Food Intolerances/Allergies



  • How do you guys fair when eating out? I find it really hard to find cafes/deli's/restaurants with food that is suitable for me to eat. There are gluten free guides etc for hotspots however during COVID many of these places have been closed or have shut down.



  • I've been travelling a lot recently, not too difficult to find a good food outlet in the cities and bigger tourist locations, but generally there is just one item on the menu I can eat. To a degree that has always been the case. A lot of places have avoided lockdown so are still open, its likely just Sydney and Melbourne where closures occur, but expect to see more in tourist locations where both the bushfires and COVID lockdowns have affected trade.



  • I am not well enough to eat out anymore, but I order ubereats sometimes, and I also get meals delivered which I then freeze, cause I don't have the energy to cook. I do have difficulty finding meals that don't contain anything that'll upset my system. I have two main intolerances which I'm pretty sure have been there all along. But I have only recently identified them, so this is all fairly new to me.

    I can't handle onion or capsicum. Unfortunately onion is a ubiquitous ingredient in most meals that taste any good, so it's very hard to avoid. And my new favorite meal delivery service puts capsicum in EVERYTHING! I actually gave them some feedback on that and they said they'd take it on board.



  • @Rusty Thanks, Rusty, I come from a rural area so my choices are limited. I have many food intolerances including wheat, dairy, nuts, monosodium glutamate to name but a few. I tend to eat a lot of meat and vegie or meat and salad but I always like to know what is in any sauce or salad dressing to avoid a tummy upset and or hives.



  • @river Thanks, River. I actually make my own soup in winter of chicken and vegetables to avoid any nasty food additives and make enough for lunch for the week so I only have to heat it up. And or sometimes a casserole made to suit me. In summer I keep a salad or two in the fridge and serve with cold meat like chicken. In this way I do not have to cook all the time and can control what is in my soup, casserole or salad to avoid food intolerances resulting in tummy upsets and hives.



  • Some allergies I’ve had longer than I’ve been sick. My chlorine and latex allergies. The chlorine gave me a rash, well, like it seems to for many people, it was just worse than average, so I started avoiding it (by drinking filtered water and not going swimming). The latex, well, when I describe it to medical professionals, talk about how the glue from bandaids made the skin swell and hurt worse than an open wound, they get looks of horror, so I suppose it’s not mild.

    All my food allergies have developed after I got sick.

    Mushrooms. The most dramatic is mushrooms, it feels like one day I loved them, and then the next even the smell made me seriously nauseous, I hypothesise that if I ate too many, I would vomit, but I have no plans to test it. My doctor was unsurprised when I reported this, she said it’s because it’s a fungus, and I probably have a mould allergy as well.

    Chamomile. This just, a whiff of it and I feel very sick, much like mushrooms. I’ve never liked it, maybe I tolerated it before, but the ME/CFS made it worse.

    Dairy. There’s a history of intolerance for dairy in my family, various great-somethings and second/third cousins, as well as my mother. Again, I never liked it, but when my doctor suggested I cut it out of my diet, it was very easy and after my trial run, I tried some cheese and couldn’t eat it. I think avoiding dairy makes me feel better in general, although it’s hard to know, because at this point I won’t have the gut flora to digest it.

    Preservatives. This one, I realised that I had this... pattern of developing a very, very bad headache after consuming bacon. After a few tests, I concluded that there must be a link. So out went all the processed meat, and all other food that had preservatives as an ingredient for good measure.

    I don’t eat a lot of gluten, but I can still eat it. My mother is gluten intolerant, so I have tried cutting it out as an experiment, but it made no difference (and gluten free food often has so many additives that are worse)... Onion and garlic and such are not used in my household either, because there’s other people who really, seriously can’t eat it. I’m not sure if it’s a huge problem for me, but wow yes, people seem incapable of not adding it to everything.

    Usually, if there’s a vegan option, and it has no mushrooms, I can eat it. Vegan food is often very tasty as well. Also, I love Japanese food. There’s a lot of mushrooms in it, but if I avoid that, I can eat almost anything.

    Miso soup is absolute magic by the way, you can get the little sachets and chop up some veggies and maybe add tofu and seaweed and it is very easy. Not a filling meal, but if I’ve been feeling off, it seems to clean out the gut and about 30 minutes later my stomach is rumbling for real food and I have more energy.



  • @RatsAreFluffy Fully understand! me/cfs throws the immune system out and it becomes very dysfunctional. Beside the food intolerances from which I get a lot of stomach problems from and terrible hives I also have become very chemical sensitive like yourself. I react to normal sunscreen and have to use zinc based. I have also gone over to all organic and natural herbal skin and hair care due to skin reactions. All my intolerances/sensitivities developed several years after becoming ill with me/cfs! It sounds like yours accelerated.



  • @donnamarie using zinc based is probably a really good idea. My doctor has given me lots of informative rants about how we all need more zinc. It has something like 200 uses and it’s very hard to absorb orally, every little bit counts... of course, I suppose it is possible to have too much, but in my case, it’s something I’m sorely lacking.

    I already used a lot of organic soaps and such, because I have a tendency to get a hay-fever-like reaction to all artificial smells, and I mean all. I forgot to mention this, because it’s something I’ve always had, even before the ME/CFS.



  • @RatsAreFluffy thanks for sharing. You have been very helpful!



  • The best thing I did was download the Monash FODMAP app and sought the help of a dietitian. It can be impossible to guess what foods are triggering your symptoms otherwise.



  • @Nat_3427 I saw a dietitian for 6 months under a government plan. Ms Jane Whitbread from Adelaide Dietitians is my dietitian. We particularly looked at food preservatives and flavour enhancers. I react badly to MSG (Monosodium glutamate).



  • @donnamarie Being rural, the options are limited unless you are in a tourist town or city.There are always picnics though ... The bigger towns seem to have at least one healthy menu cafe, of some sort. We would have to travel 150-200 klms to get to a rural city that has cafes. I've found that even fetes or local community events etc, may have healthier foods than in the past, but the choices for intolerances are far and few. I just take my own snacks. Finding specific foods for special diets is a challenge as well. Smaller supermarkets don't have a full variety.



  • @crashdummy I am rural also and every year I find it hard at the 'Riverland Field Day' to find something to eat. You are allowed to bring in water but not other food or beverages so I eat later. I was told Coles and Woolworths cater for coeliac (note wheat intolerance and coeliac follow the same diet except wheat intolerance patients can have oats which coeliac cannot so the dietitian told me.) and other food intolerances as in dairy, etc more so than other chains. You can also pick up their free magazines with new products and recipes that cater for special diets. Always check out the health food aisle. When I visit the city and or other bigger towns I stock pile up on a few gluten (wheat free) snack foods such as cracker biscuits etc as in the 'Orgran' brand. They have a webpage. It is good to share information.



  • @donnamarie www.orgran.com.au and you can sign up to their page for new recipes and latest products.



  • @donnamarie Thanks for the tip on the cracker biscuits ... will check it out. I here you on bulk buying ... it's not a matter of savings but that does help, but rather a necessity. 🤓



  • @crashdummy Some supermarkets have a bigger variety than very small rural towns. eg. In Waikerie it is $6.00 for gluten wheat free crackers in Woolworths and only $3.50 in Loxton IGA for Orgran Buckwheat crackers and there is at least 5 different varieties including quinoa and chia. Loxton is a much bigger town.


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