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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Nightshade Intolerance
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43 posts in this topic

I have been gluten-free since June and I just figured out that potatoes are making me very sick. Does anyone know why we get other food intolerances after going gluten-free? Also, can some people eat other members of the nightshade family? I have been too scared to eat tomatoes, peppers, etc. because the potato reaction is very painful and lasts a long time.

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I have been gluten-free since June and I just figured out that potatoes are making me very sick.  Does anyone know why we get other food intolerances after going gluten-free?  Also, can some people eat other members of the nightshade family?  I have been too scared to eat tomatoes, peppers, etc. because the potato reaction is very painful and lasts a long time.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes,we also find out that our son have had allergic reactions to potatoes,tomatoes and peppers.Do you get a delayed reaction or you can feel it at once?

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I have stomach pain within a couple of hours of eating potatoes. I only figured this out because I got very sick after eating breakfast, and I had been writing down everything I was eating for the past two weeks. I checked the ingredients of the waffles, and potato starch was the second ingredient. So I linked potatoes as the culprit of past two weeks.

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Wow, I'm always excited to see someone mention this because I don't know anyone with this problem, except me. I can't eat any nightshades and have been off of them for 6 years. I used to get so sick from eating rattatouie (tomatoes, peppers and eggplant) that it was unreal. I don't get sick right away, usually, but have within two hours. Usually it's more like 12 hours and very painful in my stomach/gut and have migraines. Lasts a couple of days.

I have done research and found it seems to be a toxic reaction, not an allergy, at least in my case. The symptoms are very much like the food poisoning people get after eating potatoes with green skin on them. The active ingredient that seems to be the culprit is solanine. But I'm not certain it's the only problem alkaloid in these foods.

I figured this out for me before finding out about gluten and the symptoms for me are similar. I cannot tolerate even small amounts, like paprika on deviled eggs. I have gotten sick from smelling peppers cooking. I have also gotten sick after touching a cutting board with pepper juice on it (from a friend who was cutting them up for a party) - I washed it in hot soapy water and then made the mistake of wiping my face with my newly-washed hand, which made my skin burn and then made me sick for two days.

Best I can tell, some people don't make the enzymes to break down these alkaloids which in turn cause a poisonous or toxic reaction. This has not gotten any better for me since going gluten free, either.

It's a bummer because so many gluten free baking products contain potato... Sigh.

Anyway, you're not alone or crazy to have these reactions. I have since found that kava kava is a nightshade - would give me headaches every time I took it, finally looked it up and yep, a nightshade. Also noticed I can instinctively spot nightshade family plants out in the open and fear them, like Jimson Weed and even Petunia! And tomatillos are also nightshade.

Here's an interesting link about nightshade-free food products in the UK:

Nomato

Article about nightshades

Also a good page about nightshade intolerance, though it focuses on arthritis:

From Allergy Magazine

Hope some of this is helpful to you...

Stephanie

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One more thought - a decent coping strategy I have discovered is as soon as I eat something with nightshades in it, if I figure it out (usually pretty obvious) I take 8-10 activated charcoal tablets and drink lots of water. My doctor suggested this and it does seem to help. Still get sick sometimes but not as bad as I have.

Good thing to keep on hand.

Stephanie

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One more thought - a decent coping strategy I have discovered is as soon as I eat something with nightshades in it, if I figure it out (usually pretty obvious) I take 8-10 activated charcoal tablets and drink lots of water. My doctor suggested this and it does seem to help. Still get sick sometimes but not as bad as I have.

Good thing to keep on hand.

Stephanie

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Stephanie,Thanks for sharing this information.What is charcoal tablets?

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I find them at the health food store. The brand I have gotten is Nature's Way. They are gelatin capsules filled with some kind of charcoal. What the charcoal does is cling to toxins and other things (even nutrients so you don't want to take them all the time) in your stomach/digestive system. They kind of buffer what you've eaten. The label says to take 2 as a dose but my doc said try 8-10 for an effective dose. They have helped me out of a couple of jams. I used to carry a bottle with me everywhere but I hardly eat out anymore so I don't worry as much about it.

Here's a link:

Nature's Way Activated Charcoal, on drugstore.com

Glad to be of help.

Stephanie

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Thanks for the info. Stephanie. I did read your past posts on this topic. It is just such a strange thing to have. I'm afraid that my doctor will think I am crazy if I mention it. I wonder how common this is and if there is any current research being done on it.

