Food Allergy Children Case Studies 2
Respiratory and Behavior Problems
A 4 year old brother and 6 year old sister presented with similar symptoms. The 6 year old girl presented with a history of chronic nose congestion, cough and sore throats associated with fatigue, leg pains, loss of appetite with sugar cravings, and episodes of irritable depression associated with social withdrawal and low self-esteem
Her brother presented with a similar respiratory syndrome; however, his behavior problem was more severe. He began his life as an irritable crying infant with colic and has persisted in manifesting hyperactive often aggressive, belligerent behavior. This chronic upper respiratory syndrome (CURS) is typical of the delayed pattern food allergy, and milk allergy in particular.
Both children did well on the Alpha Nutrition Program. Mother's first follow-up report the statement " he is a happier, healthier child...it's like a dream come true...". Both children, however, have displayed sustained hypersensitivity and they are easily provoked by wrong food choices. Mother's task is always difficult and prolonged. These children will not "outgrow" their food allergy. Their health and success long-term will depend on following their safe diet for years to common, probably their entire life.
Pneumonia, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Learning Disability
This 11 year old girl was often quite ill. She presented with: recurrent episodes of "pneumonia" with 3 hospitalizations in 2 years, frequent antibiotic therapy, and chronic cough between episodes of acute illness. She had episodes of vomiting and diarrhea, often with crampy abdominal pain, at least 1-2 days/week. In the interim, she often complained of nausea, indigestion, and bloating.
Depression and fatigue plagued her. She had progressively withdrawn in the previous year, shunning friends and family, and had expressed low self-esteem, loss of pleasure and interest. Learning disability was a major problem and she had spent the last year in a "severely learning-disabled class". Attention deficit disorder and "dyslexia" had been diagnosed.
She was a picky, idiosyncratic eater who seemed to cycle through specific food preferences - only pasta and cheese for several days, then scrambled eggs and toast for a few days and so on. She refused most vegetables. Her best average daily diet would consist of 2-3 bowls of wheat cereal, whole wheat toast, eggs 3-4 days per week, cheese or peanut butter and honey sandwiches, 2-6 cups of apple juice or fruit drinks, 1-2 cups of yogurt or ice cream, pasta with cheese, beef, potatoes, and a small portion of one vegetable (usually peas) per day. Mother avoided "junk foods" and provided one multi-vitamin-mineral tablet per day with at least 100 mg of additional vitamin C per day.
This child made a dramatic recovery on Alpha Nutrition with remission of her major symptoms within 3 weeks of starting. Her parents and teachers reported her improvement with the following comments; "...overwhelmed by her improved state...", "...remarkable change...", "...consistently brighter, more cheerful, self-motivated...". Dramatic recoveries are the reward of the food allergist, and parents who persevere through the rigors of diet revision. Food allergies often present as serious, chronic illness, and often - tragically - are only treated symptomatically.
Cough, Headaches, Pain
This 9 year old girl suffered a great deal of pain over a long period of time. She complained of headache and leg pains for several years, but, for at least 6 months, experienced generalized aching and stiffness with episodes of joint pain, especially her right knee. She stated: "My whole body hurts." Bouts of severe abdominal pain, in the last three months had taken her to the hospital emergency on two occasions. Many tests had been done, but none were conclusive. Her physician was concerned that she was in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Since she also had chronic nose congestion with red itchy eyes and bouts of coughing and sneezing, she was skin tested for inhalant allergies two years ago and was taking allergy shots once a week for house dust and grass pollens - no benefit was apparent from the shots and Mother thought they were making her worse. She regularly took antihistamine medication and Tylenol, as a pain reliever.
She had major learning problems, repeating Grade 2, and was now in a special education class. She missed a great deal of school because of illness, and also had difficulty concentrating. She tended to be passive and mild-mannered, and was well-liked. At home she was often tearful and expressed grave doubts about her self-worth. She was a picky eater with narrow food preferences. She mostly ate whole wheat bread as toast or sandwiches, drank 4-6 glasses of milk per day, ate cheese, macaroni, potatoes, beef, and packaged soups (especially "Chicken-in-a-Mug"). Her improvement on Alpha Nutrition was dramatic. Within 4 weeks, she was free of all symptoms and remained well as long as she stayed with her 'safe diet". Her parents stated that her improvement was "...fantastic, she hasn't missed a day of school on the diet...she is a different child...". The last test from school that I saw was marked 62/70 - congratulations!
