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Posts tagged ‘allergies’

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.

-Jennifer

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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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!

-Jennifer

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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Our Journey of Healing Asthma, Eczema, Allergies with Homeopathy (Part 2)

Where did the week go?! I just realized that I missed Tuesday’s post! This GAPS diet is really taking over our lives, but still that’s no excuse and even if it was, I think it’s a pretty good one – don’t you? Still, NOT an excuse. Just this week we went for a follow-up appointment for Tristan’s homeopathic treatment and it made me realize that it is way past time I update you on how he’s progressing. If you’d like to read Part 1 of our story, you can do that here.

Things are going much better overall for Tristan. The night-time coughing has completely gone away. Every once in a while he’ll cough a little during the night and he certainly has more trouble when he’s sick, but for the most part he’s fine! We believe this has to do with two things – the homeopathy and the saline nasal rinses we’re doing twice a day. At first I wasn’t sure which of the two was doing the trick, so we took him off the homeopathic liquid tincture as described in Part 1, and after a few days his night-time coughing came back and he had a lot of trouble coughing at school too, which required his rescue inhaler. So, we put him back on the homeopathic liquid and a few days later he was fine again. A few weeks later we stopped the saline nasal washes and the same thing happened, the coughing came back and only ceased after a few days back on the rinses! So, we know for sure BOTH the saline and the homeophathy has really helped with the coughing. And we’re sure now that the coughing wasn’t even really asthma (like we and his doctor believed), but more of a post nasal drip/allergic rhinitis from an allergy that we’ve yet to identify.

The homeopathic doctor has now recommended making some changes to Tristan’s treatment knowing like we do now, that Tristan really has more rhinitis issues than asthma currently. And since he still has trouble with food allergies and eczema, although the latter is mild right now, he’s continuing to treat them with the tincture as well. He’s changed his liquid formula, which he takes twice a day and added a few granules to take once a month, one of which is to prepare for pollen season this spring, which is a HUGE eczema trigger for him. And he continues to take the MMR vaccine treatment mentioned in Part 1.

The new liquid tincture contains:

  • Rosa Canina S ID – 50ml
  • Corallium Rubreau 9CH – 10ml
  • Sporgia 5CH – 10ml
  • Coccus Cachi 5CH – 10ml
  • Kalium Blib 5CH – 10ml
  • Thymuline 9CH – 10ml

New granules at one dose a month, rotating through the following:

  • 2 Dose – Psoriumum 30CH
  • 1 Dose – Arsenicum Album 30 IM
  • 1 Dose – Pollens 30CH

We hope we continue to see progress! With the homeopathy and the GAPS diet, I can’t see how we won’t!

 

 

 

 

Naturopathic Approach to Allergies, Asthma, and Eczema in Kids (Guest Post)

I love holistic and alternative medicine because it usually looks at the whole body and doesn’t treat just the symptom. Of course it’s still important to keep regular appointments with an allergist to monitor severe food allergies and asthma and to ensure you have the correct emergency medication on hand. But it’s important to look beyond wheezing, hives, and itchy skin.  With conditions like eczema, allergies, and asthma, as well as autism, ADHD and so on, there is usually something bigger going on internally like immune dysfunction, but identifying just what is causing all the trouble can be very difficult to determine. So, we turn to a holistic practitioner and we hope they can lead us on our journey to healing. I’ve asked today’s guest to tell us more about how she treat’s children with allergic conditions. Please welcome Dr. McCollum.

- Jennifer

Naturopathic Approach to Allergies, Asthma, and Eczema in Kids (Guest Post)

 By Dr. Meaghan McCollum (Bio below)

Having suffered from allergies, asthma and eczema myself as a child, it always aches my heart to see young kids and infants come in suffering from these common ailments. The good news is that there is lots that can be done naturally to help these young sufferers. Read more

Happy Holiday Savings on Kid’s Allergy And Asthma Products!

achoo allergy promo

Kevin Gilmore, from AchooAllergy,  wrote a guest piece a while back Hide ‘N Seek – Hidden Allergies In the Home that gave us lots of ideas on our how to rid our homes of allergens. AchooAllergy was also a sponsor for the successful FABlogcon Food Allergy Bloggers Conference that I attended so a BIG thank you Kevin and Achoo Allergy. Now, Kevin is offering a special Happy Holiday sale to our readers on Children’s Allergy and Asthma Products! 15% off air purifiers (you can read more about the one we have and love here), HEPA vacuums, allergy bedding, nebulizers, peak flow meters,

Just go to their Child Allergy and Asthma Product Page and start shopping.

