Reflection Cube

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Tag: genetics

Several Possible Reasons For Food Intolerance

It is possible for multiple people to be sensitive to the same food for many different reasons. Here, we’ll look at some foods to which people are commonly sensitive and/or allergic, and examine some of the possible explanations for their adverse reactions.

Although it’s very tempting for me to explore a lot of these topics in more depth with you guys, I want to keep it short and simple here. If you or a loved one is sensitive to several foods and unsure of the common thread(s) or factor(s), hopefully you will find this quick list helpful in your sleuthing – a resource of possibilities to research and test.


A person could be sensitive to dairy for any of the following reasons (please note: this – and all subsequent lists – are not necessarily comprehensive):

A “lactose-intolerant” person may, in fact, be sensitive to dairy for one or more additional/other reasons.


  • Celiac (a very severe form of gluten sensitivity)
  • A non-celiac form of gluten sensitivity
  • Lectin sensitivity (people with thyroid/autoimmune problems often suffer from this)
  • Wheat protein allergy
  • Glutamate (gluten contains glutamate (the gliadin breaks down into glutamine then glutamate), so gluten and glutamate sensitivities often go hand-in-hand)
  • Histamine intolerance (poor methylation)
  • Phytic acid

Other Grains (Rye, Barley, Spelt, Millet, Oats, Rice, etc.)

  • Lectin sensitivity
  • Gluten sensitivity (particularly with rye, barley, and spelt)
  • Sulfur sensitivity
  • Phytic acid (binds to nutrients, making them unavailable to the body)

Nightshades (Tomatoes, Potatoes, Eggplant, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, etc.)

  • Lectins
  • Solanine
  • Calcitriol (hardens tissues in the body, can lead to chronic pain, hypercalcemia, arthritis)
  • Glutamate
  • Capsaicin
  • Nicotine
  • Histamine intolerance

What Are Nightshade Vegetables? How to Find Out If You’re Sensitive to Them (Note: ashwagandha is also a nightshade but is not mentioned in this article.)



  • Glutamate
  • Sulfur sensitivity
  • Oxalates
  • Histamine intolerance


  • Nut protein allergy
  • Lectin sensitivity
  • Phytic acid
  • Glutamate
  • Sulfur sensitivity

Alcoholic Beverages


  • Sulfites (can be problematic for those with SUOX genetic mutations)
  • Alcohol sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to cultures / fermented products (often seen with poor methylation, histamine intolerance)
  • Glutamate (glutamate is a factor in the creation of the “umami” (rich, addictive) taste of grapes, Chinese food, soups with MSG, etc.)



  • Lectin sensitivity
  • Sulfur sensitivity
  • Phytic acid

Most (if not all) of the above reasons for food intolerance are applicable for me. This may not be true for you (hopefully it isn’t), but I am living proof that it is possible to be sensitive to a food for several reasons. 😛

In light of this, I’m still somewhat perplexed as to how I justified trying sheep cheese last week. (I definitely paid for it – skin problems, GI distress, head discomfort, aches.) I still want to try camel milk/cheese, as camel milk is in some ways quite different structurally from other types of milk.

However, although the sheep cheese and some exposure to environmental toxins set me back these past few days (…still recovering from the sheep cheese…), I do seem to be regaining some health in general. I have been able to tolerate some more foods lately. 😀

So there is hope! 😉

For more information on types of food intolerance and potentially problematic foods, check out Legit Excuses for Picky Eaters. It categorizes more by food problem than by food type/group, as I did here.

It should be noted that I omitted several potentially problematic foods here. If you have a question about a food not mentioned here, feel free to ask in the comments. But please also take into account that I am not a doctor, and although I endeavor to provide my readers with accurate information, you follow any and all information presented on this blog and in the comments at your own risk. PLEASE SEE DISCLAIMER.

Magnesium Deficiency – Approximately 80% of Americans

Sweeteners: Trash and Treasure

When You Can Only Eat Five Foods

circular cause and consequence fallacy - logic - philosophy - reasoning - thinking - argument - rationality - thoughts - picture of spiral

Fallacies – Circular Cause and Consequence

The consequence of the phenomenon is claimed to be its root cause.

