Friday, April 13, 2012

When a grain-free diet isn’t working, look to salicylates

Over the course of the past month or so we’ve done some skin prick testing that has revealed some surprising food allergies for Ellie. She’s tested positive for allergies to: parsley, spinach, celery, carrots, lemon, grapefruit, walnuts, cinnamon, cod, bananas and oysters. Ellie’s allergist made a comment that perhaps Ellie was sensitive to salicylates, since many of the foods she tested positive for are high in salicylates. Some of the other foods are high in amines, another food chemical. It seems that often times if a person is sensitive to salicylates, or amines, they are also sensitive to the other.

I had never heard of salicylates and didn’t think much of the comment for days, feeling overwhelmed at the task of removing all these foods from Ellie’s already very limited diet. (Some foods had been removed long ago, but others were still a huge part of her diet.)

But time went on and Ellie continued having the same reaction to a variety of food. On two days I fed her raspberries, which she hadn’t had since last summer, and she became crazy hyperactive, had bright red flushed cheeks and was suddenly fussy and clingy. Another day I gave her some cherry tomatoes and the same reaction happened. I gave her some freeze-dried blueberries another day and – again – same reaction. I tried giving Ellie a homeopathic nasal spray of quercetin, which is a natural chemical found in foods and is believed to help support the immune system and suppress allergy symptoms. Well I found out the hard way that this type of quercetin is often sourced from parsley and citrus, which are very high in salicylates, and Ellie had the same. damn. reaction.