Matthew is in the middle of a 4-week-long dairy-free trial after a he tested positive for dairy allergies a few months ago. For obvious reasons (ahem, gelato and cheese), we put off the elimination diet until after our Italy trip. He also hoped that a trip to the allergist for a skin prick test would shed more light on some other potential food allergens that he might want to test with elimination.
Possible culprits for him, based on the blood test, include apples, hazelnuts (which could indicate ALL tree nuts), and peanuts (which could indicate ALL legumes) — a pretty bleak list when you’re looking at from the point of good sources of vegetarian protein. Granted, he’s been eating these foods for years, so he clearly doesn’t have the acute, anaphylactic shock-type allergies that some people have, but there’s a chance he might feel better, and experience relief from some issues, including asthma, eczema, and some tummy problems, by cutting out certain foods.
The allergist and skin prick test provided little additional information in terms of the food allergies, so he decided to go ahead and start with eliminating dairy, since that was his highest allergy according to the blood test. For a guy who loves ice cream, cheese, and baking with butter, four dairy-free weeks is not something to take lightly.
Come back tomorrow to find out how we’re making it work. Hint: homemade dairy-free ice cream 🙂
I am currently doing a no-cheese trial in hopes that it will improve my asthma…it’s going well, but takes a lot more planning…
Taryn, how long have you been cheese-free? Are you still eating other dairy? Have you noticed improvement in the asthma?
I can totally relate. I have a massive list of food allergies and sensitivities which severely restrict my dietary choices. I spent a long time being depressed about it, but in the end I’ve come to see it as a gift. I pretty much can’t eat out or have any processed food, so I end up saving money and eating healthier. I’m forced to eat a few more animal products than I otherwise would, but it’s a small price to pay for not having hives and eczema and migraines and stomach problems every day… not to mention the occasional anaphylactic reaction!
I wish Matthew the best of luck. My experience is that it really takes months and/or years of careful attention to figure out these things, especially since there can be so many confounding factors. Keeping a food diary really helped me. Plus, it turned out that some of my symptoms were caused by allergies to non-food things like ingredients in shampoo, toothpaste and dish washing soap.
All of the elimination diets also taught me a new perspective on food… hard to describe but there’s a sense in which having the chance to experienc food simply as sustenance rather than pleasure can be very freeing… in a Buddhist monk sort of way.
I’m glad you’ve figured out, and come to accept, what works for you.
When he got the initial blood test results, it seemed pretty bad from a vegetarian point of view. At the extreme, it could mean no dairy, no legumes (e.g., black beans, garbanzos, pintos, etc.), and no nuts or nut butters. He was fine on both soy and eggs, but realistically, if those were his only vegetarian protein sources, it might be time to look at adding some meat back into the picture.
At this point, we’re just looking at the dairy. He may try an elimination diet with the legumes and tree nuts at some point. With everything, the overriding question is, “Does eliminating the food make enough of a difference to make it worth the hassle and sacrifice?”
I wonder if he has sessional allergies, especially in spirng with trees pollinate. If so look into Silver Brich Tree Allergy. These people commonly are allergic to apples and hazelnuts because their protiens mimic brich tree protiens. These “food allergies” is an allergic reaction known as Oral Allergy Syndrom. Not a true food allergy. Relief comes from avoiding these foods. OAS is not linked to shock. This is what I think I have. When I eat apples and other raw fruits and vegtables my throat itches, hard to swallow, and contact to skin can cause hives. But I have not been tested for dairy. I think I will do a trial, to see if it helps any. I’m 24 years old. this is common to develop in 20-30s. I did not have allergies as a child. Good luck
It\’s spooky how clveer some ppl are. Thanks!