I think mine was caused through eating kefir yoghurt. I watched a programme about kefir and it said it was the best thing for gut issues. I didn't realise at first what was causing my problems so continued eating it for a month. I got worse so l googled found it is really high in histamines. I wish I'd never heard of it. I was living a normal life before that on the fodmap diet (thanks to Ann for asking this question).

sue30small

Some comments organised by common responses:

Being a female – ageing, pregnancy and menopause

It's a funny coincidence we are all women replying, maybe it's hormonal. Stress effects hormones (cortisol) – Rita

Always been sensitive to some food items with belly issues but after my second pregnancy it intensified as well as moods, hives and all over aches. I think stress is a huge factor – Tracy

Flu while pregnant (combined with oral steroids etc to treat asthma from flu probably didn't help) -Anna

Puberty and pregnancy hormones were definitely an influence in mine becoming more severe - Amy

Noticed a dairy intolerance after giving birth to first child, then was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, noticed a gluten intolerance after 3rd child and then the intolerances seemed to grow from there! Plus stress and a pituitary tumour! – Carol

Always had dairy intolerance but got more after I got bad reflux after my second pregnancy, then got giardia which attacked my stomach even more – Gill

Menopause - changes our immune system – Sally

I agree with that, I call it middle age sensitivity as a catch - all ? – Anne

Perimenopause brought it to a head. I got prescribed some medication that gave me daily migraines, I was taking asprin for my migraines and headaches for years without realising it was salicylates. I’ve have had chemical sensitivity for many years, just been putting up with the symptoms – Ali

Always had it but didn’t realise but as I got older and obviously built up in my system I got worse and finally went to a specialist I found out more – Lisa

Stress

It hit me in my late 30s and yes stress definitely a factor in the previous 30 years ...I am now in my early 50’s and have no intolerances apart from gluten intolerance (after 10 yrs of restricted diet) so it is possible to switch it back ? - Teresa

I believe for me it was a perfect storm of stress and over exposure when I opened my cafe and was handling massive amounts of food - Sue

Stress (20 years of it!) I never even knew what food allergy and intolerance was, so like Ann I'm glad that it hit me later in my life (my 50's) though kind of cruel also as it's happened after breaking free from the situation that caused the stress :/ - Lisa

Anti-inflammatory drugs put me over the top of a lifetime of things wrong with me, at the age of 50. But yes probably stress based – Mary

I'm thinking mine is stress and anxiety with 2 pregnancies just tipping me over the edge - Penny

Heredity was a factor, but changing hormones and stress really ramped things up - Sally Anne

Stress was a massive trigger for me. I went through marriage breakdown, loss of job, having to sell a house and raising my son – Michel

Always had it (genetic issue or hereditary)

Mast cell activation disorder and Ehlers- Danlos Syndromes (a group of inherited disorders that mostly affect the skin, joints and blood vessels) - Kay

I’ve always had it. Genetics - Ruth

For me it is Sjögren’s syndrome (an immune system disorder characterised by dry eyes and dry mouth, often occurring with other such disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus) - Clare

Always had it from birth – Michele

Always have been intolerant of dairy wheat carrot. Never got other grains and preservatives until I was 16 years old and then very ill. I have had 40 years of experience and finally found failsafe and find I had sorted out most of my intolerance – Daisy

Gastro-intestinal and other illness

For me it was glandular fever - Jessica

I think I've always had a mild form, like so mild that I didn't really need to do anything about it, but after a bout of gastro just over two years ago, things went bonkers – Terri

Antibiotics

6 months of antibiotics and 3-4 years of bulimia – Nan

Mine was caused by 13 years of taking daily antibiotics for a lung condition. I’ve been intolerant of salicylates for over 20 years now ? So used to eating boring safe foods but happy to stay reaction free. Although I still get caught out every now and then - Jan

Clindamycin, 5 weeks of it for an infection. ? –Linda

Other

I didn't know I had intolerances until I was adult, but when I discovered that I, my young son and husband were healthier and happier (no bad aggressive or depressive moods) when we stopped eating certain foods and learnt more about intolerances, I realised I had always had them, and was the reason I had illnesses and used to vomit, and have tummy pain sometimes as a baby and child – May

I think I have always had issues with food but I didn't realise my symptoms were being caused by food. Then I went to a new naturopath who made me very ill from something she gave me. I was doing gut healing to try to recover from that, that's when I got extremely ill - Sharyn

Thyroid disorder for me – Judy

We started adding lots of high antioxidant foods, little did we know we were actually just loading our body full of histamines..that's when our rashes and hives started...damn that kefir Ann!! – Rebecca

I think I’ve always had it but it jumped to the foreground in 2016 when I did the I Quit Sugar program and was eating heaps of vegetables, using olive oil, coconut oil and spices. I started getting hives every day after I ate anything and reactions were so bad they became almost instantaneous. I would cut up capsicum for a meal and within 5 mins I had red hands and forearms down to the elbow. I’d always suspected perfumes so had avoided all fragrances in my skin care, body wash, shampoo/conditioner and laundry/cleaning stuff but didn’t know about foods causing it until it was mentioned by a Dermatologist that I was seeing in 2017 for an autoimmune diagnosis. From the time it started til I got it under control I had had the hives for close to 8 months continuously and a year sporadically as I had had some reactions of hives months earlier from new clothing - Joan

A slow leaking shower that created mould in my built in wardrobe - I wasn’t aware of it till I discovered a hat covered in it. I was breathing in the toxins for months I think – Mary

I was exposed to chemicals and toxins in the 1980s at the Steelworks which affected my gut bacteria, and then the intolerances started. I’ve been treated at the Centre For Digestive Diseases in Sydney and I'm finally turning things around, the improvement I've seen has been stunning - Wayne

Note that many come to the elimination for their children, reacting strongly to high levels in small bodies, and then by doing the elimination with their child discover that their lifelong symptoms disappear and that they have always had intolerances themselves that they were unaware of - Tracy