Life after restricting diet for breastfeeding food allergy baby
So I made it to the other side and my diet is back to “just” being gluten/wheat free for my own food allergies.
People wonder what’s my story with wheat/gluten. My reaction differs from a swollen tongue and swollen/itchy throat to extremely bad stomach pains; allergic colitis where it feels like my organs are trying to exit my body – pretty for you to imagine lol… but all I can say is it hurts like hell. It feels close to or worse than labour. The throat swelling usually avails itself or at worse I need to take an antihistamine to reduce it. This is classified as a moderate reaction & moderate risk of anaphylaxis.
Following all of this my stomach goes into retreat mode and basically doesn’t want to do anything and I feel lethargic, exhausted, foggy minded for a good week. I look pail, have dark circles around my eyes, feel bloated, have food aversions and feel generally disgusting.
I cannot even have traces of wheat or gluten “may contain traces of” or “manufactured with” can give me the razor blade slicing my stomach feeling. I am allergic to wheat and gluten.
There is a lot of confusion out there; everyone assumes I am coeliac because it’s the most common diagnosis for people that require a gluten free lifestyle.
I am different from a coeliac in that I can’t eat wheat. From what I know, coeliacs can eat wheat but not gluten. They also seem to have a bit of a threshold where they can have a little bit of gluten before they feel the effects and they mainly feel uncomfortable in the stomach but I don’t think they get the really bad stomach pains (the ones I’ve known anyway) – although it does a lot of damage to their intestines if they eat it.
Anyhow I have digressed… what is it like having dairy/eggs/soy in my diet again.. it’s okay. But it’s not as good as I imagined. I do like that I can have things again that have traces of the allergens, for example I’m back to my Carmen’s gluten free breakfast muesli occasionally (contains soy and contains traces of milk) but as to having actual dairy again I am really not fussed.
I got thrown in the deep end with my return to dairy. My last breastfeed was the day before we flew out to the states so then on the plane I was given my meal that had dairy in it (one of many the reasons I weaned him just as we left [he was 12 months old] as the plane could not offer a dairy/egg/gluten/soy/wheat free meal).
Then when we arrived in California we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp and my gluten free meal of prawns were drenched in thickened cream. Having these two meals with dairy made me feel so seedy. I have heard that when you’ve been dairy free for a while you can have a bit of a temporarily lactose intolerance and I definitely felt like this the first few days I was back on dairy, so I did what I could to minimise my dairy intake and I am still doing the same. I really don’t enjoy the bloated feeling it is now obviously giving me, I think I have got quite used to just not having it.
I am still having my rice and almond milks instead, I have really got used to these and enjoy these. I will of course have dairy at other people’s houses when I have a cup of tea etc but loosely I am keeping my dairy intake down.
Eggs I have been enjoying a little bit but again not going overboard. I have had egg soldiers with just one egg on about two occasions now. The first eggs I saw were on the plane and they were meant to be poached but I think they were microwave poached; really gross so I was not a fan.
Soy; apart from the traces of and the soy in my muesli- don’t know why it is.. I haven’t really had much soy.
Bread; on the occasion that I do have bread I am mainly having my own homemade bread (Brooklyn’s bread) that is dairy/egg/soy/wheat/gluten/yeast free. I have had a couple of slices of Bethenny’s just gluten/wheat free bread but it contains yeast and I seem to have a bit of an issue with yeast as well; it’s more of an intolerance as I have a threshold as to which it affects me, but I’m happier just having Brooklyn’s bread if and when I want bread.
Life is a bit easier now because I have more options for food to eat, especially for breakfast, which is something I was really struggling with but just being able to have the ‘traces of X allergen’ items makes such a difference and I really HOPE for Brooklyn’s sake that he can have these soon as well as it brings back a lot more options.
One thing as well that I have noticed is that I have to re train my brain. When we were at the wedding in the states, a friend offered to get my a glass of wine and I was about to say oh no don’t worry I’ll go get it [so I could check it didnt’ contain traces of milk/egg] but then I thought actually.. all good… things like that are good and exciting.. less socially awks!!
I have had some actual milk chocolate since being able to have dairy again and I had some ice cream, but again, it’s really not worth it. I put it up on a pedestal after not being able to have it all that time but its taste is really not worth it. I am so glad I made the sacrifice for Brooklyn. For one it has shown me even healthier eating and made me re what I was putting into my stomach again and get more creative, but it has also given me a firsthand perspective as to what it is like for him, and what it may be like for him… although I hope it won’t be. I really hope he will grow out of some, if not all of his allergies.
I just don’t know how he will… I just can’t grasp the concept. Bethenny hasn’t outgrown her wheat/gluten issues so how will he outgrow all five of his?
Milk/eggs/soy are commonly grown out of up until the age of 4; by age 4 80% of children will have grown out of cows milk protein allergy. I just hope he doesn’t fall into the 20% category. Or if he does, I hope his symptoms improve and he may be able to tolerate at least traces of dairy/eggs/soy to make things just a bit easier. I know I’m overthinking it, but hey, that’s what I do.
Sources for my statistics and further information:
Also see; http://www.allergy.org.au/images/pcc/ASCIA_PCC_Food_Allergy_2016.pdf