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Food Allergies: What To Eat When You Can’t Eat Anything

by Jeanette on January 17, 2011 · 59 Comments
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For the past several months, I’ve been struggling to figure out what’s been ailing my youngest son, “A”. A vibrant, active boy at 8 years old, and the healthiest eater out of all my kids, “A” suddenly started suffering severe abdominal pains and fatigue, and recently has been found to be allergic to at least 28 environmental/food categories. What caused this to happen all of a sudden? I have no idea. My best guess at this point is that the two bouts of antibiotics he was on last spring killed all the good bacteria in his gastrointestinal system, and bad bacteria grew in its place.  This imbalance has caused all sorts of havoc on his poor little body. 

The gastroenterologist initially diagnosed him with acid reflux and prescribed an antacid (which I have since read can lead to bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine, leading to bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea). I was told it could take several weeks before the medication kicked in. I tried to be patient, but after weeks of watching my son suffer excruciating tummy aches, and numerous calls and visits to the doctor, I asked for a food allergy test. The test was simple, testing only for wheat, casein and eggs. I was told the results were negative. With no improvement in my son’s condition, I requested a copy of the allergy report. To my shock and amazement, the test results actually showed he was allergic to wheat, casein and eggs! Apparently, the nurse only read the top page of the report without bothering to look any further.

 
Meanwhile, “A” continued to experience horrible pains in his stomach, fatigue and strange symptoms like muscle aches in his legs. Several days, he had trouble walking and complained of joint pain. He underwent further testing for anemia, Lyme disease, muscle enzymes, and celiac, all of which he tested negative for. Still a puzzle, I was open to anything and anyone.My next stop was to a nutritionist and a naturopathic doctor. The nutritionist immediately noted that my son appeared “yeasty,” and that his “chicken skin” eczema indicated allergies of some sort. Further testing found my son was allergic to 28 out of 30 tested environmental/food item categories. What could have caused this sudden onset of allergies? I don’t know and no one has been able to give me an answer yet.However, as the nutritionist pointed out, this begs the question of what else “A” might be allergic to. If I test him for 100 items, will he be allergic to 98? I requested a more extensive allergy test from the naturopathic doctor and was told they didn’t have such a test. Rather, if I told him what I wanted to test for, he could test for it. This was not the answer I was looking for.
 

Frustrated, I contacted our pediatrician to see if he could run a more complete allergy test (“full panel IgE”). Thankfully, he can. In addition, we are testing for yeast, a possible culprit behind the stomach pain and bloating. Meanwhile, while we wait for the results of these tests, I have cut out gluten, dairy, eggs, tomatoes, yeast, grapes, apples, oranges, vinegar, soy sauce and almost all sugar from my son’s diet.

 

I was aware of typical allergic reactions such as hives, swelling of the lips/face/throat, itchy eyes, congestion, and the severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. However, until recently, I did not know that abdominal pain, diarrhea, or nausea might also indicate food allergies. I also did not know that, in many people who have hay fever, that fresh fruits and vegetables and certain nuts and spices could trigger an allergic reaction. Apparently, proteins in fruits and vegetables can cause an allergic reaction because they’re similar to the allergy-causing proteins found in certain pollens (“oral allergy syndrome”). It makes a lot of sense, but I had never thought about it. Therefore, if you’re allergic to ragweed pollen, you might have a reaction to bananas, melons and tomatoes.

 
Eliminating all these foods suddenly from my son’s diet has been extremely challenging and stressful to say the least. For a bread and ice cream lover, this is a killer. “What can I eat??” my son begs. My heart aches because I have no idea. This is new territory for me. I love to cook and experiment, yet I am at a loss. My mind goes blank. No yogurt, fruit smoothies, oatmeal, or eggs for breakfast. No sandwiches for lunch. No milk or juice. “You can have water.” That’s about all I can think of. I stress and cringe every time he comes up to me and says “I’m hungry.” He doesn’t want just anything. He wants something tasty. He wants something appealing to his eye. I’ve searched up and down all the aisles at Whole Foods, reading label after label, looking for gluten/dairy/egg/yeast/sugar free foods. There are almost none to be found. There’s gluten-free bread, but only one pale looking gluten/yeast free option. For now, my son has been satisfying his bread craving with corn tortillas, but I worry that he might become allergic to corn from eating too much of it.

 

I have been racking my brain for ideas. I have poured through cookbooks, contacted friends whose kids have allergies (thank you for sharing some of your recipes Anna!) and explored gluten/dairy/egg free recipes on the web (thank you Lexie for pointing me in the right direction!). My first attempt at making gluten-free pancakes using coconut flour, rice flour and potato starch, were not well received. They actually looked pretty much like regular pancakes, but as the four boys starting eating breakfast, one by one, the comments started, “What kind of pancakes are these? They have a strange texture. They just don’t taste right.” “Shhh,” I motion. Slowly, I see my little boy’s happy little face change suddenly to a frown…breakfast is ruined. “These do taste funny,” he says, and puts his fork down. On my second attempt, I decide to try Lexie’s Saturday Pancakes, which “A” absolutely loved!

 

I am on a quest to find out what is making my son sick, and I believe that food and nutrition will play a major role in this journey to heal my son. How ironic, that I started this blog because of my interest in preventing disease through healthy foods, only to find that one of my very own kids is experiencing an onslaught of food allergies all of a sudden.
I am being challenged beyond anything I have ever imagined. Although I have always empathized with parents who have children with allergies, I never fully appreciated how difficult and challenging it was. I have been spending countless hours researching and thinking about (and obsessing about!) foods that I can make for “A” that are healthy, healing, satisfying and appealing. “A” is a visual kid, and has picky taste buds, so I am being pushed to my limits. Since these allergies just surfaced, he knows what good food tastes like, and expects any “substitute” foods to taste just as good.

