Thursday, November 29, 2007

My personal battle with coconut

I want to make it clear that I like coconut, er, um, used to like coconut. Macaroons were my favorite cookie and german chocolate cake were one of my favorite cakes. But then the unthinkable happened.

I started having allergic reactions to the most random things a few years ago.

I found out from the allergist that I am officially(and SERIOUSLY) allergic to coconut about a month ago, and I wasn't surprised. I knew I had to be allergic to something totally random. If I went to certain movie theaters and ate the popcorn, or tried certain baked goods, my mouth would blister up and my eyes turned red. And I would have trouble breathing and felt like my throat was crawling, my lips would go numb, you get the idea. That's all a precurser to anaphalaxis.

Now I am finding that coconut is in absolutely strange and uncalled for foods and products. In the course of this blog, I will attempt to bring these wrongful items to light.

If you are also an unfortunate soul whose body attacks coconut, email me and feel free to share your info, so I can post it and all may be safe.


polly said... this is the nasty ingredient that was in one cal oil spray, As a food additive, tocopherol is labeled with these E numbers: E307 (α-tocopherol), E308 (γ-tocopherol), and E309 (δ-tocopherol).

Cheryl said...

Yay for you and yay for this blog. Itch Itch itch. I look forward to learning more and finding info to help me have a more comfortable life with this allergy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog! I thought I was successfully avoiding my allergens and was confused why I was still reacting to hygiene and cleaning products, "butterless" popcorn, and more violently to whip cream than regular milk. I also was reacting to my multivitamins and to the Pillsbury's products.

I've been diagnosed with allergies to coconut, milk, black walnut, pecan, and cod. I can tolerate small amounts of milk or cheese but definitely notice I've eaten them, but anything that has even a little bit of coconut and has milk has me reaching for my Benadryl.

So thank you for posting about this! Maybe now my body will like me again!

Unknown said...

Becky, I am so sorry about your allergy struggle, and at the same time SO grateful that you chose to blog about it! My journey is only just beginning (three months of serious hives/rashes not at all cured yet), but I think I'm starting to figure some things out. In my case, I seem to be suffering from a latex allergy as well as some related fruit allergies (including coconut!). Anyway, your list of chemicals, link to homemade laundry detergent, and general positive, cheery attitude have been a lifesaver for me, so thank you!

Ivy Marrero said...

I'm allergic to coconut, egg whites and certain nuts. Although my reactions are more gastrointestinal (nausea, itchy mouth, tongue and throat, etc.) Thanks for your blog as I sometimes don't read labels and consume the triggers that have me running for the Benadryl.

Katie J said...

Hi! I am so glad that I found your blog. I recently realized that I am terribly allergic to Coconut. Like you said, it was very sudden. Ok so maybe I ate German Chocolate Cake for 3 days straight but that IS NOT THE POINT! :) Well when I realized that the coconut was the issue, I also realized that it wasn't just when I ate it! If it's ingested I get terrible blisters anywhere it touches. If I use a shampoo with it I get HORRIBLE dandruff patches. If it's in a lotion or chapstick, my skin dries, flakes, and has little sores come up that resemble bug bites. I haven't seen a doctor about this yet but I'm thinking I'm going to need to talk to someone and get some info! I've had such a hard time with it since September! I just don't know everything I need to about coconuts! UGH! Thanks though! This is helping so much!

emmylujohns said...

Becky, your blog is giving me life! There is almost nothing out there regarding coconut allergies and I just spent the better part of two days at first an urgent care center and then eventually the ER. I see an allergist in 3 days but I'm convinced its coconut. I started to eat a lot more coconut (milk, oil, flour) over the last week or so as part of a paleo/primal eating plan. Most of my swelling and hives are concentrated on my head and sure enough, my natural shampoo is CHOCK FULL of coconut ingredients. Im 31 and have had some allergy issues in the past with tree nuts and such but nothing like this. Keep up the good work, you are really helping people :-)

Kristy said...

A fellow coconut allergic! My family has extensive allergies and in cleaning up our menus, coconut became a staple. And now we are losing it b/c I have Ana reactions with ingestion and topically is just horrid. We also are striving for corn free, which is very challenging. Couple that with coconut and I'm trying to figure out which end is up at the moment. We already scratch cook everything and it looks like now I need to add DIY hygiene & cleaning products. Any tips on how to do this and maintain sanity? For what it's worth I also have 2 littles with special needs and blogging is my "therapy".

Lacy said...

I have had odd allergies most of my life, getting worse the older I get. I need to get tested again since I've started reacting to coconut and palm oils. Anyway, something to consider would be what a chiropractor friend of mine told me. Candida (yeast) infections in the gut and sinuses can cause a person to develop allergies or make them worse. Not sure on it but something to look into.
Thank you for this blog! What a help!

Becky said...

Yes, I did have a serious intestinal candida infection after a round of antibiotics maybe a year before I know I started having allergies. So, I think there is some truth to that.

This Culinary Wife said...

Hey! Fellow coconut allergy sufferer here! So glad I found your blog. =)