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Against the grain

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How long to avoid something before adding it in for testing? [Jun. 27th, 2012|07:12 pm]
Against the grain

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I recently started to change my diet to lose weight. I realized after a couple of weeks that I had nearly cut out gluten in the process and had been feeling less tired. I decided to cut it out entirely (without medical advice) and found out how hard that can be. So I'd like to self-test by remaining gluten free for a period of time and then trying gluten again. However, I'm not sure how long I should stay gf before trying it again to see if it was just coincident, or if I really have a problem with it.

So, I thought this would be a good place to ask. It seems silly to stay gf if I don't need to be, but going to the doctor to get tested right now would be a royal pita. So, opinions on how long I should go before re-introducing gluten?
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Is quinoa gluten-free? [Jun. 20th, 2012|04:17 pm]
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I'm participating in a potluck in a couple of months, and am trying to figure out what I can bring that would be safe for all our participants. (We've got vegetarians as well as folks with nut and nightshade allergies, lactose intolerance, and a new potential diagnosis of celiac disease).

I've had success in the past with this group doing a quinoa tabouli. But if quinoa has gluten, then it won't be safe for our friend who's been suddenly forced to go GF, and I really want to make sure there are some things (other than the meat, which we'll have to watch for gluten-in-sauces) she can eat.
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Comment, Suggestion, and a small question [Jan. 15th, 2012|02:48 pm]
Against the grain

[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

My Food Allergies Include: Dairy, Beef, Chicken Eggs, and Rice

I was actually diagnosed a year ago. Growing up, I had really terrible "acne" (or so I thought) and a very sensitive stomach that constantly didn't do what it was supposed to do (AGAIN, or so I thought). I have to say, after a year of not having these foods in my diet and switching to a doctor who actually understands food allergies, things have changed. I don't have acne, which was FINALLY diagnosed as a type of hives that resemble acne. (Yeah. It took until I was 21. And this was AFTER they had wanted to try all sorts of horrible acne medications) And, my stomach troubles have become less and less. I wanted to bring awareness to this, specially to those who might not have been diagnosed or know others. Sometimes, it isn't acne. Included is a before and after of my face. See what I mean?

Picture - SFWCollapse )

Also, my question is: Does anyone here know any good substitutes for rice in Asian/Indian recipes?
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Non-cross-contaminated nuts [Jan. 10th, 2012|11:58 pm]
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Hello. My 6-year-old daughter just got diagnosed with a hazelnut allergy. She is not allergic to any other tree nut nor to peanuts. Her allergist suggested that she continue to eat all other nuts but that we should avoid cross-contamination. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to find nuts that have not been cross-contaminated? Buying them in shells seems to make sense. I hear Trader Joe's carries that. Any other place I could look? Thank you!
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almost 3 year old.... [Jan. 5th, 2012|08:50 pm]
Against the grain