 

My blog’s mission is to promote wellness through healthy, whole foods, and this mission remains unchanged. I will simply be expanding my content to include my adventures into allergy-free cooking, including the ups and downs of this journey. For those of you who have already been on a journey to an allergy-free life, or are going through it now, I would appreciate your insight as I am a complete novice in this area.  And for those of you who don’t have any food allergies, but know others that do, I hope my stories will give you some insight into what really goes on.

Stay tuned in as I share the stories and foods I am cooking for “A” along what I pray will be a well-guided path to this recovery.

Related Articles:

Food Allergy: Symptoms, Mayo Clinic

Food Allergy Symptoms, Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment by MedicineNet.com

3 Simple Steps to Eliminate Heartburn and Acid Reflux, Dr. Mark Hyman

Is It a Food Allergy or Intolerance, WebMD

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Comments

  1. Great information. Thank you for sharing!

  2. How sad is it that you had to discover your son's test results for yourself. It's not a very good testament to our health care system. That aside, I'm looking forward to seeing what tasty recipes you'll come up with for your son!

  3. I am so sorry to hear about what is going on with your son. I have a very close friend who's little girl was born with so many food allergies. It is a tough struggle – hopefully he will grow out of some of these allergic reactions soon. xo

  4. That's so tough, I can hardly imagine! Have you tried any coconut flour products? It takes some getting used to when working with it, but you can make pancakes (no dairy if you use coconut milk or water and coconut oil) and such things. Even coconut flour bread!

  5. Maria: I'm hoping that by sharing our experience, that this information helps others in case they come across similar symptoms/allergies suddenly.

    Marly: I was so surprised when I found out the test results were misread, especially since the doctor I went to was supposed to be really good. Just goes to show we have to advocate for ourselves. I've learned to ask for copies of all tests results immediately following this mistake.

    Marla: Thanks for your support Marla. I'm hoping we'll find out the trigger behind all these allergies.

    Carolyn: Thanks for your suggestion on coconut flour. I've actually been experimenting with it and gotten some pretty good results, not always pretty, but they've been passing the taste test, which is encouraging. Would love to see any coconut flour recipes you might have.

  6. These three ladies are amazing and may be able to help.

    http://www.simplysugarandglutenfree.com/

    http://www.tastyeatsathome.wordpress.com

    http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com

    I wish you the very best!

  7. Thank you Suzanne! I have looked at a couple of these and will check out tastyeatsathome. It is so wonderful to find a community full of allergy sensitive food blogs.

  8. Jeanette my heart goes out to your little one and to you too, it's so hard for a Mom to see her little one in so much pain. I frequent a blog that has amazing gluten free recipes, ice cream , brownies, cakes, savoury dishes, puddings. She suffers I believe with an auto-immune disease and she had to change her way of eating. She is a trained pastry chef, her name is Aran and her blog is cannelle et vanille, here is the url – http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/. Aran is actually the reason I started blogging, she is a true inspiration. Her recipes are always full of flavour and she starts always with fresh ingredients. Hope you can find some inspiration. She is very nice and I am sure if you reach out to hear with questions she would assist. I was lucky enough to meet her in person at the BlogHer conference in October.

  9. Thanks Grace. I love cannelle et vanille's blog. I'll check it out more thoroughly and hope to find some yeast free/sugar free recipes.

  10. I'm so sorry about your son! I hope you're able to find the answers you're looking for, and I'm going to pass this on to some of my friends who are dealing with similar situations with their children.

    Also, you probably already have him on probiotics or have considered it. But they can be very helpful if you haven't done so yet. I have my girls on Garden of Life Primal Defense for kids plus a chewable acidophilus (it may have one other culture in it) every day on top of their vitamins. I've been very happy with Primal Defense, but it does utilize milk and tuna for cultures so another one more allergy-friendly may be more appropriate.

    Good luck!

  11. Thanks Caneel, would greatly appreciate any information you or your friends come across. My son is taking some pretty strong probiotics. I just found out someone's daughter had similar allergies and it took a year on a strict diet before her allergies went away or were significantly reduced. Your blog has some great gluten-free recipes!

  12. Thank you! And I'll let you know if I find out any helpful info. Do you subscribe to Living Without magazine? It's a great resource for not only GF recipes and news, but many other allergies as well.

  13. Thanks for letting me know about Living Without, I just subscribed!

  14. My son (6) has had extremely severe eczema … We've had very positive results by seeing a digestion specialist (ND). Although my son didn't test positively for food allergies (through his pediatrician), the ND said that often food allergy symptoms will appear in the body when digestion is compromised (yes, thanks to antibiotics!!) As we already had him on an very restricted diet, I was certain that the program wouldn't help, but it has. VERY, very extreme diet. But, amazing results for us. I have a few ideas. Let me know if you are interested…

  15. Hi Jen, I am so encouraged by your experience. I would love to hear your ideas. Please let me know how I can contact you. My email is jeanette@jeanetteshealthyliving.com. Thanks!

  16. Okay… just sent you an email. Good luck!

  17. Jen, I can't thank you enough for all your suggestions and insight!

  18. It's been such a long road for us… hope you have a quick turn-around for your son!

  19. Just curious about how your son is doing? =)

  20. Thanks for asking Jen. Just got back some results and he has some bad bacteria in his stomach that needs to be treated. Also, I am starting the fermented foods (sauerkraut) as you suggested – thanks :).

