I have three marvelous boys. Two of them have food sensitives/intolerances, food allergies and oxalate sensitives. Because of these issues, we follow a pretty strict diet. I tend to get a lot of questions about this and I thought that maybe it was time to share it via blog. So read on...
Question: How did you know your children had all these food allergies and things?
My youngest was the perfect baby. Slept well, ate well, easy going, was way ahead on milestones, and then when he was about 16 - 18 months old our world began to crash down. He stopped sleeping well. He was fussy. He was totally out of control and a tornado of activity. He had red cheeks and ears. He was suffering chronic ear infections. He stopped gaining words and his speech worsened. He began to have horrible diapers. At the same time my oldest had a massive personality change. Once easy going and pleasant, he was miserable and crabby. He also stopped sleeping well. He had digestive upset as well. For awhile we were chalking it up to moving, but soon we realized more was going on. We had early childhood come out to help figure out was going on with my youngest. One of the teachers leaned over to me (when my son did not qualify) and said "Start finding out all you can about Sensory Processing Disorder." I totally credit this person with saving my boys and my sanity. He ranks top in my list of my favorite people. He later became the youngest's occupational therapist, but I digress. As I did my research (I read for hours every night, spent countless hours researching on the web), I came up with a book called Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder by Karyn Seroussi. As I read, I realized my son was just like her son. She treated/healed him by removing foods he couldn't tolerate. So I copied her approach and took milk (casein) and wheat (gluten) out of his diet. Since my oldest was having some issues we took it out of his diet as well. Actually, we did it for all three boys. My middle child did not do well on it and but the other two began to have massive changes for the better! After about 6 months of doing well, they began to go downhill again. To shorten this answer, lets just say I found a doctor who did some biomedical treatments. She ran blood tests and found their multiple allergies/intolerances. They each had a list of roughly 20 foods that they were allergic/intolerant to.
Question: How did your children develop all these allergies?
Answer: The answer is somewhat complicated and probably controversial. Now please don't comment on my education or that I am wrong and misinformed. I am simply going to share what I believe happened in my own opinion and in our select case. If you disagree and are so upset you feel you need to rant at me, read another blog. I believe the illness my boys have (which really had no name, but I liken it to a massive autoimmune system-gone-wrong response) was caused by multiple things. I use the analogy of a chair. What happens if you remove one leg of a chair? It can still balance and function somewhat. What happens if you remove all the legs? It falls to the ground. My boys had too many "legs of the chair" removed and their immune system crashed and reacted to food. It all started when we all got REALLY ill. We were put on antibiotics (and were on them for about 5 months off and on). The boys were vaccinated while ill and on antibiotics. They have a family history of autoimmune disorders. Are you counting the "legs?" All these "legs" removed affected their immune system and two things happened. Their immune system went haywire and started recognizing food as a "germ" and began fighting it as a "germ" just like most kids with typical allergies. Also, they developed "leaky gut" in which when the gut becomes permeable. Now I know the gut is permeable somewhat. But theirs became too much so. It has holes that allow too big of food particles to bypass the stomach and intestine wall. The food particles then turn into opiate-like substances affecting the brain. Google leaky gut for more detailed info. Or read the books I list later. To summarize, I feel vaccines, illness, genetics, environmental toxins all put a strain on their immune system. It is a whole lot more complicated then my simple response, but you at least get the idea. To write the whole story would require a whole book, so this is my very condensed version. If you need more information I would be willing to chat with you in length.
Question: What are their food allergies/food intolerances?
They both have a long list. And of course, both of them did not have the same list.
In the beginning my oldest avoided:
Cow's milk (all casein)
Egg white and yolk
Gluten (wheat in all forms)
The Youngest (my little sweet turkey) avoided:
Cow's milk (casein)
Egg white and yolk
Gluten (all forms of wheat)
Long list, huh? The first time I went shopping, I wandered the food isles for three hours. Picking up boxes, reading them, holding back tears, wondering what on earth I was going to feed my babies. I went home with a bag of chips. Over the 4 years I have done this, we have added back a few things on a regular basis. Some have been added back on a select basis. If you are getting started, find someone for moral support. Doing this alone sucks. It does. But I promise, it does get easier. I promise, you CAN do it.
I will be posting more questions and answers. Do you have a question? Let me know.