Example: “Sue is lethargic and has poor hygiene habits, therefore, she is depressed.” (In other words, Sue is depressed because she’s lethargic and has poor hygiene habits.)

Here, the consequences (lethargy, poor hygiene) of the phenomenon (depression) are being claimed as the root causes of the phenomenon.

The root causes of depression may be physiological, genetic, emotional, trauma-related, and/or spiritual. Yet some of the signs (symptoms or consequences) of depression tend to be mistaken for the root cause(s) (e.g. someone’s depressed because they’re “lazy”, rather than “lazy” because they’re depressed).

circular cause and consequence illustration

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

raspberries - foods I can and can't eat #restricteddiet #glutenfree #food #nutrition

Foods I Can and Can’t Eat

Some of you guys have asked what foods I can or can’t eat.

This is sort of a reference post that I’m creating for those who are curious or who may have health issues similar to mine. I will probably link here from time to time, and I plan to update these lists as my diet gradually changes (once in a while I add or remove something), or as I remember items I forgot to list.

One request for my dear readers:

Please do not comment here or contact me to tell me why I really should be able to consume a certain food, drink, or supplement, without first asking and seeking to understand the reason(s) why I cannot. I have legit reasons for avoiding the foods that I do, which are based on personal experiences with foods, research I’ve done, and other information picked up along the way – much of which I’ve learned from my doctor. If you have relevant info regarding my particular genetic conditions or are aware of ways to mitigate the effects of broken biochemical pathways, I’m definitely interested in hearing about it. 🙂 Other advisory messages regarding food – well-meaning as they may be – will likely be a waste of your time as well as mine.

You are more than welcome to share your experience here with fighting/recovering from a food sensitivity/allergy or GI/autoimmune condition. And most other well-considered comments are welcome. 🙂

I reserve the right to delete any and all comments with or without reason and with or without notice, and to choose not to reply to any emails.

Thank you. <3

This request comes after multiple experiences of people essentially arguing/suggesting that my dietary restrictions aren’t necessary or that it shouldn’t be necessary to eliminate entire food groups from the diet or that I’m “just not getting enough nutrition” (and should therefore resume eating the foods I’m avoiding), or of receiving messages from others to the effect of “You look almost anorexic!” or “Do you need to talk to someone?”.

Please don’t be alarmed. I care a great deal about my health, as evidenced (I think) by my willingness to actually follow this non-toxic diet and feed my body only the cleanest foods which it is also capable of tolerating. And I’ve actually been gaining a bit of weight recently (actually, maybe a bit too much). :/

I may have originally chosen to start the elimination diet on my own, but my doctor agrees that it is necessary, and certainly discourages me from introducing harmful or potentially harmful food groups – such as dairy or wheat – that many people seem to label as “important food groups”. (Btw, you know how people suffering from anorexia are often advised to eat pizza or hamburgers? On so many fronts, this is not sound advice. 1) If you feed a starving person a hamburger, you could potentially kill them, 2) a person suffering from anorexia ultimately needs nutritious foods [especially as anorexia can lead to electrolyte deficiencies], not simply highly caloric foods, and 3) Wheat and dairy are two of the most common food allergies, and sometimes people fighting anorexia are also fighting other gastrointestinal disorders, which may be exacerbated by these foods.)

(In all likelihood, I’ll probably never add wheat or dairy back into my diet. At most, it’d probably be sheep dairy. Not even goat.)

And it’s not like I don’t miss eating some incredibly delicious foods! 🙁 But I definitely don’t miss the physiological and mental torment they gave me (many of these foods seriously impacted my nervous system). Following this relatively “ascetic” diet will always be worth the health benefits (and more importantly, worth the avoidance of health problems).

