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Food Allergies???

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  • Food Allergies???

    My son has been recently diagnosed with a fairly rare condition: Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). It is basically an auto immune disorder, but there have been correlations with food/environmental allergies exacerbating the inflammation in the esophagus of patients with this disease. There is not a lot known about his disease right now. American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders | Official Website of the American Partnership For Esoniphilic Disorders, has the latest most accurate info for those interested in learning more about EoE. You can read about his story here: Journey With Nathan.

    I am only 2 weeks in on eating "primal" and feel very passionate about this way of life and eating. I feel great and am seeing results already of this positive change in my habits. I want so badly to feed my son, who is 15 months old the "primal" way, but he is on a very restricted diet right now in hopes to control his EoE. He takes a steriod daily to reduce the eosinophil cells/inflammation in his esophagus and it is beyond frustrating to me that in order for my son to tolerate any bit of food he has to take this steroid. It just isn't right!

    I fully believe that the "primal" lifestlye promotes excellent health, but feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the situation with my son. Any advice on food allergies and overcoming them would be greatly appreciated. (Food allergies aren't causing his health problem, but they just make it worse... the root of the problem is more of a malfunction of his immune/allergic response in his body.)


  • #2
    That's a tough spot and I sympathize!

    I have problems with grains -- wheat in particular -- but I don't think it is necessarily an allergy. The distinction can be subtle, but important. I can tell that I'm one of those people for whom wheat lectins bind well to active sites in the cells of my stomach lining. Too much wheat means that the regeneration of my stomach lining is impaired and I develop severe acid reflux. This isn't an allergy as there is no immune response happening.

    The reason I'm going into this is that foods can be incompatible with a person (such as wheat's effect on me or lactose intolerance for other folks) while not testing positive for a food allergy. You have do dig deeper.

    The best way I've found to determine the cause of such things is to keep a daily health journal. For me, I tracked how I felt, how I slept, my weight, miscellaneous health notes, exercise and everything I ate or drank (including how much water). It took very little time for me to isolate grains (especially wheat) as the culprit in my acid reflux. It also resolved several other health problems for me. The bottom line, though, is simply track your data. Or, in this case, your son's data. Doctors cannot do this for you since they aren't there all the time. It's a tool that's not available to them, but an extremely powerful diagnostic tool that you can use for the cost of a pencil and a notebook.

    You have tremendous power to study the problem personally and to greatly increase they probability of good medical outcomes for your son. Bringing your data and observations to his doctor may help zero in on underlying causes instead of the usual approach doctors have to take which are often simply trying new treatments until something works. Make yourself the key member of your son's medical team.

    Good luck!
    Life is short: Void the warranty.


    • #3
      I would definitely second that! Most of my family have food intolerances and allergies - the main one shared between 4 of us is a gluten intolerance. However, I have a severe shellfish allergy, and my youngest has a severe allergy to orange. Both of these took a lot of time to track down (with lots of time in hospital due to anaphylactic shock), and it was only with the help of a food and health diary that we managed it, particularly for my youngest who was 20 months old when we discovered her orange allergy (not that we knew what it was initially - THAT took a year of diaries and trial and error!). Do keep a note of everything about your son's health and foods, and I am sure that a pattern will emerge that you can start to track with the doctors. I wish you both the very best of luck.


      • #4
        Most food allergy tests only check for IgE (immunoglobulin E) reactions. But they're are also tests for IgG and IgA food "sensitivities". These can be delayed reactions that you would never intuitively put together with a certain food on your own. Most labs don't do IgG or IgA testing, you have to dig. There's one I know of called Pharmasan, I think in Wisconsin. Most doctors who use these labs fedex a blood sample from their office. Good luck!


        • #5
          I raised two daughters with food allergies, and was very lucky to find a doctor who turned their lives around. Dr. M.'s first concern was diet, and his second was environment. Then he moved on to allergy testing. His method was (and still is) provocation/neutralization testing, which does not rely on the IgE reactions mentioned by srch1. The resulting allergy treatment is also far different from traditional desensitization therapy: because each allergen is tested separately, and a neutralization dose is found for each one, the serum you get at the end of testing results in shots that immediately neutralize allergic reactions.

          The downside of this therapy is that testing takes days and is quite expensive (though it is partially reimbursed by my insurance). The upside is that it works. I saw my 4 and 1 year old daughters, who were in serious trouble, totally transformed. They became normal children again, and today at ages 21 and 18, are doing great in school and in their lives. I thank Dr. M. at every opportunity.

          This whole topic is very complex and involved, too much so to give all the details here. I would be happy to give more info if anyone wants it.
          Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.