Life + Style

August 16, 2013

Allergy Talk

I need to chat for a minute.

We've hit a little snag in our allergy induced diets.
Matt and I are diligent about reading labels and keeping the kids on tract but we've been noticing something is still throwing one of their little systems off.
Do any of y'all have any experience or information about fructose malabsorption?
And to my Richmond people, do you have a nutritionist you'd recommend?  I'm sure our pediatrician will have a referral list but it's nice to have a more personal reference.

I'm also curious for my allergy crew, how did you diagnose potential threats that weren't on the original scratch test list?  Like certain dyes or preservatives.  My mother in law is allergic to carrageenan so I know that's one I'm going to start watching out for directly.  High percentages of sugar is the other trigger I want to focus on.
Did you keep food journals and use process of elimination to determine triggers?
Ask the pediatrician to send you straight to the GI?
My plan is to speak with the pediatrician this afternoon and start a food journal to take to our next allergist appointment.  I know the first thing they're going to ask is what she's eating.

As always, feel free to email me directly if you prefer to keep yourself or your story anonymous from the internets.


  1. Check out the paleo mom. I believe she has some info on fructose malabsorption. Good luck!

  2. Have you done a strict elimination diet? It's hard and takes forever. You start with basically no foods, wait two weeks, add one food, wait a week, add another, etc. You have to be extremely strict and patient but it gave us a good idea of what was going on allergy-wise.

    Food dyes and preservatives are hard to actually diagnosis as the reaction is usually behavioral. The Feingold Diet has a ton of information on it (as does their website, and just googling "Feingold" since many people believe there is a link between ADHD/dyes.)

    Good luck!

  3. Oh NO!!!! What is going on now??? I'm so sorry! Is this why you are so damn skinny????

  4. Ugh. So sorry. I can't imagine how difficult all of this is. I just say go with your gut. If you think they need to see a specialist, then refer them yourself (if your insurance allows that). My pediatricians have been dragging their feet, I had enough, went to see an ENT, and he recommended immediate surgery. You know what is best for your kiddos.

  5. I kept a food journal with Amelia for quite a long time at the beginning, just because we weren't sure where the allergy ended. And I always erred on the side of caution when it came to giving her something new because I didn't want to have to break out the benedryl. I will say that our allergist told us that the scratch tests aren't always 100% reliable as sometimes you can get false positives for a variety of reasons. Which actually was even more frustrating! I feel you mamma! But no worries, you all will find your groove. :)

  6. Hi! I'm a dietitian nutritionist so I thought I'd weigh in. Not having something show up on a usual scratch test is really annoying, but workable. I highly recommend seeing a dietitian nutritionist who does LEAP sensitivity testing. It looks at inflammatory markers on a sensitivity basis as well.

    I also really find with my clients that food journals are SO SO helpful to me when I try and figure out what's going on. It helps me find patterns between what you're telling me sign/symptom wise and what you're eating. For example, I know I'm sensitive to sugar alcohols (xylitol, manitol, sorbitol) and cannot eat them....but the only way I could know was by cross checking symptoms with food logs.

    Feel free to reach out to me and I may be able to give you a local rec.... Actually if you're in Richmond, VA, I'm on the VA dietetic association's board and can direct you fairly easily.

    1. If you want to email- you can reach me via my website:

  7. Oh no! I'm so sorry you are having more issues!

  8. I wish I could help you, but I don't know anything about this! Let us know what you find out.

  9. Have you considered seeing a chiropractor? I know it sounds crazy, but adjustments can help with the craziest things. Good luck!

  10. Dr. Rountree and Dr. Williams at St. Mary's are good peds GI MDs in the area. Seeing a nutritionist is usually always apart of their visits. Good luck!

  11. I've dealt with life-threatening food allergies with my two (2 and 3), so I really feel for you, girl.

    Every kid is different, and you know your kids best. The one thing I would say is that the medical professionals who have been the most helpful to us have been the ones who have approached the allergies from the perspective of "Let's find a way to safely get these kids eating the widest variety of foods they can possibly eat."

    When I start to hear about strict elimination diets for toddlers, unless they're *seriously* ill, I start to wonder if we are elevating diet to a magical talisman that we would like to explain every problem. I know that allergies are real because my kids have them, but even when they're avoiding everything they need to avoid, they have their share of issues. The right diet is important, but some things truly aren't diet-related and you can drive yourself crazy trying to eliminate this or that thing. (Again, I have no idea what your specific issues are; I'm just throwing this out there.)

    When I was nursing my youngest his pediatrician had me off wheat, milk, soy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame to try to deal with his eczema. Weeks and weeks of it and there was no improvement. I was out of my mind with guilt and losing weight way too quickly. We finally went to Dr. Wood at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Allergy Clinic (our current allergist), and he just smiled, shook his head, and said, "Some kids just have eczema. Have a milkshake."

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  13. Hi, Julia! I write a blog on food allergies and the family called Allergy Shmallergy (and have a fabulous doctor in the DC area who studied under Dr. Wood if you need to make it up that way).

    We diagnosed my son's food allergies with a blood test. It short circuits the elimination diets and makes it much easier to monitor multiple food allergies as well as yearly changes. It may be worth asking about this with whomever you see.

    Also, be aware that while the likelihood of simply being allergic is inherited; being allergic to a specific thing or food is not inherited. That's how we caught my son's food allergies early. My in-laws both have food allergies, but -as it turns out- are allergic to totally different things than my son.

    Feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

    Good luck!

  14. “Did you keep food journals and use process of elimination to determine triggers?” – Sounds like this would help. Hatch a personal plan on how you should go through this condition and maintain wellness. More than the food you eat, you should also ask your allergist about environmental allergens that could also trigger the attack. Diane @ AllergyArizona


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