Migraine, Abdominal Pain, Sneezing
A nine year old boy presented the following problems:
He was breast fed for the first two years of his life, but had many infantile symptoms, including recurring colicky pain. He had intermittent symptoms since then, but appeared to have worsened in the last three months. Mother described a 2 week trial elimination diet - milk and eggs were removed from his diet - which produced some benefit, but not all symptoms cleared.
A food diary (on the milk-and-egg-free program) showed intake of grapefruit, orange, toast, honey, peanut butter, apple juice, lemonade, and cookies. He tended to be snacking on these trivial, and also allergenic, foods. His substantial meals were beef portions, potatoes, and a few vegetables. Mother had noted that on high fruit juice and citrus intake, he developed chancre sores in his mouth. He had continued to have headaches almost daily, with intermittent episodes of abdominal pain, which was most disturbing. Examination revealed: one ear was crimson red, allergic shiners were conspicuous, the nasal mucosa (lining of the nose) was swollen, and the cervical lymph nodes were enlarged.
A "milk-and-egg-free" diet may remain a problem for a variety of reasons. This child's remaining foods were quite undesirable, and did not work out either in the short or long term. This example illustrates the fallacy of "elimination diets" - complete diet revision is required to resolve this complex illness. The problem with delayed patterns of food allergy is that increased permeability of the gastrointestinal tract admits "wrong stuff" into the circulation. Food and drink can be thought of as a body-input recipes which have to be matched to the gastrointestinal tract. If the input recipe fits, then food processing occurs normally without the problems of food allergy. Most children have problems with many foods and require fairly rigorous diet modification over a period of time to achieve good results.
Overweight and Aggressive
A 6 year old girl presented with weight control and emotional problems. Her mother stated that she was "bouncing off the walls at home...a whirlwind of activity...fighting, screaming, and explosive...". She was overweight at 80 lb. and looked conspicuously plump. Skin rashes with itching were common, and abdominal bloating was almost a daily occurrence. She was otherwise well, and was adapting to Grade 1 successfully. This child responded well to Alpha Nutrition and within the first week was asymptomatic with no further emotional storms. She lost 4 pounds in the first 4 weeks. She refused to eat rice, yams, or squash but accepted the other vegetables, fruit, poultry and fish.
A seven year old boy presented with:
Recurrent abdominal bloating with pain.
Recurring facial dermatitis.
Extreme mood swings with aggressive, belligerent behavior.
His behavior disturbance was the most important concern of both his parents. He was frequently hyperactive, unmanageable, destructive, and extreme in terms of angry, aggressive, screaming behaviors. His parents apparently took him to Dr... who suggested he was allergic to milk and sugar. They eliminated dairy products, candy, pop and desserts, but otherwise continued feeding him as before. He improved somewhat with initial diet revision.
That program included expensive multi-supplements and his parents were not entirely satisfied with the results. They stated that he changed from a hyperactive boy to a moody child with more tantrums, crying, and moping. He had been a picky eater with strong sugar cravings and compulsive eating of sugar-containing foods. While he did not have dramatic manifestations of food allergy, his rashes and abdominal bloating suggested that possibility.
We began the standard Alpha Nutrition Program following and introduced foods slowly to ascertain their effect and he improved dramatically His parents are both very positive about his improvement, but appreciated the difficulties of maintaining normal functioning. He had marked hypersensitivity reactions to some foods, with conspicuous facial and ear flushing, nose congestion, and deepening of the allergic shiner effect On a follow-up visit, his mother said that he was doing well, but occasionally he "cheats" and reacts. food continued to trigger inappropriate behavior, noted by his school teacher who remained alarmed by mild deviations from normal functioning.
Brief Note on Delayed Pattern Food Allergy
In this section we are discussing delayed food allergy, not the more obvious immediate food allergic reactions. Delayed patterns of food allergy are not so obvious and generally go unrecognized. Allergy skin tests do not show this problem nor do blood tests for antibodies such as RAST or ELIZA. Delayed patterns of food allergy are responsible for causing specific diseases such as asthma and eczema and also common but ill-defined illness patterns in children.
There are many ways for food problems to interfere with a child's normal
functioning and to promote disease. We assume that several problems
interact in a complex manner to produce the symptoms and dysfunction that we
seek to remedy.