  21. Restricted life … But still thats good to feel symptoms earlier.

  22. i have a ton of food intolerances and allergies and it's been a never ending battle. but over the past 2.5 years, eating a clean plant based diet has helped me so much. your blog inspires me to know that i'm not fighting this alone. a hug for you and your son!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am at the end of my rope with our medical system – my daughter has been ill with chronic headaches, sore throat and upset stomach (nausea and diarrhea) for about 5 months. At first I thought the symptoms were so vague that she just didn't want to go to school, but after missing a considerable amount of school, they told me they needed a doctor's note. So I took her to our family doctor, and she told me it was allergies. They've done a CT scan of her sinuses, she's been to the pediatrician and the ENT, all say she has allergies, and have shown me concha bullosa that is impairing her breathing due to allergic swelling. (Never mind how badly I felt that I had been dismissing my daughter's symptoms for months). They also told me that it was quite common for allergies to appear or be exacerbated during "changes", i.e., puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Since my daughter is moving into puberty, that made sense. They also told me that the fact that she had so many ear infections as an infant gave her a predisposition to allergies – something I wish they would have told me when the were putting in one of the three sets of ear tubes, so that I could be looking for it. She responded well to Zyrtek, nasal corticosteroids, etc.

    Now, for the frustration. I took her to the allergist, and they tested for environmental allergens, and told me she's not allergic to anything. This absolutely doesn't make sense to me, however, I'm not surprised b/c the same allergy clinic told me several years ago that I have no allergies, and I know of at least three contact & ingestion allergies that I have. I was so at my wits end, and taking into consideration that they did no food allergy testing on her, I took it upon myself to eliminate dairy and gluten from her diet. I've had some advise from family members that have celiac or that have gone GF for other reasons, and they said if it is a gluten allergy, I should know within about a week of eliminating it from her diet. Well, she went 24 hours without dairy and gluten, and woke up without a headache and no stomach problems. She wanted an uncrustable for lunch, so I let her have it, but told her to pay attention to how she felt afterwards. She said that she got a stomach ache after eating it.

    Now I'm searching the web for anything to support my theory that is is one of these two food allergies that have been causing her problems, and also any sources or recipes that will help her not feel like she is being completely deprived of everything she likes. So far she's found some things that she loves, and others that are on the "do not buy again" list.

    I guess I'm just glad to see that I'm not the only mom who has these frustrations, and that we have to remember that there are times when Mom truly does know best, and that we have to advocate and fight for our kids. Hang in there – I've got hope now after just two days.

    Terri

  24. Food allergies can be so frustrating – I hear your pain. I have brought my son to three different places to have him tested. His IgE results have been consistent, but his IgG results have been different (as expected based on what I've read). After putting my son on a strict diet eliminating all the foods that showed up on his IgE test and his combined IgG test, his abdominal pain started to get better. Now, almost three months later, I am still keeping him off of the foods he tested allergic to on his IgE test and once in a while allowing him to have some foods that showed up positive on his IgG test to see if he has a reaction. So far so good. Another thing I have tried is eliminating all grains whenever his stomach hurts and he seems to help too. It's a long process (I've been told it may take up to a year), but I'm hopeful he will outgrow the majority of his food allergies.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Check out this website: http://jugalbandi.info/
    They've recently converted to a paleo diet which eliminates grains and sugar, but they do eat eggs and dairy. Nevertheless they might have some recipes you might be able to try.

  26. Anonymous says:

    ? Possibly re-visit the Gastroenterologist and ask them about Eosinophilic Esophagitis…

  27. Over the past eight months, I've found that eliminating gluten, dairy, eggs, soy from my son's diet has helped enormously. I also took out other foods he tested allergic to on the IgG panel such as tomatoes and oranges. In addition to this elimination diet, supplements seemed to have helped, including probiotics, vitamin D (he tested low), omega-3, and l-glutamine. These were all suggested by the various naturopathic nutritionists/doctors we saw.

    Gradually, I have been able to add back foods without any reaction, although we have kept to a gluten free diet and largely dairy/egg free diet.

  28. Charmaine Timmons says:

    I recently found out that I was allergic to the following foods. Apples, avocados,basil, bay leaf, blueberrry ,cheese cheddar, swiss, cottage, chicken, clam, coconut, garlic, gluten, haddock, lamb, milk cow, mustard, nutrasweet, oregano, safflower, scallops, sesame, sole, tea black, turkey, walnut, yeast bakers and brewers, and yogurt. looking for foods that I can eat and recipes that I can use. I work shift work which makes it hard for me to prepare food. I also have a excessive candida overgrowth. any help you give will help I am 46 years old and lives in Alaska.

    • Hi Charmaine, so sorry to hear about all your allergies and candida overgrowth. I would recommend you find a good holistic nutritionist and come up with an individualized plan as you may also benefit from supplements. In addition to strong probiotics and lots of omega-3 supplements, my son was found to be low in vitamin D. We believe he had leaky gut syndrome, which caused him to be allergic to a laundry list of foods. To help treat that, a holistic nutritionist suggested we try L-Glutamine powder to help heal his gut. Every person is different, so it’s important to seek professional help and find out what your body is lacking. As far as the diet, what we found worked was to go on a super strict elimination diet, completely eliminating all processed foods, sugars, breads (yeast), gluten/dairy/egg and eliminating everything he was found to be allergic to. We also rotated the foods he ate to prevent additional allergies from developing. I’m not sure what tests you did – we did both IgE (immediate allergic reaction) and IgG (delayed allergic response). After 6 months on a strict diet, we have been able to re-introduce foods that he was found to have an IgG response to. I would recommend looking at an anti-candida blog: Diet, Dessert and Dogs (http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/candida-faq-2/) and the WholeApproach Candida Diet (http://www.wholeapproach.com/diet/foodlist.php). The WholeApproach Candida Diet uses a staged approach and suggests a list of foods you can eat at each stage for eliminating candida. Although I know how frustrating this can be in the beginning, once you focus on what you can eat, you will find there are lots of things. I will email you with some ideas.

