So I have had pretty intense seasonal allergies for the last 10 years. I am absolutely miserable during spring every year and it’s almost debilitating. It’s always been frustrating to me because I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years and a vegan for various portions of that and I’d always heard that going vegetarian or vegan was supposed to make allergy symptoms less severe.
I had the opposite happen. Mine STARTED when I became vegetarian and got WORSE when I went vegan. I’ve been trying to figure this out for years and suddenly, 2 weeks ago, it just clicked.
I became a vegetarian when I was 12. I really had no idea what to eat as a vegetarian and my parents were not supportive at all so I ended up resorting to eating the only thing I could get my hands on: potatoes. I literally ate nothing but potatoes for months on end. I ate baked potatoes, I made potato fries, potato sandwiches on potato bread.. And that really was it. This was the first year that I got seasonal allergies and since then I've continued to eat potatoes as a staple in my diet a minimum of 2 or 3 times a week.
I never put the two together until two weeks ago and then it just clicked. I decided to see what would happen if I eliminated them. After just 3 days, my allergies got really light and then, after a week, they stopped completely. I’m literally not sneezing or sniffling at all.
I’ve also noticed a BUNCH of other things. No bloating any more, no gas (which had been a HUGE problem for the past year), no more acne popping up every day. When I started 811, my skin started breaking out like crazy and I couldn’t figure out why. Now I’m realizing that it was because I had started eating 5 or 6 potatoes for dinner every night.
The biggest thing, though? I’ve had huge problems with my breathing for years. I always felt like I was breathing through a straw and it’s always been very, very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night because I had such a hard time getting enough air. My nose is broken and my septum is really deviated so I’ve always chalked it up to that. Apparently not. Two weeks after cutting out all potatoes and I can actually breathe without any strain at all. I have no real explanation for this except that maybe my body and my airways were just really inflamed from the potatoes? Whatever happened, it feels incredible.
I’m so excited and just wanted to share this in hope that it might benefit someone. I don’t want anyone to think that potatoes are bad because I apparently have an allergy and I don’t think most people have a problem with them. What I want to get across Is that, if you’re struggling with something, try thinking back to what your diet and lifestyle was like when it started. I would have NEVER thought that potatoes might be the problem for me and I’m feeling a million times better. Somewhat disappointed because I seriously LOVED my potato meals at night, but I'll gladly stick to rice if I get to be able to breathe and enjoy spring :)
Nice one! It must feel amazing to have made a breakthrough like that. So giving up potatoes has literally solved all your health issues - allergies, gas and acne all totally gone? Do you still eat other nightshades - tomatoes, eggplant, peppers etc? And you're still eating cooked meals?
This is kinda interesting for me as I have some similar issues - I couldn't breathe through my nose as a kid and have had increasingly terrible hay fever for the past few years, as well as acne and years of digestive problems. Last year I got a septoplasty and so far have had no allergies this year, got my fingers crossed things won't get worse in may. I don't think I've ever gone longer than 10 days or so without potatoes.
It's really has seemed to help a lot. I was only trying it to see if it affected the allergies and everything else just happened as well. I would never have thought it was all connected. The acne is still healing up but nothing new has appeared in the past week and a half and it was popping up every morning before that. I don't typically eat any other nightshades so I'm not sure if those would trigger it as well. My gut feeling is that it's just the potatoes but I may try eating some tomatoes or eggplants in a few weeks just to see what happens and to figure out if there are any more triggers to be cautious of in the future.
But, yes, I'm still eating cooked food. I've done heaps of steamed veggies and rice every night since cutting out the potatoes and I;m feeling great. Those don't seem to cause any problems at all.
I was actually doing research last month on getting a rhino/septoplasty because things had gotten worse and worse lately (probably because I was eating more potatoes than ever). It was taking me 2-3 hours to fall asleep at night since I just couldn't get enough air in. For the past week, however, it has not been an issue at all. I'm sure a septoplasty would still be helpful, but I'm breathing better than ever and it's no longer so debilitating. It seems to be getting clearer and clearer by the day.
Sounds good. Be interesting to know if tomatoes have an affect. There are a few people on here who avoid nightshades for various reasons. They're supposed to be pro-inflammatory - there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that giving up tomatoes can relieve arthritis, so I guess they might worsen other inflammatory conditions like acne and allergic rhinitis. I remember a video from Andrew Perlot showing how he gets acne flare-ups a day or so after eating tomatoes. The alkaloid toxins in different nightshade species are all subtly different so I guess you could be sensitive to one but not the others.
That was part of my original thinking. There are a handful of articles online that claim that people allergic to grass pollen can be triggered by potatoes, tomatoes, and peaches. I have no idea if there's actually any grounds to this or not but after I got the initial idea that potatoes might be the problem, the articles about cross allergies were what finally made me go ahead and try cutting them out.
After it made so many other things clear up at the same time, I'm no longer sure if that was all that was happening. It seems like if it was just a matter of the pollen in them, it wouldn't have impacted everything else in my body as well. I'm not sure about this, though.
I'm all for experimentation, however. It never hurts to try cutting something out to see how it affects you. Everybody reacts to things differently.