I have pretty much suffered from allergies my entire life, to the point where chronically being stuffed up, having sinus headaches, and a sinus and ear infections constantly were status quo. I once went in for allergy testing (not food allergens, but everything else) and they were astounded by my allergic reactions--basically I was supposedly highly allergic to every single allergen they tested. That led to me taking 3 different allergy shots a week, which only sort of helped. Anyway, fast forward to the present and I've been maintaining a fairly strict Paleo-ish diet since January. Pick your flavor of Paleo, but mine is basically the standard avoidance of all grains, avoidance of all processed anything, avoidance of extra sugar, fruits minimized to one serving of berries or maybe one piece of other fruit per day (usually citrus or half a banana), and then heavy on the beef, eggs, coconut, butter, green veggies, macademias, avocados, some cream w/my coffee, and the occasional serving of walnuts, almonds and sweet potato/yams. So since getting my diet in order, my allergies aren't completely gone, but I'm not stuffed up all day long any more, not having to constantly use corticosteroid nasal sprays, not popping claritins, etc. Improvement, big surprise, right?
While my chronic allergy symptoms are largely resolving, I'm finding that I get really bad acute episodes now that seem to coincide with me not eating as cleanly as possible--e.g. when I eat out. After a month of clean eating, I decided to have a cheat meal, have some hot wings and beers and watch a basketball game at a bar. Get home, and an hour later, nose is running like a fire hydrant for a couple of hours. Most recently, today, I was out and was starving and didn't want to IF-it all the way back home, so I figured I could manage to eat at Chipotle without harming myself too much. So steak salad (no dressing, obviously), gauc, hot salsa, and then fajita veggies and out of old habits, the corn salsa too. Eat that, and, an hour-ish or so later, some reflux (another problem that had gone away since my dietary change) and, the copious snot production.
My first instinct in these situations is to question the causality: yes I ate some junk food, but my symptoms could be coincident w/the junk food. Humans are really good at attributing cause to correlations. That said, I'm wondering if anyone else has any anecdotal evidence that they're especially sensitive to foods since cleaning up their diet. I pretty much don't have any of these rapid onset allergies when I prepare my own food (with the recent exception of getting them after making some grass fed ground beef coconut curry with copious amounts of chilis, lemongrass and garlic...and I attribute that probably to the Thai chilis). But the once every other week or so I wind up eating something I haven't prepared, like clockwork, it seems like I get the runny nose, and other allergy symptoms. So, am I crazy, or do you just start getting hyper-sensitive to food allergies once you've mostly eliminated allergens from your diet?