Deadly Nightshades and IBS

Recently I spoke of my experience suffering with my weight, sleep quality and general health. It was a battle over 5 years to find out what was the cause of these issues. I had multiple blood tests over those years to test against allergies – wheat and gluten were borderline so my Doctor could never say I definitely needed to avoid those strains of food.  He concluded Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and told me to be stressed less.

Over a further 2 year period I inevitably developed a bad relationship with food – too afraid to eat if my dinner made me feel worse. Daily pain throughout my body, intense headaches, all worse after eating.  I underwent an assessment with a dietician and did 5 exclusion diets – she could never identify a pattern to spark my body’s reactions.  When I did exclusion diets my symptoms became worse (I now know why).

I gave up and consigned myself to pain management instead.  As a 30th birthday treat I was taken to a luxury spa hotel and they happened to have a food intolerance test available with a homeopathic doctor. I thought “what have I got to lose?” (apart from the money). I took it.  The process, I found, was sceptical – holding vials of clear fluid (extracts from each food product) and an arm resistance test. The doctor only spoke to me at the start to explain the process, never spoke to me during the test process until the very end to give me my result.  I am intolerant to Deathly Nightshade foods and sensitive to several flour products.

I thought “what on earth is Deadly Nightshade?” so I asked her.  Deadly Nightshade is a group of fruits and vegetables that produce a common chemical (Solanine) in order to protect themselves from parasites.  The chemical is a poison, which humans can normally breakdown in the digestion process. However as few as 10% of people cannot break down that chemical in their bloodstream and therefore the poison builds up (the more of those foods you each the more the level of poison increases in your bloodstream) – I am one of that 10%

I have written a list of Deadly Nightshades here as a useful resource to others.  I have created the list from internet research, advice from the homeopathic doctor herself and dietarian’s I have spoken to via email.  It is not a comprehensive list.

I am not a medical person and by no means an expert on this.  I can only share with you my own personal experience. If you have any dietary issues you need to consult a doctor, a qualified person. 

If you also have this intolerance then I hope some of my recipes will be useful to you and I am happy to hear your own recommendations.

A little bit about Nightshades:

A large family of plants grown in the shade of night called Solanaceae. These vegetables and fruits contain a substance called alkaloids. Alkaloids can be responsible for some health problems including muscle pain, stiffness, poor healing, acid reflux, insomnia,  gallbladder problems, arthritis and other inflammatory problems, back pain, intense headaches similar to but not identical to migraines.  Please consult a medical professional before assuming you are sensitive to a nightshade. There are four types of Alkaloid which are (1) Steroid Alkaloids that contain complicated fused ring structures commonly found in most nightshades like potato and tomato.  (2) Tropane Alkaloids that originate from single amino acid and found in fewer nightshades but well researched due to their properties. (3) Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid and (4) Indole Alkaloids. Both 3 and 4 are heavily research due to their drug properties.


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