Sensitive to Tomatoes?

by brenda on July 12, 2011


{photo credit}

We ate some awesome little Sungold tomatoes in a salad tonight. I was munching on them before and after dinner, as well. I have 4 10′ rows of tomatoes growing in my garden right now. I love tomatoes. The funny thing is, 2 years ago, I didn’t plan to plant any tomatoes in my garden, because I got sick off of them so easily. 

Every time I ate tomatoes, my face would flush bright red. I was all of the sudden sensitive to every noise around me. And then the digestive issues would start. Eating tomatoes meant diarrhea for me….

I thought it was all related to my high blood serotonin levels and the possibility of familial Carcinoid Syndrome. I don’t believe that anymore. My thoughts about genetic diseases have changed. I believe that diseases stay within families because families pass down unhealthy habits. There’s more to it than this, but I think that a person who eats whole foods and maintains a healthy life can "beat the odds" of so-called "genetic" diseases.

People who have high serotonin are sensitive to foods that produce serotonin in the body. It is rare to have high serotonin–it is mostly limited to kids with autism and adults with Carcinoid Syndrome…

Foods that contain tryptophan create more serotonin in the body. Foods that may create high levels of serotonin include bananas, kiwi, pineapple, plums and tomatoes. There are others that may create moderate levels of serotonin in the body–avocado, olives, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, dates, eggplant, figs, grapefruit, honeydew, and spinach.

So what does a person with high serotonin do? Stay away from all of these foods? That’s what I thought the future looked like for myself (and my 9 year old son who also has high serotonin). Or, there is another solution–a daily shot of a medication to lower your serotonin. The problem with this is that the "issue" that caused the high serotonin is still going on in the body. And if you study Carcinoid Syndrome, you learn that serotonin isn’t the only neurotransmitter that is elevated–so the medication is really only adjusting 1 small part of the whole disease. (And then, there are the side effects of the medication). 

I am not a doctor, but in my well-researched (and lived-out) opinion, I believe that Carcinoid patients have tumors because they first had leaky gut (GAPS). I know that most Western Medicine doctors deny that what we eat really effects our health (which is ridiculous), but 80% of all of the body’s serotonin is produced in the GUT. Right where our food is being processed. Right where starches and complex sugars ferment and turn into alcohol if we don’t have the right enzymes to process them. And my guess is that 100% of Carcinoid patients are probably lacking the enzyme Amylase and cannot break down starches or refined sugars.

The diet that is recommended for Carcinoid Syndrome is similar to the one that is recommended for Crohn’s Disease. They have it all backwards. Low fat foods, white meat without the dark parts and white breads will not heal the gut.

While I was never diagnosed with Carcinoid Sydnrome (I refused to have scans done that would expose me to radiation, when the chance of finding tumors so early is extremely rare), my blood level for serotonin was high. I have not had it tested again, but I don’t necessarily need to–because:


And I don’t get sick from them!!!

This is why I can say with such passion, the GAPS Diet HEALS people! It does. I have seen it my life, and tons of others have seen it in theirs.

I believe that the GAPS Diet is what people with Chron’s and other digestive diseases NEED. There was a report in 2005 called Gaps in Intestinal Barrier Could Cause Crohn’s Disease….Yes, the gaps in the intestinal barrier cause Crohn’s, IBS, Autism, Schitzophrenia, many of the RAD symptoms we see in adopted kids, etc., etc., etc.–The gut is supposed to protect our blood stream from undigested and/or fermented foods. But if it’s not working right–if it doesn’t have the right enzymes–if there are tiny holes in it–disease happens. 

And I believe that GAPS is for Carcinoid patients, too. It’s worked for me, anyways. No more flushing. No more diarrhea. No more sensitivity to noise. I can eat tomatoes! YAY! 🙂


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Reid B. Kimball July 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm


I’m healing from Crohn’s using GAPS right now. I agree w/you about the Low residue diet for Crohn’s. It’s completely backwards. GAPS bone broth soups, puree veggies and juiced veggies/fruits are a much better solution to get nutrition to the body for Crohn’s patients that have strictures.


Deb July 28, 2011 at 7:16 am

Tomatoes also cause the body to produce histamines. The symptoms you describe sound like histaminosis, possibly a mast cell disorder or a lack of DAO or NMT enzymes.
A diet such as the GAPS should help get the overall histamine level down and that would stop the symptoms. I’m not sure that it would reverse advanced carcinoid syndrome. It would be worth a shot and would likely make the symptoms less.
I think it’s good to know which you are dealing with. Lessening the symptoms of carcinoid does not necessarily slow the growth of the tumors in the long run. It just keeps the flares down. But lessening the symptoms of mastocytosis is the ultimate goal for that.


Kimberly October 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Hi! I rejoice with you and your tomatoes! I can eat eggs!! We’ve done GAPS for 2-3 months now as a family for my son who has Asperger’s. But it’s really helping my allergies!

A close friend of mine has a toddler who has mouth swelling with every food they’ve tried except organic corn. Yes, even goat and beef. I know he has leaky gut issues. But is there a way for him to use GAPS? I was researching mastocytosis for him, but I’ll now also check out the serotonin connection. Advice welcome!


brenda October 18, 2011 at 9:26 am

Kimberly, thank you for the note! I’m so glad that you can eat eggs! YES! GAPS heals! 🙂
Can your friend do chicken and chicken broth for her toddler? Can he handle that? If so, I would focus on chicken products. Or seafood. Or whatever protein source he can handle, until his gut is healed. Then I would try introducing the other meats again. So sad to see kiddos go through that kind of stuff!


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