Food allergies is a topic that is always a little controversial, even in like-minded circles sometimes. Everyone has an opinion and their doctor (or doctors) has an opinion. There are those people that do not even believe food allergies exist and then there are those that may choose to eliminate a food from their diet because it's "trendy" or the "thing to do" right now. Both of these groups are extreme and not ones I would personally take advice from. Everyone's body is unique and responds to foods differently. It's a fairly long post today, documenting our allergy story.
I admit, I find it frustrating when people either don't really believe food allergies exist or they choose to ignore the possibility they have a food allergy. It's not trendy when you literally feel like you want to roll up in a ball on the floor and it only happens after you eat a specific food. No one wants to feel that way. It's also personal because I have seen first hand how horrible it is for disease to take over the body and the toll it takes on loved ones. Knowingly eating foods that do damage to our body does not only affect our body - but those around us and may have to possibly take care of us. But enough of that soapbox. :) Here is why my family knows food allergies exist and will continue to modify our diets.
My husband's Allergy Story
In the beginning, my husband was skeptical of the naturopathic doctor. After I got pregnant though without fertility treatments, he decided to give him a try. My husband has always been fairly healthy but he took a daily antibiotic for acne. Yes, I said daily. I know, cringe. He began researching like I did and wanted to get off of the antibiotic.
After blood work and an allergy test, it showed he was off the charts allergic to dairy and eggs in the delayed reaction test. When we started reading labels for these items, he was eating it more often than he thought. Once he started taking these items out of his diet, his acne disappeared. To this day he does not take antibiotics for acne or wash his face with a special cleanser and he does not have acne.
After he had eliminated dairy and eggs from his diet, he would notice increased bloating and discomfort after having those items. He has since gone back and forth eliminating and then not, but for awhile now he has been diligent in his diet restrictions.
His original blood work showed inflammation that could be related to heart disease in the future, which is what led to the allergy testing in the first place. Making a life change now to either avoid or delay future health issues is really what matters. Of course, he overall feels better now and that is a motivator, but why make choices now that may negatively affect our health in the future, causing heartache and stress for those who love us and possibly end up taking care of us.
Little Man's Allergy Story
From the first night in the hospital after he was born, Little Man had horrible gas, burps and spit up. The nurses said it was too soon for his gas to be that stinky, but it most definitely was and it continued on into infancy. He was a fussy nurser and didn't like to go to sleep, but an otherwise very happy baby.
Eliminating dairy was always the hardest for me and so I was reluctant. But after six months of erratic sleep, I was ready to try anything. I eliminated diary, eggs and gluten for six weeks. I believe it was making a difference, but his sleep was still hit or miss. I eventually started eating eggs and gluten again and eventually dairy because I couldn't see significant enough results in sleep to continue......and I was starving. :)
His first ear infection was around nine months. He had one or two more that winter. Then fall 2016 hit and things took a drastic turn starting in October. It was ear infection after ear infection. Some we were able to resolve with naturopathic medicine while some needed antibiotic. Our pediatrician is very patient with me and works with us to use my natural medicines unless things looked really bad. I'm sure some would say, you don't need to use the antibiotics at all and that is fine. I don't judge you for that. We all have to make our own decisions.
In an attempt to try everything to solve this problem, we tried to fully eliminate his dairy even though he was not getting much anyway - but with the holidays it was not 100% elimination. We also started seeing a chiropractor. Even after the antibiotics had ran their course, the fluid was there, but clear. If you don't know, fluid just sitting around is susceptible to infection. I believe this is what was happening. A few times after seeing the chiropractor, the fluid was gone!! He even had a nasty ear infection in late winter 2017 that after two days of antibiotics, the ear was completely cleared up with zero sign of fluid. I was amazed!
