allergy log and food preferences

in my excessive efforts to document everything, i have kept a record of my allergic conditions over the last three spring seasons.

what i logged:

  • the weather
  • the currently abloom allergens (hazel*, alder, yew, poplar, elm, willow*, ash*, birch*)
    here‘s a statistical calendar of pollen-stress in innsbruck/austria (pdf)
    (* marks the pollen i’m certainly allergic to, i’m not sure about the other ones)
  • my general preference of food (sweet, sour, fatty, hot, salty, meaty)
  • the medication i took (which was not very much)
  • my amount of sleep (4,5 to 11 hours)
  • my meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • the strength of allergic symptoms (barely, slight, medium, high; with “+” and “-” as add-ons)

looking back at this log (screenshot), one of the most striking connections is between the allergic symptoms and “real” sickness. every time i got sick (which was at least once per season, because i’m always too enthusiastic about summer), allergic symptoms stopped and stayed away for several days after recovery. a direct sign that my immune system is just bored when it decides to attack harmless pollen…

this is the order in which my body expresses the allergic stress:

  • eyes and teeth over-sensitive to wind and temperature changes, eyes easily watering
  • lower lip and palate itching
  • general cold-like symptoms like itching nose and eyes, maybe also dry skin and eczema
  • the full batch of hay-fever, up to allergic migraine and fever (as in “high body temperature”)

looking at my log, i have noticed distinct food-preferences in certain situations:

  • fatty food (everything that’s fried, grilled, … or just contains lots of oil/butter/fat) when the allergic stress is rising, and continuing until the end of “my personal” pollen season.
  • sparkling beverages (sparkling water, carbonated soft-drinks, …) when the stress is high;
  • constant preference for sweets and sweet stuff; i’m usually very fond of sweets, but even more so in the allergic season!

some more info on the “fatty food”: i’m allergic to diverse kinds of grass-pollen (which is correlating with sensibility to [raw] apples and [certain] nuts). interestingly, when i drink freshly squeezed apple juice and add a lacing of oil (usually pressed from olives or pumpkin seeds), there is no allergic effect at all!
today was this week’s allergic maximum, so far (which indicates that i’m strongly reacting to ash pollen, this year!) – my symptoms are usually strongest in the morning and evening (=now). the interesting thing about it, is, that of course it made me choose my dinner carefully. i decided to use a generous extra-amount of olive-oil for my stew vegetable-mix.

one of my allergic side-symptoms is the annoying itching on my lower lip and palate, and it usually occurs after eating an apple or raw hazelnuts. today it was there for no specific reason (except the ash blooming!), all day long. however, it disappeared for sometime after the extra-oily meal!

    not so very related to allergies: my log also correlates climate to food preference (which i tried to take out for the allergy-related statistics). it is standing to reason, and i’ve noticed it before, but now i have it documented: when it’s cold, i explicitly prefer hot and spicy food, and when it’s hot, i prefer sour food. my records show that very distinctly!

i couldn’t really see a difference between vegetarian and carnivorous lifestyle, but in springtime these two diets slough in very short phases. it’s the same case for the length of sleep – maybe i’ll do a “vegetarian-and-lot’s-of-sleep”-experiment next spring, just to see if that works out…

closing this topic for now, here’s a tip that my dermatologist gave me:
try putting an apple in the microwave – on a plate, preferably – and set the timer to 2-3 minutes and full power. once cooled down, the apple will taste just like any fresh apple, but the allergens will have been destroyed because of the heat (or radiation?).

great, the itching is back now.

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