      • Hi Jeanette,

        my 8 year old girl has allergy to eggs and tree nuts. Her symptoms after accidental injestion are feeling sick to the stomach, itchy throat/mouth, feeling weak, nausea and sometimes even vomiting. Can you please tell me if Glutamine supplement will be of any help to her and in what dose? What other supplements should she take?

        thanks

        • Jeanette Jeanette says:

          Hi San, I would suggest you talk to a naturopathic nutritionist to see if Glutamine is appropriate for your daughter. Each person is different. My son was on vitamin D (he tested low), strong probiotics, omega-3 pills and L-glutamine, but his symptoms were different from your daughters.

  29. Hi, I am in the same situation as you. My son too 8 years old has went through different type of allergy reaction. When he was 7 month old , he started to have eczema on his neck. Complete skinless neck. All doctors refused to do any allergy test as all think he will outgrow it. However, the eczema got worst every day to a point he was almost skinless throughtout his body. He could not bath/shower properly because his skin will be so stinging and burning. Then, we managed to get one GP in Perth who is willing to test him on food sensitivities. Like you son, he is sensitivies to almost 29 food. He could not have dairy, egg, rice, soy, chicken, beef in fact most of the food. Luckily he could have lots of vegetable and fruits except Kiwi. But he was given lots of vitamins(10 different types) to eat everyday. We felt so bad like you to see him having to eat so many vitamins and consisent blood testing. We decided to stop it and try to give him wholesome food instead. He was really good for 2 years with a bit eczema. Suddenly this year, he develops hive and swell overall. He was hospitalised various time and has done all the blood test for all kinds of diseases like your son. Then, he was allergic to different type of insect bites. His hand or leg where the insect has bitten him will swell and heated up to a point that it double the size of the other. More antibotic on skin and oral. I bet this must have caused further allergies. The Immunologist almost “gave up” and just instruction us to give him antihistamine daily to stop the hive. My husband and I did not give up. We tried stopping even more foods and stop using all kinds of soap, cream and shampoo. Now, all of us at home can only shower with water no cream no soap or moisturerer. Use 95C hot water to wash clothes. Finally, we now think it is the baking soda in the dishwashing tablets and laundry ball that cause his swollen hives. We stop the antihistamine and he was all good.

    However, while he was using antihistamine, his lip and skin above lip were dried. we thought it was due to the antihistamine. however since we have stop the antihistamine, his skin around his mouth and lip has dried up and become skinless again. What new!!!!! another allergies. The GP refused to give him anything except even more powerful steriod cream. it must us really sick because now he cannot even go to the park to play. the wind and sun will make it worst.

    Like you, we are now trying yeast free diet and applied anti fungual cream and steriod to control the inflammation. But not sure will this cause any further damage.

    But my son is full of courage and cheers. He supports whatever we give him and always tell us that he will be the strongest boy when he grows up because he is eating all the good food. Recently, the outbreak around his mouth has emotional affected him. Sometimes, i wish i could take his place.

    Hey, both our sons is better than the boy who can only have water. Be positive. Wish you and us all the best………………our son will outgrow it and will definitely be stronger. He is not alone.

    We think that the anithistamin and antibotic has killed all good bacteria and cause the gut to leak. So, we are trying to heal the gut and hope for the best.

  30. Yen, so sorry to hear about all your son has been going through. It must so frustrating. I do believe the gut can be healed by eliminating foods that we are allergic to and restoring a healthy balance of the right bacteria in our gut.

  31. Oh sweet Jeanette … I am sorry to hear that things are going slow. I will just dump my brain here … hope you don’t mind.

    First thing that comes to mind with the tummy aches and muscle cramps is oxalate … just something you may want to look into or may already have—the calcium/oxalate crystals that can form and fail to be broken down b/c of dysbiosis (imbalanced gut) can cause inflammation. It is also a cause of kidney stones … so people with kidney stones are often put on a low ox diet (LOD):

    “Oxalate is an antinutrient that is present at higher levels in some plant foods like spinach, nuts, and chocolate, but it is also a mitochondrial toxin and neurotoxin, and impairs calcium and iron regulation, all biotin-dependent enzymes, and many other enzymes.” — Susan Costen Owens (she’s an expert in this arena)

    You may want to trial that. On top of what you are avoiding it will be real challenging, but at least start with the BIG high-ox containing foods. Almonds of which are king. Funny, all these great super foods are super high in oxalates, agghhh.

    Miles is doing REAL well. Last summer his allergy tests came back with 20 (IgE). We have healed up his gut and I would say it’s at 90%. And I really feel that once the gut heals up … some of the foods that appeared to be causing issues will be okay to reintroduce and enjoy on occasion.

    Today our NO-NO list includes:

    Dairy (but ghee has worked well — certified casein free that is.
    Nuts (except coconut)
    Grains (except for, rice, some sorghum, some millet, some corn — which he does okay with)
    Eggs
    Gluten
    Fruit (except for cherries and some blueberries) and fructose … absolutely NO juice see tea link below
    Spinach (high oxalate), but do lots of steamed kale
    Very limited sugar (cane, honey, coconut), but use stevia
    LIMITED Carbs (like brown rice pasta or Saturday Pancakes (wink) twice a day)

    MY TOP TIPS:

    1. Tea: We drink a gallon of this a day! Celestial Seasonings Peach is yummy. The Apple Cider Vinegar helps balance the ph of the body and gut and the addition of stevia gives it a sweet juice taste. http://www.lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2011/11/29/healing-sugar-free-apple-cider-recipe.html

    2. Digestive enzymes: Standard Process (bottle says it may contain gluten, dairy, etc so try at your own risk … ) Multizyme and Zymex. Our son W/O all the issues started having pale poo and bumpy skin and Zymex seemed to be what turned that around coupled with avoiding dairy and gluten.

