Welcome to my blog!

This blog is a journal of our struggles with food allergies and eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs). ("DD" stands for "dear daughter", so whenever you see it in the blog it is referring to my daughter and our personal experience.) My hope is for this blog to be a source of information and support to others who might be trying to investigate, diagnose, treat, or live with, food allergies and EGIDs. Feel free to leave comments with suggestions or requests of what you would like to see on this blog. This is a work in progress. :)

Month 5

February 2008

I ate something that triggered DD's allergies again... but no idea what it was. DD has gone from sleeping 11 hours straight (in December) to waking every 45-90 minutes all night long. I finally figure out the culprit to be Chewy Spree (my favorite candy) after I read the ingredients and find albumin (egg white). Who would have thought to check candy for dairy, soy, or eggs?

Another symptom has popped up in the first weeks of February- the cradle cap is still horrid, but now DD has a dime-size spot of eczema on her forehead. The pediatrician has no idea what could be wrong, but at our urging gives us a referral to an allergist.

Meanwhile, I am furiously reading every book that I can find on the subject of babies with food allergies. I'm also going through a lot of depression, because not only has my life been turned upside-down by the arrival of a new baby, my diet has been turned upside-down and I can no longer eat many of my favorite foods.

I decide to see a nutritionist at Bastyr to help me figure out what I can eat. They put me on an elimination diet - no dairy, soy, eggs, wheat/gluten, peanuts, citrus, caffeine, food additives, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, peppers, refined sugars, chocolate... and the list goes on. They give me some ideas of different (gluten-free) grains to eat, like amaranth and quinoa. I start on the elimination diet right away.

The diet seems to be helping- DD's symptoms are improving. Then, at the end of the month suddenly they flare up again. I narrow it down to the almonds that I ate that day (the elimination diet does allow things like fish and nuts.. for some reason.) So I decide to take all nuts out of my diet too. Big bummer, as they are one of my few 'snack' foods left, and a good source of protein. A week or two later, it seems like DD reacts to the fish that I ate, so now fish are out as well.

But by the end of the month, things are looking pretty good, and suddenly the cradle cap is going away- all by itself!

February 29
Today was our appointment with Dr. Tatum and NW Asthma and Allergies. The appointment went horribly... I had been doing my research and questions for the doctor. Everything that I said (that I had read), she refuted. For example- she wanted to do a skin test. I said that I thought skin testing on babies with eczema wasn't a good idea, because their skin is already so reactive that it will give a lot of false positives (not to mention the risk of sensitization to new allergens). She said no, that's not true... then looked at DD's skin and said that she couldn't do the test on her. I'm like HELLO- didn't I just saw that?!? WHATEVER. Anyway, after waiting 3 weeks to get in to this stupid clinic and a 10-minute appointment, we left with nothing more than orders to get Jayden's blood drawn for a RAST and instructions on clearing up the eczema (No, not how to prevent the eczema by avoiding the allergens, but how to take care of the eczema.) So we drove immediately up to Children's Hospital and got that done. They send it off to the Mayo Clinic, and we have to wait 2 weeks to find out the results, which may or may not be accurate (from everything that I've read, allergy tests on babies aren't very reliable.)

The allergist also said she didn't understand why I was limiting my diet, even though I told her repeatedly that the symptoms seemed to correspond with what I was eating. I had brought pages and pages of my food journal with me, which she had no interest in seeing. She kept saying that DD just had eczema, there was nothing we could do except treat it topically, that it most likely wasn't related to anything in my diet- even though I said repeatedly that we had seen the eczema clear up COMPLETELY after taking foods out of my diet! The whole appointment was infuriating, and I swore never to go back to that office.


Nicole Marie said...

I'm not sure if you have considered sugar. Cradle cap is seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis which is a condition related to yeast overgrowth. Antibiotics and yeast can go hand in hand. Healing candida is a difficult process and much of it is emotional due to the sugar addictions caused by the candida screaming for nourishment. I'm sure you have tried probiotics, cultured veggies and sugar elimination (besides non-sweet fruits like cucumber and avocado). It certainly can't hurt. ;)

Nicole Marie said...

Have you been testing your and DD's ph levels? You can get PH test kits pretty cheap either online or at your local health food store. I actually got ours at the Walgreens pharmacy of all places. haha.

Jessica said...

Nicole- are you talking urine pH, blood pH, saliva pH...?

We have randomly tested urine and saliva pH on both of us and always come up completely normal.

Jessica said...

Oh- and the cradle cap completely disappeared (by itself) when I got the major allergens out of her system.