Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Food Allergies - Breastmilk

This little angel has some allergies to foods Mama has been passing through in her milk. The good news is that an elimination diet seems to be working. That is also the bad news, though it is good discipline practice to stick to a diet with eliminated items.  

But his symptoms seem to be disappearing.  He had a red rash on his bottom, and a face rash at one point, as well as night wakings with gas and leg kicking and obvious discomfort (we treated him with Colic Calm, which worked to ease his pain on two occasions~ I didn't want to mask the symptoms, but I also didn't want him to be in pain!).  He also had little pimple-type bumps (excema) on his fingers and toes and ankles that has disappeared.

The idea behind an elimination diet is to keep a log and notice symptoms and try and link them back to what was eaten.  The tricky part is that some foods will linger and reactions can appear up to two weeks after a suspect food has been eaten.  That is why some, including the GAPS Diet followers, say that discovering the offending food is nearly impossible.  

Others say to give it a shot, and try to remove foods and see if symptoms clear. Sears and Sears are one resource who, in their Sleep Book, make a list of what they call the Nasty 9, or foods which are the usual suspects.  Here they are:

Nasty 9
Dairy Products
Egg Whites
Tree Nuts

They say if eliminating these doesn't work, to try elimination of the Other Suspects:

Other Suspects
citrus fruits

If you take all of these out for two weeks, and still can't find the offenders, then they say to remove everything except the items listed as the Desperation Diet-- and to only eat these things for two weeks.  Then add foods back in, one every four days, and notice and log if the symptoms reappear.  

Desperation Diet
potatoes (white or sweet)
rice (or millet) - include flour, cakes, cereal, bread

Other books, like Is This Your Child, explain that foods come in families and give food family lists.  For example, someone who reacts to banana will possibly also have issues with avocados, since they are in the same food family.

It is also interesting to me that food allergies run in the family, so if these don't work, then ask what your parents and siblings have reactions to or love or don't like (we are often allergic to foods we love or hate) and try to remove these.

For us, we have identified egg, dairy, wheat, pineapple, and the cabbage family as probable suspects.  After I can be free of these for two full weeks, then I will be able to see if I am right or still have detective work to do.  Then I will be able to do "tests," and add one food back in and wait four days and see if there is a reaction.  I will first test butter, then kale, then yogurt, then broccoli and cauliflower.

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