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Mother’s Intuition Saves her Son from Surgery (Guest Post)

Kids get sick, it’s just part of growing up. But when is a cold not just a cold? When does it mean there could be more going on internally? What if you could help your child get better? I know you’re like me and would want to do everything you could possibly do for your child in order to keep them healthy and happy. Today’s post is about how one mom did just that. She realized surgery wasn’t the answer in her son’s case and she went looking for answers.

- Jennifer Read more

Using Epinephrine to Treat Allergic Asthma

epinephrine for allergic asthmaI confess. I’m scared of epinephrine. Yes, I know, I know. It can save my son’s life, so for this I’m grateful. And I will use it if needed, as I have done before during his first anaphylactic experience. But I still am fearful of using it. There are many reasons, which I won’t go into, but ultimately I know it’s super critical to use it at the first signs of anaphylaxis.

But here’s my problem. Read more

Confession: I Overlooked a Suspected Allergen In an Ingredient List

I feel really lucky at this moment because I made a mistake, a HUGE mistake. Thankfully, Tristan is ok.

A little background:

We think Tristan has an allergy to almonds. He used to drink almond milk daily and was incredibly itchy. After stopping the milk, the itching stopped. So, now, as far I as I know, he hasn’t had almonds for about a year. No, I take that back, he tried a bite of yogurt made from almonds the other day (completely dairy free) and he got a little pink around his mouth, so he didn’t have any more. I avoid almonds now because I just don’t know if he could have developed a more severe reaction to them, like he did with dairy not long ago. Blood and skin testing was always negative, like most everything else – even for his anaphylaxis to dairy.

Back to the present:

He’s been eating these crazy healthy gluten-free snacks for several months now, from ShaSha Co. They’re organic, raw, vegan, with no added sugar, and contain prebiotics. Just a really great product. He eats a few here and there for “dessert,” but doesn’t eat them religiously.

shasha_snacks

Yesterday I got a new bag out and checked the ingredient label like I usually do for a new package of a favorite food item. Just wanting to make sure the company didn’t add anything new and unwanted in the item.

And what did I read in the ingredient list? Almonds! What??!!! I snatched the bag away from Tristan and quickly explained that mama made a mistake and these snacks may actually contain almonds. He was totally fine. Didn’t make a sound of protest. I guess his only anaphylactic episode is still to recent and at the top of his mind.

Surely, this company has just recently added almonds to their snacks. I would have clearly seen almonds in the ingredient list before. I am SO careful!

I take a bite just to see if they taste the same to me. Hmmm…they taste exactly the same. Adding almonds probably would have given them a slightly different taste. And they sure do look the same.

At that point a big, hard, rock started to form in the pit of my stomach. I emailed the company and asked them if they’d recently added almonds. They quickly replied and said, no, always contained almonds.

Oh man. Wow. I missed it……what if Tristan had a reaction?!

MAJOR Mom Guilt!

But…he didn’t have a reaction. He’s been eating a little bit of almonds for months now apparently and without reacting. But, I don’t feel safe testing almonds on him at home anymore, so we’ll wait and talk to his new allergist about it. No more Sha Sha snacks for now. Hopefully we can do an in office food challenge and see how it goes. I’d love to be able to give Tristan almonds from time to time. Unlike most his other allergens, almonds are actually healthy and I hate that he’s missing out on them.

So, lesson learned. We make mistakes – as hard as we try not to – it happens. I am certainly humbled by this experience and am thankful everything turned out ok.

Now it’s your turn, confession time. What colossal mistakes have you made in regards to your child’s health? Please don’t tell me I’m the only one that put their child at a HUGE risk…..

It’s time to get it off your chest. Trust me, it feels good to confess :)

When Allergies Attack: Asthma and Allergies in America, an Infographic

If this infographic proves anything, it’s that you are not alone in your  battle against allergies and asthma. I thought this was too good not to share.
Enjoy!
Asthma & Allergy Infographic Infographic authored by Oransi LLC. To view the original post, check out the original Asthma & Allergy Infographic.

Book Review: “Healing the New Childhood Epidemics – Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies”

I’ve had a number of eczema and food allergy parents recommend a book to me. “Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies – The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders” by Kenneth Bock, MD and Cameron Stauth. Let me first say that I’m not one to sit down to read any sort of non-fictional book. I’ll admit that I much prefer fictional novels that carry me to a far off world or to another reality. But, I decided to make an exception with this book as it was so highly recommended and it speaks to alternative treatment methods for health conditions that affect my child. So, I put down my copy of Divergent (which was AMAZING) and reluctantly picked up my first ever medical book and set to filling my brain with knowledge.

