In the Case of Exposure

I have written about what I do when exposed to oils in the past. But things change and I felt it was time to update.

When I first figured out my problem with oils back in 2011, I would often mess up and eat things with oils in them by accident. I had no idea how hard processed oils were to avoid and every time I screwed up I would get sick. It seemed as if I would get sicker each time too. Over the past five years I have not only gotten much better at avoiding oils but I also have gotten better at treating my body after I make mistakes. Nothing really eliminates the sickness completely but I’m grateful for any reduction in symptoms.

As soon I know I have an exposure I start treating myself. The sooner the better. In fact all of the things that I mention in this post work best if taken at the time of exposure, often cutting the cramping and intestinal symptoms down significantly. Unfortunately, I often won’t know I’ve been exposed until 24 hours later when I feel the worst symptoms come on. Amazingly all of these things will still help, just not nearly as much.

On my oil intolerance post someone commented that they find that kefir helps them immensely during an exposure. So when I found my self exposed I tried it. It worked, my initial symptoms were almost nil an hour after eating it but I did have to have more in a few hours to keep the stomach symptoms under control. It also dose not eliminate the later symptoms, brain problems and so forth that happen after the oils have been digested.  I used the Maple Hill plain variety I found at my co-op. It only listed milk and cultures on the label. Ideally I would like to culture my own kefir but I haven’t had the time or the access to cultures that I would need lately so I just buy the ready made.

If I could only have two supplements in my first aid kit, Vitamin C and Alpha lipoic are what I would want to have with me, and if I could only have one, alpha lipoic acid would be my first choice. Just to give an idea of how good this stuff is, alpha lipoic acid still helps even if it comes with oil derivatives. Alpha lipoic acid alone can help with the dizziness, malaise, body ache, stomach cramps, and anxiety, but it works even better if I take it paired with vitamin C. Vitamin C helps with the allergy symptoms that also happen: the hives, fever, runny noise, headache and burning eyes. I take one pill of alpha paired with one pill of vitamin C every hour after exposure until I notice a decrease in symptoms and then I only take doses to minimize symptoms. This means I can go through quite a few pills after an exposure. The better I feel the less I take. Both are supposed to be very safe and I have not noticed any side effects from this cocktail and I can definitely tell when I have taken a dose because  my symptoms ease up considerably. All of the brands of pills that I can buy have fillers with oil derivatives in them.  So I buy both my alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C in a bulk powder and stuff my own zero size capsules, because taking alpha lipoic acid without a pill feels much like swallowing burning cayenne pepper and vitamin C without pills is very tart. Alpha lipoic is pretty corrosive to plastic and metal too so I always use ceramic, wood or glass bowls and implements when making my pills.

One, size zero pill is approximately 500mg of vitamin C and 450mg of alpha lipoic acid. Lately I use powdered acerola powder, which has less vitamin C per gram but that I seem to digest better than regular corn based vitamin C.

I have found a few other things that also help. Ginger tea can help calm the whole digestive tract, making the nausea, stomach pain, gas and diarrhea better. I also sometimes add fresh turmeric to the tea because it has anti inflammatory properties and it tastes rather nice. I sometimes take both ginger and turmeric in dried capsule form too. It seems to work just as well but I have to take more of it.

Another herb that I have used with success for calming the digestive tract is slippery elm tea. It is very unpleasant to drink when nauseous but it works fairly well for the stomach and intestinal symptoms.

A treatment that I have yet to try but was used by someone who has a much worse reaction to canola than I, was food grade activated charcoal. I have some around in case of poisoning so I might try it next time I have an exposure. Charcoal is always taken with plenty of water because it will absorb pretty much everything around it even medications, so it is not recommended for long term use. On this website they say your initial dose could be something like 50 to 100 g of charcoal. After that a maintenance dose would be 12.5 g every hour, 25 g every 2 hours, or 50 g every 4 hours until symptoms resolve.  Each dose would need plenty of water with it.

Exposures are never pleasant and usually are fairly life disrupting but I find that if I treat myself right away I can reduce the unpleasantness quite a bit which is very nice.

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Vegetable Glycerin and Milk Protein Concentrate

The other week or so I had a oil exposure scare. My daughter had some ice cream from my boyfriends spoon and then went back to eating from my spoon. Normally this would be no problem but this time his ice cream was low carb and not necessarily Celina safe. When I checked on the label it listed two possible problems for my oil sensitivity ‘milk protein concentrate’ and ‘vegetable glycerin’.

Because I didn’t get sick one or both of two things happened. There was no transfer of the suspect material from my daughter’s mouth to mine and or the suspect material was not a problem.

According to this: “Vegetable glycerin, or glycerol, is a clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils, typically palm oil, soy, or coconut oil.” Which has made me avoid it due to my problems with most other oil derivatives.

According to Wikipedia milk protein concentrate is made from whole milk that has been separated, had the protean and casein filtered out and is subsequently spray dried. I have read that this kind of processing can warp the proteins and make it difficult to digest so I have avoided it.

It was nice not to get sick from a brush with potential problems. A more gentle lesson than usual about what to avoid doing in future.

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Organ Transplant and and Subsequent Allergies

I recently had a friend go into surgery for a new kidney. I had wanted to offer her mine but she has the rarest blood types and I have one of the more common ones so it wouldn’t have worked. On a whim I wondered if we had been compatible if my sensitivity would have been a problem. I did a google search and low and behold there have been many cases of peanut and nut allergies in organ recipients after receiving organs from patents with   allergies.  Here  a young man who died of peanut allergy passed along some of his organs and one of the people who received them became allergic to peanuts. Also here a woman who received a lung transplant became allergic to peanuts.

It sounds like recently the idea that only people with liver transplants could acquire allergic reactions has been overturned. There was very little about food sensitivities mostly the literature focuses on life threatening anaphylactic reactions to nuts but I suppose if my friend had received my kidney there is a chance she could have inherited my sensitivity to oils.  Which honestly I don’t think she would have really minded. Thankfully she was able to find a different kidney that matched.  Crossing my fingers that everything goes really smoothly both for her and her donor.

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