    3. Avoiding the very high oxalate foods. We tried it for 3 months and I think it helped in the healing process. I still avoid most of the “high foods” … but do do some berries. Here is a brief on the topic: http://bodyecology.com/articles/boiling-your-vegetables-low-oxalate-solution-reduce-pain.php AND Here is one list of foods: http://www.ohf.org/docs/OxalateContent092003.pdf There are many and some are conflicting. If you use a list that refers to kale being high. That is now old info. According to Julie Matthews (www.nourshinghope.com) it’s on the okay list. And don’t kill yourself trying to remove every bit of oxalate. Just do your best. We noticed changes in miles GI symptoms within 3 months, so I think you will know if it is helping by then.

    4. Making coconut yogurt: This has been a lifesaver. Very low sugar compared to the commerical products. The only sugar added is to feed the bacteria as it cultures the milk. Sweeten with stevia. Recipe here: http://www.lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2011/10/4/dairy-free-coconut-milk-yogurt-recipe.html

    5. The RIGHT doc and the RIGHT supplements: I encourage going to a DAN! or autism doc … not that your son is autistic, but these docs know what urine and blood tests to run. And the markers in these tests can help confirm likelihood of “yeast” overgrowth and/or processes in your kiddos system that are not functioning optimally. For example, markers pointed to our son having some mitochondrial dysfunction. So now we have customized a supplement cocktail that includes CoQ10, Acteyl-L-Carnitine, Folacal, GI support cap, Probiotics, … to name a few. Your child may be totally different in what he needs and it is critical to find a doc you can identify exactly what his/her needs are. Additionally, toxin and heavy metals tests were high so we have been administering B-12 shots for six months now and just did our first round of DMSA (heavy metal chelation). We also did HBOT last summer and would love to do more … : ) Now I am not saying that all this is for your kiddo. Just sayin’ that the route to healing is different for each child.

    6. Threshold: I would love to do a post on this, but still am wrapping my mind around it. So food intolerances are so prevalent. Once there is healing of the gut, I feel there is hope to reintro some of them. That said, I think it is so important to understand each individuals’ “threshold” with particular foods … some people can eat 1/4 cup blueberries with no problems and another person can enjoy a full cup. My “gut” tells me that we need to pay attention to what our GI can tolerate. I can tell you that Miles can eat 4 grapes. Any more than that and his body just can’t break it all down.

    Our aim is to restore Miles’ gut to top condition so that he will be able to tolerate a drop of dairy or gluten (the only foods his IgG test showed). And that HOPEFULLY we can do eggs with him one day. They are such a power food. I believe this will happen. But it will take time. We’ve been at this for 3 years now and it has gotten soooo much better. It’s a lot of trial and error. Even if you have an allergy test to work with I think it is still all about elimination of those offenders and more (like high oxalate foods). Stay on that diet for a while to allow the gut to rest and heal. One thing, though that we found and what our doc shared is that you’ve got to do some preliminary healing (with food removal) before starting in heavy on the supplements … as it can be a waste of money. With a leaky gut, some of those supplements will not be absorbed. Our doc has a very methodical approach which left me impatient sometimes. But HE has been the one to get us the furthest : )

    Oh I hope this hasn’t been too much. I just may have to copy this comment and make it a post on my blog, ha! I’ve been meaning to post an update and here I have, right on your site : ) LOL.

    Big hug to you, you are doing great Jeanette and am so in love with your blog : )

    xoLexie

  32. Sara Waters says:

    I’ve had chronic sore, painful throat with tightness, hoarse and weak voice to where at the end of the day I’m down to almost no voice – for about 3 years. I’ve been desperately trying to figure out what’s going on. I have excessive mucous most of the time but especially after eating and feel like I have to clear my throat a lot. No lump feeling in the throat, however. And at times, my throat feels like pins are sticking it – upper soft palate areas. I do have GERD, but I avoid spicey foods and don’t eat late at night, so I don’t think that’s the problem. I have developed hyper sensitivities to chemicals to include scented products, which causes shortness of breath, nausea, sore throat, headaches and fatigue. That issue in and of itself has been impossible to endure, so much so that I’m feeling I will have to work from home due to the perfumes and deodorizers in the workplace. I find it curious that the suspected food allergies and known chemical sensitivites are occurring at the same time. Could I have an auto immune deficiency? I have been under enormous stress for several years and maybe I’ve been worn down? I don’t know how to fix the chronic painful upper throat and hoarseness and am desperate for answers. Also, I tried a gluten-free diet for about a week with no change. Was one week long enough to make a difference? And now I’m afraid to eat anything because I don’t know which foods MIGHT be causing the sore/hoarse throat. Can I eat anything?! BTW, I ate only carrots yesterday morning and my throat almost immediately started hurting. I’m also thinking green tea has enough caffeine in it to cause throat pain.

    • Sara, so sorry to hear that you’re not well. I would definitely seek advice from a medical doctor. They could recommend addition testing as needed.

