HELP! no wheat, no corn, no eggs allowed

July 31, 2008 at 9:50 pm 11 comments

I took 22 month old Jackson to the allergy doctor today. He has had eczema since birth and I have known all along that it was food related. Now that he is fully weaned, I have slowly been figuring out what foods inflame his skin. Tomatoes was easy. His mouth and hands turn red and bumpy while we’re still at the dinner table whenever we eat pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, ketchup, so I’ve been keeping him away from anything containing tomatoes for a couple of months now. I’ve substituted Ranch dressing for ketchup and spaghetti sauce and he has been happy with that. (I can’t do that anymore.)

He also has an immediate reaction to berries, watermelon and rhubarb. I have been unable to figure out what other foods trigger his eczema because he doesn’t react right away. When he was an infant, he would often awake in the middle of the night with terribly bumpy itchy skin. Fortunately, his skin doesn’t usually bother him enough to keep him up at night anymore.

I am so thankful that Jackson tolerated the allergy testing. It really was divine intervention. For those of you who know what food testing entails and who also know my little man, you’ll know that this activity would not be on Jackson’s to do list. Sitting still is not one of Jackson’s strong points. Maybe he was fascinated with what the nurse was doing to him. He just sat on my lap, relaxed, while one nurse held his arm down and the other nurse did 25 skin pricks. He didn’t cry or wince even once. Then he was supposed to keep his arm still for 15 minutes. He did start to wiggle a bit but then settled right back in. Then he had to get a few injections too and he did ok with those as well.

When I left the doctor’s office, I had an emotional meltdown. The thought of doing an elimination diet for one month overwhelmed me. The three biggies are wheat AND corn AND eggs. Avoiding corn products will be tricky because food companies put it in everything, but its seems very doable to me. I have already been trying to eliminate corn syrup from my family’s diet. Wheat doesn’t bother me too much either because there are a lot of other grains. But eggs? They’re in everything. I put them in everything. They are my favorite binder. How can you make pancakes without eggs? (I’ll figure it out.) Or cookies? I could go on and on. I cook eggs and english muffins 3-5 times a week for breakfast. No more for Jackson.

When I called my mom and started reading her the list of things to eliminate, she asked me what can he have. What is he going to eat? The simple answer is meat and vegetables. Of the current food that our family eats, that’s all he can have. Oh, he can have oatmeal and rice too. But everything else, I’m going to have to find alternatives for Jackson.

The game plan is to do an elimination diet for one month while concentrating on getting Jackson’s skin hydrated which involves slathering oil on him 6 times a day. The doc said to use canola oil, but that grosses me out and I’m going to find an alternative. Hopefully, during this time Jackson’s skin will get significantly better. Then we can re-introduce the foods one at a time to see if he has a skin reaction.

We didn’t test tomatoes and berries since we already know that those affect him, so the foods that he tested positive for are the following:

  • peaches (huge, big welt which doesn’t surprise me because of his berry and watermelon allergy)
  • wheat
  • corn
  • eggs
  • cinnamon –minor
  • vanilla –minor
  • not food, but he’s allergic to dust mites and “cockroach mix”

He even had a minor reaction to beef and potato. I was watching the nurse as she was checking Jackson’s skin pricks and writing down all the results. When I saw her put a plus sign next to beef, I said to her “Beef? He can’t have beef? He can’t have hamburgers?” I was also thinking about our weekly pot roast. But she said no, it wasn’t a strong enough reaction to worry about.

In addition to all these, the doctor also wants us to eliminate dairy, peanuts and soybean. See why my mom wondered what he’s going to eat next month?

So what on earth is he going to be eating? Meat and veggies mostly. I’ve already been keeping him away from most fruits. He tested negative for grapes which I’m thankful for. I’ve been letting him eat grapes because he didn’t seem to react, but I wasn’t positive about that so I’m glad that he can have at least one juicy fruit! He can have bananas too which I’m glad about since he loves them and has one almost every day. It’s not the season for citrus fruit, but he tested negative for citrus fruits. yeah.

The good news? He isn’t allergic to chocolate.

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Entry filed under: allergies, kids, life. Tags: , , .

power nap I’m tired of reading food labels and it’s only day 3

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. stephanie  |  August 5, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    This sounds extremely daunting! I will say, however, that I have made pancakes without eggs. And with oats whirled in the blender to make flour and Sue Gregg has a way to use rice and soak it overnight. I have found that they eat pancakes any old way I make them, because of the maple syrup. And growing up, Mom always put oats in our meatloaf, not crackers.

    Reply
  • 2. Hilary  |  August 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Check out my friend, Rachel’s, blog It is right up your alley!

    http://www.chewy-mama.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  • 3. therese  |  August 17, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Guinever. Stephanie mentioned something to me about Jackson’s food allergies. My first son had/ has similar ones – some are the same (dairy, soy, eggs, fish, strawberries, grapes, and he was intolerant to rice, oats, sweet potatoes, apples, peaches, pears, but he’s outgrown most of those to some extent. I won’t allow him to have peanuts until he’s 5. That’s the rule for kids with lots of food allergies.) I’m allergic to tomatoes and a bunch of veggies, bananas and many tropical fruits.

    I’m thinking on your son’s list, but for now the best tip I can say is to make list of all your substitutes (i.e., he can’t have veg oil but maybe olive oil; applesauce, banana or prune puree instead of eggs; goat butter, yoguart, and milk in place of cow dairy, make your own italian dressing in place of ranch dip, etc.) and go with your regular recipes as much as possible. As you are making dinner for the family, take his out or have a second little sauce pan to make his altered version. It takes longer but that’s how I do it. If something is a hit, the next time make a bigger batch and freeze little meals for him.

    Also, once you find a recipe that will work, think of all the variations that you can make from it. I have a basic muffin recipe that I change out the fruits (or sometimes even vegs like pumpkin) but I’m really using only one recipe. Same for dinner foods, like chicken. I add a few vegs and: noodles OR rice OR beans to make a basic casserole for him.

    The next thing that helped me the most was to make a master list of all my options – all the things that are okay to eat. Make a list of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack foods, and portable snack foods, and drinks on one sheet of paper. See what you can fill in. It will be your game plan of sorts. This is especially helpful when life gets busy – you can just glance at your list and check out your options. Plus, dad or someone else, can glance at it too without having to run it by you.

    I’m thinking of more specifics for you, but for now I know that I made the quaker oatmeal recipe for cookies. You would need to change the type of flour. I used goat milk, applesauce (instead of eggs), goat butter, skip the vanilla and cinnamon. Also, I was just at whole foods (Wild Oats?) in Lex, and it looks like Jackson should be able to have Nana’s NO Lemon Dream cookies. I think they were rice based.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. I’ve been there and it can be frustrating but it does get easier. Best wishes and I hope that it will be a smooth transition for you and the little guy.

    Thanks so much Therese! This is a lot of helpful information and you give me hope that Jackson will outgrow the food allergies. ~blessings, Guinever

    Reply
  • 4. Pam in SE MI (TOG loose threads)  |  August 22, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I’m sorry Guinever! What a huge change for your family. I haven’t read the more recent posts yet to know how this is working out for you, but I will pray for you as you make adjustments.

    Blessings,
    Pam

    Reply
  • 5. Kathy  |  August 29, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Guinever,

    You may want to check out Denise Punger’s website for her “sugar free” posts. (I’ve mentioned her before on the IC list — a crunchy board-certified MD, as well as an IBCLC.) She did a blood test — which she writes about in one of the earliest posts on the link) — that showed what she was sensitive to — foods she should avoid completely, those she should try to avoid if she could, and those that were good for her. While the test is expensive, it might be worth it in the long run to keep from having to change your diet so much; and it should be faster as well.

    Thanks, Kathy. I’ve heard of the alcat test and was thinking about looking into it. So much to think about and consider! ~blessings, Guinever

    Reply
  • 6. Denise  |  October 13, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for the plug Kathy.
    Arrowheadmills Kamut flour has a simple recipe on the back for pancakes and waffles without eggs. My boys like it with pure maple syrup. I’ve had the most sucess with this recipe compared to other pancake recipes.

    Your post reminds me of how I felt in the begining of my sugar-free detox. Very upset. There is so many possiblities of other great things to try. This is an opportunity to try new things. It’s not forever and you will learn so much about nutrition.

    I’ve got great blogs linked up to mine with many recipes that avoid the ingredients you all need to avoid.

