Sunday, October 18, 2009

Food intolerances and a great recipe for Gluten-Free Bread for the BREAD MACHINE

About a year and a half ago, I had suspicions that our son Levi may have a food allergy/intolerance of some sort. He had sandpapery-feeling skin, especially on his torso, very large tonsils, daily complaints of stomachaches and irregular bowel problems. On the recommendation of a friend, I took him to a local Naturopath Doctor. With a background as an RN, I was a little hesitant with the whole naturopath thing, but I was pleasantly surprised!
The first thing I noticed was that they spent a LOT of time with us - as in almost an HOUR total! I was impressed. I took Julia in as well as I figured if I was getting one of them tested I should just do both (and me, too, while they were at it!) She listened, asked questions, took notes and addressed my concerns.

Then, a simple finger prick (which both of my kids tolerated without any tears or cries of "ouch") was enough to squeeze a little blood on 3 different strips. Those were sent in to test both the IgE and IgG levels, or antibodies. They tested for 96 different foods using the ELISA testing - you can read more about the IgE and IgG antibody testing HERE. I should mention that IgE antibodies indicate IMMEDIATE, more serious reactions, and none of us had any of those. IgG antibodies, on the other hand, are "delayed reactions" - think along the lines of something your body doesn't tolerate well and the more you eat of it the more it stresses your body out. It wears down your immune system over time and can likely cause chronic health problems.

A week or two later, we went for a followup appointment to discuss the results....the 3 of us were free from any IgE reactions. But, as for IgG reactions, what we found was that there was some wheat/gluten intolerance in Levi (on the lower side, but we had cut out wheat/gluten for about a month or two prior to that) and that BOTH of my kids had HIGH-level chicken egg reactions, to both the egg yolk and egg white. Very interesting. I was sad, but not surprised to see my IgG levels for all dairy products come up in the mild/high levels, along with a low/mild reaction to chicken eggs. Due to my myriad of sinus problems growing up and into adulthood, the Dr had suspected before I got my results back that dairy was likely the issue.

After finding these results out, we went ahead and continued cutting out wheat/gluten for a while, but also eliminated the use of chicken eggs. Because the protein is different, they suggested using duck eggs in baking, which I have incorporated without too much difficulty due to the fact we have friends from church who have an over-abundance of duck eggs!!!

Gradually, we have added wheat/gluten back into our diet - I have found that Levi seems to be okay as long as he doesn't have TOO we just try to really limit it at home and so if he has it other places it doesn't seem to bother him too much.

After I cut out dairy, my results were amazing - no more gastrointestinal issues, no more post-nasal drip, and I have been FREE of sinus infections for almost 2 years (prior to that I would get them at least 3 times a year). AMAZING! After eliminating it for a while, I do find that I can tolerate a moderate amount of yogurt and cheese without too much problem, which is good, because I REALLY like cheese!

With these changes along with eating healthy, whole, natural foods when at all possible, I have also noticed that we don't get sick very often - and if we do, our immune systems are a bit stronger so the symptoms are more mild and we fight it off quicker!

Whew, so, after all of that, I have a great link to a Gluten-Free Bread that you can make in your bread machine! YUM! I typically change the following:
- use 1/2 cup millet flour instead of 1/4 millet and 1/4 garbanzo bean flour
- use coconut oil instead of canola oil


1 comment:

Ceci said...

I too had sinus issues growing up. My nose was always stuffy. When I had my first child, after breastfeeding, I decided to do a cleanse through Standard Process. I discovered that when I incorporated wheat/gluten back into my diet my stuffy nose came back. But when I left it out, I felt much better. I now try to limit my wheat/gluten intake. I will have to find someone in my area that does that blood test. Good to know! Thanks for the bread recipe. I don't like the garbanzo bean flour flavor in my breads, so millet will be a good alternative. I have never tried Millet. From the reviews on All Recipes, it seems to be a very well liked bread recipe.