It seems that food allergies and sensitivities are destined to be a part of our lives.
While I am not Celiac, I had people tell me for years that it sounded like I was due to my IBS symptoms. I tested negative and thought I was home free until I discovered that non-Celiac gluten sensitivity is a very real thing and likely partly to blame for my digestive issues. The only way to diagnose it is the “try it and see” method, and I can tell you from experience that I am better off without gluten in my life so that is where I remain. It isn’t the only culprit. I can’t drink milk without having horrid stomach pains, but other forms of dairy don’t seem to disagree with me. And processed foods in general bother me, although I don’t know what is in them that gives me trouble so I just try to avoid them as much as I can.
I’m just a barrel of laughs. Ask anyone who tries to go out to eat with me.
My son has a severe allergy to tree nuts and sesame, and at 13 it is highly unlikely that he will outgrow it, so they are part of our household food restrictions.
My older daughter had an allergy to milk and eggs when she was a baby, but fortunately she outgrew them.
We thought my younger daughter had it made without any allergies or sensitivities, but I suppose it was too much to hope for with her genetic makeup.
She has been complaining of stomach aches off and on for months, probably over a year. I have been keeping tabs on her and have been suspicious about possible food sensitivities but we couldn’t see any obvious patterns or triggers. We’ve discussed doing a trial elimination diet to see if we could pinpoint what might be bothering her, but we could never seem to commit. Dairy seemed like a good place to start. It seems to be one of the more common culprits where food sensitivities are concerned, but you’d have to see the contents of our fridge to understand my reluctance to attempt such an experiment. Cheese, yogurt, butter, cream and milk make up about 75% of it. We’re a dairy family, let’s just say that. Still, we gave it a half-hearted effort a few times but never got very far. I suppose gluten could be an issue too, who really knows, but the stomach aches are infrequent enough that no one felt too motivated to try such a restricted diet.
Then she spent two mornings this past weekend complaining of tummy aches, and I decided to take her into the pediatrician to get his take on the situation.
We arrived at the office at 8:30 this morning. The doctor listened to my story, asked us some questions, and decided to order an x-ray to make sure there was nothing stopping her up. When the x-ray revealed nothing (and I had lost 2 hours of work time and exposed my daughter to her yearly quota of radiation) he suggested that we try taking her off dairy for two weeks and see how she does.
WHEN will I learn to trust my instincts??? It would save me a heckuvalot of time.
Why is it that I still need to be told what to do by an authority figure in order to find the wherewithal to make the commitment to do what I know needs to be done? Will I ever grow up?
Anyway. The dairy free experiment starts now. My daughter is not amused, but she is so thrilled to have no needles involved in her diagnosis that she is willing to cooperate.
I tried going dairy free myself when my older daughter had the allergy because I was nursing. I lasted about three days, and it was pure misery. I honestly think living gluten free is easier than living dairy free, but that’s me.
In this case, our entire household will not join her on the dairy free experiment, but I will be trying to make dinners that are dairy free (and gluten and nut free) just for simplicity’s sake. We always eat together as a family, and I don’t cook separate meals.
Then I’ll need to find her some dairy-free replacements for her favorite snacks that do not include soy. I once made an ice cream with coconut milk that was tasty. I need to look that up. She doesn’t really need to drink a milk replacement. She likes water, and I don’t think kids need milk. But she does need to get her nutrients somehow. You know me, I’d prefer the most natural, real food options available. I’m wide open to suggestions.
This could end up being only a two-week experiment, in which time we decide dairy is not the culprit, or we might find that she can take a Lactaid tablet and tolerate some dairy. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I need advice, yo! I’m talking specifics… recipes, brand names, products, etc. I will share everything I learn in a follow-up post.