  33. Hi Jeanette,
    I came across your blog while looking for new reciepes as I have severe food allergies. Being a woman and trying to stay fit and healthy is a big challenge for me since I am extremely limited in what I can eat. Like your son my food allergies really hit when I was 8 years old (I won’t go into the back ground story but will note that I also suffer with asthma which make my allergies worse). My mother took me to see an allergist and found out at that time the only thing I was not allergic to was mold. The doctor actually warned my mother that my allergies would get worse the older I became (great right). Fast forward to today and I am now in my early thirties and the doctor was right my food allergies have gotten worse and as you know the symptoms vary greatly. I will admit it is very difficult to eat healthy and expand your food horizons when you are allergic to almost every healthy food out there and like your son I want my food to be tasty.

    For me it has been figuring out what I am willing to deal with so getting headache from dairy products is not a big deal. However, recently I found out my fruit allergies have progressed to vomiting and diahrea where in the past my lips and throat would swell now it is a combination.

    You an your son will find away to work around his food allergies it will be annoying for him while he is younger, but as an adult he will probably spend more time reassuring those around him that he will be fine. Since, many people tend to be unaware that there are people who are allergic to more than just peanuts and seafood your son and you will find yourselves in a position of educating other people.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks for your note Norah and for sharing your experience. It’s always encouraging to hear from others who have food allergies as most people don’t understand the day to day inconveniences it can cause. Fortunately, there are people like you who have words of support and are an example of someone who has learned how to cope with food allergies with a positive outlook.

  34. I feel like god brought me to this website.long long story short i have been going through this for the last three yrs myself.and my kids are all suffering tooMy 8yr old was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophogitis at age 3 which all they did was take him off dairy and give him steroids, my 7 yr daughter just test extreme positive on all the environmental skin test and my 2 yr old has a dairy allergy but has never been tested for anything else.they all have eczema and diarehea.my daughter has started having head aches.i feel so helpless and overwhelmed. This has given me new hope for us and our future.thank you to all the great info. Jen i would love some of your information too please my email is kylib2013@gmail.com. and i was wonderring if the Ieg and IgG tests were blood tests?
    S

    • Kyll, I brought my son to see a naturopathic doctor and also several naturopathic nutritionists. The IgG tests were blood tests. After we found out what my son was allergic to or intolerant of, I put him on an elimination diet, which meant removing all the foods he tested allergic/intolerant to from his diet for 6 months. In addition, the nutritionists suggested certain supplements based on seeing him. These included vitamin D, lots of omega-3 pills, strong probiotics and L-glutamine. Of course, every person is different, so you will need to see what your nutritionist/doctor says. The traditional medical doctors do not believe in IgG testing so I would suggest going the naturopathic route. Best wishes.

  35. Hi Jeanette,

    Reading about your son, mirrors my own experience with my son. What I wanted to know was how has this affected his school life? My son doesn’t want to go to school at all and when I see him suffering, I feel so bad to force him but then worry if I’m making thing worse. Not sure what to do for the best as it seems his life is at a standstill.

    • Dionne, my son was home for almost a month when he wasn’t feeling well. It was hard to get him back to school on a full day schedule, so we did it gradually. Life does seem like it comes to a standstill, but it will get better.

  36. Hi Jeanette,
    I applaud you for your efforts and how you listen to your instincts on what is best for you and your family. Your son (and other children) are lucky to have you as their mother. Since it sounds like you are still trying to determine all the foods that may be causing these symptoms in your son, I thought I would bring to your attention the Immuno 1 Bloodprint. I have suffered from migraines and migraine auras since at least elementary school. I have eliminated all the typical “triggers” and identifed certain foods/ingredients that I have to avoid, and always do. But I still have migraines- too many to keep up the demands of mothering toddler. I recently went to a doctor that took a blood sample that he sent to Immuno Laboratories to run an IgG Standard Food Family Sensitvity Assay (115). They test your blood serum with 115 common foods antigens, including baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast to see if there is a reaction. This was enlightening for me, as it identified 12 food antigens that my blood serum reacted to- most of which I eat often, if not daily. These are all rated as having no reaction, +1, +2, +3, or +4. The +3 and +4 are the ones my blood serum reacted to the most. I am 3 weeks into eliminating all these antigens from my diet (not easy since they include cow’s milk, goat’s milk, brewer’s yeast, and baker’s yeast). I am cautiously optimistic, as my migraines have decreased (only one since I started this), and other seemingly random symptoms that I never thought to tie to food sensitivities are gone (e.g., incredibly itchy eyes which I cannot tie to any environmental factor), after months/years of just thinking they were just symptoms I was going to have to live with forever. The cool thing for me to learn is that they identify food sensitivities, not just allergies- so food antigens that may otherwise test negative on an allergy test. Maybe this test may help you identify food antigens affecting you son as well? I thought I would bring it to your attention, just in case it can help. There is a website associated with the packet of information I received from my doctor with my blood assay test results: http://www.betterhealthUSA.com. I honestly haven’t explored it much, but it should have more details on who to call for more information, etc. if you are interested. I hope this helps. Good luck!

  37. Sorry- I just realized the date on your post was January 2011…Hope you and your family are all thriving and doing well!

  38. Great write up. I found out when I was 19 that I was allergic to Sulphites which is in a lot of foods btw. As well as Silver Birch when they pollinate I had been diagnosed with pink eye the same time of year 4 years in a row only to find out it was not pink eye but an allergy. Also I read a childs bedwetting is also linked to allergies.

  39. Rania Hussein says:

    I share all mothers ‘sensations. I have a son 3 y old who developed an acute multiple food allergy ( milk egg wheat cocoa soy) . I pray God that by empowering the GIT he can resume eating wheat, eggs, and we have to thank God as this is milder somehow than others.