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Then you probably read about how I ended up learning a lot from calling a poison control center though that guy was incredulous, too. And I called a gastroenterologist and they said call the allergist so I called the allergist and they said call the gastro. It's a nutty thing, and it was only when I flat out told a doctor that this is what happens that I got someone to take it as real. No doctor can explain it to me though.

One time I'd had some soup that had a pepper in it and it wasn't until it was in my mouth and I tasted it that I figured it out. I spit it out but went to my walk in clinic and said "I have a bad reaction to nightshades and I just had a pepper in my soup." They said, "what happens?" and I said I get a very painful upset stomach and a migraine, and they last up to 3 days. So he gave me the charcoal and some migraine meds (Frova, a triptan) and I took the charcoal first (would have nullified the Frova if I took at the same time) and the Frova later. I only marginally felt sick.

Incidentally, that is also how doctors finally believed I have migraines, not tension headaches. Because triptans don't work for just tension headaches, have to be migraines, or so it's been explained to me. (I do think I have since read some triptans work for some tension headaches). Anyway, about 80% of the headaches I get respond to triptans so now doctors believe they are migraines. Which is a relief because I was tired of being told I needed to relax, etc. :)

I don't know if your doc will believe you but print off some stuff from the internet and explain away. The more people make other people aware of ailments like this, the more understanding there will be.

Stephanie

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Hi, I don't have the issue with nightshades but I was seeing an acupuncturist and she had me do an elimination diet which eliminated practically everything including all nightshades. So, it seems like it's known to at least nutritionists that they could be a problem, and I would trust a nutritionist a million times more than a doctor regarding food issues.

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Hi, I also have a bad reaction to all nightshades. Potatoes give me terrible bowel problems (usually by the next day), tomatoes give me migraines and some bowel problems, and I'm not sure what peppers do exactly, but I have no intention of eating any to find out!

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You sound like me, Ursula! Wow, I'm sorry people have these reactions but am glad to know I'm not alone.

Take care

Stephanie

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Hello, i don't have a nightshade intolerance, i tried a food elim test on that - this is fortunate as I only eat Thai food when I am with my wife - the other common food we used to enjoy was italian but thats got thrown out the window now... I tolerate the red hot chillis.

However from hanging out on another message board, I have noticed that many of the things that bother children with autism also bother the gluten intolerant. On this board there seems to be problems with nightshades, however the autism experts talk about "phenols" and "amines" instead. Nightshades are hi in phenols, so just a thought - maybe the nightshade intolerance is a phenol intolerance? There is info on what foods are hi in phenols and amines on the net, so you can search on that. I take an enzyme supplement called "No Phenol" by Houston enzymes for other reasons (good at breaking down plant fiber and yeast) - this product is designed for the phenol intolerant.

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Thanks for the tip, Mr. J. I am always looking for clues on this one, I'm like Nancy Drew...

I'll look it up.

Stephanie

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OK, this is quick and dirty, but found this list and while I have troubles to varying degrees with some of these, they are not similar to my nightshade reaction so I think for me phenols are not the culprit:

Here is a short list of high phenol foods, which you would want to eliminate or at least reduce to prevent overload, is food dyes, tomatoes, apples, peanuts, bananas, oranges, cocoa, red grapes, colored fruits, and milk.

Here is the Feingold list of highly phenolic/high salicylate foods: Avoid anything -- food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, art supplies -- that has any of the following ingredients: Synthetic/artificial colors and flavors [for example, FD&C colors, vanillin], BHA, BHT, TBHQ, [all the preceding are made from or related to petroleum], Natural Flavoring (may contain salicylate), Natural Coloring (may contain salicylate), Aspirin and products containing aspirin or salicylic acid, Salicylates, Almonds, Apples, Apricots, Berries (all), Cherries, Chili powder, Cider & cider vinegar (apples), Cloves, Coffee, Cucumbers & pickles, Currants, Grapes & raisins, Nectarines, Oranges, Paprika, Peaches, Peppers (bell & chili), Plums, Prunes, Tangerines, Tea, Tomatoes, Wine & wine vinegar (grapes), Oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate). Other items to consider are perfumes and fragrances, nitrites and nitrates, monosodium glutamate [MSG], Hydrolized Vegetable Protein [may contain MSG], sulfites/sulfiting agents, benzoates, and corn syrup [made from hydrogen sulfide + corn starch and many other added chemicals].

