Thursday, June 23, 2011

Questions and Answers ~ part 2

Question: What is the difference between a food allergy and an intolerance/sensitivity?
 Our bodies have different Ig reactions.  The three that I will give information on are IgA, IgE, and IgG.

IgE ~ Actual IgE food allergies are somewhat uncommon, with estimates that 4% of the population have food-based allergic disorders. The most common food allergy triggers are the proteins in cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. IgE allergic reactions to foods can occur within minutes or a few hours after the food is eaten and may lead to many different symptoms including hives, swelling around the mouth, asthma, diarrhea, vomiting, eczema and even life threatening anaphylaxis (which is a severe adverse reaction involving the major body systems).  Corn and oats are growing in number too.

IgG ~ The antibodies that provide long term resistance to infections, called Immunoglobulin G (IgG), have a much longer half life than the traditional IgE allergy. Symptoms, ranging from headache and nausea to seizure and hyperactivity, may occur hours or even days after the offending food has been ingested. The degree and severity of symptoms vary because of the genetic makeup of the individual. The complete elimination of IgG positive foods may bring about important improvements in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, autism, AD(H)D, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy as demonstrated in numerous clinical studies. The 93 foods tested in the IgG Food Allergy Test increase the identification of numerous offending foods. This test can be performed using either serum from a blood draw or dried blood from a finger prick.  This is often called food sensitivty and not recognized by most traditional medical doctors. 
IgA ~ An IgA test measures the blood level of immunoglobulin A, one of the most common antibodies in the body. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight bacteria, viruses, and toxins.  IgA is found in high concentrations in the body's mucous membranes, particularly the respiratory passages and gastrointestinal tract, as well as in saliva and tears.  IgA also plays a role in allergic reactions. Its levels rise in response to the presence of allergens, such as pet dander,things outdoors etc. in sensitive people. IgA levels also may be high in autoimmune conditions, disorders in which the body mistakenly makes antibodies against healthy tissues. 
What is an oxalate sensitivity and why do you follow it for your child? 
Have you heard of kidney stones?  Kidney stones are deposits of minerals and such in kidneys.  A common treatment is a low oxalate diet.  A new frontier for some people is the discovery that they are getting ill from oxalates accumulating in their body and their body then "dumping" them.   A low oxalate diet is in concept simple.  Get to know foods that are high, medium, low levels of oxalates and gradually drop high oxalate foods, then medium oxalates and then maintain a low oxalate diet.  There are several great resources out there.  There is a yahoo chat group that discuss low oxalate diet daily.  My favorite website on this topic is Low Oxalate Diet.  They explain this all in much great detail and with more knowledge then I have on the topic.

Once I again, this is a subject I stumbled upon doing some research.  My oldest had many of the symptoms that go with this sensitivity such as, muscle pain, gum recession, poor sleeping habits, slow growth, chronic stomach issues.  If you have never had a child who tells you he hurts all the time, you are blessed.  Also, most of his food allergies/sensitivies are high oxalate foods.  Go figure.  One of the things we couldn't figure out was why he cycles with his temperment and how he feels.  With oxalates, they build in your body until your body hits a tipping point and you begin to "dump."  This is a horrible feeling and explains why he felt and behaved the way he did.  He has begun to grow again, his teeth are better, his "dumps" are better, sleep is better, and he seldom hurts anymore.  I feel like I have my child back again.  One of the best things we have done to keep the levels of oxalates down is to give him Calcium Citrate before he eats.  It then binds with the oxalates to keep them from accumulating in his body.  The Low Oxalate Diet website had great suggestions on supplements.

 What type of doctor did you see?
Our first doctor we saw that helped us was a DAN doctor.  DAN stands for Defeat Autism NOW!  Their website is now know as the Autism Research Institute.  The doctors who belong to this are trained in biomedical healing and focus on fixing the body rather then treating symptoms.  They deal with the leaky gut issues, food sensitivities etc.  Anyone with an autoimmune disorder would greatly benefit from see one of these doctors.  I am NOT endorsing any specific doctor.  Research and find someone whom you can work with and trust.  That is key!  For a list of DAN doctors click here.

What do you feed them????
We basically eat a very healthy diet.  For meat products eat beef, lamb, chicken, buffalo, few types of fish (no pork except bacon on a special occasion).  We eat lots of fresh produce, except what is on the boys lists.  I use rice, sorghum, tapioca, garfava, arrowroot, potato flours to cook with for baked goods.   I use egg replacer for eggs.  We drink Darifree or coconut milk for milk.  For butter we use a dairy free, soy free butter.  Actually, I have found we are healthier as we are eating absolutely no processed foods.  It is a learning process, but there are really few things I can't reproduce for find for my boys.  It is important to find a good store to shop at, a support network, and to give yourself grace as you learn.  I found having a meal plan works great.  I have a list of 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 30 dinners that I can make.  I rotate them and vary them, but it helped to have a basic idea of what to serve.

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