I think I’ve written off and on that I’ve suspected Asher has some sort of food allergies/intolerances. I will spare both you & Asher the details, suffice it to say the main symptoms being very sensitive skin & intestinal discomforts. We’ve been fighting these troubles since he was about 10 months old and it never really sunk in for me until this past January that food could be the culprit. Mostly because i assumed the usual suspects. Gluten and/or Casein (gluten=protein found in ‘rising’ grains, Casein=milk protein). It was part ignorance and part denial that kept me from thinking it for so long. Denial in that I knew these were relatively common problems for babies/kids but it’s really hard to live in our bread & dairy world while having to strictly avoid them. Didn’t help that our pediatrician at the time wrote off his symptoms as normal for him (“everyone has their own level of normal”).
Anyhow, in January I finally allowed for the possibility and we went on a 2 month gluten-free/casein-free trial. There were many variables that made the trial not as pure as I would have liked, but regardless I saw big changes and thus was convinced. I took him to our pediatrican to get specific testing done, as I was not going to be “strong” enough to combat this major dietary change without the backup of a piece of paper telling me I had to.
It took a REALLY long time to get the test in, taken and results recieved back. In this time I have continued with “mostly” gfcf, mostly stressing the gluten over the casein…however recently I had decided that dairy must be the bigger culprit.
Which leads us to now. We went to the pediatrician on Thursday for the test result consultation. As it turns out, I was wrong on both counts (though he is possibly lactose intolerant). It’s garlic. GARLIC!!?? The pediatrician was as stunned as I. She was banking on milk. I was afraid of Celiac.
It’s garlic. The test looked at 90 different food groups and tested for an antibody response in all of them. To put it in perspective, a “negative” result is marked as <10. Most foods were marked as such, with a few marked w/a low rating thus indicating he’s “sensitive” to them. The highest of which was Navy beans coming in with a 78. Garlic however was “<2000″. What makes this interesting is I am a garlic FANATIC. Not only do i put it in nearly every savory dish I make, but I use it medicinally as well, so the poor kid has been inundated with the allergen since oh….about 9 or 10 months of age. I once even used a garlic oil infusion to try to resolve diaper rash (obviously to no avail). wow. The test wasn’t incredibly cheap and was not covered by insurance so I felt somewhat bad for having it done, wondering if I was just caving to my hypochondriac tendencies. However this has assuaged those fears/guilt completely. I NEVER would have suspected garlic. If we had done a real elimination diet, I bet it would not have crossed my mind, at least not for a long time to eliminate garlic. And the other foods that he was marked as “sensitive” to, the pediatrician was confident will quickly be regained as we eliminate the main stressor and his intestines have time to heal. So now I get to go back to making foods that ryan enjoys (maybe breakfast is back on the menu for him?), but I have picked up a few grain preparation tricks and learned how to not rely on them so heavily that i doubt I would’ve come to had I not spent time learning how to avoid wheat entirely. It was a GREAT educational experience, and I don’t regret the time spent doing it. I am however glad it won’t be a lifelong journey in that regard. Ryan is even more grateful. Asher? He found it amusing that I was wrong & that it’s garlic & not “gluten or cheese”. When it really sunk in for him that he’s NOT allergic to gluten he started laughing & said, “Garlic? (laughter) That means I can have teddy grahams at church! I can’t wait to tell Mrs. Sullivan that she doesn’t have to give me animal cookies anymore”. He also said that he couldn’t wait to go home & tell daddy that he could eat gluten and cheese but that mommy should not give him garlic. Very strange & while it’s sad to lose a favorite of mine…and it will affect us in little ways, like pasta/pizza sauce, ketchup (?), bbq sauces, curry, teriyaki… ect. But it’s SO much better than the original suspicion!! SOOO much better. I’ve been walking around dazed…but in a good way. Praise the Lord it’s *just* garlic.