Bed wetting is a common symptom of food problems in younger children. Other more serious problems of the urinary tract may also accompany food allergy. Children with lower urinary tract symptoms, especially urgency and frequency of urination with or without burning on urination may be excreting irritating metabolites of food chemicals or mediator metabolites from systemic food allergic responses.
Diet revision therapy should be considered when symptoms suggestive of cystitis or urethritis are recurrent and not explained by laboratory documented infections. In girls, recurrent vaginal irritation or burning on urination (vaginitis, urethritis) may have an allergic basis. The mucosal surfaces of the bladder and vagina should be thought of as similar to the nose, throat, and gastrointestinal mucosa, with similar allergic reactions to food allergens, circulating in the blood stream. If milk, wheat, and egg allergy can cause rhinitis, they can also result in vaginitis, urethritis, and cystitis.
The kidneys present a large filtering surface to blood contents and are vulnerable to damage by circulating immune complexes containing food allergens. The child's report of flank pain often imitates an attack of kidney infection or renal colic. Children with food allergy may have fever with flank pain and frequency of urination and are often invasively investigated and treated with no thought to a food antigen origin of their problem.
Glomerulonephritis may sometimes be triggered by immune complexes containing food protein antigens. The recurring triad of transient flank pain, blood or protein in the urine, and the presence of symptoms in other systems should suggest "food allergy". Treatment should begin with an elemental nutrient formula under the supervision of a physician before the food re-introduction ( using the Alpha Nutrition Program) is attempted. Parents can use urine test sticks at home to monitor their child's urine everyday. With precise urine monitoring (blood, protein, ketones, pH), the effect of foods on kidney function can be assessed.
van der Woude FJ et al reported, for example, that a rapid improvement of kidney function could be induced three times by giving an antigen free diet. Ferri et al stated: " Since dietary macromolecular antigens can be involved in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN), the effect of a low-antigen-content diet was evaluated in 21 patients (10 women, 11 men, mean age 27.7 +/- 10 years) with immunohistochemical findings of active IgAN. The diet was followed for a 14-24-week period (mean 18.8 +/- 6); in all cases the effects of the treatment were evaluated by clinical and serological parameters, and in 11 patients also by repeat renal biopsy. After dietetic therapy a significant reduction of urinary proteins was recorded present in 12 cases during the 6 months preceding the treatment, was markedly reduced or disappeared in 11. At post-treatment control biopsy mesangial and parietal deposits of immunoglobulins, complement C5 fraction and fibrinogen were significantly reduced. The improvement of the objective parameters such as heavy proteinuria, a strong predictor of a poor prognosis, and of immunohistochemical alterations indicate that a low-antigen diet can positively affect patients with IgAN. These results could be ascribed to a reduction of nephritogenic food antigen input and to a putative functional restoration of the mononuclear phagocytic system."
The nephrotic syndrome involves increased glomerular excretion of protein - Gabordi et al reported a 6 year old girl with gluten allergy expressed as celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis who developed nephrotic syndrome. Elimination of gluten grains resolved all three major manifestations of gluten allergy. Sandberg et al reported on 6 patients who experienced remission of nephrotic syndrome when milk was eliminated from their diet and exacerbation when it was reintroduced. Six patients in a study of 17 children with steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome responded to milk exclusion with remission of proteinuria in 3-8 days. Four of the six improved patients had other manifestations of food allergy including recurrent bronchitis, atopic dermatitis, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Brief Notes 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 IgE antibody tests 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. A cluster of physical, behavioral, and learning problems is typical of many children we see. A child may present with chronic nose congestion, cheek and ear flushing, a history of recurrent ear infections and tonsillitis, associated with infrequent attacks of abdominal pain and episodes of hyperactivity with temper tantrums. Another child may present with recurrent "flu", fatigue, lymph node swelling and appear to be depressed. Some of these children will have bladder problems and less often kidney disease develops.
Distribution of Food Antigens
Food antigens are proteins that make their way through human bodies in a remarkable fashion. Consider the long and improbable path of milk proteins through a mother's gut, into her blood, through her liver, out into her breast milk, through her infant's gut mucosa and into the infant's nasal mucosa to cause rhinitis, the lung to cause asthma, or the skin to cause eczema. There are many potential paths from mouth to target organ for food antigens to follow. Every tissue of the body can manifest a delayed food allergic response. Some activity may be noticed in minutes but the onset of bigger problems is delayed hours to days. Manifestations include both systemic symptoms such as flushing, fever, aching, fatigue, and also localized target organ activity, usually some form of inflammation, manifest as pain, swelling, erythema, and local heat in the target organ.
Resolve Serious Illness
A complete food holiday, replacing food with Alpha ENF is the treatment for choice for delayed pattern food allergy, digestive disorders and immune-mediated inflammatory disease. A food holiday will often produce remission of disease activity.