My son will be three in february, and I am going nuts trying to figure out his body. As of right now, we know he is allergic to dairy, wheat, eggs, and oats. Right after thanksgiving, his face started breaking out in eczema (which is what used to happen with other allergic reactions as well as other symptoms). This is the worst case he has ever had, but we haven't removed anymore foods from his diet, so if he is reacting to something else, it would make sense then that it will not go away and keeps getting worse. We have tried chiropractic care, a bunch of creams (eucerin, a natural cream from the chiropractor that has things like tea tree oil in it, hydro cortisone, CeraVe, and some other lotions), I have given him probiotics, and am trying to get him to drink lots of water, we bathe (shower actually) every other night or so and not super long, I run a humidifier.... it just keeps getting worse. And it is bad, I mean, people see him and mention how painful it must be. He doesn't complain about it unless we put certain creams on it (he says the hydro cortisone hurts), but it LOOKS painful. The only thing that he started eating/drinking more frequently since the time we started to notice it was apple juice and I super water it down, but I am trying to take that out. Are there any other suggestions? He also has the red ring around his anus, which is why I feel it is probably related to allergies, and just the last week or so he has had his dryish sneezy cough back too that went away finally after we cut out the oats... I have thought about doing a complete elimination diet, but how do you tell a toddler who likes his snacks and certain foods he has to eat the same thing for 2 weeks?? Any help/advice would be great. I had posted a while back about the allergist we last saw and what a jerk he was and how unhelpful, so at the moment I am not working with an allergist on all of this either. I just want my baby to be healthy and be able to eat SOME foods. :(
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My son's allergy tests [Nov. 17th, 2011|06:53 pm]
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So, I a week ago both my son and I went to see a new allergist (he is a pediatric allergist). The doctor wouldn't even test me. I had been tested for some things once before and showed very low positives to a few things that had been causing me breathing problems, but I am not sure what to think because I hadn't been exposed to either of those things for weeks (if not a couple of months) before the actual testing was done, and it is my understanding that for blood tests you can get false negatives with non exposure, correct? Well, I am really not a fan of the doctor, as he looked at those results, and said they were not high enough to be allergies and completely dismissed my reactions to them. Wouldn't even entertain the idea of testing me for anything. I have always had sinus problems, and showed positive to a ton of environmental things, but the doctor said that the stomach cramps, migraines, and other symptoms I was experiencing were not allergy, it was intolerance??? that just seemed contradictory, because at my sons appointment, he made it seem like any breathing problems, regardless of the allergy results, were something to take seriously and be very careful with. So my son was tested for a slew of things, and while the ones that he tested positive for last time showed up negative, it has me worried. Because he has not been exposed to these things, well, ever (we discovered the symptoms when he was pretty little and through exposure when I ate the food and he breastfed), I am leary of just going ahead and trying them because of his reactions then, and the possibility(?) of a false negative with no exposure. He also tested positive to both wheat and oats.... wheat he tested very slightly positive to when he was tested before, but now it is within the "worrisome" range as the doctor said, and the oats shocks me because he regularly eats oatmeal, but he does tend to have a lot of coughing and sometimes wheezing that my husband noted started around the same time he started eating oatmeal so frequently. I guess, I know I was not a fan of this doctor from the beginning (what pediatric doctor doesn't even TRY to talk to the child being tested? He acted annoyed that my son was scared!!), But the problem is we dont have other options around here, and that doctor was a 2 hour drive to see. I just feel like he is one to say "this is how it is, the same for everyone, and thats how its going to be" rather than think more case by case, or be willing to actually LISTEN to the symptoms or worries rather than dismiss them all. What would you do? He suggested a food trial at our local clinic for wheat and oats, but we have been wheat free for a long time besides the occasional slip up (as we weren't very concerned since that one originally showed so minor), and he eats oats regularly. Should I add the other foods back in? Or just leave them alone? The biggest one was eggs, and when I ate them and breastfed him, he would break out in hives, get red swollen eyes, have bloody stools, and get a hard, distended stomach. But that one now shows negative... I just don't know. Any advice??
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Petition to have sesame and mustard considered allergens under FALCPA [Oct. 12th, 2011|09:56 pm]
Against the grain

In poking around the internet today, I found one of those whitehouse.gov petitions, this time to have sesame and mustard considered allergens under FALCPA. Looks like the petition was put up about a month ago and has another month to go before it closes. I realize that petitions are just petitions and as such can be awfully impotent, but at the same time, heck, why not sign it? I'm of the opinion that the United States' Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act needs a major overhaul, and this would be a good place to start. 3 million+ people in the US have sesame allergies, and that number is on the rise.

And yeah, not gonna lie, I'm kind of biased because I have sesame allergies. Man, those little seeds are hard to avoid! I've had tree nut allergies all my life and only recently found out that I'm slightly allergic to sesame, too. Believe it or not, I've found sesame to be harder to avoid than tree nuts.

The petition isn't 100% what I'd like to see changed, but it's better than nothing. In my idealistic fantasy world, every single thing that goes into a food product would have to be listed in the ingredients list and all cross-contamination would have to be declared. No more agonizing over "spices" and "natural flavors". Doubt the FDA will ever go that far, but it would be nice if they broadened their definition of "allergen".

Thought some of you might be interested in signing, so there you go!
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First time poster, looking for some outside info on bread [May. 26th, 2011|08:35 pm]
Against the grain

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Hello, thank you all for reading, yadda yadda yadda!

So I have a couple of "food allergies" none of which are histamine related. They all seem to stem from an inability of my system to digest particular foods, and for that reason my doctors have always referred to it as IBS("irritable bowel syndrome" for those of you who didn't know). Would you call that an "allergy" or a "reaction to" or... What?

There seem to be two main triggers:

Beef fat - very low fat beef I can handle alright it seems. I found this was a trigger for illness thanks to the listing of "lean"ness in ground beef: the leaner it was the less ill I felt. I'm avoiding beef, so there's not much to be said or done here.

