Burnout or health problem?

I experienced a lot of burnout last year. Usually, I can just outlast burnout and it goes away when I start a new project. This time it lasted most of the year and I didn’t really get back to normal until 2021. In my case the reason my ‘burnout’ lasted so long and was hard to get rid of is because it was actually a health problem. I got into this industry because I love coding but I didn’t really feel that way last year and even considered leaving the industry. I had a lot of troubling focusing with the single minded obsession you need to beat down tricky bugs. At the time I thought I had burnout, I was depressed, it had to be something like that right? 

Well in this case it wasn’t burnout or depression, but my diet. I’ve had issues with various foods making me sick in the past, but never really isolated the cause beyond ‘don’t buy bread with preservatives in it’. I eat out a lot and while I’d thought about doing an exclusion diet several years ago, and have built apps in the past to help people isolate food ingredients they have issues with, I’d never actually done an exclusion diet myself. 

In the end I started an exclusion diet in January after moving into my new apartment here in Phoenix. The effects in my case have been totally worth it, as I now know which foods I can and cannot eat if I want to think clearly. I can’t really say I understand the medical causes behind things, but a number of foods give me a combination of brain fog, headaches and stomach discomfort. It isn’t life threatening beyond making me suicidal on occasion. But I really can’t afford to eat anything with Sage in it without ruining an entire day. 

So far I’ve had to exclude Sage, preserved meats, and wheat or gluten products. I can eat most other foods without a problem.