Our Elimination Diet

Dear Reader,

We spent the last 6 weeks or so playing around with our diets. We had a few reasons for doing so. My 10-year-old son has had a headache all day every day for about 6 months now. Various meds and scans haven’t really helped except to eliminate more serious issues. The neurologist he has been seeing and his pediatrician are reluctant to pursue any other causes so we decided to pursue things on our own. Diet is something we can explore on our own without a prescription. My 5-year-old has also had eczema much worse this year than in the past.  And my 7-year-old also occasionally complains of headaches so we fear he may be developing whatever his brother has. My 9-year-old *only* has type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is an auto-immune disease though which makes her and presumably her siblings more at risk for other auto-immune diseases like celiac (which is an inability to digest gluten).

We initially eliminated dairy, egg, soy and wheat and gluten from our diet. We went without all of these for 2 weeks and then began adding them back in one at a time. We didn’t specifically eliminate other things like food dyes and nitrates but we did try to avoid foods laden with chemicals to minimize the variables we were dealing with.

Here are some of this things we have found:

-Our dietary experimentation is not going to be a one time thing. There are issues we want to revisit and retest so this is more likely to be a long-term sort of playing around.

-I didn’t go into the experiment with any issues. But when we began eating chocolate (which came back with soy; most chocolates out there have soy in them), I got a few very bad headaches. So I guess I am off chocolate for now. I plan to retest it some day when I have no plans the next day and can afford to feel horrible then.

-My 9yo type 1 daughter also had no issues and has had no reactions to foods. But her basal insulin requirements went way down when we started the diet even though we weren’t always eating low-carb (she loves potatoes and ate lots of them on the diet). It makes me wonder if a regular diet of wheat had somehow stressed her system so she needed more insulin constantly. It has been 3 or 4 days with wheat back in now and her needs haven’t gone back up so we will see how that plays out.

-My 7yo had one skin reaction in the middle of the experiment. It was an obvious sort of bright red patches on the face sort of reaction. We thought it was from food dyes but when we retested them, he had no reaction. Our back up theory is fish though we need to further pursue that.

-We thought my 5yo with eczema would react to eggs but she didn’t. Mostly her skin has been much better and she is no longer taking daily allergy meds. She did have a couple of skin reactions though. It seems that fish is the culprit with her.

-We don’t have the clear-cut conclusions I would like for my 10yo with headaches. His headaches never went away. They were as good as they get for the first part of the diet. Very soon (12 hours or so?) after we added soy back in, he began to get nighttime headaches too. they have been on and off since. A few days later, he also began to complain of stomach pain particularly at meal times. When we added wheat back in, his ears got bright red and hot to the touch which apparently can be a sign of an allergic reaction. The second day his ears were pink again after dinner and he has had a red bumpy itchy patch on his legs since. Is this an allergic reaction to wheat? It seems like it. It hs not affected his head one way or another.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been through sich a diet about what sorts of reactions they saw and what they think of ours. We will likely take my 10yo off soy and wheat again for a much longer term (6 months maybe?) and see what happens.



One response to this post.

  1. […] posted recently on our elimination diet and its results. The short version is that my ten-year-old and I are going gluten and soy free, at […]


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