Sunday, September 7, 2014

9 Food Allergy Myths

Comprise 90% of food allergens
There are many misconceptions about food allergies. Sadly, I believed many of these myths before our own nightmarish trek.I hope this is an easy resource to help educate those in your sphere.

Myth 1: Food and allergies have no effect on autism. "It can't be that simple."
Myth Uncovered: It isn't simple, that part is true. Diet changes are hard. I used to be skeptical of a food /ASD connection. But uncovering food allergies is key to healing quite a number of problems like severe eczema, behavior problems, auto-immune disorders, headaches, sleep problems, mood swings, adhd, etc. I would go so far as to suggest removing allergens before seeking out therapy for autism.

Nightshades. All of them allergens for us.
Myth 2: Food allergies are a result of eating junk food.
Myth Uncovered:  Actually antibiotic overuse causing leaky gut will cause an auto-immune response to nearly anything eaten. My son is allergic to apples, bananas, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, wheat, rice, oranges, etc. because that is what he ate with a leaky gut...none of those things are junk food.

Myth 3It's okay to eat allergens once in awhile.
Myth Uncovered:  Only if you want to eat poison. Allergens should be avoided at all costs. Allergy reactions cause itchy, inflamed, eyes; throat swelling shut, hives, eczema flares, behavior problems, GI pain and let's not forget, some allergic reactions are fatal. Having to use an Epi-pen and  ER is expensive. 

IgE prick test. IgA's and IgG's are done via blood test.

Myth 4: A child will be undernourished.
Myth Uncovered:  The type of testing required to identify food allergies/ intolerances is performed by professional doctors, many of whom have a lifetime of experience substituting food that is not toxic to the body yet nutritious. They will test various body cycles to determine what supplements are needed by the body to fill in the gaps. Most likely, you will eat better and healthier than ever in your life. Our son, on a very strict diet, has gained 11 much-needed-healthy-pounds in the last 9 months.

Myth 5: It's okay to serve known allergens at the same table the child will be eating.  
Myth Uncovered:  If allergies are severe, the risk of contamination is great. For us, the risk is entirely too much. The allergy is to the protein molecules of the foods. Those proteins can be attached, even to your fingerprint, and that is enough to cross-contaminate other foods, utensils, dishes, table-tops, clothes, towels, etc.

Myth 6:  But the food is good for them!  
Myth Uncovered: Known allergens are poison to the body. It doesn't matter what nutritional content they have, if they are an allergen they can be deadly.

Myth 7: Mom believes everyone will respect her child's allergies.
Myth Uncovered:  For many of us, our friends and families have not endured the years of sleepless nights, behavioral problems, illnesses, emergency room visits, GI problems, severe eczema, night terrors, and endless doctor bills that you and your child have suffered while trekking from doctor to clueless doctor until you finally get answers. Watch out for schools, teachers, and churches because there is always some 'sweet lil' person' lurking around the corner to hand your child a 'treat' or a 'sample' without asking Mom first (the gall!) so never assume others 'get it.'

Myth 8: Just a little won't hurt.
Myth Uncovered: Yes, just one can hurt; yes, just a little can hurt.

Myth 9: I tried gluten and casein free, it didn't work.

Myth Uncovered: Gluten and casein are often just the very tiny tip of the iceberg. It's a good start, but getting testing done, both prick test for IgE's, and blood test for IgA's and IgG's is necessary if you really want to get to the bottom of it. Most likely you will need to also remove soy, yeast (and foods yeast feed off), and there could be a multitude of foods and food families you will have to eliminate. GF/CF just really doesn't cut it. 

Just a couple of notes:
1. Cleaning supplies such as Dawn dish soap, Procter and Gamble products, and others can contain peanut oil. By law they do not have to supply an ingredients list including allergens.

2. Celiac disease also can be flared by even a crumb of wheat (gluten), so do be very careful.

3. Allergy shots are for environmental allergies, not food allergies. 

4. Getting rid of yeast means all breads and deserts that rise, and cheese. It includes foods that feed yeast like sugar, dried fruits, berries, sugar, sugary snacks, fructose, glucose, dextrose, syrup, etc. A probiotic is essential and maybe even a script for nystatin to help kill and control the yeast. Stevia, to my knowledge, does not feed yeast.

Dealing with food allergies is a time of adversity and trial. Conventional doctors who cannot see beyond the prescription pad are no help and don't mind robbing us blind. May I suggest finding a DAN or MAPS doctor in your area or nearby state? It's not uncommon to travel to find one. They will go the distance conventional doctors and allergists refuse.  Our DAN has literally transformed our son's life. They treat autism, adhd, behavioral issues, PANDAS/PANS, Mitochondrial disorders, eczema, sleep issues, GI issues, allergies, and more.

You WILL get through this adversity and you will be victorious! After every difficult day or night His mercies are fresh with the sunrise. “It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (Lamentations 3:22-24 KJV)

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