*I was not paid/compensated in any way for this post*
If you know us or follow any of my social media accounts, you know that we are a food allergy family. Over the last eight years I have been constantly investigating and altering our diets to best suit what works and doesn’t work for us. Call it a whole lot of trial and error. At this point I can pretty much cook you any kind of allergy friendly meal you need from scratch. But what if what we really need is six different diets? Individualized diets.
About a month ago Charlie started to get sick, like really sick. Constantly complaining about headaches, dizziness, his eyes going out of focus and his belly hurting. What was worse was that he was as pale as a ghost. The conundrum of his condition being that he had no fever and no vomiting. This was not a viral or bacterial affliction yet something was clearly not right.
For weeks we tried to figure out what was going on. Charlie would wake up looking like a zombie but then at night would come alive like a rabid animal. Bouncing off the walls with energy and volume akin to a perfectly healthy boy. I would send him to school and not too long after would receive a call from the nurse. He was complaining again and not functioning. It was too loud and his head and stomach hurt. Come get him. I could hear the annoyance in the nurses voice by the third call.
Does he have a migraine condition? Was he being bullied? Did this have to do with his surgery seven years ago? Could it be a food allergy issue?
My gut told me the problem lie in his gut.
Charlie and I both have food allergies which has been an ongoing struggle for almost the entirety of his life, but theoretically his food should have been fine. I began with eliminating gluten completely again and took him to the pediatrician who was just as confounded as I was. The doctor noticed that Charlie had come into his office in 2015 complaining of the same issues. Blood work was ordered and I was told to not send him back to school until his color had returned to normal. I then decided to do some of my own testing and ordered a Pinner test for Charlie. I had run the Pinner test on myself a few months back after another episode of lost consciousness and received the life changing results that I am intolerant to chicken, garlic, soy, kiwi, and mackerel. No wonder my throat would itch when I ate kiwi berries!
During the day of the “great blizzard of 2017” Charlie went with his father to have his blood drawn. Unfortunately Charlie, like his father, experienced a veso vegal response. His eyes rolled back in his head and he lost consciousness which resulted in him falling from the chair shortly after the phlebotomist finished up. My first question being, but did they get enough blood?
Of course Charlie’s blood work came back picture perfect and strictly removing gluten was showing zero signs of improving his condition. I then began removing anything that was new to his diet over the last few months. Gushers… good-bye, Cheerios, toot-a-loo, and then we got to the chocolate bunnies. An Annie’s cereal Charlie had been eating every day for a few months.
One day of not eating this cereal and he made a miraculous recovery. Two days and he felt better than the day before. Now a few weeks past since removing the theoretically “friendly” cereal and Charlie is back to his school loving, non stop, full of color self. And then we received Charlie’s Pinner test results.
While IgE testing showed allergies to dairy, banana, strawberry and mold, the Pinner test, which is IgG food intolerance testing (The kind that doesn’t carry a histamine response like IgE but generally will mess up your gut and have negative effects on your bodily functioning), showed intolerances to buckwheat, pinto beans, beef, arugula, and eggs.
Charlie eats eggs every single day, multiple times a day, in different ways. Whether they be in his morning breakfast omelet or the bread he eats at lunchtime, eggs all day long. The other interesting aspect of what this test showed was the buckwheat intolerance. Buckwheat is a gluten free grain, it is frequently used in gluten free products and now the gluten free way of life we had been following for years has become a hazard. Charlie has also never liked beef. He would eat it because we live in an “eat or starve” kind of household, but he never liked it. This week we have begun a new diet with the IgE and IgG results as our base line as we try to get him to his optimal self.
From our experiences so far I very highly and confidently recommend the Pinner test to anyone and everyone. While positive (IgE) food allergy is a relatively rare occurrence, food intolerance is very common. Without the Pinner test I could have food journaled for years and never would have been able to figure out mine and Charlie’s intolerances. The test itself is costly, especially if you live on a budget with no expendable income but I believe in the long run it will actually save us money. Buying products that fit an alternative diet is an expensive undertaking, so much so that an individual with celiacs disease can keep all of the receipts for their gluten free purchases and use them as a tax deduction. Charlie and I can not only eat the best for our bodies which will lessen our risk getting sick, but I can also stop spending thousands of dollars a year on a gluten free diet that isn’t benefiting us in the same way. We eventually want to Pinner test the rest of our family members and I envision a diner like experience in my future kitchen where I cook separate meals for each family member based on their results. I think it’s about time for us to develop that Star Trek technology where you ask a computer to materialize just what you want to eat or drink. Computer; Earl Grey tea please!