Update on Food Allergies

When reviewing this site, I realized the page about my daughter's food allergies has not been updated in a long time. This is what I wrote two years ago to explain her allergies:

(Then - when everything was out-of-control and no one knew what was wrong!)

My daughter's allergies are exhausting for her and us. They require constant attention. The look of her stomach is my primary focus every single day. Concern over whether or not she'll eat that day is never ending. A burp? Now that's a sign of possible vomit so it's never taken lightly.

In the back of my mind is the worry that one day (sooner than later) her condition will require us to seek more invasive medical attention. Others ask if she'll out-grow them...I usually try to positively say 'hopefully.' I'm not sure when I'll be able to put her or me through testing the allergies, though. I will someday, but until then, I try to figure out new ways to make her life as normal as possible while getting as many nutrients in her as possible.

Now that we've been on our food allergy journey for 4 years, and our daughter is older, I would like to respond to that description of her allergies.

1. Her food allergies do still require constant attention, but the lower-GI portion with the distended belly seems to have disappeared. Since October, she has not had to take any constipation medicine which is a sign that the allergens causing the constipation have been removed from her diet successfully! Alternately, it could mean that she has outgrown those allergens, but there is no way to tell the difference between the two at this point-in-time. Based on the restricted diet she's currently on, I'm going to guess the allergens have been removed.

2. All of her symptoms remain the same as they were when we began seeking out a diagnosis for her digestive troubles. It is actually quite convenient that they have stayed the same over the years! For her, an allergic reaction means a distended belly, an aversion to food, "trucker" burps, vomiting 2-4 hours after bedtime, gagging, a certain cough, and then, after all of this, not eating at all for a few days. In addition to these symptoms, a new one was introduced to us when she food-challenged peas: her body itching all over.

(Now - Most things are under control, but we still have a lot to manage!)

3. We have decided that we will not seek more invasive medical treatment. We can control her symptoms through diet, and we have no need for any biopsies or other tactics requiring drugs/surgery/disease diagnosis/etc.

4. Right now, we do not carry any hope that she will outgrow these allergies. Is it possible? Well, anything is possible! But, we do need to live in the real world, and the real world indicates that food allergies will be with her for life. Yes, it's daunting to think that way, but it's also freeing. Please, don't ask me if she'll grow out of them, and please don't scold me for not being hopeful that she will grow out of them!

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