Monday, July 29, 2013

How we Deal with Food Allergies part 2

    During the first month of our new diet, C's health rapidly improved, but even more amazing was that all of my children got healthier. Our oldest daughter N had been a very fussy baby and since she was our first, we were really unsure of what to do. Things only got worse when I had to switch her to formula at 5 months because my milk had dried up. She had horrible constipation that required weekly suppositories and daily prune juice. Trying to get a 7 month old to drink prune juice is not a fun experience and neither is putting a suppository up their tush. We even spent a few days in the hospital when she started having problems breathing because she was so backed up. When she started kindergarten we had to pack extra clothes with her because she  often had accidents because every time she had to pee we had to get her to a toilet immediately. She wasn't holding it too long or procrastinating going, she just had to go that bad when she had to go. She often complained of stomach pain and that her body ached, really, she just complained often so I would not take it quite as seriously. She also had a rash on the back of her skin called Keratosis Pilaris It is hereditary, but not the way we thought. During the first week of changing our diet to strictly fruit and vegetables, N no longer had to run to the potty in order to make it there on time. By the second week, her stomach aches were gone and by the end of the month, the rash on her arms was almost completely gone.
   Our daughter B had developed eczema when she was 2 years old and by the end of the first month she it was nearly gone off her elbows and knees. J our oldest boy was our biggest ball of energy. He also had the Keratosis Pilaris which was healing up and we even noticed he started listening better. Lastly our baby K's diarrhea took the longest to resolve but by the end of the month everyone was doing better, even hubby and I had noticed changes.  Hubby's Keratosis Pilaris was getting better but wasn't gone, he had lost 25 pounds,  dandruff was better and even his psoriasis was gone. We both noticed that our afternoon "brain fog" was gone and that we needed less sleep to feel well rested. My biggest change was that the severe neck pain that I had for the last 5 years was gone.
   After the first month we new we needed to add in some other foods. Cutting up fruit and vegetables all day long was really hard on me and a dinner of broccoli and potatoes would not cut it with our extended family. The first two foods we added back in was rice and beans. Healthy Mexican food was our new favorite thing. Our next food item was nuts which was wonderful because we discovered we could make "mayonaise" and "sour cream" out of cashews!
   Everyone stayed healthy we were doing so good that we decided to give some of our old foods a try. C first exposure to dairy led to a mild attack that we were able to handle at home with inhalers and and her nebulizer but her second exposure was almost a trip to the hospital. She had similar reactions to even a small amount of gluten. My opinion is that the two together are what caused such a severe attacks that even her high doses of medications couldn't control. Definitely not worth it.  N had gluten twice and both times was left with urinary urgency and a stomach ache that lasted for two days. Eggs, dairy, and gluten all cause B's eczema to come back. If we have eggs more then once in a week she even reminds me that it hurts her and asks me to find her something else to eat. J bounces off the walls when ever he eats something he shouldn't which is worse for me then him. I did feed baby K a mint chocolate cookie and he broke out in hives from head to toe. So we have all decided gluten and dairy are just off limits for our family.
   There are tons of gluten free and dairy free alternatives out there and even more recipe blogs. My one piece of kitchen equipment that I had to buy was a bread maker.  As a large family, buying the tiny gluten free bread loaves at $5 for 7 slices of bread just isn't an option and Red Mill brand makes some great dairy free and gluten free bread mixes. I also just bought an ice cream maker because we discovered soy ice cream!! It's not quite the same but every kid needs ice cream, but again, $7 a pint is killer. There is even soy and almond yogurt!
 My last tip is that gluten free and dairy free foods are easy to find and much cheaper on Amazon.

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