To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. The book follows the stories of a few families that Dr. Bock treated in his upstate New York practice, while also explaining how the board certified physician came to view autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies (known as the 4-A epidemics) as being related and treatable, in many cases. The book touches on eczema enough to note that it is often linked with asthma and allergies, so treating one will certainly help the other. From the many cases he’s studied and patients he’s helped treat, Dr. Bock believes that half of all children are susceptible to developing autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies. Half?! That’s A LOT of children!

The following are factors Dr. Kenneth Bock believes influence a child’s susceptibility to developing one of the “childhood epidemics.”

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Illness during a vaccination.
  • Acceleration of the vaccination schedule beyond the norm to compensate for missed vaccinations.
  • Taking an antibiotic at the time of vaccination.
  • Exposure to environmental toxins, in combination with the vaccination toxins.
  • Exposure to toxins in utero.
  • Nutritional deficits, or excesses.
  • Exposure to other viruses and bacteria.
  • Presence of other health insults, including candida problems and allergy.
  • A family history of autoimmunity and allergies.

With this extensive list, it’s obvious why so many children are susceptible. Dr. Kenneth Bock discusses the 4-A’s in his book, but I’m going to focus on his views on asthma and allergies in this review.

Asthma

We all know inflammation triggers asthma, but, Dr. Bock points out that many things seemingly unrelated to asthma could trigger inflammation and an asthma attack. Chronic infections like candida/yeast, foods such as dairy and gluten, and exposure to heavy metals such as mercury lead, aluminum, etc, all can be asthma triggers.

Allergies

Dr. Bock states that we all get allergies because of three factors:

  • Nutritional – vitamin and mineral deficiencies, unhealthy gut, lack of essential fatty acids, intestinal hyperpermeability (intestinal walls become too porous, also known as a leaky gut), stomach acid and digestive enzyme deficiencies, too much refined/processed food, and poor eating habits.
  • Immune – immune overload, overactivity of Th-2 cells, antibiotic overuse, hygiene hypothesis (we’re too clean), and vaccinations
  • Inflammatory – distant inflammation (inflammation in the gut causing inflammation in the airways), food (especially those high in saturated fats and ow in essential fatty acids), vaccinations, stress, and infection.

The Healing Program

Dr. Bock is quick to mention and repeat that “there is no one, single approach for all children.” He has a multi-step approach to healing, which is tailored to the unique needs of each child, but he provides a general guide to this program in the book. I’ll just mention the highlights here. He recommends working with a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor, but any medical physician who is open to conducting these tests and listening to your concerns as a parent, would be a great asset for healing your child. I’ve just embarked on this journey with my son, Tristan, and I’ve turned to an integrative MD who is very naturally minded, but still medical board certified (an excellent combination I find).

Please remember that this is just an abbreviated list of items in the healing program. Please read the book to see a full list and speak with your physician before embarking on the program. And keep in mind, this is not a quick fix, slap a band-aid-on it approach. A program like this could take years to complete as it is all about healing your child from within.

Here are the components of the Dr. Kenneth Bock’s Healing Program.

Testing

Tier One: These are general tests which Dr. Bock  recommends in all cases. They consist of basic body chemistry profiles and are routinely performed by most doctors. Some examples are liver and kidney function, electrolytes, calcium and magnesium levels, and thyroid function.

Tier Two: Nutritional and metabolic tests that are generally recommend for most patients. Some of these tests are not routinely performed and may require the evaluation of a doctor who is experienced in nutrition and integrative medicine. Some examples include: mineral counts, urine organic acids, essential fatty acids, and digestive stool analysis. Dr. Bock almost always recommends IgE and IgG food allergy and sensitivity testing.

Tier Three: These tests will only be applicable in certain cases and will be up to the discretion of the attending physician. Each child’s unique signs and symptoms will help the physician determine which tests are right for your child. Some tests in this category are: Immune testing (IgA, IgM), lymphocyte subsets, vaccine titers, thyroid antibodies, and PANDAS profile.

Tier Four: The lest stage of testing, not all patients will need these and they will usually only be done as treatment progresses, not initially. Tier four testing includes, but is not limited to urine testing for heavy metals, urinary porphyrins, and genetic polymorphisms.

