Today I am posting about a curious issue that was generated originally from my personal life and experience. I have had a lifetime of sensitivity to caffeine. So, when I consume it I feel nauseous, my stomach is upset, my heart races and generally it is very uncomfortable. This has been something I have dealt with since I was a child. Caffeine is is many wonderful beverages and foods (coffee, chocolate, etc.) and I wish that I could enjoy them! Each time I have to explain to a group of people at a restaurant or dinner party that I am not able to eat any chocolate cake, I wish that I was able to join in with everyone else! I just don't want to get sick! So, I am not declining desert due to watching my diet, I am simply doing so because I am very sensitive to caffeine. I decline meeting at Starbucks or other coffee houses as the aroma of coffee makes me nauseous.
Caffeine sensitivity is real! According to the Mayo Clinic, "Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than are others. If you're susceptible to the effects of caffeine, just small amounts — even one cup of coffee or tea — may prompt unwanted effects, such as restlessness and sleep problems." (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678)
Although I am jealous of the food and beverages that I "miss out on" perhaps my natural physical reactions have some potential benefit to my voice (which I use for work)! "People with voice disorders, singers, and other voice professionals are often advised against using caffeine. However, until recently, this recommendation was based only on hearsay. Now developing research seems to indicate that caffeine may actually harm voice quality. But further study is necessary to confirm these early findings." (http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-979-CAFFEINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=979&activeIngredientName=CAFFEINE)
So, I would love desert (just no chocolate) and I love to drink hot tea (caffeine free)! Please don't make fun of me (or other people with dietary requirements)!
Here are some links to groups and resources about dietary issues (insensitivities, allergies, intolerance, etc.):
Global - http://www.worldallergy.org/worldallergyweek/patient-advocacy.php
In the UK - http://www.patient.co.uk/health/food-allergy-and-intolerance
In AUS - http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/consumers/problems-with-food/allergy-and-intolerance/#.U9AYooBdVmg
In the USA - http://www.aafa.org/esg_search.cfm
and - http://www.foodallergy.org/support-groups
In South Africa - http://cindypivacic.co.za/uncategorized/caffeine-allergysensitivity/