Food Allergies

We had Nora tested for food allergies a couple of months ago and it has really helped with figuring out what foods may work best for her. With short bowel syndrome her diet is still a bit tricky because just because she’s not allergic to something it doesn’t mean that her tummy will agree with it. Like cow’s milk for example, she’s not allergic to it but it’s too hard for her system to process without getting a bad tummy ache. The fat globules in cow’s milk are much larger and harder to digest than the fat globules in goat’s milk which she tolerates very well. But knowing what she is allergic to gives us more confidence when trying new foods with her and more importantly helps prevent Nora from suffering through an allergic reaction.

An allergic reaction to wheat pasta is what sparked the idea to have her tested.  Her reaction to the wheat pasta was pretty severe, she only ate a very small amount but within minutes after the first bite her upper lip was red and within an hour her entire face swelled and she became very flushed as well as having the typical sinus allergic reaction. Her eyes swelled so quickly that one almost swelled shut before we gave her a dose of Benadryl. Thankfully the reaction did not effect her breathing and her other symptoms were gone after 24 hours. Here is a picture of poor puffy face that I took as a reference to make sure she didn’t get worse that day.


Sure enough her allergy test came back showing a high reaction to wheat gluten. That one was expected but there were a few that were surprising, like cucumber. Who would have ever thought that something that is mostly water would be so allergic to some people?

Here are Nora’s test results which shows all of the foods that she was tested for and how severe her reactions were to them.

click here – allergyjpg.pdf

Instead of the traditional skin scrape allergy test we had Nora tested by an allergy blood test. We were really excited to learn of this kind of allergy test when Nora’s pediatrician suggested it so we wouldn’t have to put her through the unpleasantness of the traditional allergy test. Our insurance didn’t cover the blood test so we did have to pay for it out of pocket but we thought it was well worth it.

Even before knowing Nora was allergic to wheat we always used rice as her main source of carbohydrates for two reasons, 1) people with short bowel syndrome commonly react negatively to gluten and 2) wheat products have a tendency to grow mold easily (even if it doesn’t smell or look moldy). Pretty much any product that can be made from wheat flour can also be made from rice flour. So Nora will be having a rice flour cake for her birthday. Since she has never had any type of cake before I wanted to make sure she would do ok with it before giving it to her for the first time on her birthday. Here is a little clip of Nora’s first experience with eating cake last week. She has been asking for more birthday cake ever since. :)

It’s hard to believe that our baby Nora will be 2 years old in just 2 days. I guess we can’t really call her baby Nora anymore….well maybe I can, she’ll always be my baby. :) If this shot taken the other day doesn’t show what a big girl she is I don’t know what does.


One Response to “Food Allergies”

  1. Yuko Says:

    Happy Birthday Nora!!!
    Hope you enjoy your (second) rice flour birthday cake! You, and your parents, are amazing.
    Can’t wait to meet you some day.
    Yuko, Randy, Max, & Kai

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