Healing from food allergies? Is it even possible? Join me in this series as I share our journey to do just this.
Like a pipe dream that has been just out of reach for us for 4+ years. Healing from food allergies?
This blog was born almost 4 years ago when my son’s multiple food allergies became our world. ( You can read more about our beginning here. )
There has never come a time where I was willing to give up hope that we would FINALLY land on THE thing throwing his system so out of whack that all foods seemed to be the enemy.
No matter what we took out, the miserable skin breakouts continued, and most of the time with no known reason or culprit. We were spinning our wheels. And I knew we needed to address the underlying cause so our guy had a chance …so much internal inflammation inevitably leads to chronic conditions. No parent would chose that for their child.
There are days I would cry in frustration. We were TRYING SO MUCH, how is it NONE of it was helping him over come his body’s imbalance?
I should firstly explain that my son’s ‘allergies’ were more sensitivities. While we had to carry an epi-pen around with us for several years for some of his allergies, the vast majority of his issues with food manifested in skin break outs and rashes. We have always operated under the assumption that if we could calm the inflammation in his body…then his system could reboot and stop reacting to every food under the sun. But this was all new waters for us. No one had ever had food allergies in our family.
I read, read, and read some more. I learned to cook with no major allergens. We kept taking foods out. I of course looked to professionals for help! SOMEONE HELP US!??? PLEASE! WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY SON??!! TELL ME WHAT TO DO! WHY IS HE NOT HEALING??!!
All of the doctors agreed: my son’s body was overreacting. Inflammation was an issue. Leaky gut had to be a problem.
Increase in Symptoms
September 2014, my son had started a new preschool. It was around this time that he developed and all-over torso rash that would NOT go away no matter what we tried.
I went through his preschool with a fine tooth comb looking at cleaners, soaps, lotions, outside landscaping chemicals. We began washing all of his clothes separately again with Dr Bronner’s Soap. We watched what he ate with strict vigilance, and everything he DID eat was mostly organic and nutrient dense (I am first and foremost a real food fanatic).
But NONE of it made a difference. After several months, we went into one of his integrative pediatricians for updated blood work. When the results came back….not only had everything we had been doing made no difference, his body was reacting TO EVEN MORE FOODS! The suggestion was made to eliminate all these additional foods (20+) and see the allergist about allergy shots, and consider AIP Paleo or GAPS.
Side note…we had considered doing AIP Paleo or GAPS for sometime as a means to heal his gut and calm the inflammation. But I was reluctant. No, abhorrent to tackling this. I was already so completely stressed out trying to feed my family well for the last 4 years and doing SO MANY THINGS to heal my kids (I have another child with ADD that was struggling, her story later) that my own health and emotional well-being were in turmoil. I feared adding even more to my plate, realizing that stress was playing a HUGE roll in my personal health and well being. Change everything my son ate….to offering things he had refused his whole life: meat, broth, and vegetables? I knew that would not be easy…and would add A LOT of stress to my overfull plate. Special diets are hard, but ESPECIALLY with kids. But of course, I wasn’t simply going to give up either.
I knew roughly what was wrong with my guy…I just couldn’t (and neither could any of the following 11 medical professionals) figure out, WHY WAS HE NOT GETTING BETTER?! I kept hearing, “You’re doing all the right things. Huh. Weird.”
Here is a list of professionals and treatments we worked with over the last 4 years, all good people with best intentions who really wanted to help us:
- Pediatrician. No help, no understanding, referred to a pediatric allergist, prescribed steroid creams.
- 3 Integrative Doctors. Here we got understanding, and lots of blood work to try and uncover problems. IgE, IgG, IgA blood tests (3 times over 4 years). Stool samples. Celiac test (negative). We were recommended regimes to heal the gut by various means. We tried them all. None showed any visible improvement.
- Allergist. Nice guy, but no helpful advice. Agreed my son’s body was overreacting, said with time it should calm. Prescribed a few epi pens for the high IgE hits (flax, gluten, peanuts).
- Chiropractor. While we saw no improvement with weekly adjustments, we have felt that continuing these on an as needed basis important to keep the brain/body connection strong for whatever else we tried.
- Naturopath/NAET Specialist. Spent 6 months doing NAET treatments and taking various gut healing supplements. 6 MONTHS. No improvement.
- 3 Chinese Medicine/Acupuncturists: The first we met with gave us some herbs that seemed to work pretty well. Problem is, they tasted nasty, so when we took out his heavily sweetened medical formula, there was zero way to disguise them, so we could not continue them. The second we met had no experience in working with children, and (against my better judgement) quickly stuck needles in him to test his tolerance, and he of course FLIPPED OUT. Totally traumatized him (and of course rendered any benefit of fixing the energy imbalance via acupuncture pointless). She put together some more herbs….which tasted nasty. Tried via juice, which of course made his skin breakouts even more horrendous. Fail. The third had a more gentle approach. We were attempting to get him used to and comfortable with the needles. We would play around with sticking needles in me and her (which he loved), did some various massaging techniques. She explored some kid friendly herb options (glycerin based), but she only came up with one and that had a gluten grain in it…which I was not comfortable using (gluten still popped up on his most recent IgE blood work). After 6 or 7 visits, with my son still not willing to take the needles, we knew we needed to move on.
- Chiropractic NRT Specialist. This sweet man got so overwhelmed testing my son….every.single.system. was showing stress . He brought out the nasty phrase “autoimmune” and we did blood work to see his blood counts. I came home and sobbed that day. So much fear, so much helplessness. Luckily, the blood numbers came back in normal range….just showing some stress with food sensitivities (duh!). We started by bringing in absolutely every food he ate to test with his body (with his limited diet, we did this in 2 sessions, me and huge bags of food/ingredients). Considering he ate almost nothing (part because of his sensitivities, part because he had become so picky). We found some regularly consumed foods that he crashed on, but he passed more than he failed. We removed these things and waited to see what would happen. YET STILL NO IMPROVEMENT!
Does this list look familiar to any of you? Trying and trying and trying and never really getting anywhere?
Continue with part II of this story and see what we FINALLY stumbled upon and how we FINALLY started to heal my son (and some of the rest of us as well!)!
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