  40. Kate Litchfield says:

    My son can not eat any food as he is allergic to all food. We went to great ormond street and they are unable to help him as he reacts toall medicines as well. We are now going to the breakspear clinic in hemel Hampstead. Since starting there in december and receiving treatment he can now eat turkey salmon onion and cabbage. I completely recommend this centre as they do know what they are doing. They have people travel from all round the world to visit them.

  41. Justine says:

    Hi Jeanette, thanks so much for sharing your experiences. I see this was written a few years back – have you found that your son has been able to reintroduce some of these things as he has gotten older? I have read in a few places that with intolerance some people are able to slowly reintroduce certain foods after completely eliminating them for a period of time.

    We have been battling with ongoing ‘sore tummy and throat’ with my six year old daughter and not having much luck with doctors! Having exhausted all else we have recently been experimenting with dietary restrictions (allergy test not available, only one we could have was lactose, which was negative) – she has been gluten and dairy free for six weeks but it didn’t seem to be making any difference. Then last Sunday the next thing we cut out was bananas – as of today, six days, no sore tummy! Early days to draw any conclusions but when I started looking into bananas it seems it’s not an uncommon intolerance amongst people who are wheat / gluten sensitive. But so now that’s wheat / gluten, dairy and bananas… suffice to say the title of this post resonated with me, and did the description of the crippling tummy pains and the potential link to antibiotics, which I also suspect in our case (5 courses in one year due to severe ear infections…)

    Anyway, I hope your son has seen some improvements in his health – it’s not easy seeing them suffer and not being able to help!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Hi Justine,
      I am happy to report that my son is doing very well these days. After the elimination diet where we removed 20+ foods from his diet for a period of 6 months, we gradually reintroduced almost everything back into his daily diet. I believe his body/gut needed to heal itself after all the good gut bacteria was destroyed from the antibiotics he was taking. He did take strong probiotics, a large amount of omega-3 fish pills and glutamine during this process, which I think also helped considerably.

      • Hi Jeanette, so kind of you to reply. And great news that your son is doing so well, and encouraging to know that once the gut is healed there is a possibility of reintroducing foods … all very encouraging. I’ve spend hours, days really, searching anything and everything relating to what my daughter is experiencing – the first paragraph of your post sounded SO familiar to me. It is always a relief to find others who are experiencing similar things, and more so to hear that they have successfully dealt with the issues, AND without drugs!!!

        • Jeanette Jeanette says:

          Justine, I absolutely believe we can heal our gut by making healthy choices that work for us. Each person has their own unique food sensitivities, so I encourage you to keep trying to heal your daughter without drugs. Best wishes.

  42. Davis Dimoan says:

    At the age of 28, I became allergic to various food groups. The culprit? I went to Africa for work, but before I left, I had received 6 vaccines. After two weeks in Africa, I became sick and was give Amoxicillin, as per a doctor in Houston, which did nothing. I remained sick for two more weeks. A month later, I started have reactions to several food items.
    I’ve heard of many kids getting the same result after certain vaccines and antibiotics. So, if you get sick, tough it out if it’s flu or a cold. Ask if you can do without antibiotics or penicillin. Most people don’t know, but young adults rarely need antibiotics.

    On another note, allergists will recommend desensitization. It is a 50/50 shot. Nobody is certain why or if it will work. If you don’t see an improvement after a year, it is not working. Food allergy tests can detect allergies to food, but ONLY if you have recently eaten the allergen food. I’m allergic to caffeine. The first time I took the food allergy test, it pointed it out along with several other food items. Two years later I took the test, again, and it said I was not allergic but intolerant. Well, I started drinking tea once a day for about two weeks before getting the same reactions again. I waited a month without drinking tea and I tried again. The same results appeared; I was able to drink tea for about two weeks before the reactions were severe.

    There is no push for research into this disease which, I believe, will become an epidemic in the future. I’m better off diagnosing myself and finding a treatment if not a cure.
    Good luck everyone.

  43. Hi, I realize this was written awhile ago, and I really hope your son has has great improvement, and you have solved this mystery. I was wondering, that if you have solved what was going on, of you’d be willing to share it with me? I have been going though some very similar symptoms.. For a long while now. Stomach pains, excema, joint pain (this went away). And am also allergic to a lot, basically everything you stated more or less. Nobody has been able to really figure it out. It’s gotten a lot better, but it’s still there. I eat really healthy, and have always been a very active girl. Just, please, if you have any insight, please let me know. Again, I really hope he is better now! It is not fun to live in pain.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Hi Grace, I put my son on an elimination diet, meaning I removed all the foods he tested intolerant or allergic to from his diet. I did this for 6 months. Sometimes, removing products/foods with gluten, dairy and eggs can resolve a lot of issues. I also removed anything with sugar or sweeteners, including sweet fruits (e.g., bananas) for a while. I believe eating organic foods whenever possible is also helpful because our bodies need to have time to rebuild and recover after any stress has been put on it. Finally, I gave him supplements including probiotics, glutamine (helps heal gut), omega-3 pills and vitamin D (which he tested low in).

  44. CheryceM says:

    I’m feeling your pain!! We struggle to find foods for our youngest. He is “okay” with wheat/gluten at this point but I worry about him developing intolerance to that as well. I feel like all he eats most days is ground beef, rice, and crackers. Some fruits/veggies. He is starting to notice that he always has special food at restaurants & family meals. Did your son get an overall IGE test done with bloodwork? My main goal is to get our sons down to almost 0. He has several Class 6 allergies, including peanuts. It is SO difficult to find foods! Even Whole Foods/Trader Joes don’t have much. We found a few things from Enjoy Life Foods! (cookies, cereals, etc). Hope that helps a little!