I do have some issues with most of these, actually, but not to the same extent. So phenols may be a problem for me, but don't explain the nightshade reaction. Interesting, though!

Stephanie

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My sister has a nightshade intolerance - I think I have a problem with potatoes but refuse to acknowledge right now because my diet is already so limited I hate to cut those out too - yet.

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yes thats exactly one of the phenol lists I have seen Stephanie.

a tip from a friend (mother of ADD children) - phenols are most prominent in the skin/peel of the foods, so maybe try giving those potatoes a good peel?

a tip from me - much of my veggies/fruit are sent thru my juice machine for ease of ingestion. I've only got a cheap machine but i can shove in unpeeled tomatoes and kiwi and it will strip the peel off in seconds.

i know most of the nutrients are meant to be in the peel region but in my world any calories are useful calories

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Thanks for the info. Mr J. I'm still not convinced that I can't eat potatoes, so today I had half a tube of Lays Staxx! I seem to be fine with the other nightshades. I'll have to look into that list of phenols and see if any of those are affecting me.

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1/2 a tube, i'm jealous of your enterocapacity, i'll sometimes put 4 chips in a gluten-free peanut butter and banana sandwich

don't mean to deliberately send ppl chasing red herrings, but follow possible leads is all we can do isn't it?

hmm lets see where 1/2 a tube fits into the phenol picture. Lets hope that lays staxx are cookie cutted out of real potatoes and not stamped out from reconsitituted potato starch. Also lets hope that they come out of normal pebble shaped potatoes and not some GM tube shaped mutant.

for efficiency reasons I would imagine that the girth of the potato would have to exceed the circumference of the staxx tube by a fair bit - if it was exactly the same would only get one crisp/chip out of it. This would mean that much of the outer layer of the potato would be cut away from the chip. So by this reasoning a tube of staxx should be low in phenol.

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Actually Lays Staxx are from dehydrated potatoes and potato starch and a bunch of other ingredients. I didn't get sick from them. So my next test, after midterms, will be to try a potato without the skin.

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stephanie,

charcoal, as well as slipery helm and psyllium hulls are remedy for the leaky gut. someone who has a gut that leaks can have psoriasis, eczema, multiple food allergies, arthritis...

may be your nightshade intolerance is just hiding a leaky gut problem.

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How does psyllium help with leaky gut? I've got a whole bag of it that I stopped using since I went gluten-free.

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psyllium hulls, just like the two other one, bind mycotoxins and exit your body when you go to washroom.

- By eating mucilaginous fiber, you are lowering the level of available mycotoxin in your gi tract, thus, reducing damage to your GI tract. a leaky gut is a damaged GI tract.

for example, just think about what mycotoxins does to skin: eczema, psoriasis... It's the same process involved inside.

- By eating mucilaginous fiber, you also prevent constipation, wich in turn can be bad for your general health. mucilaginous fiber are verry usefull if you put yourself on protein (low carb) diet.

is n't great: something that prevent diarea as well as constipation, and contribute to your general healing by lowering you mycotoxin level in your gi tract. of course, you have to pay attention of the origin of your mucilaginous fiber since wheat contain mucilaginous fiber.

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Thanks for that info. Maybe I'll add the 100% psyllium husks back into my diet and see if that helps with my symptoms.

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Hi Luap -

I'd buy the leaky gut thing for me if I hadn't already gotten sick from contact and even smell of nightshades (both peppers in these cases, and the smell was from them cooking on the BBQ and the smoke blowing my way). Can't see how leaky gut would have allowed for that. I wish that was what it was! I can solve that.

As for Mr. J and the skin - 90% of the solanine in potatoes (the nasty alkaloid that makes people sick) is in the skin, so going further than skin deep in the case of potatoes is a good idea. I cringe when I see people eating fried potato skins - they used to make be barf when I was younger. Never a fan of the skins.

This is an interesting thread. I wish I could find a solution for myself - every so often I'll sneak one french fry, skin free, and it tastes so wonderful. I don't really miss tomatoes. I have been finding lately that broth with carrots in it makes it taste tomato-y.

Don't really miss peppers at all. Now they even seem to bother my dad. After he made fun of me for ages. That's what you get...

Stephanie

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