(Or the day that my life as I knew it came to an abrupt end……)
Scenario : Consulting room. Me and Consultant Biochemist: Me on a voyage of discovery as to why I was putting on weight at a rate of knots but, by accident, who was actually more interested in the plethora of things going wrong with my body. Things to which I had largely given up trying to find any answers. He was convinced that all my symptoms were linked. I had never been told this before and had consulted specialists for different symptoms. Having sent bits of me away for lab testing (blood, urine, faeces, skin..) and duly having received the results …
Consultant: [strong German accent]: What do you particularly like eating and drinking?
Me: Chocolate, yeast extract, cheese, champagne, peanut butter, fine wine, chocolate, steak, tuna, toast, bagels, croissants, honey, chocolate, butter, coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate…Fine dining – I eat out every day in restaurants… I arrange my life around meeting people over food and drink. It’s what I do.
Consultant: None of those, not any more.
Me: What do you mean? How long for?
Consultant: Not any more.
Me: [Horrified] I am really not sure what you mean. I can’t give all those up! What will I eat and drink then?
Consultant: Ok, I want you to eat a low histamine diet for 4 weeks and see how you do. That eliminates pretty much all the food and drink you have mentioned. Here is the list of foods to be eliminated.
Me: [reading long list] If I “eliminate”this lot then that doesn’t leave me much.
Consultant: Just eat what is not on the list.
Me: [Sarcastic but now slightly whiny voice] There is something that is not on this list? Then what happens?
Consultant: You are pretty ill, you know. Did you not realise? You are one of the sickest people to walk into my office and ask me about how to lose weight rather than how to get well!
Me: [shocked!] Well, I do have all these symptoms but no one has ever found out why or suggested they are related. They all come and go and I live with them as best I can. it’s true some of them are getting worse. All previous tests have come back negative and every specialist I have consulted has said they do not know what is wrong with me. I have almost given up finding out anything useful.
Consultant: Your diverse symptoms are interrelated and your immune system is in crisis. We are going to try to turn this around if you will co-operate. I cannot help you if you do not help yourself.
Me: Ok I guess I can try to eat a low histamine diet, just for 4 weeks but it will be tough and it will really curtail my eating out. I really don’t know what I am going to eat. Is it ok if I go to Le Gavroche (London restaurant) for a meal and forget the diet for one night? I already have a date. Will that make a big difference?
Consultant: Up to you. It is not advisable.
Me: Why is it not advisable? Will eating a low histamine diet for 4 weeks make a big difference to my health? And what did you mean when you said: “..notany more?”
Consultant: To turn your health around you are going to have to make some drastic changes.
Me: What kind of changes?
Consultant: Actually after that first 4 weeks I want you to eat a raw food diet. Fruits, veg, nuts and seeds.Mainly veg and not too many nuts. Do it for 4 weeks.
Me: OooooKkkaaay! I guess I can do something like that for another 4 weeks. But that sounds really difficult and I don’t know if I can do it all the time. What happens then?
Consultant: When you have done 4 weeks, then you carry on doing it for another 4 weeks and another 4 weeks and another …………………..
Consultant: If you do not do this then I cannot help you.