Hello and welcome to my blog.
Never in my early life did I imagine I would end up starting a blog about managing food intolerances. A food blog, yes, I could imagine that – I love food. I have never been a fussy eater and growing up; I would eat anything and everything. I even took a degree called Food and Human Nutrition, to learn, not only about how what we eat affects our health, but also about food manufacturing, agriculture and global poverty, amongst other things.
Then during my early twenties, I became ill through food poisoning three times. All cases were severe and unfortunately, they triggered IBS. For years, I battled with severe stomach cramps and an allergic reaction that caused urticaria (or hives) to appear all over my body, every time I ate. Eventually, I cut out nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and potatoes) and saw a massive improvement.
My husband, having suffered the same food poisoning as I did, ended up with a hiatus hernia and had to have an operation to replace a valve in his oesophagus, to stop the severe reflux problem that arose. The operation was only a partial success, with the new band loosening after only a few years. The only way for my husband to control his symptoms is through diet and we started following an alkaline diet, with the elimination of FODMAPS, to help him.
We have three children and thankfully, our two elder girls are fine, with no food intolerances or illnesses to speak of. Unfortunately, our youngest son has a dairy and wheat intolerance. I knew right from being a newborn that he couldn’t tolerate dairy, because he could never keep any milk down. The problem was my doctor decided that as my son was thriving therefore there was nothing wrong with him. That meant that he was normal weight for his age, so as far as they were concerned he was fine. I battled to get him referred to a paediatrician and in the meantime did my own elimination of lactose and cow’s milk protein from his diet. By the time I was referred, I was able to tell the doctor what I thought was wrong with him. Thankfully, the doctor agreed, but he said I should also take him off wheat to see if his symptoms cleared up altogether. It’s not going to come as any surprise if I tell you that it did make a difference. Gluten intolerance often goes hand in hand with dairy intolerance and what a difference it made.
So there you go. Did you get that big list of things that we need to avoid as a family? It certainly makes meal times a challenge, especially for the girls, who are ‘forced’ into avoidance just because the rest of us do.
My challenge for my family is to make healthy, tasty food that does not make any of them feel deprived in any way. We want to learn how to enjoy food again, but this time without it making us ill.
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