When our second oldest was about 2 years old, we realized that these symptoms just weren’t going away:
- Rashy cheeks after a meal.
- Five or six nasty gross blow-out diapers every day.
(Please note: Not all people with food sensitivities experience the same symptoms. Digestive issues are fairly common, but there are other symptoms that could also indicate a food issue.)
I took him to the allergist for a scratch test. They tested about 30 different typical allergies on his back. The results? Nothing.
It was obvious that there was an issue. Something was bothering him. But it wasn’t an allergy per-say. We figured it was probably a food sensitivity, since his digestive system was so off and he got rashes after eating.
But which food(s) were bothering him?
Pin pointing a food sensitivity can be quite difficult. Since every body is different, reaction times can be anywhere from 5 minutes to two hours to even two days. YES days.
Also not everyone reacts in the same way.
There aren’t blanket tests that doctors use to check food sensitivities (although alternative medicine has a few methods for finding food sensitivities, which I’ll cover in another post). So while your doctor may agree there is a food sensitivity causing issues, it’s really UP TO YOU to figure it out
How do you even do that?
Your favorite and mine: an elimination diet. Basically you take OUT one food (or food group) from your diet for about a week, and then reintroduce it and see what happens.
(If you want a very specific elimination diet that really figures out minute sensitivities, I recommend The Plan. More on that diet in another post. I followed it and found out my own sensitivities. It’s a challenging diet but well worth the effort.)
For my son, we decided to see if he was sensitive to dairy. We simply eliminated all dairy from his diet for a week. Then we gave him dairy again. No change.
Then we decided to see if he was sensitive to gluten. We eliminated all gluten (huge learning curve) from his diet for a week. All of a sudden, he had one or two NORMAL poopy diapers per day! This was amazing, people! At the end of the week, we gave him a big piece of wheat toast.
Not even kidding, five minutes later it was painfully obvious that gluten goes right through my son’s body. From that moment on, we eliminated gluten from his diet and things have been much, much better! He potty trained shortly after that.
There have been a few times over the years where he accidentally or purposely ate some gluten. His reaction time is still very fast, so it’s always easy to link what it was.
Our third child was also having some issues around age 2, so we went right to gluten. Sure enough, she was sensitive to it. But her reaction time is around 2-3 hours after eating. So it was a little harder to pin point, but with lots of trial and error we found the sweet spot.
I did not believe in food issues before my kids displayed symptoms and it was obvious that was the culprit. And now I am the “gluten free expert” that my friends and their friends come to for advice.
I’m not really an expert, I’ve just dealt with it for years and learned a few things. One thing that I can tell you that usually isn’t talked about is how emotional it can be to have food issues.
It’s like a roller coaster of sadness that eventually you learn to accept and then even finally enjoy. Because you feel so much better and it’s worth it.
Do you suspect your child has a food sensitivity? Leave me a comment or contact me. One mom to another, I can offer some help on your journey! Warning, I may ask about poop consistency. But it’s totally relevant.
And just because you need to learn to laugh about it, check out this hilarious video.
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