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Food allergies - one mum's story


At 4 months, my son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies – sending his family spinning into the relatively unknown world of allergies and intolerances.

He was tested for dairy, eggs and soy sensitivities – all of which tested positive. We were also advised to keep him wheat and peanut free. First reaction: what is there left to feed him?

Peanuts were easy to eliminate, or so we thought! On an air flight my little man (then 6 months) suddenly broke into hives and started itching all over. No, he hadn’t eaten a peanut, it was simply the smell of the nuts circulating through the air system on the plane! It was an extremely frightening experience but we were lucky as we discovered later he could have had an anaphylactic reaction which in that situation could have been life threatening.

Since the first diagnosis, it has been a 2-year vigilance on almost everything that passes his lips. Birthday parties are the hardest – especially as he grows older. Small blessings for good friends that always consider my son and makes sure he has something to eat and does not feel left out.

Educating the people around you, especially family, has been the hardest part. Food allergies are not well understood. Some people make you feel like a hypochondriac. ‘What’s the worse that could happen?’ their puzzled faces seem to say. Little do they know.

I decided to educate myself about allergies – why do they happen, how can it be avoided in the future, are there any ‘cures’? The literature is extensive and sometimes the more I read the more confused I became. I then pursued alternative treatments – muscle testing, natural therapies and Ayurveda. They all helped a little – especially in reducing my son’s eczema, which has considerably improved.

Two years on and I am more philosophical about my son’s allergies. Sure its disappointing not to share an ice cream together on a hot summer’s day but he is still a healthy, active little boy who is growing well. Allergies is all about avoidance whenever possible. And if the allergy is life threatening – then avoidance at all costs! Sure you have to keep an eye on things – much more than ‘normal’ but you do get used to that. Talk to others and make them aware of the situation so they also become your ears and eyes when you are not around.

As they grow older some kids even outgrow some of their allergies. This mum has her fingers firmly crossed!