Foods, Drinks, and Supplements I Can’t Consume

  • Eggs (whites and yolks)
  • Cow, Goat, and Sheep Dairy (except grass-fed ghee) (Wanting to try camel dairy soon)
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Anything containing gluten
  • Grains (rice, millet, oats, etc.) AND pseudograins (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa)
  • Nuts (except macadamia nut oil)
  • Peanuts (listed separately because not technically a nut)
  • Coconut (including coconut oil)
  • Most legumes (beans, lentils, etc.)
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee (regular or decaf)
  • Food or drink containing caffeine or theobromine
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, red pepper, paprika, ashwagandha, eggplant, okra, etc.) (I am sensitive to solanine as well as likely some of the lectins and  the calcitriol [a powerful hormone which acts as a tissue calcifier/hardener in the human body])
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, etc.)
  • Most other vegetables (thankfully I have been able to reintroduce some recently! See below). Recently tried beets and those are still a no, except small amounts of beet juice for coloring in foods. My blood pressure got too low (accompanied by symptoms) when I consumed a low to moderate amount of beets recently.
  • Most leafy greens – including arugula, kale, and spinach. Hoping to try chard again soon.
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Most or all melons (definitely watermelon/cantaloupe)
  • Squash (including pumpkin)
  • Cucumber
  • Kiwi
  • Banana
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Most dried fruit
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Most fish
  • Farm-raised fish
  • Fermented foods
  • Vinegar (including apple cider vinegar)
  • Yeast
  • Cured meats
  • Chicken broth
  • Carageenan
  • Canola oil
  • Cottonseed oil (Honestly, no one should be consuming this [as of 2015, approximately 94% of U.S. cotton crops were genetically modified]. Cottonseed oil can be found in many snacks, such as roasted/salted almonds.)
  • Refined sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame or sucralose
  • Nutmeg
  • Curry
  • Chamomile
  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint
  • Wine (I’m sensitive to alcohol, as well as the glutamate in grapes and the sulfites in wine)
  • Beer
  • Unfiltered city water (by the way, some popular filters like Brita® don’t remove the fluoride [a neurotoxin and magnesium binder])
  • Grape Juice
  • Calcium Carbonate (found in many multivitamins)
  • Iron supplements
  • Copper supplements
  • Vitamin D
  • Chlorella
  • MSM
  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Milk Thistle
  • Folic acid (my system cannot process this form of B9, due to MTHFR mutations)
  • Methyl-B12 (methylcobalamin) (Problematic because of CBS mutations)
  • Probiotics
  • Baking powder (I make my own with baking soda and cream of tartar)

Foods, Drinks, and Supplements I Can Consume! (Thankful It’s No Longer Only Five Foods)

  • Tiger nuts (these are root vegetables, not nuts)
  • Cacao butter, in moderation (bothers my stomach and head if I eat too much)
  • Ghee, in moderation
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia oil (new food introduction!)
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Hemp oil
  • Turkey
  • Turkey broth
  • Wild-caught cod and salmon, in moderation (I typically use the fish from Orca Bay). Have had to avoid this lately, and it might be going on the “can’t eat” list soon. Thinking I might be allergic to fish….
  • Celery (reintroduced!!!)
  • Butter lettuce (probably) (reintroduced!!!)
  • Asparagus, in moderation (reintroduced!!!)
  • Cilantro (reintroduced!!!)
  • Parsley
  • Clementines
  • Limes
  • Lemons, in moderation
  • Cherries (note: helpful for reducing inflammation and relieving pain, but can feed candida infections)
  • Apples, in moderation
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries, in moderation
  • Raspberries, in moderation
  • Blackberries
  • Peaches
  • Dragon fruit
  • Tulsi / holy basil
  • Raw unfiltered or gently filtered honey
  • Monk fruit
  • Gluten-free vanilla extract
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon, in moderation
  • Cloves, in moderation
  • Basil, lavender (used to not be able to tolerate this!), rosemary, thyme, and (I think) sage and oregano, in moderation
  • Cream of tartar
  • Baking soda
  • Rock rose
  • Stevia
  • Xanthan gum (reintroduced!!!)
  • Arrowroot
  • Spirulina, at least in very small amounts (for coloring)
  • Water, filtered (including fluoride-filtered)
  • Well water
  • Magnesium citrate/malate
  • Zinc Picolinate
  • Vitamin B6 (P5P form)
  • Silver
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Molybdenum
  • Boswellia
  • White Willow Bark

For more specs on the food and supplements I use, please see the Resources page.

