In my post, When You Can Only Eat Five Foods, I recently updated the part where I said I couldn’t eat avocado, stating that I now can.
Well, that’s changed again.
For the past few weeks, I was consuming avocado on a pretty regular basis, because I noticed no immediate or obvious side effects initially when reintroducing it into my diet.
However, as the weeks progressed, I began to develop terrible skin issues (itchiness everywhere and cystic acne on the jawline). My faintness and labored breathing returned. I began shedding more hair. I started noticing a metallic/sick taste in my mouth. I was again experiencing deep, heavy fatigue.
I couldn’t understand what was going on. Avocado was the only food that I’d recently introduced and kept in my diet. There was no other variable or diet alteration that I could consider primarily culpable.
But if avocado was the problem, why didn’t the symptoms show up right away?
Little did I know that avocado is rich in glutathione, a sulfur-based chelator/methyl donor/detox agent/antioxidant that has the power to really heal or really hurt you, depending on your genetics.
I stumbled on this information as I was researching the sulfur content of strawberries. I ended up reading about other high-sulfur fruits during my search, which led me to the avocado thing.
(Sure enough, the high-sulfur fruits mentioned are all ones that I’ve found problematic. Definitely pineapple, watermelon, and grapefruit. Another site mentioned coconut, which I also cannot tolerate.)
Pineapple, watermelon, grapefruit…
There was my answer.
Sulfur symptoms often manifest after a certain tolerance threshold is met. So they may not show up right away (or at all, if your intake is low enough and tolerance is high enough).
The itchy skin, acne, and potentially all of the other symptoms I was (and am) experiencing would fit with the symptoms of a sulfur reaction. I’ve experienced all of these symptoms in the past, especially before beginning a low-sulfur diet.
I didn’t reach my sulfur tolerance threshold until a few weeks in of moderate sulfur intake (from the glutathione in the avocado). Or, I may have unwittingly reached the threshold sooner than that, but the symptoms themselves just required time to manifest or were showing up very gradually.
If I hadn’t been avoiding many other high-sulfur foods, the symptoms would have presented a lot faster.
It takes a while to recover from sulfur toxicity, if you’re sulfur-sensitive like I am (due to CBS and probably SUOX mutations – genetic variants which hamper sulfur metabolic pathways).
For many people, sulfur and glutathione are invaluable in the prevention of cancer, promotion of weight-loss, and as aids in detoxification. That’s largely why foods like broccoli, kale, garlic, and onion are generally considered to be so good for you.
However, certain genetic variants can cause these same substances to actually be extremely harmful to the liver, because toxins get created instead of healthy compounds, when there is a broken sulfur-processing gene (like CBS).
As long as I don’t surpass my personal glutathione tolerance threshold (the small amount of glutathione [and sulfur] that I have enough enzymes to process), I seem to do okay with some other foods containing glutathione, such as bone broth and apples (to a certain degree). Carrots (high in glutathione and consequently high-sulfur) are starting to bother me.
The Aftermath of Sulfur Toxicity
At this point, I’ve been avoiding avocado for about three days.
Currently, I am experiencing head pressure/aches that differ from the headaches I usually experience.
My “normal” headaches involve pounding, congested, swollen, or tight sensations.
With these headaches, however, it feels as though my head is being stretched out, and there’s this magnetic pull inside my brain.
I suspect that the pain is resulting from nervous system damage as sulfur binds to the mercury in my tissues and redistributes the metal throughout my brain.
Some doctors would say this pain is just a symptom of detoxification, but in fact, I am only being poisoned more.
If the sulfur chelation (a process often transpiring when you consume sulfur) were working – and I was therefore detoxing – then my nervous system would have been detoxed a long time ago, as I’ve eaten high-sulfur foods and/or taken high-sulfur supplements for most of my life.
There would be little to no metals left to detox.
But according to my physician, the neurotoxic metals are still present – to a serious degree.
That’s the thing with CBS mutations. Because the liver is so shot – so overburdened – it is unable to handle any extra poisoning of the bloodstream and body tissues caused by chelation. Thus, the toxins that are bound to the sulfur just recirculate throughout the body – inflicting damage as they go, and settling somewhere new, because the liver has no capacity to handle the toxins.
In fact, chelation only broadens the extent of tissue damage, because the toxins (such as mercury) can get redistributed in the brain.
While I’m recovering and letting the sulfur slowly exit my system, I am avoiding turkey (a food with low to moderate amounts of sulfur, due to the protein). Turkey is the only meat I eat besides fish (wild-caught cod and salmon, though I’m thinking about transitioning to just salmon). If I were consuming beef or lamb, I’d want to cut those out completely, as they contain higher amounts of sulfur.
Somehow, avocado wormed its way into my diet, disguised as an ally. But it slowly turned sour on me, revealing its true colors. Sneaky thing. 😛
However, if you can tolerate avocado, by all means include more in your diet! The powerful green fruit offers myriad health benefits.
Disclaimer: I am not a physician, just someone who’s read a lot on health, medicine, and home remedies, and conducted many personal health experiments. Please do not treat this information as medical advice. Consult your physician regarding any health concerns.
© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved