Making sense of food allergy tests

A few months back I wrote about a food allergy panel that our doctor ordered to check my son for food allergies. I really should have asked a lot more questions before agreeing to spent nearly $300 for this testing. It’s expensive and poking your sensory kids finger for blood is a horrible experience for all.

In any case we trusted that the doctor had researched the validity of this test. I should have researched it.  Recalling that my son’s results indicated he had elevated IgG results to several foods.We were told he needed to be off these foods for a period of time to help his body’s immune response calm down.

Four months later, with no improvement, I compared notes with another parent that also reported no change in symptoms/behavior when removing foods based on this same test. This parent ran a follow-up test nearly 6 months into the diet. The results made me questions all of it when I looked at the original and the follow-up.

So what is an IgG?  It’s a “memory” antibody and from what I read IgG antibodies signal past exposure to a food antigen, not allergy to it.  What? Wait….past exposure not allergy?

Of course he was exposes to eggs, whey and gluten in the past and regularly prior to any diet. He was actually already gluten free for a good 5 months before this test was done.

The other child’s follow-up testing showed that the elevated antibodies to those original foods went down which is what you’d expect if you weren’t eating them for 6 months. What we did not expect was there are now elevated antibodies to some of the foods the child has been eating to replace the ones he couldn’t have. So now instead of having elevated IgG to milk, he has it to soy because his cow milk was replaced with soy milk.

So we both looked at each and thought…so does it matter what he eats or are these antibodies just going to go up and down depending on what you eat?

That made me think, wait a minute. How valid is this test?

I am having a hard time finding valid scientific research that demonstrates that elevated IgG to foods actually indicates a food intolerance when the child has no food allergy symptoms to begin with.

Sources:

A gain to celebrate…

Last night while I’m working on my computer helping those out there in the online autism realm, my son comes into the living room. He says “Mom I have something to tell you”.  I look up and think he’s going to ask me for another snack even though it’s well past bedtime, so I ask. “What?”  He says “I’m not sure which vitamin you’re giving me but my eyes are working better”. I ask him to clarify what he means by that. “You can ‘see’ better?”.

He says “No, I see the same as before but when I read I can focus on it now and I get those imaginary pictures like you said. Before I couldn’t focus long enough to read for a few seconds and no pictures. Now it’s working!”

I tell him how happy I am for him! It’s been a long-standing problem that’s really kept him from reading much. He was so excited to be able to read the chapter books he checked out of the library.

He asks me “Which vitamin you’re giving me made this happen and can I double the dose?”  My response, “well let me see which one it is first and the we will talk about that”.

Here it is midnight, I’m exhausted and finishing up posts on Facebook holding back my tears of joy. Finally, something so incidental most people take it for granted…having the focus to read….has happened.

We were not able to get him on DHA because of the nausea it causes, so I spent some time wracking my brain on what else I could give him that also came in a chewable for focus/memory and improved brain function. The key being chewable…I already had a bottle of phosphatidylcholine but when I squeezed the gel out of them, it has a horrible taste. I couldn’t hide it in peanut butter..I tried.

I found Citicholine chewables…that’s what he’s been on that’s different from the regular supplements he normally takes. We are only half way through the first bottle and I’d say it was worth the $28 a bottle to see how happy he was that he can read more easily now.

It’s a small gain perhaps but I’ll take any improvements at this stage of the game.

 

How we beat colds

Well we’ve fallen behind the past few weeks with chelation due to illness. My child caught a pretty bad sinus cold that took a week to go away. He somehow caught it despite being on all those antivirals, LDN, and immune support he was already on. I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been if he were not on all of that. At first I thought perhaps it was just viruses coming out from the treatment but guess who else caught it?

Yep, that’s right, me but I was able to kick it out in 3 days with high dose vitamin C, Echinacea tincture, elderberry syrup and gargling with apple cider vinegar diluted in water. Dad got it too so definitely some thing my son brought home.

I also make this wicked and I mean wicked decongestant from raw honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger and cayenne pepper. It is not for the faint of heart but it will help you clear out congestion fairly quickly with no side effects.  One teaspoon and in a few minutes your nose is running!

In addition I cut a clove of garlic into pieces and swallow them whole at the first sign of a cold. Since my child won’t take outright swallow garlic pieces…I use band-aids to put one piece on the bottom of each foot and then we put his socks on. I also make a point to  cook with as much raw fresh garlic as I can or add it to his food.

We also drink tea since it’s very soothing to sore throats. I have found over the years that Throat Coat never fails me. I alternate that with a cup of hot water with a piece of fresh peeled ginger in it.

We also did use homeopathy also. In the early stages an individual remedy based entirely on that person’s symptoms called a “constitutional”. Six days later we needed Sinusalia for the sinus congestion that was just not draining for my son.  A home homeopathic remedy book for families is often helpful to have on hand for this purpose.

The main struggle was sleep for him. He found it hard to stay asleep with a headache and cough. He would cough himself awake off an on all night. So needless to say we didn’t get a lot done that week at all.

I ran a steam vaporizer in his room. We do that all winter anyway since he’s prone to being bothered by waking up “dry” as he calls it. I learned a few years when he had a cold and had a lingering cough for weeks after, that a moist vaporizer was the trick. Dry indoor winter air makes you prone to colds and once we started adding humidity in his room he catches far fewer colds. This is actually his first cold this year. Hot baths or showers are also helpful to alleviate congestion.

I use Olba’s Cough Syrup whenever he is bothered by coughing or a sore throat. I love this product because it actually tastes good, helps and it is drug free. They also make aromatherapy, therapeutic bath gel, lozenges etc., that all help with congestion.

What I find the hardest challenge for parents trying to switch from the mainstream modality of giving Tylenol and Robitussin is not trusting that nature works.  Drugs suppress the symptoms but this isn’t letting the body attack the viral infection and heal it and often suppress comes out as another illness or symptoms later on. We prefer to help the body do what it’s designed to do.  Which is mount an attack! Congestion is how your body gets the infection out of your airways. Coughing is how the body keeps the congestion moving so you don’t get pneumonia or bronchitis. Fever is how the body kills viruses and bacteria. They cannot live in a host that isn’t 98.6 degrees so your body turns up the heat!

While having a cold is certainly miserable for all involved….patience is our virtue as the body is working on it. We can help the body along.

So now you know how we attack illness in our home. I hope it gives everyone inspiration for ways you can manage and help the body during illness.