I’ve had an uneasy relationship with the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet and it’s left a bad taste in my mouth, no pun intended. I started it in January 2019 and lost 10.5 kgs in the first 8 weeks, after a slow start. That was the good part. The bad part was that this diet messed with my whole system and made me sick.
Not long after I started it I developed post nasal drip which got progressively worse the longer I was on the diet, to the point where it got debilitating. When I googled it I would find references to it saying it was “keto flu” and it would pass after a few days or the similarly unhelpful “you’ve got a cold, get over it”. I was also experiencing increasingly severe anxiety and other symptoms. My doctor was unable to suggest what the problem might be or how to fix it, apart from prescribing a $60 nasal spray which made no difference.
In about week 9, in desperation for an answer, I googled something different – “side effects of low carb diets” and bingo – the answers, at last. I have developed a histamine intolerance, a problem I’ve never experienced before in my 53 years. It would appear that by cutting most carbs and most fruit and vegetables out of my diet, the foods that I was left with and was eating all the time on this diet were either high in histamines or triggered the release of histamines already in my body. These foods include eggs, cheese, smoked fish, canned fish, smoked meats like bacon and prosciutto, yoghurt and soured dairy products, tomatoes, avocado, canned vegetables such as tomatoes and kidney beans, and black and green tea. The list goes on. I ate all these foods before going on the BSD but as part of a mostly balanced diet (I ate way too many of even the good carbs, and too many sweet things but did not have diabetes, just a weight problem) and they’ve never caused me a problem before.
Not being able to see any other way around it I decided to go off the diet, even though I only had another 7kgs to lose. I returned to my previous way of eating in the hope that once my body was used to eating a full range of healthy foods that the histamine intolerance would subside. It hasn’t. I’ve been off it for about 4 weeks now, have put on 4.5kgs and am still having significant problems, despite trying to limit my exposure to or completely avoid the above mentioned healthy and nutritious foods. The most annoying part is that even a simple cup of tea, one of life’s pleasures, brings on a big histamine rush and the symptoms again. My whole digestive and allergic system has been wrecked by this diet and I don’t know how to fix it.
I’m not writing this to discourage other people from going on this diet. I’m writing it so that other people who experience these symptoms have an answer for why it’s happening and maybe they can go off the diet sooner before it damages them. There is a lot of information on the internet about histamine intolerance but there’s no quick or simple cure. I just hope I find my cure soon because I’m over it.
We have not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you are have any health related symptoms or concerns, you should contact your doctor who will be able to give you advice specific to your situation.
Sorry to hear of your struggles, – I know from other research that Omega 3 plays an important role in switching off a response to histamine. You could either take supplements or increase linseed or other sources in your diet.
I’m really sorry to hear about the side effects you’ve had on this way of eating and your on-going problems. While I’ve never experienced anything similar on BSD, it’s always valuable to read what other’s experiences have been – both positive and negative – so thanks for posting. I can only hope someone on here has had experience of histamine intolerance and will be able to suggest some things to help.
Best wishes for the future
Edited: cross-posted with JGwen
kimochka, I’m really sorry to hear what your coping with at the moment. I think it’s great that you’ve posted your experiences as kknowledge is power. As with everything else in life one way of doing something doesn’t suit everyone. I hope that you find a solution soon
Also thank you Kimochka, we are all different and can respond very differently to any kind of diet change so it’s important that we all share our personal experiences for others to learn from, good or bad. I think this is really valuable feedback so thank you for posting and I really hope you do feel better and find a way that works for you soon 💚
Kimocha this happened to my friend. It turned out she was allergic to most artificial smells in her home. So the plug in scent slays / those glass perfume reed dispensers. All candles, room sprays, her own perfume. Those types of things. She wasn’t on a diet . She just developed it. And hayfever. Good luck x x
Thank you all for your support and suggestions. It made me feel better just reading your replies.
JGwen thank you for the suggestion about omega 3 and linseeds. I will look into it as the avoidance path hasn’t worked yet and the expensive histamine blockers I bought help a bit but aren’t a long term solution.
Happyhel35 it’s a food intolerance rather than fragrance and I don’t have any of those smelly things in my home as they pollute the internal and external environment. It’s possible that I may have had the histamine intolerance to some extent prior to starting this diet but it wasn’t evident when I ate the way I did before, with carbs and lots of fruit and vegetables. I believe it was the types of foods on this diet, as listed in my original post and added to below, that brought it front and centre as they are all foods either high in histamines or that trigger the release of histamines.
Other things I forgot to mention as high in histamines or triggering the release of histamines are vinegar, lemons, nuts, berries – again, all items that are in frequent use in the blood sugar diet recipe book.