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Investigations Part II

I’m moving from “hypothesis” to “pretty much a fact” territory very fast, everybody.

Yesterday’s allergy challenge (which sounds like some sort of weak after-school primary-school-targeted game show) was the noble potato. I should point out that anybody using the cliché “the humble spud” will be stabbed in the eye with a tiny fork shaped like a cob of corn. Potatoes. Fascinating creatures, really: I just finished reading Michael Pollan’s “The Botany of Desire”, which has a whole chapter devoted to potatoes. I strongly recommend reading it. Also, in general terms, I recommend potatoes.

But not for me. I mentioned in my last “Investigations” post previous allergy challenges that triggered a response: capsicum, then tomato, now potato — not even slightly random. The botanically astute among you will pick up that they’re all the same family, the nightshades. (Fantastic name.) This covers potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, eggplants, goji berries, tobacco, datura/angel’s trumpet, deadly nightshades, mandrakes and, unexpectedly, petunias. Turns out I might be a wee bit touchy with them.

I’ve only tested three: capsicum, tomato and potato. These three all triggered the same response — a weird scrapey mouth feeling, followed by a sore throat, followed by a sudden mental/emotional/physiological crash. After eating them, I feel really weary, discouraged, cranky and sad. Then I feel stiff and creaky. It seems that when I eat nightshades, I turn into a grumpy door. And while it is at its worst in the hours following, the reaction has a long tail and lingers for a day or two.

For the purposes of thoroughness I was tempted to try eggplants and chillies, but, honestly, the reactions kinda suck and write off a whole day, if not a couple of days. Also, if we’re going for total thoroughness, I should also be ingesting deadly nightshade and datura, and everything I’ve read has suggested that may be a less-than-awesome strategy. I don’t do less-than-awesome strategies, so bugger it. This doesn’t need formal certification: it’s enough for me to know that nightshades make for a sucky time, so I’m going to avoid nightshades for a few months. I’m hoping this will clear up a lot of the tummy-related symptoms that have bugged me for a while: if not, well, I guess further investigations will be required. I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ve found the tuberous root cause (lol) of a lot of problems.

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