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.
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.
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.
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.
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