In which there is a distinct lack of cheese

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For the past decade, I’ve had issues with my nose.  First of all, I got hayfever.  Then as time went on, I started getting a runny and/or bunged up nose and itchy eyes pretty much all year round.  I resigned myself to buying Flixonase in industrial quantities and having a stack of tissues on hand at all times, as well as trying new things such as nasal strips and weird machines that turn my nose a funny colour.  It seemed that dust, pollen and general floating things were the cause – and there’s no way, really, to eliminate those from your life.

When I went to Thailand, I didn’t eat cheese for two weeks and had minimal milk, as dairy isn’t exactly an integral part of the South Asian diet.  After a few days, I realised that I hadn’t blown my nose for ages and hadn’t had need for recourse to my spray.  I mentioned this to my friend, who is someone that avoids milk as it causes her nose to snot up, and she suggested there could be a link.

So since coming back, I have eschewed dairy products as much as possible – no cheese, no yoghurt, and milk only in tea and coffee.  I will then reintroduce them into my diet and see what happens.  I really, really hope that dairy is not the reason for my sniffiness, as I have always been irritated by people who claim – usually without medical back up – that they are “intolerant” to wheat or dairy or fat or life or whatever.  I don’t want to become one of those people that go to a restaurant and ask for a plain salad without the dressing and the chicken and the nuts, “as I have a food intolerance, you know”.  I have always prided myself on the ability to eat pretty much anything (bar coriander and lamb and tripe) and not to cause headaches when I go to other people’s houses for dinner.

And cheese is – well, one of the most delicious foodstuffs in existence.  After all, I’m from the West Country and we’re practically born with a hunk of it in our mouths.  There is nothing more delicious to me than a glass of red wine and a plate of cheese and biscuits – rich, sharp Cheddar, smooth and creamy Port Salut, roule with herbs and garlic, a soft Bavarian smoked…  I’m making myself hungry just typing this.  As a brace wearer, cheese is an acceptable snack as it’s not got any sugar and it lowers acid levels in the mouth.  And it goes with everything – sandwiches, pizza, pasta, risotto… the list of food enhanced by cheese is endless.

Only time will tell.  If, after all, there is a link between dairy and my inability to breathe through my nose, then at least I can eat it knowing what the consequences will be.

Cheese sandwiches v. breathing normally?  It’s a tough call.

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2 responses »

  1. Is there a fate worse than not being able to eat cheese? It gives me the worst migraines (along with chocolate) but i still eat it……. Although when i didn’t I was way thinner!

  2. When I was about nine my mom put me on a restrictive diet to determine what food I was supposedly intolerant of, back in the day when it seemed every kid had ADHD and nobody got amphetamines to treat it and special diets were the magic cure. Unfortunately, my mom decided that based on her “scientific testing,” I was allergic to refined sugar ‘cuz it made me hyper. (Duh – me and every other nine year old.) This introduced a sad period in my life where I had to take to school the most boring pack lunches EVAH. Fortunately she came to her senses eventually, declaring I had “outgrown” my sugar sensitivity. Whatever.

    Anyway, here’s hoping you don’t find that you have a legitimate problem with dairy. May there always be cheese in your pack lunches!

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