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How I Became a Food Allergy Mom (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post is one many of you can probably relate to, I know I sure can. It chronicles the sudden, and unexpected journey from mom to food allergy mom. Our perspectives can change in a flash or in this case, with one bite of food. This post is a reminder of just how fast our lives can change.


How I Became a Food Allergy Mom (Guest Post)

By Elizabeth Flora Ross (Bio below)

“I think she’s allergic to strawberries,” my husband said one night. I was dubious. My daughter’s eyes would water, her nose would run and she would sneeze when she ate them. But I did not recognize those as food allergy symptoms – I dismissed it as seasonal allergies. One evening as we enjoyed a family movie night, our daughter began to complain she was itchy and hot. With only the light from the television, I couldn’t really see her. Then she said she needed to use the potty. When I turned on the light in the bathroom, I was shocked by what I saw. Her face and lips had transformed into a huge, red, swollen rash.

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Don’t Make This Mistake – Why You Should Always Ask For Copies of Lab Results

So, I have this draft folder where I save all my ideas for posts knowing one day I’ll come back to finish them up and publish them here. Some posts are more developed than others, some are just a sentence, some are just a link I found interesting and wanted to save for inspiration. While thinking about what to write today I happened across this old post from six months ago. While it’s quite outdated for my family, it’s still very relevant for all of you because I learned a big lesson from this experience and wanted to share it with you. So, today I’ll share this late, but still great post with you.

Six months ago….

We finally got to see an allergist at the children’s hospital following Tristan’s anaphylactic reaction to sheep’s milk feta cheese. It was a real eye opener.

The most shocking and truthfully maddening bit of news is that we were very misinformed about Tristan’s last allergy test results and if we would have been given the correct test results, we could have prevented his anaphylactic reaction all together. Here’s what happened. Two years ago Tristan was under the care of another allergist at a clinic (not the children’s hospital) and was tested for the top eight food allergens via skin test in their office. He had a mild reaction to hazelnuts, but that’s all. The allergist then sent him for blood testing of the top eight food allergens at the children’s hospitals, but the results were sent back to his allergist outside the hospital. The allergist’s nurse called us months later, and reported that his blood work came back completely negative across the board. The same results we saw when Tristan was 18 months old, so no surprise there.

BUT, his new allergist at the children’s hospital accessed his past lab work and told me a very different story. His blood work two years ago had in fact come back positive for dairy, walnuts, and hazelnuts!!!! What??!! If I knew my son had tested positive for dairy, I WOULD NEVER HAVE GIVEN HIM CHEESE!!!!! I was so horrified and angry and all I could think about was calling our previous allergist’s office to explain to them how they had given us false information which ultimately resulted in my son’s life threatening reaction to cheese. So, that’s what I did, I called them. And they confirmed again that the results that were sent to them from the Children’s hospital were negative. I asked him to specifically look at the dairy results to which he replied, ” He was tested for dairy? There is nothing here about dairy.” What? I remember it was on the panel, where was his result for dairy? I contacted the children’s hospital’s records department and asked for a copy of his results, it took a couple of months, but I finally received them by mail and guess what – the full test results were there. Turns out when the hospital sent the records over to our allergist, the last page with the dairy allergy was omitted somehow. I was speechless. How could this happen?

So, the very valuable lesson learned? Someone made a mistake. It’s human nature and it happens. I learned that I must be more diligent and request copies of all lab work before leaving an appointment and if results are left via voice mail, as was the case here, I must ask for a copy to be mailed to me. Period. No exceptions. If I had done this I could have prevented the scariest episode in my and my son’s life.

My husband helped me eventually see, that while we went through such a horrifying experience with our son, it gave Tristan (and my husband and I) a chance to really understand the extent of his allergies. Yes, it was a hard lesson to learn, but I know he’s more careful now and more aware than he ever was before.

So, please, learn from my mistake and ALWAYS ask for copies of lab results.

Are Escalating Food Sensitivities Hampering Your Life? A GAPS Story (Guest Post)

You’ve read some of our updates on the GAPS diet, so for another perspective here is another story from a Certified GAPS Practitioner about her patient’s journey to healing. While the patient has seen improvements, she remains on the diet in hopes of one day being completely healed. Only time will tell how it will go, but things are looking promising for her already.


Are Escalating Food Sensitivities Hampering Your Life? A GAPS Story (Guest Post)

By Jennifer Scribner (Bio below)

One of the most urgent reasons people come to me to learn about the GAPS Diet™ is because they have multiple food allergies and sensitivities.

Take Allison (not her real name), a client who was using an EpiPen 2 to 3 times a month for her anaphylactic food allergy reactions. She’d had digestive problems (along with asthma) most of her life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she realized they were caused by food sensitivities. Once she figured that out she eliminated those foods and felt better for a couple of weeks. Then she started reacting to new foods that she didn’t have problems with before, so she tried eliminating those too and ended up caught in a vicious cycle. What she reacted to was always rotating and she lived in constant fear of how every food might affect her. Not to mention how terrible she felt all the time, which wasn’t working for her while raising 4 kids and homeschooling.

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Food Allergy and Celiac Convention November 2014 and a NEW GFDF app!

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Coronado Springs Resort & Convention Center in the Walt Disney World Resort

November 22, 2014

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Celebrating food allergies and celiac disease at one of the top food allergy and gluten free locations in the world. This convention is open to consumers, families, gluten-free and allergen-free companies. Individuals of all ages are welcome and the convention will include: Read more

Eczema & Asthma – Testing for Food Triggers (Guest Post)

I’ve asked Dr. Farshchian to help us distinguish between food allergies and sensitivities and to help us better understand testing methods for each. While we’re not sure if food is the root cause of eczema, most of us have experienced first hand how food can trigger flare ups. I hope today’s post can shed some light on the IgE vs. IgG debate – knowing both can trigger eczema and asthma.


Eczema & Asthma – Testing for Food Triggers (Guest Post)

By Dr. Thalia Farshchian, N.D. (Bio below)

Food sensitivity testing is gaining popularity to assist in identifying triggers to chronic conditions like eczema, asthma, nasal congestion and more. To draw a conclusion that a particular food triggers symptoms, the gold standard for identification is an elimination challenge.

The elimination challenge can be quite the challenge in and of itself when you are considering eliminating all of the most common triggers: gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, nuts. In clinical practice, I have found food sensitivity testing to be a very helpful guide as it alleviates an element of stress on the child and family.

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10 Years of Eczema: What I’ve Learned (Guest Post)

Our guest today may only be 16, but he is wise beyond his years due to many years of suffering from severe eczema. He healed himself through dietary changes, something I’m a big proponent of, and is currently writing an e-book (which will be free) that will discuss how he did it. I think that’s pretty great. And a reminder again – he’s only 16! What were you doing at age 16? I certainly wasn’t trying to help others find inner peace and healing, like Harrison. I can only hope my son can take his experiences from growing up with allergies, asthma, and eczema, and turn them into something beneficial for others.

10 Years of Eczema: What I’ve Learned (Guest Post)

By Harrison (Bio below)

I’m really happy to be featured on Jennifer’s blog today. I would like to share with you the lessons I learned about life when I had eczema. Let me introduce myself. I’m Harrison and I have had eczema since the age of 6. I developed this horrible skin disease and never grew out of it even when I got to high school. I prayed to God every night and hoped that he would help me grow out of it too. But I guess I wasn’t lucky enough. Until in the 10th grade of high school, the social consequences of having terribly scratchy, bleeding wounds had greatly reduced my self-esteem to the lowest point possible. I was very embarrassing when asked “jeez, what happened to your skin?” And, as you know, sweating can cause an itching frenzy, so having eczema also cut out any physical activities. It felt unfair when all I could do was sit back and watch my friends shoot hoops on the court. I hated my restricted life. I realized it was time, I had to get serious about getting rid of this skin problem.  It had to go. So I began hours of internet research on possible permanent treatments that were not steroid-related or overnight fixes.

