Discovering Allergies

Everyone's journey through allergies is different. My husband and I both have confirmed allergies. He is allergic to eggs and turnip greens. I am allergic to corn, soy, wheat, tomatoes, pomegranate, cauliflower, and turkey. We hoped allergies would pass by our children, but that did not happen. This blog is about the discovery of allergies in my son and how we manage them.

We started noticing something was off when Gabriel was about 5 years old. He would get "sick" occasionally in the year and the pediatrician always said it looked like allergies. As he got a little older he started getting sick more often.  Then the allergies started lingering and kept coming back every couple of months. It always started with sneezing. Sometimes itching around his ears and throat or an eczema type rash on his body. Other times a fever showed up along with coughing, and runny nose. Then there were times that he had intense pain in his belly, constipation, diarrhea. Lets not forget the occasional hives.

Easter Fossils.jpg

 It was mentioned by the pediatrician that Gabriel may be allergic to our pets and that we may have to find them new homes. He wanted to have Gabriel tested to find out for sure what was going on. So, Gabriel was tested for allergies just after his 7th birthday. We learned that he tested negative to all environmental allergies. Our relief that our pets had no affect on him was great. I may have done a happy dance. Then they told us he had food allergies: Dairy, Wheat, Corn, Soy, Tomatoes, Peanuts, Apples and Oranges....oh my? The pediatrician said that on a scale from 11-32 with 32 being epi pen serious, Gabriels allergies were a 28....How did this happen? Will they get worse? Will he grow out of them? Is this forever? What will he eat?

 We still don't have the answers to how this happened, or if he will grow out of them, or if they will get worse. What we do know is that his favorite foods were making him sick. We now know what he can and cannot eat. We suddenly found ourselves reading every label and doing an overhaul of our pantry and refrigerator. What can I cook that he can eat? Necessity is the mother of invention. I found recipes, for foods through Paleo and Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) bloggers and websites, that either worked or could be adapted to work for Gabriel and his needs.

homemade marshmallows

It is challenging now for Gabriel to go to parties or events where food is involved. He wants to be like all the other kids. But, while other kids get to enjoy the foods served, he doesn't.  I usually either make him something to take with him or he will eat before going. The holidays are the same as well. For example, Halloween, he cannot eat any of the candy given out during trick-or-treating....not even the candied apples. He still trick-or-treats. He enjoys it, but we have started a tradition where we swap out the candy he has been given for fossils, rocks, and minerals. He loves this because he is a collector.

homemade cookies

Very few of his favorites are quick and easy anymore. I have to make homemade hot chocolate now using coconut milk, almond milk, honey, cacao power and melted chocolate morsels (I love the Enjoy Life brand because their food are allergen free). I have to make homemade marshmallows using gelatin, and vanilla. Then they have to sit overnight to firm up. One cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows has now become a serious undertaking! No more opening up an instant packet and adding hot water.

Gabriel has taken all of these changes like a champ. He remembers what it was like to be sick and is now very vocal about if something is healthy and if it is allergen free. He loves to get in the kitchen and help prepare delicious meals. Since changing his diet, the dark circles under his eyes have faded, and he is only ever sick if he eats something that's contaminated with an allergen. There have been a few mishaps with labels, but over all he has had great improvements. We shall see where this journey takes us.