Please see disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

Child's face and illustration of DNA strand

Genetics: A Brief Glance

I’ve written oodles about my own personal genetic profile – and some of the ways genetics factor into my health – but not so much about the inner workings and terminology of genetics.

Well, today, I’m going to do just that. We’ll take a brief look at some of the terminology used to reference and describe the engineering marvel that is deoxyribonucleic acid….or…DNA. 🙂






any of several forms of a gene, usually arising through mutation, that are responsible for hereditary variation.
Taken from

According to

An allele is a viable DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) coding that occupies a given locus (position) on a chromosome.


An allele is an alternative form of a gene (in diploids, one member of a pair) that is located at a specific position on a specific chromosome.

(A diploid cell is a cell that contains two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent [so any human will have diploid cells].)

In other words, an allele is a specific genetic variant that it is possible for you to have. For any given location on the genetic code, there may be multiple alleles (variants, mutations, alternative forms) that you could inherit from your parents.

Gene Methylation

Certain methyl groups can bind to DNA strands, altering the expression of a gene, without actually altering the DNA code.

A methyl group consists of three hydrogen atoms bonded to one carbon atom, so the chemical structure will look something like CH3 or CH+3.


According to

Epigenetics, as a simplified definition, is the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off.

And according to

Epigenetics refers to the meta-level of genetic regulation. Under the influence of external factors, epigenetic mechanisms regulate which genes are turned on and off. This helps our fixed genetic material to be more flexible. At the biochemical micro level, epigenetic regulators are responsible for how closely packed individual genomic regions are and therefore how accessible or not they are. This works by small adhered or detached chemical groups. The resulting marking of the genome is read by specialised enzymes that then cause the switching on or off of the genes.

In other words, while our genotype (genetic constitution) is relatively fixed (except when we develop mutations), the expression of those fixed genes can potentially be switched on or off like a light. Epigenetics is the study of this process.


Mutagens are agents, such as radiation and certain chemicals, that can cause mutations.

Mutagens may include substances and light sources such as bromine, asbestos, UV light, Bisphenol A (BPA), some hair dyes, formaldehyde (a disinfectant, preservative of museum specimens of animals and organs, fixative, a crease/crush resistance aid and a flame resistance aid in automobile exhausts, and found in adhesives), fumes (released by outdoor burning, defective wood-burning fireplaces, coal furnaces), hydrogen peroxide, phthalates (plasticizers used in some cosmetics and nail polish), sodium bisulfite (a preservative in fruit juices, wine, and dried fruits), sodium nitrite (a common preservative of cold cuts, fish and cheese, which can be converted in the body into nitrosamines [carcinogenic compounds]), and trichloroethylene (may be present in dry-cleaning agents, degreasing fluids, paints, varnish, and food-processing solvents).

For a longer list of mutagens, check out this site.

Recessive and Dominant Traits

A recessive trait is only expressed when the child receives that trait from both parents.

If only one recessive allele is present, then the recessive trait will not be expressed.

Dominant traits, on the other hand, need only be inherited from one of the parents in order to express themselves.

Check out this page for some examples of dominant vs. recessive traits.

A great example of recessive vs. dominant traits is that involving blood type. “A” is a dominant trait, “B” is also dominant, and “O” is recessive, so:

AA (A from each parent) = type A blood

AO (A from one parent, O from the other) = type A (because O is recessive)

AB = type AB (A and B are codominant)

BB = type B

BO = type B

OO = type O (Since the genetic allele for O blood is recessive, this is the only genetic combination that will result in type O. It must be inherited from both parents.)

You can see, though, how two parents – one with type B blood and one with type A blood – could have a child with type O blood, if they each had a hidden recessive (unexpressed) O trait that they both happen to pass down to their child.

AO x BO = four possible combinations:






Photo credit:

So that’s a brief look at genetics. But I’ve barely scratched the surface of this highly complex world. For more information, check out these articles:


What is a Gene Mutation and How Do Mutations Occur?

