A story today in the New York Times, based on a study by the University of California, confirms what many mothers already knew.
Food allergies are often misunderstood and frequently misdiagnosed. A lot of us have been told that our child is allergic to something they eat. However, the study found that food allergies affect only 8 percent of children and less than 5 percent of adults. I was told by a doctor that my eldest was allergic to eggs and the recommendation was to eliminate them from his diet.
A friend who is into homeopathic medicine suggested that perhaps it was a case of intolerance to a food he had not been exposed to –he was one-year-old at the time- and suggested I gave him tiny portions of eggs a couple of times a week and watch his reaction.
If all went well, I was to increase the portion the next time. I did that, kind of scared at first, but it did work. He is now six and had two boiled eggs for breakfast just this morning. I’m not suggesting that you do what I did. I felt comfortable trying this approach because after years of frustration attempting to manage my own allergies through conventional medicine, I was ready to give less conventional methods a chance.
In my case, I’ve been tested an re tested several times for food allergies by means of the most used method: pricking the skin and injecting a small amount of the suspect substance. According to my last test, I should be violently allergic to chicken. I am not. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me that the study confirms that this test is largely inaccurate.
Less than 50 percent of the results are right. So what are parents of children with allergies to do? In my non-medical opinion, talk to you doctor but also do some research on your own. Feed them a diet as healthy as possible with as many additive-free foods as you can. And if you suspect that something they eat is making them sick, keep a log of meals until you identify the culprit.