My son was always a picky eater, so I was thrilled when my daughter liked fruit. I just never expected to find out that she was allergic to all the fruit and food that she loved. We saw an allergist to discover if any food or environmental allergens were causing some of the intense flare-ups in her eczema/atopic dermatitis. I covered her allergy to pets last week.
She was tested for twenty seven common foods such as milk, egg, wheat, rice, chicken, and numerous fruits and vegetables. She came back allergic to every one of them. There was no way to eliminate everything. What would she eat? The allergist said to eliminate anything over a level 3 allergen so that included peanuts, carrots, lamb (don’t know how this was on the list as she had never eaten it), green beans, grapes, peaches, strawberries and yeast.
His recommendation then was to simplify her diet and whatever we fed her needed to be what she ate every day. So even though she was allergic to oranges if that is what we wanted to feed her, she needed to have it every day. This is kind of the principle behind allergy shots. They give you some of what you are allergic to in the hopes of your body getting use to the allergen.
We tried this for several months but by January even with all the pets gone and the dietary changes, she was still experiencing a lot of scratching. Her skin looked horrible. We decided it was time to start eliminating other foods from her diet one at a time. Since eczema is often linked to milk that was one of the first things to go. She didn’t like milk to drink, but she did love yogurt and ate it daily. I went through the pantry and removed anything that had milk as an ingredient. All butter, ice cream, and yogurt were off her diet. Sadly, I couldn’t see that this stopped her from scratching. Then one day as a test, I gave her a yogurt and within 20 minutes of eating it, she was scratching like crazy. The next day the same thing happened so we knew milk was definitely one of the things causing her itching.
Next, with milk still gone from her diet, I decided to eliminate wheat. I decided if wheat was going, I might as well go all the way and remove gluten. Anyone on a gluten-free diet can tell you that gluten-free products are more expensive. And I am sorry to report that most of them do not taste as good as the products we were replacing. But removing gluten didn’t help. Adding it back into her diet didn’t provide the same results that milk did, so we assumed wheat and gluten were okay.
For several weeks, we tried eliminating and reintroducing numerous foods that she tested allergic to. Some you could see a definite reaction while others there was almost no change. But even with all the things we eliminated, she still was scratching and bleeding and just miserable. So we decided to try something totally different to see if we could relieve her symptoms. Next week, I will discuss what we tried and how it helped us reintroduce both milk into her diet and the cats back into our house.