared to try it again, even cooked. So yes, I think you can have serious issues with it - probably from the cyano compounds.

I don't know about hemp seeds. I'm a bit nervous about that, although have had some stuff with small quantities of Living harvest hemp milk and done okay. Need to do a trial at some point.

Good luck to you..
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