Hard to identify triggers!

As I am ‘working’ with this diagnosis VM for about 5 months now, I am wondering more and more how I could possibly identify triggers !
I follow the Buchholz diet, I am on the look out for other possible triggers. And in the meantime I am just living from day to day. What I notice is that there is a baseline of symptoms I have ( 24/7 slightly dizzy/weird in the head, loud tinnitus, tired ) and sometimes I get headaches, for a day, or for 6 days, or whatever, and sometimes my ears are more full or a bit painful. But I can’t see any clear connection with what I have eaten or what I have done.

I mean, If I would for example eat only a tomato, and afterwards would get sick, it would be obvious. But it is never like that. When you eat a complete meal and you feel the same as before , how could you know there was or was not a trigger ?
Following the diet didn’t change anything for me in 5 months, , spending less and less time on the computer didin’t change much either.

So how did you identify triggers, and how sure can you be about them??

Hi, AnnaMarie. It’s been extremely difficult for me to pinpoint triggers. I’ve also been on the Buchholz diet and was able to find some food items that are problematic. But when food might not trigger symptoms for one or two days after you’ve eaten it, and when sometimes it’s a trigger but not others depending on the level of your other triggers at the time, it’s certainly not clear-cut. (There are some obvious foods I always avoid, like MSG, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, chocolate, etc.) Throw in fluctuations in the weather, stress levels, sleep changes, and everything gets complicated. Last night in the shower, I could smell something sweet, like cologne, and I got so dizzy I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get out. Turns out it was the product my hairdresser had used on my hair, and getting it wet activated the scent to the point of triggering my symptoms. My doctor told me that “anything” can cause a reaction, so sometimes it’s just a guess as to what it was.

If you haven’t read the post Scott made on September 4th called “Hotel nightmare,” take a look at that. I think we all struggle with identifying triggers. I’d say sometimes I’m about 50% sure of mine, and I’ve had this problem for 12 years. But sometimes there’s a lot of guessing going on.

Hope you can get yours under control.

Once I think I have a trigger figured out, I will repeatedly test it in isolation if it’s something I have control over. For example, drinking a diet soda and tracking what happens, or walking into the Body Shop to test strong odors - I’ll repeat the exposure multiple times, since triggers don’t work in isolation and I want to at least try to see if there is any consistency in the resulting symptoms (or lack thereof). For figuring stuff out, I kept a very detailed diary (sleep, weather, food ingredients and amounts, and symptoms) and then reviewed it to look for trends or patterns. Some things are definitely still up in the air, but the diary was very eye opening for me and I figured out some important stuff that I would have otherwise missed. It’s really hard for anyone to figure this stuff out. As Elswyth mentioned, it is not clear cut. There are just SO many variables in our day to day lives. We just do the best we can, and it can certainly feel like we are just throwing darts at times.