Study of Holocaust Survivors Finds Trauma Passed On to Children’s Genes


Thanks for reading! 🙂




© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

It’s All In Your Head

You’re Losing Your Mind!

Ever had symptoms that your doctor didn’t believe were real or truly present, or that he/she diagnosed as primarily neurological?

Ever been told that your intense pain, headaches, or fatigue are just hypersensitivity, angry neurons, or laziness?

Suffer no longer. There is an explanation for your “craziness”. And chances are, it involves your genetics.

My Story

In 2014, for my symptoms of two periods a month, significant weight loss, chronic fatigue, weakness, and faintness, I was told by an OB-GYN physician to go on the pill. That would fix all my problems.

An NP told me that I had hormonal imbalance (she was partially right, but that was not the root cause. Hormonal imbalance was just one of the symptoms).

Convinced that neither the pill nor other hormone therapy qualified as an optimal solution – and both sounded like bandages (harmful ones, no less) to my problems, I declined to take the pill or pursue hormone therapy, and instead focused on trying to heal myself of adrenal fatigue, which I suspected at the time was my main issue (again, this was part of the problem, but not exactly the root cause of my symptoms. The home remedies did help to an extent, though.).

Little did I know that I was being poisoned.

poison bottle

How My Job Destroyed My Health

For about two and a half years, I worked at a large retail company. Only recently (long after leaving) did I learn that this particular company was one of the worst places I could have worked (my current doctor said as much!).

According to my physician, certain retail stores and the mall are typically drenched in formaldehyde. So basically, I was slowly being killed each time I clocked in.

I remember that there were odd smells – probably from weird additives – emanating from the deli lunch meat that would pass through the checkout, and there was at least one cleaning powder we would use on the floor that would make me extremely sick (and since it was powder, it was pretty easy to breathe in).

The problem is, once I’m exposed to harmful chemicals and toxins, I have a very hard time detoxing from them, due to genetic mutations on the MTHFR and CBS genes.

After about nine months of working there, I had to take a leave of absence. I was frequently feeling dizzy and faint, and bleeding twice a month (and my “main” period was getting heavier, more painful, and longer). I was unable to properly function on the job.

I had no idea at the time what was happening.

No one did. Not even the multiple health professionals I visited (though one natural-solution-minded professional was able to recommend some supplements that were at least partially helpful).

After around 6-8 weeks of LOA, I returned to work, but I still didn’t feel completely well.

Around 1.5 years later, I left this workplace for a different job at a medical imaging facility, and experienced a considerable health improvement with this change.

But the poisoning from that prolonged exposure eventually caught up with me. Even the exposure to patients in poor health and to gluten-contaminated hospital food at my new workplace added to the pile of toxic overload.

And eventually – not long after leaving this workplace – I reached a point where I could barely function at all.

I had met my poison threshold.

The Science Behind “Neurological”, “Mental”, and Invisible Diseases

MTHFR. CBS. NBPF3. These are the names of just a few genes that are frequently implicated in modern day’s invisible and autoimmune diseases.

In this article, I will be focusing primarily on MTHFR and CBS. Learn more about pyroluria (gene NBPF3) here.


cute fluffy dog

Photo credit:


Are you allergic to everything? Plants, mold, pets, dust? Foods like tomato, spinach, oranges, and avocado?

If you answered “yes”, then you are likely an undermethylator.

This means you have at least one mutated allele on the MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) gene (it’s possible to have several mutated alleles – in different locations on this gene (MTHFR) alone. I have at least 13.)

MTHFR, when working properly, is responsible for the synthesis of the MTHFR compound – a methylation chemical that is responsible for detoxing the body. If part of your MTHFR code is mutated, however, your ability to create this chemical will likely be impaired. The tweaking of even one chemical in the entire MTHFR DNA sequence (say, guanine replaces adenine in one spot in the DNA code) will give you a mutation that could impair your ability to produce MTHFR by approximately 30%. If you got this DNA tweak from both parents though, your ability to create this chemical can be impaired by 70%.

