After finding out that my son is currently allergic to dairy and that his bad eczema is most likely caused by the dairy (and/or something else) in my own diet, I’ve started an allergy elimination diet in hopes of controlling his eczema without the use of prescription creams. I decided to start with eliminating dairy first because that is something I am certain his body can’t handle now that he’s started solids.
To help me with this, I went to see a dietician last Saturday. I needed to make sure that my body had everything it needed (emphasis put on vitamine D and calcium) even though I’d be removing a whole food group from my diet. The dietician I met with was really nice and had a lot of resources to share with me.
Among the food other than dairy that contains a decent amount of calcium that is well-absorbed by the body, there is:
– Enriched soy beverage (except we agreed that I should try to stay clear of soy as it is very common for children who are allergic to dairy to also be allergic to soy);
– Sardines (with bones);
– Pink and Sockeye salmon (also with bones)
I also told her that I had been drinking almond milk and rice milk (which are both very yummy) and she suggested I check if they contained decent amounts of vitamin D and calcium (which they do so yay!).
She also told me to check the list of ingredients in things such as cold cuts, bread products, cereal, mayonnaise and chips because they are all things that could contain milk ingredients.
Speaking of milk ingredients, did you know that there are a whole bunch of hidden names for milk protein? I found this pdf document that lists them all from kidawithfoodallergies.org an awesome site full of ressources on food allergies. They also provide a list of hidden names for other common allergens such as eggs and wheat.
I’ve been at it for a little less than a week now and though it is hard (as I LOVE dairy) it’s not as bad as I though. There are so many great products out there after all. The hardest part is thinking before I order something while eating out. For instance, having the cheese sandwich at a local sub shop is not a good idea when one is not allowed to eat cheese.
Right now, my son’s eczema seems to be under control (I must grudgingly admit that the prescription creams are doing wonders in that department) and hope that the fact that I’m not having dairy anymore will have a positive impact once the creams run out. Changes don’t happen overnight and I know that I have to wait at least two weeks until I see changes caused by my change of diet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed so that I don’t have to eliminate another major allergen from my diet.
I’m also happy to say that we have not had any allergic reactions since my son’s smoothie last week so I’m hopeful that his other reactions were just caused by his immune system being on high alert from the dairy he’d consumed.
Now, I just have to find a dessert that I can have when my friends come over this weekend. Hey, I don’t suppose anyone knows a good dairy-free recipe eh? (You know, the kind that doesn’t contain milk, butter, cream, chocolate or the like…)