Becoming A Food Detective

Sometimes you have to figure out your problem

Kim McKinney
6 min readMar 10, 2020


Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I’m not a medical professional. That doesn’t matter. I still know my body better than any medical professional I have ever visited.

The good ones quickly realize I pay attention to my body and work with me as part of the team. Those who treat me like an uninformed bystander will seldom see me more than once.

We typically know when something is wrong with our bodies. Even when it bamboozles the experts, and they give us reasons that don’t seem to ring true. Sometimes we have to figure out what may be going on ourselves and not wait for the medical professional to do it for us.

When I was in my 20s, I started getting severe headaches. I was concerned. I had never had headaches that severe before.

My mom’s best friend had died because of headaches when I was a child. She had a brain tumor and died in the hospital before diagnosis. She was a nurse, as was my mom.

There was some fear stemming from the lack of diagnosis for my mom’s friend when I also had unexplained severe headaches. I knew I was going to be aggressive to find out what was going on.

I went to my allergist first. I often had issues with allergy-related headaches. My allergist told me that allergies do not cause headaches.

I looked at him and said, “I’m allergic to grass. I mow my grass and get a headache. I’m very allergic to ragweed. I go to the indoor farmer’s market where they sell ragweed as flowers and get a horrible headache and have to take Benadryl and sleep for hours after that. But you say there is no connection?”

He fumbled and jumbled and tried to over-explain a simple concept. Oh, the headache was a secondary symptom indirectly caused by allergies. Blah, blah, blah. I never had full confidence in him again.

But he did take the headaches seriously and referred me to a neurologist.



Kim McKinney

A non-niche writer who loves a good story. My ADHD mind thinks way too much for its own good, but I have grown to love it. An idea person.