What does this mean for your health? It means that, because you’re not making (or making enough of) the methyl donors (methylation compounds like MTHFR), your body will be extremely challenged to remove heavy metals, fluoride, other pollutants, and histamine from your body.

Histamine buildup means inflammation buildup.

I’m 24, and my doctor says my symptoms indicate that I have heart issues (even though I strive to maintain a pristine, non-toxic, highly-nutritious diet). Why, at age 24, when maintaining a healthy lifestyle, do I have heart issues?

The answer largely lies with MTHFR. Even the air I breathe (high-pollen) is enough to cause histamine (an inflammatory substance) to accumulate in my body. I cannot easily eliminate the histamine from my system, so that inflammation builds up and affects my heart.

Histamine is also a neurotransmitter, so when it accumulates, it can throw off the neurotransmitter balance in the brain and gut (which is the “big brain”). Depression and anxiety are frequently correlated with neurotransmitter imbalance.

Cleaners, heavy metals like aluminum and mercury (which my doctor found to still be significantly present in my system from immunizations that I had as a child), and poisoned water (rich in fluoride and heavy metals) all make me sick – more than they would someone who doesn’t have any MTHFR mutations.


CBS stands for cystathionine beta-synthase, an enzyme responsible for ensuring the proper processing of sulfur in the body.

When one has a mutation on the CBS gene, it is actually an upregulation, which means that the CBS enzyme works too fast, getting used up too quickly.

When there is not enough CBS enzyme left to process sulfur, high-sulfur foods and drugs are processed incorrectly, resulting in harmful byproducts. Compounds such as ammonia (not a sulfur compound, but highly caustic) are created, and the sulfur element itself often ends up as excess taurine (an amino acid) or sulfites (other toxic compounds).

The ammonia can make its way to the brain, burning neurons (brain cells). This causes brain fog. Another possible side effect of CBS mutations is itchy skin. When I stopped eating high-sulfur foods, this symptom improved significantly for me.

How I’m Recovering from Poisoning

I am avoiding shopping at most large retail stores and the mall. As long as I expose myself to extremely toxic environments, it will be very difficult for me to heal (my detox process is so slow that any small amount of toxic exposure could be enough to undo the work of several months). So I’m very careful what places I go.

I avoid foods that I know might have slightly higher amounts of mercury, like tuna fish or farmed fish. I avoid city water (too much fluoride [often] and heavy metals). I am fortunate to have access to well water, but if that weren’t the case, then I’d want to purchase a quality water filter.

I also have an air filter in my bedroom.

I threw away my few drycleaned items (which were likely cleaned with perchloroethylene (perc), a highly toxic compound).

Perc has been linked to:

  • an increased risk of bladder, esophogeal, and cervical cancer
  • eye, nose, throat, and skin irritations
  • reduced fertility

Perc also breaks down into other harmful compounds in the ground, polluting groundwater and air.

Additionally, I am limiting my exposure to books (sadness 🙁 …guess I’ll just have to become a Kindle person again), exposure to pollen (as this increases inflammation which can affect my heart), and most foods. I am only putting into my system things that I believe will aid more than harm (or, ideally, only aid) me in my recovery process. Except…when I mistake a problem food for a healthy one….

I am also taking up yoga, which has significantly improved my blood circulation and has helped me to relax and enjoy somewhat improved energy levels.

Meanwhile, I am working very hard to build an online business which I can maintain from home or take anywhere with me, so that I can be more free to cook healthy food, manage my circadian rhythm, and have less exposure to toxins as I attempt to repair my body (and encounter less toxic exposure long-term).


More Steps in My Recovery

A few months ago, I started seriously consuming bone broth every or nearly every day. I even took a three-day “bone broth fast”, where I consumed only bone broth, ghee, and licorice supplements (note: if you try this, be prepared to be out of commission for the duration of the fast).

After this fast, I noticed a slight improvement in my gut health. I was able to reintroduce some foods back into my diet.

bowl of pretty, dewy cherries

Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash


To learn more about my health journey, check out my post When You Can Only Eat Five Foods.

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


avocado sliced in half

I Thought Avocado Was My Friend

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…

And avocado.

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.



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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

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