But, why do I have so many of the symptoms when I eat shellfish? It's because I actually have a shellfish intolerance. They are a lot alike. With one big exception. Cross-contamination!
When you are allergic, you can't have your food come in contact with what you are allergic to. Anything used in cooking has to be thoroughly cleaned before coming in contact with your food. The allergic food can't touch your food and neither can it's particles.
Intolerances are easier. I can't eat shellfish. But, it's okay for my food to come in contact with shellfish. My throat still closes up if I eat shellfish. But, I don't have to be as careful with food preparation.
I have a lot of food that falls under that category. Things that make me feel sick if I eat them. They aren't allergies. I can't tolerate them anymore because of my GERD.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
anything from this webpage is in red)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease. GERD occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD.
Both acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive conditions that many people experience from time to time. When these signs and symptoms occur at least twice each week or interfere with your daily life, or when your doctor can see damage to your esophagus, you may be diagnosed with GERD.
About 10 years ago I had major esophagus issues. I had trouble eating. The Gastroenterologist sent me for some testing. One test, I was too scared to do. The other told him this much. The bottom of my esophagus was closing up. He gave me really strong antacids and that worked.
I get it every day. Some worse then others. I take an antacid called Ranitadine twice a day. It doesn't work completely. I need something stronger. But, I'm too frightened of the side effects of the stronger medication.
GERD signs and symptoms include:
- A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), sometimes spreading to your throat, along with a sour taste in your mouth
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Dry cough
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflux)
- Sensation of a lump in your throat
I have an admission to make. I have given up as much of the no-no foods as possible. But, I have some that I just can't give up. Remember, I have selective eating disorder too. It's very hard for me to find foods I like. I have tried new things. But, there are comfort foods that aren't going anywhere.
These extreme diet changes. Everyone says it's not a big deal when they don't have to change their diet. But, those who have had to make that sacrifice understand. Even oil and vinegar on a salad upsets the GERD for me! When I talk about not being able to give up everything that sets off the GERD I am not just talking fried food. I've given up some but not all fried food. Healthy things like citrus fruits set it off too.
I am glad I went to the allergist. I can handle things right knowing what the real problem is. With the anxiety I tend to overreact. I try not to. Now that I know the real problem, I can act appropriately. It's not easy living with GERD. It's with me almost always in one symptom or another. It has been, for ten years.