    Reply
  • 7. Peggy  |  December 4, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Guinever,
    We face the same struggle at our house. Our six yr. old daughter can’t have chicken, chocolate, corn, egg, apples, bananas, strawberries, nuts, tomato, grape, pepper ect. So we have found that even the substitutions don’t work because we can’t sub inapplesauce or mashed bananas. We really struggle with what to make her to eat and are afraid that she is not getting what she needs. Not to mention the snacks at school that she can’t have like everyone else. So if you have any ideas for me that would great. We also have four other children all with food and environmental allergies that we have to work in to the mix. Our oldest is allergic to the chemicals in carpet so there is only hardwood floors in our house, also dust mites, cinnnamon, and watermelon, not to mention shell fish. I hope that you can find the answers you are looking for and know that all of us in the same boat are thinking of you.

    Reply
  • 8. Sarabeth  |  January 1, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Hi there!
    I just saw your post as I was looking for reipes for pancakes without egg, wheat, or milk. My 4 yr old is allergic to all of these and has been since a baby. The doctor thinks she will out grow these and all her other allergies soon.
    We have found ways to do without all her allergens. She eats very healthy – meat, fruit, and veggies!
    I look forward to checking out the rest of your site since I am also homeschooling.

    Reply
  • 9. robin  |  March 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Hi, I just read about Jackson’s food allergies. WELCOME to the club! lol I was diagnosed at 18 as having allergies to wheat, shrimp, bananas, milk, egg whites,peanuts, and maybe more, but can’t remember. But I’d been eating them my whole life! Well, at 43, almost 44 I have severe migraines and can’t work. I also have under-treated hypothyroidism. I am allergic to everything outside, and have allergy and exercise induced asthma. I have restless leg syndrome REALLY bad, and awoke at 4 am Sat. am with it…after taking Mirapex the night before. GREAT, I said. I’m DONE with this! I got online and looked up RLS….paid the $29.95 for the “cure”, a book that was downloadable that had a money back guarantee. THE BEST $30 I EVER SPENT! The cause of RLS is…….MILK ALLERGY! TA DA! The lightbulb went on! I am on a mission… eliminate the dairy. Well, I thought, if the MILK allergy is reeking havoc on my legs, WHAT THE HECK are the other allergies doing to me? Today I gave up wheat. I am going to ask the doc to test me for more food allergies so I can eliminate EVERYTHING. Evidently I am very sensitive. I know I get EVERY side effect from meds.I just stopped taking Singulair …. caused my medication resistant depression for over 7 years! I am on a roll. After I get myself straight …. on to the kids. My 14 y/o son has ADHD, and eczema since he was a baby….and bad allergies. My 8 y/o daughter has bad allergies. She gets eczema sometimes when it’s hot. And I breast fed BOTH of them! My son is getting occasional migraines, and my daughter gets headaches. We have a long road ahead, but I’m confident that with the allergy bloodtesting they’ll help us eliminate everything but water. LOL
    Good luck to Jackson, at least he is finding out at a young age what bothers him, so he’ll have a good life, unlike the one I’ve been fighting for 43 years!Keep positive…. and LAUGH! It helps!

    Reply
  • 10. tears for soy and corn « at home with Guinever  |  August 26, 2009 at 12:18 am

    […] have previously written about my son’s allergies and our first trip to the allergist and about day 3 of reading food […]

    Reply
  • 11. susan  |  July 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    this may sound counterproductive to making recipe lists and dealing head on with allergies, but there is a chiropractor type doctor who can “retrain” the pituitary or other parts of the brain to not react to the allergens your body is suffering from. I found this very helpful when having to deal with children with allergies. There are some very complicated arguments about the chiropractic way of dealing with the allergies, but all I can say is–what was once a huge problem now is only a doctor’s appointment away after I get my dental care done. (I mean, we do not suffer from the allergies until right after the dental cleaning. There is something about scratching on one’s teeth and sticking the spiral spinning brush into the mouth that un-adjusts the “training” the doctor does. However, one appointment with the chiropractor again and the symptoms go away again.)
    My chiropractor doctor is called an Atlas-doctor. I think it has something to do with the training he had; not a back cracker but adjusts the atlas. There are other things this kind of chiropractor does which will help.

    Reply

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