Capsaicin Headaches, Take 3

Okay, now we're at 4 1/2 months. I've seen an allergist (who is supposed to be an expert at allergies and intolerances) and MAN was that worthless.

Me: I've had headaches on and off for the last 6 years or so, all year round. Over the last year they increased in frequency to almost daily. Then, in October when I stopped eating capsaicin, they disappeared overnight.

Doc: Hmmm. Since they disappeared at the end of allergy season I don't think it's capsaicin. It's probably your grass allergy.

Me: Did you catch the fact that it's been going on for SIX FRIGGIN YEARS????

Anyway, a few interesting tidbits...

Now, when I *do* have something hot (to test it) I now have NO tolerance for hot sauce! Man, even the lamest, mildest seasoning is hot to me.

My impression is also that my intolerance is getting significantly worse. Early on (November), I was able to have 4 drops of Cholula sauce on Mac and Cheese to no effect. It would take a bit more for me to get a mild headache. Now, the dreaded 4 drops and I'm in significant (though not quite debilitating) pain about 4 hours later. In fact, I'm going to test this weekend to see if the trivial amount of capsaicin in Doritos is causing me a problem...

*sigh*, I miss my burritos, but not my headaches. Soon, though, I'm going to try to test it after I take a few allergy meds (which I don't take regularly right now). maybe if I load up on Zantac or Benadryl before I eat it will help. Of course, this will only work if it's an ALLERGY, not an INTOLERANCE.


Anonymous said…
I hope you are doing well health wise since this post. It sounds like your body is telling you to not eat ANY capsaicin. My advice is to listen to your body and respect it. I am very empathetic to how difficult it can be to have to be so regimented in certain parts of your diet. Just remember it is worth the sacrifice and struggle because your health is more important than having a certain food.

I have an intolerance or allergy to capsaicin. I don't like really spicy food, but I used to eat it (it is hard to avoid socially and it is in most frozen meals, canned soups, etc). However, I have an autoimmune disease called chronic cytomeglovirous encephalitis) that for sometime had became very debilitating, so I decided to do everything possible to make my diet the best it could be regarding my disease. Today I still have health issues do to my disease, but improving my diet has made a HUGE difference in lessening the health issues. Capsaicin irritates the nervous system and my autoimmune disease affects my immune system. SO it makes sense that Capsaicin negatively affects my health, and that I should avoid capsaicin.

Avoiding capsaicin means that every time I am grocery shopping or want to buy something to eat, I am analyzing the ingredients meticulously. Since about 90 percent of the things I like have capsaican in them, then I have to forgoe what I would like to eat. And instead I have get something I wouldn't normally choose because the item I want has Red pepper or another hot pepper listed in the ingredients. It seems like more things have it these days. The tiniest amount causes me stomach pain, GI problems and fatigue.

It took me 7 years to find a couple semi-sufficient doctors. Most doctors are a waste of my time. Today I do most of my own doctoring. It helps that I have a degree in biology and chemistry, and that i have worked in the veterinary medicine. However, anyone can learn with will, hard work and the internet. It just takes a lot of research and a lot of time.

Good luck! Try to have gratitude that you found out what the culprit is and that it is something that u can change. Remember that having good health is precious and u shouldn't abuse it (loosing your health is not only physical torture, but it takes away your ability to live a life worth having IMO).

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