Monday, May 9, 2011

My Banana Adventures | With a Not-So-Happy Ending

I have had a love affair with bananas as long as I can remember. They have been a staple in my diet, even before I started working out (again) and running.

Since I turned 40 yrs old (in 2001) – I have noticed that things that use to bother me, don’t anymore and things that didn’t bother me, my body now hates. Part of the aging process, I guess.

Last Summer – as I was knee deep in my beginning phases of running to train for the Vegas Half, I noticed that my stomach would hurt in the AM. Not gassy, but like a soreness and pressure. Something I had never experienced before.

What I didn’t know at that time, my body had suddenly decided to take on Asthma.

When the weather got cold – and I was running, my chest would physically HURT, and I couldn’t breathe. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I had asthma. I never had hay fever, asthma or anything like that, before.

Back to the stomach pains. I attributed the pains to a supplement I was taking, so I switched. It worked for awhile, but I the stomach pains came back right after I ate.

Even though I ate bananas almost every morning and certainly before my runs/races – I never thought it was a banana.

In February and March when I could no longer ignore the symptoms of my asthma, I sought medical attention and now it is under control and has made huge improvements in my training, racing and everyday life.

But, the stomach pains were getting worse, each morning.

On a hunch – I did a Google search “stomach pains in the morning, after breakfast” – one of the first articles to pop up – was about bananas.

It struck my curiosity and turned my world upside down!

I found out (through further research) that those who suffer from allergies and/or asthma often have a sensitivity to bananas and the result is a painful stomach ache. Something to do with the latex in the banana. Furthermore, if you have a latex allergy – you shouldn’t eat bananas.

Here is one of the links:

To say I was in shock, was an understatement.

So – I tested the theory. I didn’t eat a banana the next day, or the next or even now – and not one stomach ache. I didn’t eat a banana prior to my two previous races – and not one stomach issue (which has plagued me in the past).

Today, I ate a raw banana – and waited and waited. Then, when I got up from my office chair – it hit me, that ole familiar stomach ache.

What have I learned? There is no stopping the aging process – our bodies will change, but it doesn’t have to discourage us.

I encourage each of my readers, if you are suddenly developing different reactions – investigate and don’t presume that what you could eat or drink last year or last week is okay today.

Pay attention to your body – it’s the best navigator to your health. What will I do now for Potassium? I have been taking supplements.

No more raw bananas for me! I am sad, but glad I won’t have these stomach aches anymore. Today is my last day eating a raw banana.

Have you had to make any food adjustments, recently? I would love to hear your story.
Live and Run Strong,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Half-Marathoner, Business Blogger, Public Speaker
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  1. Fantastic post! I'm a grad student studying to be a nutritional counselor, and I absolutely agree that certain people have different individual reactions to foods! I'm so glad you ended your post telling people to investigate their diets instead of simply condoning bananas. They are incredibly healthy, just not for everybody! Great post I loved it!

  2. Thanks for the great insight, Marlee.

    I have another, much more serious allergy - to eggs. I wish I could eat eggs, but I have had to work my life around it.

    Good luck on your studies. What a great field - much needed

  3. Jacqueline WiddisMay 9, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    I found out through the eat and then don't eat experimentation that raisins were a migraine trigger food for me. Now that I cut those out, I rarely get migraines and I had some serious troubles with those guys. Love raisins, but not for me!


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