Monday, December 3, 2007

Allergies and Food Intolerances

My son was tested for allergies several times because of his severe reactions to many foods. He was a poor sleeper constipated and had a blistery diaper rash while drinking milk and eating wheat. He was sick with ear infections and colds and seemed to have no immunity and finally lost eye contact and all words. He also had severe diarrhea several times a day which smelled particularly foul.

After many many tests the allergists told me he wasn't allergic to anything. One even said "In this country, medicine uses a death anddisease model." So, if you you have a fast reaction to a food and could potentially die from it, they can easily test for this type of IgE allergy. But
more subtle intolerances are often overlooked because they are slower reactions and are IgG mediated or delayed reaction to foods. They won't kill you, but you will have chronic problems and many symptoms.

It turns out my son had multiple food intolerances which were diagnosed through an internist who practices integrative medicine and uses the ALCAT intolerance test which looked at the cells reaction to 150 different foods. Although mainstream doctors won't do these tests, they were critical to my son and daughter getting better. The GIspecialist, knowing that kids under three often test negative for celiac, an autoimmune disease caused by gluten, did a Prometheus gene test for celiac and discovered two genes for celiac in both my kids. A neurologist also told me the molecule for gluten(wheat), casein (dairy) and soy were very similar, so it would be best to remove all three in order to get better. In our case, the pediatrician never got to the bottom of any of my children's symptoms, although they were very good at prescribing antibiotics which destroyed my sons good gut flora. It was specialists who were able to finally give me a explanation for why my son was getting sicker and sicker. And it was specialists who were thinking about his symptoms and thinking beyond the tests.

FOOD IS MEDICINE and FOOD IS POISON

The treatment for celiac is a gluten (wheat) free diet. When we began the gluten free/casein free diet the first thing I noticed was that my 18 month old son, who had never slept through the night and had never taken a nap for longer than 45 minutes, suddenly started to sleep
through the night and take a 2 sometimes 3 hour nap. Then he got better--his diaper rash magically went away and his diapers became less foul. His constant runny nose and perpetual sickness went away. Most interesting, was that my picky eater started eating a variety of foods.

When my son did the ALCAT testing for other food intolerances I found out he was intolerant to oranges, broccoli, avocado, oats and black pepper. This is when his red cheeks started to get normal and I noticed all his "allergic" symptoms disappeared.

WHEN TO CONSIDER ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCES

If your child is constantly sick with one illness and has symptoms of allergies, I would look into nutritional intervention. But if your child has a verbal or physical delay, this is of critical importance and a trial of a GFCF diet of 3-4 months should be done. I would also suggest doing celiac testing in advance or getting a gene test before you put them on a GFCF diet, as Celiac Disease is 1 in 133 now and is very underdiagnosed and requires a lifelong gluten free diet.

When they did my son's hearing test, I noticed there was an allergist at the Ear Nose and Throat practice. They said that in many cases there is a connection between ear infections and food sensitivities. My son had a runny nose when he was eating food he was intolerant to, but some of the mucous pooled in his ears and caused ear infections. He has not had an ear infection since we changed his diet, although he had three in the six months he was on a regular diet.

Classic symptoms of food allergies are bags under the eyes, dark circles under the eyes, runny nose, diaper rash that won't go away, constant ear infections and cough. Also, my son had a "verbal processing delay" and my daughter had low muscle tone ("benign congenital hypotonia") which both cleared up with a change in diet.

7 comments:

cathryn said...

After pouring over your site for infor. to help my children's sensory & behavioral issues,I read your links re: Celiac Disease and it hit me-all those symptoms-Celiac is what my 45 yr old brother has.He was a very sick little boy, and now he just had his second surgery to remove the remainder of his colon and rectum. He has never been tested for celiac. If he had been diagnosed as a child he may never have devoloped Chrohn's. After this last surgery they finally gave him a definite diagnosis of Chrohn's Disease. He has been so sick for so long.I'm so glad your getting the word out there. I hope other children can be spared what my brother has gone thru.

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gfcfmom said...

Cathryn,
I have spoken to two people who have similar stories to your family. One the uncle had chrone's and his neice had celiac. Another, two children had diagnosed celiac and the mother was diagnosed with celiac at the Celiac Center at Columbia but she had celiac in her colon, which I don't quite understand since there are no villi in your colon. But, my point is, they go together and taking gluten out of the diet can be a treatment for both conditions. Good luck with your kids and to your brother. I am so sorry to hear about his having to undergo such a radical surgery.

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gfcfmom said...

Also, this article from a journal titled Inflammatory Bowel Disease might be of interest to you. I can't believe the doctors don't recommend a gluten free diet for people with Crohn's. They would rather surgically remove 1/2 your gut than recommend a gluten free diet. It is our death and disease model. This makes me SOOOOOO mad!

Celiac Disease Prevalence High in Patients with Crohn's Disease
Inflamm bowel Dis. 2005 Jul;11(7):662-666.

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Anne said...

Hi GFCFMom,

I recently had the Alcat done and I agree that it's an invaluable test. I blogged about it. Actually, it was one of my first blog entries and part of my inspiration to start my blog was to shout it from the moutaintops that I did the Alcat and it really helped! Also, I love how you describe yourself as GF and as being DF and SF "light". I am 100% GF for the past year, and probably 90-99% depending on the day or month also DF and SF. Those things are not strong reactors on my Alcat but other analysis that my naturopath did said it would be best to lay off them as best I can. Anyway, I just found your blog and am excited to read your backposts.

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Anonymous said...

Hi all - there is a newer version of the ALCAT test which is even more accurate for diagnosing and treating food sensitivities. It is called MRT or Mediator Release Test, same inventor but vastly improved technology. This information can be an important part of the treatment puzzle for anyone with chronic symptoms.

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Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing about this testing. My 25 month old daughter also has these really rosey cheeks and I think I am associating it to chocolate. This ALCAT test seems really expensive, so I am going to try eliminating chocolate to see if I get results first. She doesn't have it often, but has had it more lately and my husband has been giving her more chocolate lately. Hmmm!

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Macy Jones said...

Dear Blogger, I am a mom of a three year old boy who for the first two years of his life was sick. We were constantly in and out of the doctors office only to be told my son must be a child who gets sick easily that eventually he will get an immunity to certain germs. Every time I went I would ask if possibly he could have an allergy to milk or some other kind of food and they would always dismiss it. Finally after two years of him not sleeping, throwing up constantly with fevers I decided I would figure it out on my own. Finally I had a friend who told me try taking him off dairy and see what happens, so I did and low and behold he immediately got better. We've never actually got him tested for a dairy allergy or intolerance but know he has improved. After reading all your blogs about allergies and intolerances I can't believe how similar your story is to mine. I would love to get more information on what test would be right for him and me. Because the ones I have gotten haven't shown anything. I would love to hear from you. Sincerely Macy Jones

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