~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Kids~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Food, glorious food! Part 3

But sometimes we need doctors and I realize that. We did the skin prick test. He would only test for things that I suspected.  Sadie's came back positive for eggs and peanuts. Silas' came back positive for all the inhalant allergens like mold, pollen, dust and cat dander. Ellieand Avrie also tested positive for the inhalants. Evelyn wasn't tested for those.

The allergist said that the blood test they originally got was bogus and that the IgG (sensitivity) test wasn't accurate. I have done more research and I don't entirely agree with him. I don't have a degree in medicine but I am entitled to my opinion. ;-)

I think that when someone has a lot of allergies, be it food or environmental, their whole system is thrown out of whack. I have read that if they are in a reaction at the time of a blood draw it can make several items come back as false positives. I have also read that gluten intolerance can cause leaky gut and make people sensitive/intolerant/allergic to foods that they normally would be fine with. So.....

we are preparing to embark on the  GAPS Diet.

It is very similar to what we were doing before. Grain free, sugar free with a slightly different bent. One key element that I am excited about it the focus on healthy fats and oils. I think this is what we were missing before. This should alleviate the constant feelings of needing to eat. The GAPS diet is focused on healing the gut. I don't know if we (I say we because I truly believe that I am sensitive to gluten although I haven't been formally tested. The kids have to get it from somewhere and a lot of my life long ailments were gone when I was grain free.) will ever be able to eat gluten but I do think we will be able to add in some grains later on.

I have put it off trying to get through Easter, Todd's birthday and Avrie's birthday.  I have one more special event happening soon that food plays an important role and then we will be ready to make the switch! In the mean time I am reading, reading, reading and gearing up the kitchen.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.

Food, glorious food! Part 2

I researched allergy testing and won't bore you with all those details. Basically no one can agree on which type of test is best. I was also thinking it might be more GI related so we wanted to get the kids tested for gluten intolerance/celiac as well.  To do this test they needed to be eating grains.

It was a done deal. Of course, me being the all-or-nothing personality type that I am, I didn't play it smart and add in one food at a time. Noooo not me!  If we were off diet then we were OFF DIET.  The kids ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken, Little Ceasar's Pizza, Long John Silver's and several other places they had never been to before.

Something I learned from this experience is that we are definitely doing the right thing by steering clear of these offending foods. Our house was crazy!  Behavioral problems were sky high. Reading abilities were dramatically affected. Sleep problems were becoming a nightly issue when they had been almost non-existent before. After quite a while of eating this way we finally reigned it in and went back to the basic Feingold protocol which eliminates the artificial colors/flavors and preservatives. Things weren't great but they were tolerable.

The kids' appointments were staggered so I took Silas and Sadie in first. We had already eliminated eggs and peanuts from Sadie's diet since we suspected allergies to those two items. Their blood was drawn and sent to the lab.

When I got the results I was devastated.  Thankfully they weren't with me and didn't witness their sobbing mother the entire drive home. Then Ellie, Avrie and Evelyn had theirs done as well. The results weren't much better. I was so confused. It said that they were allergic to several foods they had been eating with no problems. Or were there problems?  Maybe that was the underlying issue. Maybe if I took these foods out of their diet their gut would heal and they could eat more and feel better. Was this really the way?  Everyone's bloodwork also came back positive for gluten intolerance. Well, everyone except Silas but that's a complicated story of mishandled bloodwork and a retest after he was off grains for a while. His numbers *off* grains were still close to  positive.  Plus he shows such a good response to a gluten free diet that I think he's probably gluten intolerant as well. I'm not about to subject him to another blood draw to find out.

I was so overwhelmed with the various allergies and sensitivities listed that I made a spreadsheet. I thought that would help me see what they *could* eat.  You can take a peek at the Allergy Chart if you would like.

I made a plan and worked with a friend with allergies in her family. Made a trip to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods an hour away and we were set. Then I started really questioning this. Per the specialist anything that was an allergy we were supposed to avoid for.ev.er. Was that truly accurate?  One thing that really had me second guessing was that Sadie only showed up as sensitive to peanuts when I was pretty certain she had a full blown allergy. This specialist never once suggested an epi-pen. Red flags were waving high.

So I researched some more and decided to do skin prick testing. Took the kids to the head pediatric allergist at the children's hospital in our state capitol. He scoffed at some of my findings which was hard to take. I have avoided mainstream doctors for several years for this reason. They weren't there when my children were screaming in fear and acting so irrational that they could hurt themselves or others when they had preservatives or food coloring. It's very, very real.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 3 here.

Food, glorious food! Part 1

It seems like everything in the U.S. involves food in some way. Getting together for a visit?  Let's have a pitch in!  Sunday School class?  Snacks are provided!  Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas family gatherings?  Bring on the the turkey and ham and all the fixin's!

I love food. Don't get me wrong. But this whole trip down allergy lane has made it difficult to navigate. Just to have a day trip takes a LOT of planning and organization. I know that I have mentioned this before but I am not a natural born organizer.

Just to update on the whole diet situation...I know you all have been in such suspense wondering what we are eating for dinner...we went off the SBP diet and added grains back in. Not because it wasn't helping. No, we really felt good. There were just a few problems.

-Everyone was always asking for food. With five little birds constantly chirping, "Mom! I'm hungry. Can we have...?" I was going nuts.
-I would fix HUGE amounts of food that should really be enough for 2 meals and it would be gone in a matter of minutes. It got to the point where I was letting the kids eat their fill and then I would get something if there was anything left. Much of the time there was nothing left. I had to go to the store more often throughout the week so one night I just grabbed something real quick. Then it happened again. And again.

This was happening so often that I was feeling horrible as I was not eating on the diet at all. But I was still having to keep up with all the shopping, chopping and cooking. I was burnt out. I found myself questioning why this diet was working. Maybe we didn't truly need to avoid ALL of these foods. Maybe it was just one or two things that were bad for us.

Also I had figured out that Sadie was possibly allergic to eggs because of the high amount of eggs I had been eating and she had been getting through my milk. I eventually weaned her and then we really saw she couldn't eat eggs. We also noticed problems with peanut butter.

We decided to do allergy testing. We would finally have answers.  Or would we?

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Read Part 2 here.

Read Part 3 here.