I am literally allergic to all food
How I found out that my reaction to food was not normal
I am not a picky eater.
During my childhood, the only food I struggled with was anything that was spicy.
Now I don’t have problems with spicy food.
But technically my body hates all food.
If I eat any type of food, I immediately have a mild allergic reaction. My throat will fill up with mucus and I will have to clear it.
While this may seem like a major issue, the allergies do not prevent me from eating. There have been multiple instances where I’ve “weirded out” my friends because of my disgusting wet coughs, but this condition is not life-threatening.
My body has always had these allergies to food. I honestly did not know that my reaction was abnormal until high school.
While I was sitting with some of my friends at lunch in high school, I asked them, “You know that feeling when you eat something and your throat gets filled with gunk and you want to cough?”
I was expecting my friends to relate to the feeling, and then I would move on to tell a story related to that. Instead, my friends all looked at me with expressions that suggested they had no idea what I was talking about.
They told me that most people do not react that way to food.
This revelation shocked me so much that when I went home at the end of the day, I ran to my dad and shouted, “I’ve been allergic to all food this whole time.”
My dad just turned to me and said, “Welcome to the club.”
It turned out that my dad also lived his whole life being mildly allergic to all foods. Similarly to how I cannot eat kiwi, he can’t eat shellfish, but he can eat everything else with only a slight allergic reaction. I discovered that my allergies were genetic.
One of the only foods that I avoid is kiwi. While at a summer camp, I made a strawberry-kiwi smoothie in a cooking class. I never had kiwi before but after drinking it my throat became extremely sore. At first I did not notice anything was wrong, but the pain continued to bother me. I found myself running to the water fountain over and over again to try to clear my throat.
After my dad picked me up, I told him about what happened. He said that I had a bad allergic reaction to kiwi and that I should avoid the fruit. Now I tell all my doctors that I am allergic to kiwi.
My general allergic reactions are the reason why I didn’t notice I had a significant problem with kiwi until the symptoms became significantly worse than my usual reaction to food.
I didn’t know I could go through many years of my life struggling with something and not even realize that it’s abnormal.
If I had never talked about my allergies with my friends, I might have never known that I had a problem. Sometimes I wonder if it’s even important since my allergies are not causing me any major difficulties.
I think that all of this has helped me learn about myself. This experience allowed me to see how I am a unique person.
So maybe this revelation will never save my life or change anything, but maybe someone will read this and think to themselves, “Hey, I’m like that too,” and realize something new about themselves as well.
And maybe that’s reason enough to find out.
Anastasia Wilds is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org