Battling Food Allergies

We recently found out our youngest son (1 year old) is highly allergic to casein (a protein in milk). It started with the poops. This poor little man would have constant acidic diarrhea 6-8 times a time. My first thought was “Oh, he must be teething, babies get loose stools that cause diaper rash due to this”. So a month passed and he did pop through a few molders. Following came the running nose and cough, again, I thought “Must be a cold or the extra mucus produced when teething”. After waiting another month, loose stools are continuing. Then came the hives, on his cheeks and occasionally the belly. Having a background of reacting to foods I knew this was a sign that his immune system wasn’t handling something well. At this point it had been two months of pooping 6-8 times a day, a month of a cough we cannot break, no fever, and now hives. I knew something needed to change. This poor guy must just be miserable all the time. He isn’t much of a whiny kid. He plays with his sibling and on occasion gets cracky when tired or hungry. The kid LOVES to eat. But he was just irritable when the hives hit, and wasn’t sleeping through the night anymore. So we decided it was time to cut out the most common food issues in my family dairy and gluten. This did help but we weren’t doing it fully. We just cut back but didn’t fully rid of it, so his hives would flare up and he would get a solid poop maybe once every other day. Now he is starting to get eczema on the back of his neck. Which is telling me his body isn’t getting better still, it’s only getting worse. We can’t halfway do it. His rash started spreading and the hives were continuing so we brought him in to get tested. Turns out his eczema ended up getting a bacterial infection (very common with eczema and small kids). So this kid’s immures system is already struggling and now they want him on antibiotics. I couldn’t do it. After talking with my husband we decided to do it naturally, if it doesn’t clear up with serious cutouts and herbal remedies we will do the antibiotics. Keep in mind we don’t have the food allergy results back yet so we are still guessing if it’s dairy, gluten maybe egg. Cutting those three out (occasional mess-ups because our cast iron still had some cross-contamination), putting him on our garlic tincture orally and topically 2-3 times a day, and using our eczema cream on his rash as healing within 36-48 hours! 5 days later the rash is healed! PRAISE GOD, one thing dealt with. Through this, he would still get hives occasionally and poops were better but not yet normal. With how badly his body is reacting I don’t expect it to go away immediately, it takes time to heal.

Upon getting his results we found he is highly allergic to casein (the protein in all milk). GREAT!!! Now we know where to keep going with this. We have a target to stay away from and heal his body. Because of this and his immune system reacting so terribly from it, we decided to stay away from gluten still because it’s possible to cause extra inflammation in his body which we just don’t want. Now begins the research, it’s not just a diary, it’s casein. We live in a complex food world. So they can take bits of milk and use it in all sorts of foods. So now we need to figure out what can and can’t eat. Until we get a better understanding we are sticking to the basics, meat veggies, and fruit. Now this isn’t just for him, this is for everyone in the house. It’s easier to do it together than it is to separate one and make a special meal just for one when 4 others need to eat. If we go out and there’s an option for everyone to get something they want, yes, the others can get some sour cream or cheese in their Chipotle bowl. But with him he cannot get casein, if his body is progressively getting worse we can’t risk it getting to the point of his throat closing. He is only 14 months old, and he can’t communicate that his throat is itchy or it’s hard to breathe. For any hives or coughs, we are giving a small dosage of Benadryl to be on the safe side.

The plan so far: this type of allergy is still new to me. It’s a certain protein in milk that is used in many other foods. it differs from whey and lactose yet still a protein that is in animal milk. You give me corn, great I dealt with that for three years. I know all the safe foods and the weird names they use on the ingredient list. So first is to figure out those weird names of casein and figure out what we have in the house that contains that making sure our son doesn’t eat it anymore.

Now comes the extra fun part (seriously, this is very interesting to me). Coming up with a plan to heal his gut. Now we don’t have a huge amount to be able to do a ton of premade probiotics and supplements. It’s time to get crafty and find how what we can do. Probiotics are essential for good gut floral: fermented foods. You can get simple veggies and ferment them, eating these regularly will give you a good amount of probiotics in your diet. Next what I would like to add with collagens: bone broth and grass-fed gelatin. Easy, use broth instead of water while cooking rice or soups. Now comes the tricky part. We want to add iron, and vitamins C & D rather than just an overall multivitamin. Just go to the store and pick these things up… Well, it’s expensive with three kids. But great news HERBS HAVE ALL THESE VITAMINS!!! Nettle and Alfalfa are great multivitamin herbs. Nettle is also very high in iron. Iron we will also be getting from our ground beef because we had the butcher grind all the organ meat into the beef. But we will also be purchasing grass-fed liver and adding it to soups. Vitamin C you can get from berries (elder, mulberry, and Goji berries) or red bell peppers. Acerola powder is from red bell pepper and you can get a bulk amount for a good price. Now the vitamin D, Cod liver oil. Now this one I will buy. I do not want to make my cod liver oil….. we typically spend around $30 a month on this guy. I am sure there is a herb or other food that is high in vitamin D, I personally just haven’t gotten that far yet.

There are many many many things I am learning through this process and will be sure to share what we find as we continue down this road! Just wanted to share and document what I am learning as of now. If you have any tips, comments, or questions PLEASE comment below !! But this sums up my story of our new adventure with baby #3 Joesph. God is faithful and has a plan and purpose through it all, we will continue to rest in Him and seek out what He has for our family!

Through ALL things who Christ who gives me strength!

Mariah McDowell

Alyssa Esparza


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