Food allergies in children are clearly on the rise. Official estimates put the number at about 6% of children under the age of 3, but that sure seems low to me. In my child’s preschool class last year, 10 of 12 children suffered from at least one food allergy! When I went through elementary school, I barely remember one child with a food allergy of any kind.
In years past, genetic predisposition was a clear and primary contributor to the development of allergies. However, the modern day tendency for children to eat just a few types of foods all the time like pizza, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, boxed cereal and peanut butter sandwiches is a big reason for the skyrocketing allergy trend. Exclusive eating requires a constant demand for the same types of digestive enzymes over and over which eventually leads to digestive exhaustion, food addictions, and biochemical disruptions.
Poor diet in infancy and childhood which is devoid or low in animal fats such as egg yolks, cream and butter is also a contributor to the development of allergies. Arachidonic acid and cholesterol in these nourishing animal fats promote development of an intestinal wall that is strong with much integrity.
The nutritionless, carb heavy, rancid vegetable oil laden processed foods most allergy prone children subsist on lead to weakness in the intestinal walls (leaky gut syndrome) which allows partially digested food particles to enter the blood stream and trigger an unpredictable mix of auto-immune and behavioral disorders.
What to do if you suspect a food allergy in your child but you don’t want to take them to an allergist requiring expensive testing not to mention loads of discomfort?
Steps for At Home Allergy Testing
As it turns out, it is rather easy to test for a food allergy yourself in the comfort of your own home. The simple steps required include the following:
- Avoid the suspected food for at least 4 days.
- Eat a moderate amount of the suspected food on an empty stomach which means no other food should have been consumed in the previous 2 hours (drinking water is ok).
- Measure pulse rate (beats per minute) before and a few minutes after eating the food in question.
- Calculate the difference in pulse rate. If the pulse rose significantly (more than just a few beats per minute) after the suspect food was eaten, then an allergy is likely even if no other symptoms are noted.
Besides an increased or racing pulse, food allergies can be identified via rashes, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, joint pain, and even hoarseness.
Once one or more food allergies is identified, a diet such as GAPS would need to be followed for a period of time to heal and seal the gut wall. If the allergies are not severe, simply eating a varied and traditional diet which includes no refined or stimulating foods may be all that is required to put them in remission. “Refined” and “stimulating” foods would include anything made with white sugar, white flour, rancid vegetable oils like canola or soy, sodium, and caffeine.
In addition, a variety of traditionally fermented foods and beverages on a daily basis helps tremendously with supplying friendly bacteria and food enzymes to keep the intestinal tract in optimal function with no perforations for undigested foods and toxins to spill into the blood and trigger allergic reactions.
Ultimately, it is best to never have to “undo” allergies if at all possible. Eating a nourishing, traditional diet while pregnant and breastfeeding and ensuring that growing children receive regular and sufficient quantities of optimal growth encouraging foods such as cream, butter, egg yolks, fish eggs, grassfed and organ meats for development of a sturdy intestinal system is the best insurance policy against ever needing any sort of special diet to combat allergy or other autoimmune issues.
Source: Nourishing Traditions, About Food Allergies and Special Diets