Hi jocelyn! Hope your summer has been going well. As I mentioned above, I made myself rather ill with St. John's Wort and am still recovering. So that put a crimp into everything!
Those food allergies are something else! I got tested when I was a kid, and came back allergic to so many things, my mother just said the heck with it, rather than bother with a diet, she put me on steroids. I don't have the med. records, wish I did. Steroids were NOT a good idea, and I've had to figure things out since I've been grown. I seem to be more sensitive as I get older.
You asked about GMO food. GMO means "genetically modified organism." Scientists go into the DNA of a certain plant food (for example corn) and "paste" extra things into the DNA - producing seeds with un-natural, altered DNA. This has been going on for decades, and a lot of the basic food crops now are GMO. Some people feel this may be causing the increase in weird auto-immune diseases, cancers, sensitivities, etc. Our bodies are not equipped to digest "foreign" DNA, and it may just kill off those of us who are super-sensitive. I was reading an article about how different people develop tolerances for food over many generations. That's why different countries develop different foods - they eat what agrees with their people genetically. If you ate their food, it might make you sick, you wouldn't have the ability to digest the food properly. This is the whole idea behind celiac disease - some people have the genetic ability to break down and digest the gluten protein, gliadin, while for others, gliadin looks like a foreign invader, and the body sets up an inflammatory response to it.
You can google, there is a lot of information online, and many informative videos about GMO and Monsanto, which is the leading company making GMO food. Interesting, much of what is found in processed food now, soy, wheat, corn is GMO, and has been for years. While a lot of "healthy diet" people are against GMO, I've talked to some people (scientifically oriented businessmen) who are in favor of it. One interesting example is the latest form of Monsanto GMO corn. They have inserted into the DNA a form of pesticide, so the corn makes its own pesticide. When an insect eats the corn, the insecticide causes the insect's stomach to blow up. So the corn produced from this GMO corn seed is beautiful and has no bugs in it. HOWEVER, it has supposedly caused liver and kidney failure in laboratory animals. (And it's interesting to note that "something" in pet food and snacks from China has for years been causing liver and kidney failure in dogs and cats, but no one yet knows what the culprit is.) Anyway, the GMO corn with the pesticide gene was available at Walmart this past summer - and probably at many stores. When I asked at my grocery if the corn was GMO, the only answer the manager could get for me was "It comes from Mexico, we don't know." So I did not buy any fresh corn this summer.
IF the store labels GMO products (and most don't) you can tell by looking at the ID number. Most produce has a 4-number code. If there's a 9 in the front (making a total of 5 numbers) it's organic. If there's instead an 8 in the front, it's Genetically Modified food. (Here's a mnemonic: 9 is fine; 8 is hate.) Europe requires labeling so people can decide if they want to eat it. The US does not. Most stores won't label GMO food with the 8 in front of the other four numbers, because an increasingly educated public will not buy it.
I think it's very interesting that so much processed food has contained GMO for at least the last 20 years. That was about when I started getting fibro symptoms. Years later, when I quit eating processed food to avoid gluten, my fibro greatly improved. Maybe I was not just avoiding gluten, but all the GMO in processed food. Who knows..??
Glad the soy drink is working out well for you! It may just be a strain of soy that you can tolerate! Whatever works, as my old, very excellent doctor used to say! And as your doctor told you too, the allergy tests are very tricky and can give false negatives and positives. I guess the only way is keep a food diary...
And yes, I hear you about being SO tired of tracking things and symptoms and watching everything I put in my mouth. I've been really exhausted - and depressed - all summer. But I do think it was the St. John's Wort. Dumb, dumb idea. Never going near antidepressants again, I simply cannot tolerate them any more, not even tiny amounts of an herb!
A note about gluten foods -- I still don't do very well with Amy's regular food - maybe it's gluten free, but it does contain cilantro - I hate cilantro! I read that it's a genetic thing - a percentage of the population cannot stand the taste of cilantro, I'm one of them. Anyway, they have a new line out that is "light and lean." I've tried the corn polenta with tomato and swiss chard, and it's very good - no problems for me. Also, I've tried Evol Chicken Teriyaki - and have done fine with that. Guess I should write a note on the diet thread. Tired! Haven't been on here in weeks - so hello to everyone. Missed talking with you. Let's all hope we have a mild winter! Hugs to all.