In April 2017 we decided to see an allergist for skin testing. After reviewing his entire medical history, she gave her opinion that he did not need a skin test at this point. His symptoms point to classic dairy issues. She also said not all "allergy/intolerances" will show up on a test. With this recommendation, we went hard core dairy elimination. We had already done a consult with the ENT for tubes in his ears. He said, the next infection he gets, it would be time. That was in April of 2017. He has yet to have an ear infection this year and every time he is at the doctor for any reason, I have them check his ears......clear with NO fluid. He has been sick this winter, but nothing like last winter and we have been able to clear it up with the natural medicines.
One thing to note, the allergist told us to avoid watermelon during ragweed season. She said ragweed allergies can be common with dairy allergies. Last August someone gave us a watermelon and not realizing we were well into ragweed season, I let him eat it. Two days later he started having a runny nose and then a "throat clearing/cough" thing going on. It was fairly constant and after a week or so took him to the doctor. The naturopath heard the slightest inflammation in his lungs. I increased his medicine and the next day took him to the pediatrician. She did not hear anything. I don't know if the medicine cleared it up that quickly since it was minor or I'm not really sure what the difference would be actually. All I know is that it went away with consistent natural medicine and I was convinced it was the watermelon that started it.
Baby Girl's Story
Very much like her brother, her gas was horrendous in the hospital after birth. She nursed ten times better than the other two and hoped that she wouldn't have the issues the other two had. With her stinky gas though, I was fearful that dairy may be an issue for her, but I was not mentally ready to commit to that diet right away.
Then one night a few months later, I had ice cream and she was up screaming with gas in the middle of the night and I knew. I was able to determine that the heavy creams in pasta dishes and ice cream gave her the most trouble. I limited my cheese intake and she did much better. We tried dairy a few times after she turned a year and the same results, screaming with gas pains. We just stay dairy free at this point. She also had a multiple ear infections last winter, but nothing like Little Man's. So far this year, she has had none.
My Allergy Story
Up until almost a year ago, I did not have an allergy story. It started in August of last year, I had a slight cold and the drainage just never really went away. It was not a cold and sometimes there was less drainage and sometimes more. I remembered having this constant drainage issue several years before we started trying to get pregnant. I had also started being bloated on a daily basis, sometimes all day. This was also something that was an issue before, in addition to I was starting to break out again with acne.
I never really knew before what was causing these symptoms or that they might be related. What I did know is that when I started eating paleo when I was trying to get pregnant, all of these symptoms went away. I had never felt that healthy before. I had always assumed it was the sugar and just eating healthy in general. I've been working toward eating healthier and getting off caffeine completely to help with these symptoms.
Although when all that drainage turned into the worst sinus infection ever in November I decided to try eliminating gluten. I thought, surely I don't have a gluten issue. Within a week, the bloating was gone and my face was clearing up. I had something with a little gluten and I had serious gastric issues and bloating worse than before. That was my answer. I have been checked for a gluten allergy with a saliva test in the past, but it was close to seven or eight years ago, and it was negative.
Since then, I have had very limited gluten and always pay for it later. I know I need to work on my caffeine intake and overall diet, but eliminating the gluten has made a huge difference. It has definitely helped in reducing my desserts since most desserts are made with gluten - which is not a bad thing. My oldest now will ask, did you tell them to take the croutons off when I order a salad. She is my food police.
We have a lot of crazy food issues, which makes it difficult to meal plan and cook at times, but it’s better for the long term. We are always trying to do better. We don’t eat horribly, but we can definitely make some better choices at times. It also helps to know your body and understand how you feel when you eat certain foods. God made us all unique. Sometimes it just takes practice to listen to Him and our body.
Thanks for reading! Would love to hear your food stories.
Please check back often as I am adding or modifying pages as time permits.
Scripture/Quote of the Week:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
Who Am I?
Hi! I am Pam. I am so glad you stopped by to take a look at my blog. I am a Christian, wife, stay at home PCOS mom and homeschool mom to three amazing kiddos. I'm all about all natural living and real whole food - in real life.
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There are several pages with information on what works for our family, references and my passions. Hop over to the About section for more details on my story and I hope you will follow me in this journey! I'm always open to comments!