I combined multiple resources together and developed my method. After a little over 6 months, I was free of eczema! After the past 10 years of struggling with this annoying, ugly, humiliating skin disease, I was finally free.

During those 10 years, I learned some lessons along the way. I’d like to share them with you.

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Eczema and Skin Infections: The Basics (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post is on a topic I think many of us fear – infections. This is a very general piece to give you the basics on the types of infections those with eczema are prone to. You’ll find the conventional approach to treating infections as well as my comments as to what can be tried naturally to prevent infections in the first place and possibly to treat mild infections as well.



Eczema & Skin Infections: The Basics (Guest Post)

By Debbie (Bio below)

Eczema is a relatively common problem that causes skin inflammation. It is also sometimes referred to as “dermatitis.” There are many types of eczema, but they all tend to cause similar symptoms. These symptoms include intense itchiness, and the scratching may cause damage to the sufferer’s skin. Eczema can also cause scaling, making it look rough and scaly. The skin might get red and even bleed. In severe cases, fluid-filled blisters form, eventually crusting and oozing. Finally, someone with eczema might find their skin develops deep, painful cracks. Eczema, though, is a very treatable condition and these symptoms can be reduced and repaired.
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Healing with the GAPS Diet – INTRO (Day 44)

I’m really not sure where to begin as it’s now been one month since my last update and a lot has happened. To follow along on our GAPS journey, visit this page. Updates: Tristan and I are both in stage 4.

This diet has become all-consuming – I literally eat, sleep, and breath this diet. Every spare thought is about this diet. Wondering if I wrote down how I felt after increasing my sauerkraut juice intake or if I have enough broth in the fridge to last through the day. While I have gotten a comfortable handle on menu planning and manhandling the internal organs of various animals, I cannot come to terms with how much of my life has gone GAPS. Thankfully, the end is in sight. I’m estimating we’ll only have about one more month on the Intro portion of the diet. And in all honesty, it really hasn’t been that hard. By now, I’m so used to eating this way and so has the rest of the family, that it doesn’t really bother us anymore. Well, except for my husband. He still frequently asks how much longer until we can eat “normally” again.

But, despite my husband’s readiness to move on to a GAPS-free life, he is willing to wait for it because we’re seeing positive changes. Some are small and some are quite momentous, but they are there and they give us hope. Read more

KIDS! Express Yourself & WIN a Food-Allergy Safe Summer Camp Adventure CONTEST!

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 Hey Kids!!!!

Here’s your chance to win a two-week camp session on beautiful Cape Cod! It’s easy! If you have food allergies, and are currently in the second through sixth grade, just tell us why you’d like to come to Camp W*K, and you could have the best summer ever! Read more

Food Curiosity, When Young Children Put Their Food Allergies To The Test (Guest Post)

When our kids are young, we feel like we have some sense of control over their allergies. After all, they cannot easily prepare food for themselves and they rely on us to do it for them – so we carefully avoid all allergens and intolerances. But sometimes our little ones of a certain age may become curious about the food they’ve been told to avoid their whole lives. What happens then? Read on to hear this mom’s story and learn how they coped, a great read for all allergy parents!


Managing Food Allergies, Asthma and Eosinophilic Esophagitis (Guest Post)

By Kendra (bio below)

9554_wpm_lowres      Our family was introduced to the world of life threatening food allergies when Paul, now 8, stopped breathing during dinner at just 7 months old.  I explained to the allergist that Paul always had a rash of some sort, and nothing we did affected the daily wheezing.  We learned that he was allergic to egg, peanut, cat and dog.  Five months later, another half-dozen food allergies were identified.  His symptoms improved for a few months.  Then he started having rashes and trouble breathing every time he ate.  With guidance from the allergist, we continued to remove newly identified food allergies every few months.  By the time Paul was 3 ½, he was allergic to every food that he had ever eaten.  All nutrition came from an elemental formula which is broken down to amino acids.  The absence of actual food proteins ensures that there is nothing for the body to identify as an allergen.
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