My name is Kristy and I never thought I would be one of “those” moms who has a food allergy kid. This is the story of our food allergy journey. When my son, Lennox just turned 1, I offered him a tiny taste of a cashew yogurt that I had made. He immediately started sneezing, got hives and was throwing up. We knew it was either the cashews or strawberries in the yogurt. We took him to Urgent Care and they treated him for the reaction (Benadryl and Zyrtec) then they suggested we make an allergist appointment to learn more.
We found out via the back scratch test that he was anaphylactic to cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds and all tree nuts. He also had a sensitivity to peanuts, eggs and dairy. So, we went on our way with the instructions to give him peanut butter 3 x a week until he was 5 in order to get his body used to peanuts. We got our epi-pens and that was it. I knew (and hoped) there was more we could do, so I scoured the internet and found out that Maddie saw kids with food allergies. I talked to one mom and she said it is not an easy process, but it does work. Finally there was hope!
We met with Maddie and she suggested we do a urine and stool test. Yes, that means you gather poop and put it in a vial to send off to a lab. Gross, but I was willing to do whatever it took to get answers since I didn’t get them from the allergist. We got the results back and I was amazed at all the information it told us.
We learned from the results that Lennox’s poor little body had aluminum and mercury in it and that was likely the cause of the food allergies in addition to his body being on high alert to foods. My thought was how is this even possible?! We ate healthy, I extended breastfeeding and did things right! We did a delayed vaccination schedule to not inundate his body, but that is really the only reason he would have those metals in his tiny little body. I felt like I failed him. I was his mom and supposed to take care and protect him.
We worked with Maddie to come up with a plan for detoxing him. We had already tried NAET which was an acupuncture that was supposed to get rid of his allergies. Well, that was a waste of time and money. We also did Biofeedback with Maddie which could tell us what is going on in Lennox’s body. She could tell what every system in his body was doing (lungs, digestive, etc.), if his body was going through a growth spurt and more!
Keeping a tab on every single thing he ate was exhausting to say the least. He was a curious toddler who I couldn’t really trust to not eat something he shouldn’t. We did go to a school a few days a week that was very strict about nut allergies, so that helped. And at least 3 kids in his class had food allergies. That was crazy to me, so I asked Maddie. She said that just shows how sick our kids are. This all led me to more research and found Robyn O’Brien. She is an allergy advocate and has asked: “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?” I read every label and was scared that there may be a cross-contamination. We didn’t really eat out much because you just never know. “Made in a facility with tree nuts” is on so many labels and does the chef or person preparing your food really care? It is a game I wasn’t willing to play.
Maddie warned us that it wasn’t going to be easy. She was right! We ate clean and sometimes couldn’t eat leftovers or anything that could cause a higher histamine reaction. I learned a lot and had no idea that histamines increased with leftovers. We also used supplements and homeopathic remedies. We did this for over a year and a half with the goal (for me at least) of reducing his food allergy reactions to where they are not anaphylactic. We started going to a new allergist who wanted to get a blood test to see his IgE allergies. If you ask the allergist, there isn’t anything you can do to reduce food allergies. We got back the results and she said we could do a food challenge for Peanuts, Pecans and Hazelnuts.
We went to National Jewish and he passed allergy testing for peanuts and pecans. Once he passed those then he could try almonds, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, brazil nuts and walnuts at home. He can now have some nuts! We are still avoiding cashews and pistachios since those are still showing an abnormal response. We also went back and tested for hazelnuts, which he passed. The allergist basically said…”See you in a year.” Really? That is it? I was not content with that answer. I do love our allergist, but want to do everything I can to help Lennox.
Back at Maddie’s! We will work on detoxing his body which will reduce his allergies to cashew and pistachio. I know we will get there. Will it be worth it? Yes! Was it easy? No, but I am just so thankful that there are alternative methods for when traditional medicine doesn’t give you the answers you want.
Thank you Maddie for all your help, guidance and amazing support. I hope this helps other moms and dads get some answers they may need around food allergies. Please share if you know of someone else who could benefit from this information.
Kristy and Lennox (4 years)
Photo: FARE – https://www.foodallergy.org/about-fare/blog/new-prevalence-numbers-demand-an-aggressive-call-to-action