3. Join Kids with Food Allergies for recipes and a forum where there are NO silly questions! (they have a GREAT forum for breastfeeding moms who are doing elimination diets for their super sensitive babies)
4. Have an antihistamine (and in severe cases or threat of anaphylaxis an epipen, prescribed by your allergist or doctor) on hand in case of an acute IgE reaction.
5. Keep a Food Journal and when you write something down that feels like deja vu, look back in the journal to see when that happened before, CIRCLE any foods that are common to that event, behavior or physical symptom (like headache, vomiting, insomnia, etc.).
6. Find local support groups with Parents who are dealing with similar situations with their children, so you will have a “safe” group to interact with for playdates, and parties, a group who “gets” what you are dealing with.
7. Remember that your child may not be reacting to “just” the food…but could be reacting to a pesticide, or a chemical within the food (like amines, salicylates, oxalates, artificial sweeteners, MSG, or artificial (or natural) colors and flavors), or to the category of food (like Legumes, or melons). Start to read labels closely to look for these hidden “allergens”.
8. Keep a food Journal and when you have a near “perfect” day with your child (behavior, health, mood, and bodily functions!), take note and then REPEAT the same foods the next day, if the “good” day continues… repeat again, then introduce one of the “suspect” foods and note their body’s response to it. (please note, this is only for food intolerance and questionable foods that may be causing them. For confirmed IgE allergies…you must AVOID that food at all costs, and carry an epi pen for accidental exposures!)
9. Support Gut health… many “allergies” can stem from GI tract upset and bowel flora disruption… look into using probiotics to nurture healthy gut flora.
10. Did I mention, keep a food journal??…but remember there may be environmental factors involved too! So if you son or daughter is ONLY sick on M-F but great on the weekend, look closer at the environment where they spend their M-F. If they are only sick on the 3rd week of each month and that is when your cleaning crew cleans your house… look to the household cleaners they may be using. Do they only get asthma like symptoms when you visit grandma’s house…. look into what could be the trigger at Grandma’s ( her perfume, air freshener, musty moldy older house?) You must be a nutrition and environmental Sherlock Holmes to solve the case of your mysterious child and their health. Awareness is the key.
When all else fails and your child seems to be reacting to everything, yet maybe allergy testing shows NOTHING (or shows they are reactive to every food tested)… consider seeking out a metabolic specialist. It may not be an allergy after all, but rather the body’s inability to break down foods for energy….and that is a whole ‘nother ballgame!