Since being sick, I journal daily. I note what I eat, how I'm sleeping, any new aches and pains, and any other number of odd things that come up that require attention. If you read my post the other day, you might remember I haven't been sleeping well lately. In fact, since last Monday, I've only slept three nights: one without disturbance, the other two with limited interruption. The other four nights I was awake completely wired.
At first, I thought it must be my newly prescribed vitamins.. "Boy, these herbs really make me edgy" I told my husband. Then, having still taken the vitamins, I slept soundly the next night. "That's odd," I thought. "Wonder what else it could be?"
Today, I think I found my answer. As I scoured through my food journal, I noticed an interesting pattern. EVERY night I was wide awake, I ate either a chocolate pudding or a chocolate yogurt bar late in the evening. "Aha, chocolate," I said to myself...thinking I'd solved it. However, I had cocoa on other nights with no reaction.
Stumped again, I went back to my food journal. The items in question both contained probiotics.....a healthy choice. "Wonder what else is in there?" I thought as I looked up the ingredients. The results floored me.
Introducing carrageenan-- a seemingly harmless vegan alternative to gelatin that's made from red seaweed. It's found in lots of stuff including soy milk, pancake syrup, ice cream, toothpaste, and diet sodas. It's also been noted as a Reaction Triggering Neuro Toxic Chemical.
According to the RTNC411 website, 1 in 4 people are sensitive to chemicals like carrageenan, but most don't even know it.
The website also reports RTNCs can cause serious reactions including:
Headaches, migraines, insomnia, coughing, chronic fatigue, aggression, hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression.
Asthma attacks, obesity, attention deficit disorder (ADD), tinnitus, restless leg syndrome (RLS), and neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The ironic thing? By eating these products I thought I was doing something GOOD for my health. I mean don't they SEEM healthy???
My conclusion? Although the verdict is still out whether these products have been truly been contributing to my insomnia or health concerns, I've found enough information to make me permanently stop buying them.
Altered Today: Buying ANYTHING Without Reading the Label, Thinking People Who Talk About Food Safety and Toxic Overload are Nut Jobs