Wheat: Now this is the weird one, and I need input on this. First: I've been tested for celiac disease and I don't have it. I mean, unless the test was utterly and totally wrong or my doctor lied... Which I doubt. Second: I have no problem with white bread. None. I adore white bread, and processed bleached flour, and had Bisquick pancakes for breakfast. But a good "hearty" loaf of 12 grain bread will make me sick for 24 hours or longer. Now, again a note: I seem to be okay with rye, barley, oats, and the rest when they're on theri own. But the unprocessed Trader Joe's type breads, even just Oro-wheat, make me sick. And this may or may not be related, but those tasty FiberOne bars make me ill too. I've been looking for anything like this, sort of selective reactions, but it's overwhelming  how much celiac info is out there and sorting through it's gotten me nowhere.

So, if anyone knows a bit about what allergies I'd love their advice! And again, thanks for reading.

Edit: Well, there seems to be a wave of Spam replies going around, so I'm disabling comments from here out. Hope it's not a bother.


Oral Allergy Syndrome Sucks [May. 26th, 2011|04:43 pm]
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Im 22 this year and when I was growing up, I thought the only thing I was allergic to was bee stings. This changed during High School after eating a museli bar and getting an immediate allergic reaction. At first I thought nothing of it, after all I rarely ate those sorts of bars. But then I started getting the exact same reaction with raw carrots, which I loved, I hated them cooked. My family didnt eat meat and 3 veg instead it was salad and meat. Both my mother and brother have food allergies as well. My mum cant have wheat, gluten, yeast or dairy. My brother takes special tablets so he can have dairy. So our dinners are pretty much the same everyday. Occasionally we would have veggies but we all proffered salads instead. I started getting this same reaction with all my salads! One after the other! Mum didnt think it was anything, probably some chemical perhaps on the salads. So I went back to having vegetables.

Now I have always liked fruit, but I simply adored apples. Especially the juicy ones. But to my horror I started getting the reaction to that as well. And my reactions were getting worse. I discovered that what I may have been allergic to in that muesli bar was a tree nut. And upon eating some rocky road chocolate that contained this and getting the same reaction, but strong enough that I felt my throat closing, that I started to consider going to the doctor.

Who quickly dismissed it and said to just avoid those foods and you'll be fine. But my allergy quickly spread to all fruits, except banana but I haven't tried it lately, all raw veggies and salads. Plus tree nuts and coconut...which doesn't really count but yeah. Now I was really frustrated. What the hell was I supposed to eat? Sure I could have cooked veggies, although every now and again I get a minor reaction. But other alternatives didn't seem to help at all. And no one believed me. My brother and I think my dad too, both just thought well since I wasn't a big salad eater and veggie lover anyway , that I was just saying that so I didnt have to eat them!

Finally I decided to ask another doctor, who immedialty realised that It was way out of her depth to deal with. She recommended me to an allergy specialist and sent a referral and me off to a blood test, which luckily are free. Now I should say, I live in a small country town, in the middle of nowhere, in the state of Victoria, Australia. The nearest allergist was in Melbourne, three hours away. So off I went.

The first thing he did was ask me about my health. Now, I have a really screwed up body... and I am not exaggerating. So I listed off everything, which includes Allergic Rhinits, many different kinds of eczema and Asthma. He gave me the prick test with many different liquids dropped on to my arm. Within minutes it started to itch. Soon I had all these raised red bumps on my skin! Some large some small. He looked at it and I just knew bad news was coming.

What I have is Oral Allergy Syndrome, and in its milder form people are only allergic to a few things. But he said to me, that he sees people like me maybe 3 times a year, four at the most. Mine is rare and unusual, something that didnt surprise me considering my weird body. Those three things I mentioned, the rhinits, eczema, etc are all related to my allergy. He gave me a note to have a special blood test. He says some of the things I am allergic to may be able to be treated, even cured with vaccines! But we won't know until I get the results. In the meantime I am incredibly frustrated.

I want to loose weight but all the foods Im meant to have Im allergic too! And I dont know what to do, in this little town there arent many alternatives. I've tried organic as well, it doesn't help either. >< Nothing helps and no one believes me when I say I cant eat this Im allergic, eating out is difficult. Is there anyone who can help?! I feel like I dont have any alternative options here!

So I rang the allergist's office to make an appointment, because i want to start treatment asap, but he's overseas! D: until the 14th of june! >< thats just great.
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buttery spread [May. 8th, 2011|01:10 pm]
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I can't have dairy, corn or soy and can't find a single buttery type substitute that doesn't contain one of those three things!

Anyone have a suggestion?
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