Nutritional Therapy – Several diets have proved extremely helpful to many of Dr. Bock’s patients. It may only take one diet or a combination of many to see any changes in your child. According to the book, the diets most beneficial for children with autism, ADHD, asthma, or allergies are:

  • Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet (Dr. Bock has seen a 60% improvement in autistic symptoms with children on this diet. He also finds it very helpful for those with ADHD and asthma. He generally recommends this diet for all children with autism, ADHD, allergies, and asthma)
  • Specific Food Reaction Diet (eliminating any known food allergies or sensitivities)
  • Anti-Yeast Diet
  • Anti-Hyperglycemia Diet (eliminating sweet, sugary foods and high-starch foods)
  • Specific Carbohydrate Diet
  • Low Oxalate Diet

Supplementation Therapy – Dr. Bock has ranked the recommended supplements into tiers based on how commonly they are needed by children with autism, ADHD, allergies, and asthma. But again, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, so not all children with asthma are recommended to take the same supplements, for example. It depends on each child, their history, and test results.

Tier One: Basic nutrients needed to thrive, commonly found in multi-vitamins. Recommended for most children.

Tier Two: Some are basic nutrients and some are more specialized and are tailored to each child. Examples are digestive enzymes, melatonin, and Iron. 58% of autistic children in the healing program saw an improvement in their digestive issues when taking digestive enzymes.

Tier Three: These supplements are only for certain children and are generally only recommended after the child has been on the healing program for some time. Some examples are DMAE, creatine, and activated charcoal.

Detoxification – Dr Bock states ” Toxins, more than any other single, isolated element, appear to be the primary root cause of the 4-A epidemics.” Of all the toxins, heavy metals and environmental chemicals are the most destructive. Remember the recent announcements about butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) being linked to eczema? He uses a multi-step detox approach, but generally recommend glutathione for most children in order to aid in the detox process. On the extreme end, for some children with autism he recommends chelation.

Medication – I admit that I shy away from most medication these days. It probably all ties back to the fact that my son’s dermatologists tried to convince me that food didn’t play a part in my son’s severe eczema and that dousing him in ever strengthening doses of cortisone was the only way we’d be able to come close to managing his eczema. Well, they were wrong in my son’s case.  I now listen to my intuition and I’m not afraid to ask questions when a medication is suggested or prescribed. Yes, Dr. Kenneth Bock recommends medication as part of his healing process in some cases, but I like his philosophy as he states:

“Medications definitely have their limitations. I almost never use them as stand-alone therapies, because they generally don’t reverse root causes. Frankly, I believe there is far too much reliance upon pharmacology in modern medicine. Doctors and patients too often seem to be searching for the mythical magic bullet. I do not view medication as a panacea. Even so, meds can sometimes do things that other therapies simply cannot.”

Very well said, Dr. Bock. For preventative asthma medication he speaks highly of cromolyn sodium (used to be marketed as Intal) and Singulair because the side effects are much less than with some other asthma medications. For allergy relief medications he recommends Atarax, Zyrtec, Claritin, Singulair, and Nutraceuticals (natural medications such as quercitin and pycnogenol).

Wow, that’s a lot of information!  I was quite overwhelmed by the end of the book. But, I was hopeful. This book made me hopeful that I may be able to learn something from the tests recommended by Dr. Bock and I was excited to work with our integrative MD to get to the bottom of my son’s allergies, eczema, and asthma. Sure, we’ve come a long way from Tristan’s head-to-toe eczema. Removing specific foods, adding supplements to his diet, changing to natural household cleaning supplies and gentle skincare has helped my son tremendously. But eczema still visits my son, his asthma has been flaring more lately, and his food allergies continue to worsen. There is still work to do and I haven’t given up on Tristan. We’ll get there. And with this book I have hope.

One last word from Dr. Bock, “Don’t be overwhelmed. You can sort it all out….You will learn, from your doctor, that you don’t have to use every treatment that exists. Instead, you and your doctor need to carefully individualize your child’s treatment program, choosing only the most appropriate treatments, and applying them at the right time.”

So, you ask, where do you go from here? Pick up a copy of “Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies – The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders” Then find a DAN doctor or integrative practitioner near you, bring the book, and work in tandem to find the best approach to the healing program for your child.

Have you read this book? What was your take on it? Do you agree with Dr. Bock’s approach? If you’ve tried it, did it work for you?

Please note: I was not asked by the publisher or author to review this book and the opinions expressed are my own.

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