Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Watch what you eat

Late last year, I was stricken with a chronic allergy which gave me urticaria all over my body. I felt extremely itchy, uncomfortable and lousy on the whole. It plagued me for over two months and drove me nuts. In that two months, numerous visits to several doctors managed to only relieve the rashes and hives for a couple of days via antihistamines and steroid jabs (not something I liked but did not have much choice then). There are no cures for allergies. All my life, I've only known that I'm allergic to certain soaps, especially dishwashing liquids.

A review and elimination process of what I ate and used yielded non-conclusive results to what caused the allergy. Different doctors had differing opinions about conducting a patch test so I decided not to do it.

It was most likely some type of chemical or preservative in certain foods. Prior to the allergy attack, I was already aware of 'alternative' health foods and treatments and had in fact become more careful with what I ate and fed my family.

While still suffering from the chronic urticaria, I was caught in a situation where I ate a hotdog topped with bacon bits. Since my 'awareness', I viewed the hotdog with suspicion. Firstly, processed food was not on the top of my list of healthy food. Secondly, the bacon bits looked very artificial with some unnatural red colouring. Two hours later, the hives flared up with a vengeance.

Visit a supermarket and you can find rows and rows of all sorts of prepared food, sauces, mixes, canned, frozen, chilled, dried and the list goes on. What percentage of these are chemical free? Check their content labels and you'd know. But the attractive packaging, convenience of using these type of readymade foods and guaranteed 'good' taste of the food get the better of us most times.

Regularly, I search for information on why it's better to eat natural foods versus processed foods, fresh and organic ones versus chemically-treated ones. Even when buying organic food, one has to be careful. A shopkeeper at an organic outlet told me it's better to buy organic food directly from the producers rather than from middlemen. Middlemen sometimes position themselves as organic food suppliers or producers but the actual source of their food could be questionable. So again, check the labels.

This video reaffirms why my urticaria flared up after the hotdog.

1 comment:

Harum said...

I get joint pains when I eat processed food. I think there should be a Safe Food Movement established to monitor the food we are eating. There is so much processed food that is so damaging.