    By the way– our 19 month old is allergic to:
    apple
    apricot
    avocado
    banana
    barley
    black bean
    cashew
    chickpea
    coconut
    corn
    egg
    garlic
    kidney bean
    mango
    milk
    onion
    papaya
    pea
    peanut
    pineapple
    sesame
    soy
    squash
    strawberry
    sunflower
    tomato
    watermelon

  45. Veronica says:

    After giving birth last year, I discovered I had a bunch of food allergies, which was due to the extra hormones I was given to ensure the pregnancy went full term, and because of the antacids they gave me. If possible, don’t give your son antacids which will only make his issues worse. People think they have too much acid when they have reflux problems, when in reality they’re not producing enough, so taking something to decrease it only makes matters worse. As soon as I went organic my reflux problems went away. Give your son Organic Kefir, Kombucha Tea(Yogi brand is good,) bone broth (from grass fed animals if possible, but it’s still beneficial if you can’t get them.) Bone broth actually has components which will heal your son’s leaky gut, which is what has caused his food sensitivities. Here’s a link about how beneficial bone broth is: http://www.primallyinspired.com/bone-broth-health-benefits/

    Cook with coconut butter and olive oil and incorporate raw garlic to take care of the bad bacteria. Ginger root, spearmint, and peppermint will help with acid reflux. If your son wants something sweet, fix him some steal cut oats with honey or a banana mashed up, pumpkin pie spice, and organic butter (which has a sweetness by itself.) You can also put the oats in a skillet (or bake them) with the honey and butter and make granola.

    A lot of people who show a sensitivity to milk find they can consume organic butter and goat’s milk/cheese. I actually thought I had issues with milk, but upon eating a 3 cheese organic pizza I discovered that I had no issues, which leads me to believe it must be the antibiotics and hormones in the regular milk that is causing the sensitivity. I’ve read where even people who do not make the enzyme to digest lactose can tolerate some, so more than likely it’s not a full blown allergy to milk; still cutting it out as much as possible is useful. I’ve also read where increasing yogurt (good bacteria) can actually help a person tolerate milk more. Greek yogurt has less lactose in it than other yogurts. Soupier=more lactose, thicker/creamier=less. Organic Kefir is 99% lactose free. Cut out as much processed foods as possible. A lot of gluten free products use starches, which are not that good for a person health-wise either. Cut out table sugar and use raw honey or cane sugar, as table sugar has high fructose corn syrup in it. Look up the negative effects of it- you’ll be astonished!

  46. I read this and tears come to my eyes. I am going through a similar thing with my 11 year old son. We put him on an elimination diet as he was having facial tics (involuntary muscle movements) and we cured the tics but he has had terrible food sensitivities since re-introducing foods. On a daily basis he has upset stomach, cramps, diarrhea (or feeling like he has to go to the bathroom and cannot). Depending on what he has eaten he sometimes get headaches and feels weak as well. We know he reacts to dairy, corn, wheat, soy, oats (even wheat free). He basically eats nothing but meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables, white rice and nuts. This past week he reacted to either rice or peanuts or peanut butter. We could not identify which so removed both. This really limits his meals. Even when he only eats good for him foods he has pains after eating. He has lost 8 lbs since January and we are so worried about him. We did the allergy tests and nothing showed up. We are having food sensitivity testing done tomorrow. I am just worried there is more going on that food sensitivities but to get anyone to recognize this without automatically resorting to medication is really difficult. We have a follow up appointment with our naturopath tomorrow. My son has not been his regular outgoing self this summer and has been staying close to home due to how he feels. He missed a lot of school in May and June and I am worried about how things will be in a couple of weeks when he returns in September.

    It is nice to know we are not alone and there are other kids who are going through the same thing. Thanks so much for sharing your stories.

  47. My 3 year old son suddenly started to have allergic reactions to all fruits and items containing tree nuts. Blood test came back negative but when he eat these items he breaks out in giant hives from head to toe with in a minute or 2…..still trying to figure out what is happening.

    On another note, I had horrible stomach issues growing up. Always going potty, cramps, dizziness after eating, weight loss/gain, pain, bloating, etc. I went to doctors for 15 years and I kept getting told it was IBS. In 2012 after my 2nd son was born I decided to get endoscopy/colonoscopy since it had been several years, nothing prompted this was feeling like I always did. When the doctor discuss preliminary results he said I had a lot of inflammation…… Biopsies came back…. I had raging Celiac Sprue…very important note to ALL—–I had been blood tested for this multiple times throughout the years and results were always NEGATIVE!!!!

    I have now had a genetic screen on all 3 of my children to know if they carry the gene. Celiacs can present in many different ways including places other than gastrointestinal. As I was reading another moms plight in one of the above comments I immediately thought of gluten ataxia—– this is where gluten attacks the brain.

    Best wishes to all… FYI love this bakery, their sweets have really helped me when I need real gluten tasting comfort foods. http://www.unrefinedbakery.com

  48. Hello,
    My name is Marisa and I am 42 years old. I am sorry to hear everyone’s stories and the suffering you all have gone through. I too started having many food intolerances agpfter three rounds of amoxicillin. I had heart burn and burning of ears and throat. I’ve tried to cut out the foods that I think bother me but still react to almost everything. I have lost a lot of weight due to all I eat is veges, eggs, and meat. I went to a naturopath that said I had leaky gut and yeast. I was wondering how do I go about getting a food sensitivity test done? I have seen many of you talk about it. I am looking for any help one can give. I also have been drinking bone broth and trying the l glutimane. Hopefully I will see some progress. Good luck to everyone. My heart goes out to people struggling with this.

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