I can always think of a million things I want to write about when the kids are awake and taking up my time. And I try not to write about them at those times. I do do some writing and emailing checking when they are awake, but you can’t get carried away.
I discovered yahoo groups when Ada was just born. I joined an elimination communication group, or diaper free group you could say, and then that led me to a group of moms of kids with food allergies. They are high volume message lists and when I was first figuring out Ada’s food issues they were indispensable.
But now that I’m figuring stuff out I’ve tried to unplug myself from constant email list checking a little bit and not miss out on these stages of the kiddo’s lives. They will invariably get into mischief if I’m on my laptop anyway.
I never could have come this far in my understanding of her health and my own without the guidance and shared experiances of other moms of kids with allergies.
Heck, before I had Ada, I thought that if you had a food allergy you probably were reacting to a chemical or pesticide and just need to eat organic. It is true that some people react to a non-organic fruit and not an organic one, but that is not at all what comprises most food allergies. Chemicals do cause reactions, but really, foods act on the body like chemicals do to. My point is, I can’t blame Ada’s food allergies on pesticides.
That’s one of many realizations about food allergies I’ve had. Maybe that’s why it was easier for me to cut out gluten and dairy than the other suspects I’ve had… berries, avocados, corn, beans, nuts. To me, gluten and dairy aren’t *really* good for you anyway (I ate tons of them before Ada though, I was fooling myself into thinking I wasn’t!).
They have some nutrients in them yes, but it’s much easier to get people from different ways of dietary thinking to admit that a fresh fruit or vegetable is good for you. Gluten and dairy are debatable. So it’s been harder for me to let go of eating things that “should” be healthy in my eyes.
And then the next wrench in this whole thing— I seem to have something called Oral Allergy Syndrome, from what I can tell. When I eat certain things my mouth gets itchy and raw, my ear and throat swell and close up. I used to think I was just always getting sick and my body was fighting it off before it became a full-fledged cold.
Sigh, no, I have another allergy issue I didn’t know anything about– at least that is what makes sense. My mouth ulcer/canker sores have gone away since being gluten free, but certain fruits still cause the reaction in my mouth and throat. Something to do with pollen in the air cross reacting with certain fruits. Fig, almond, mango and kiwi have done it to me. It can be just slightly annoying to very irritating. Again, before this, I would have assured myself that it was a pesticide or chemical.
On that note, here’s a list of things I’ve learned about food allergies and how people may perceive them:
1 – An allergic reaction to a food has nothing to do with if it is healthy
2 – A food allergy provokes an immune response, a food intolerance is another reaction from the body. An allergy is type of food intolerance. It has nothing to do with being able to “grow out of it”. Many people have told me Ada doesn’t have true allergies, she will grow out of them… has nothing to do with it. For example, Ada has an allergy to milk protein, which she may or may not grow out of. Lactose intolerance is a food intolerance, which causes abdominal pain due to a lack of the enzyme lactase. Both are food intolerances, one is an allergy and provokes the immune system.
3- A little,tiny, iota of an allergen can hurt. Many people tell me to start testing small amounts and see how Ada does. No. I will not do that. When she is older yes. Many moms I have met have kids that react to minute amounts of a substance, even getting hives or blisters on contact. But many moms I have met have kids that can tolerate small amounts of their allergen without any apparent reactions. I think Ada falls somewhere in the middle.
4 – The outward signs are sometimes seemingly harmless (like a few pimples on Ada’s back, or the scaly skin by Azita’s ears), but are all we can see. What internal damage is being done won’tbe evident until my kids are much older. That’s why I’m so strict about it.
I need to write these things down so I can keep track.
Ada clearly and repeatedly reacts to:
gluten, dairy, oats, corn and peas
She gets minor red spots when she eats (but I can’t tell if she reacts through my milk… hopefully will test soon):
avocado, strawberries, raspberries
She may be allergic to but I haven’t had her clear of reactions enough to tell:
okay cool. Now I can look back in a few months and see if I’ve figured out anything new.
Cute post I found: Milk, the weight loss miracle drink