Food sensitivities or intolerances are often overlooked by many doctors because they are not considered to be “true” allergy (IgE-mediated). This does not mean they are not clinically meaningful. Many people with food sensitivities do not even know that they have them, but they can suffer from serious health problems if these sensitivities are not addressed.
Intolerance to Wheat and Dairy
Cole, a 10-year-old boy into cooking and Tae Kwon Do, was one of these individuals. Although he was never diagnosed with food allergies in the traditional sense, his health and early childhood were quite severely impacted by his body’s inability to tolerate wheat and dairy. Cole’s mother Katrina was not immediately aware that her son had food intolerances. As a newborn, he had eczema on his body and she recalls that he was a pretty “gassy” baby, subtle signs that his body was not responding well to certain food antigens in breast milk or formula. Cole had other signs of immune dysregulation including chronic ear infections in his first year of life and an allergy to certain antibiotics. He was also chronically constipated as a baby. Katrina took Cole to see the pediatrician many times over the next several years for stomach pains, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, the pediatrician was not able to do much for Cole, aside from recommending that he drink a non-dairy formula known as Alimentum. In the meantime, his bowel symptoms continued unabated. By the time Cole was four years old, Katrina made the connection between Cole’s dairy consumption and his bowel symptoms. Because dairy is usually consumed daily in a child’s diet, it can be hard to isolate this as a contributor to particular health symptoms.
Diet Elimination and Challenge Helpful
By using the diet elimination and challenge technique, Katrina determined that dairy products would cause Cole to have explosive diarrhea. Katrina took Cole to see an allergist, who gave him the gold-standard allergy test, the IgE skin prick test. This test concluded that Cole was not allergic to dairy. This did not seem to add up. Katrina could reproduce the diarrhea symptoms in her son by giving him dairy, and make the symptoms go away by removing dairy, yet the allergists assured her that her son was not “allergic” to dairy. Feeling discouraged at the lack of answers from his pediatrician and his allergist, Katrina took Cole to see a pediatric gastroenterologist when he was five years old.
IgG Test Confirmed Sensitivities
It was here that Cole received the less conventional food allergy test, the IgG test, which can help to determine if someone has sensitivities or intolerances to food. Sure enough, Cole’s IgG test indicated that he was very sensitive to both dairy and wheat. With IgG test in hand, Katrina immediately removed wheat and dairy from Cole’s diet. Within 48 hours of these diet modifications, Cole’s abdominal pains, diarrhea and constipation cleared up. Clearly, dairy and wheat were a problem for Cole, even though several prior medical doctors assured Katrina that they were not his issue. Because of this discovery, Cole went dairy-free and wheat-free for four years. At birthday parties he would skip the pizza and bring his own wheat-free, dairy-free desserts. Katrina would pack him special foods wherever he went, so that he would not be exposed to the troublesome food. As far as Katrina and Cole were concerned, this was no way for a kid to live.
BioSET Allergy Elimination Technique
Katrina had read about a local chiropractor, Dr. Mark Joachim in Norwalk, CT, who practiced an allergy elimination technique known as BioSET. BioSET is similar to NAET, but uses different instruments and protocols. BioSET utilizes acupressure, enzyme therapy and laws of quantum physics to help redirect and reprogram a body’s immune responses to ordinarily benign substances like food. Cole went through the full BioSET allergy-elimination protocol over the course of several months, and by the time he had finished the protocol he could eat wheat and dairy with no observable symptoms: no diarrhea, no constipation, no abdominal pain. He had experienced recovery from allergies.
BioSET Helped Mom’s Allergies
Katrina also used BioSET to clear her own allergies, allergies that she developed as an adult. For her family, Katrina believes that BioSET was a lifesaver. Cole can now go to school, birthday parties, pizza parties and do all of the normal kid activities without worrying about the consequences of his allergic reactions. Katrina often wonders how she and her son developed allergies to food. As a child, Katrina did not have any known food allergies, nor did her husband (although they both now wonder if they had undiagnosed allergies like Cole).
The Impact of Three Mile Island Radioactivity Leak
Certainly, neither of them experienced symptoms as severe as Cole’s when they were children. Yet, Katrina has an unusual past that might provide clues into how members of her family developed dysregulated immune systems. Katrina grew up near Valley Forge, PA, less than seventy miles downwind of Three Mile Island, the site of the worst nuclear reactor accident in U.S. history. The Three Mile Island nuclear reactor meltdown occurred in the spring of 1979. Radioactive gas leaked from the plant, although no one knows exactly how much gas escaped. Several decades later it was determined that there was an increased incidence of certain types of cancer (including lung cancer and leukemia) as well as other health conditions among people living directly downwind of the nuclear plant. A little over a year after the accident, Katrina’s mother, who was thirty-five at the time, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). There was no other family history of autoimmune disease or MS. Katrina and her family moved away from Pennsylvania when Katrina was sixteen, but health problems continued to plague her family. Her sister developed recurrent endometriosis and Katrina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at twenty years old. Katrina initially recovered from her ovarian cancer, only to find three more tumors over the next eight years. One of those tumors was discovered when Katrina was nine weeks pregnant with Cole. At fifteen weeks of pregnancy, Katrina underwent a complicated and miraculous surgery where the physicians were able to remove her tumor but save the baby. During and after the surgery, Katrina was heavily sedated, received antibiotics, and received morphine for nearly a week after the surgery. Katrina carried Cole to term and delivered him via c-section. As is standard for c-sections, Katrina received antibiotics to prevent infections associated with delivery. After her traumatic battle with cancer and her tumultuous pregnancy with Cole, Katrina developed quite severe environmental allergies and food intolerances. Subsequent to her pregnancy, Katrina became allergic to many foods including garlic, onions, and other unusual food triggers. At one time, Katrina ended up in the emergency room because exposure to pesticides that had been applied to her lawn caused such a severe reaction that her mouth and throat began to swell and burn. Katrina senses that whatever happened to her immune system prior to and during her battle with cancer and her pregnancy with Cole, was somehow transferred onto Cole. Although it is not easy to prove, Katrina believes that her family’s exposure to the Three Mile Island incident set them up for health problems and these health problems have carried on to the next generation. Fortunately, Cole has been able to recover from his sensitivities to wheat and dairy, and Katrina is now more aware of how food sensitivities, and not just diagnosed IgE “allergies” can wreak havoc on the body.