Today I’m sharing my food allergy story. First of all I want to share a few resources for some yummy recipes for my fellow food allergy people …
Milk Allergy Mom – Jamie’s blog is a great resource for those with milk allergies. Her oldest son, Miles, has a severe milk allergy so she takes avoiding dairy seriously. Her simple list of substitutions is helpful when you need to know what replaces your old habits. And her post on a dairy-free Thanksgiving may come as a relief if you’re just approaching your first round of holidays with a dairy allergy.
The Food Allergy Mama – Kelly’s blog is another great resource for people (and parents) dealing with food allergies. Her son, John, has a few food allergies and asthma, which increases the danger of allergic reactions. She has written a book of recipes for baking with food allergies. Some of the food she posts about looks seriously delicious. It will make you want to start baking.
Earlier this year I found out I’m allergic to dairy. And there’s a good chance I have been allergic to dairy my whole life but didn’t know it. There’s no test for a dairy allergy and my symptoms weren’t obvious.
If you’re rolling your eyes, I don’t blame you. A year ago, I would have been skeptical too. Here’s what I know: I got repeated infections throughout my first pregnancy. The infections would show up in urine cultures but never had any symptoms I could feel or see. I took antibiotics for each infection, but they kept returning, even after I started a daily low dose antibiotic.
When I got pregnant this time, here came cultures showing infections again. I started doing research. My doctors were all doing the same. I had been through several uncomfortable (to say the least) tests to try to find a physical reason for the infections. My doctors were mystified.
Then one day I stumbled upon a few articles describing women who suffered the same infections because of a dairy allergy. My mom found the same in her searches. We were in the middle of emailing back and forth about our findings when my doctor called to say she wanted me to try eliminating dairy from my diet. I told her I was all over it. I would do anything to protect this baby. Giving up dairy seemed a small sacrifice to make.
That’s not to say I wasn’t concerned. I love pizza, macaroni and cheese, cupcakes, cereal, coffee – all things that typically involve dairy. And then there’s butter. I mean, how was I going to cook things?
So began my adventures in dairy-free eating. I quit cold turkey and it was easier than I expected it to be. Thank the foodie gods for Whole Foods and the many, many nondairy options available. Now I’ve found plenty of replacements for the foods I thought were gone forever. I love Tofurky pizza. So Delicious coconut milk ice cream is amazing. And Enjoy Life makes some of the yummiest cookies (with or without dairy) in the history of cookies. And I drink Silk PureAlmond dark chocolate milk daily. I’m hooked on the stuff.
A few things happened when I cut out dairy. The infections stopped. My eczema went away and hasn’t returned. I slept better and felt better. The dietician I started seeing after I found out about the allergy told me she thinks dairy allergies are probably far more common than anyone realizes because they can be so hard to diagnose.
A friend of mine who quit dairy after her doctor suggested it had many of the same results. And her doctor mentioned that people who have dairy allergies sometimes notice a decrease in seasonal allergies when they quit dairy. She mentioned that to me just a couple months ago. That’s when I realized I never got the allergies that typically pounce in the spring. And so far the same is true for the fall.
People keep asking me whether I’ll go back to eating dairy. I don’t think I will. Why would I eat something I know irritates my body? I do hope my son and our future children will not inherit my dairy allergy. But if they do, I know they will have plenty of great alternatives so that they won’t feel left out.
Weekend reads is a regular roundup of bloggers and their awesome sites. I sometimes get overwhelmed with all the new blogs I want to check out. This is a series of weekly posts, which features blogs I already follow as well as ones I’m just discovering.
If you write a blog I should know about or have a favorite you would like to recommend, contact me. If you’re interested in writing about three of your favorite blogs, let me know and we can talk about setting up a guest post.