So I finally have the results back from Kierra's blood tests on the digestive allergies. I actually got them on Saturday, but things have been crazy-busy, plus I had to do the other up-dates in sequential order (trip and then anniversary). And I'll be honest, I've been so over-whelmed with the findings of it all - I've been trying to get things figured out. So without much adieu - here they are.
To recap: I did some looking into finding a doctor in Calgary that specializes in DAN. They do tests to determine A) whether the child has any high levels of metals toxicity in their system, B) whether the child has digestive allergies and C) whether the child has deficiencies in minerals/vitamins, has yeast overgrowth in their digestive tract, and whether their liver's are functioning properly. It has been shown in a lot of cases of Autism, that all three are factors in these kids. It is theorized that once you eliminate the allergies; the child can function much better. Essentially the allergy is causing an adrenaline high all the time and is compared to your child tripping out on LSD all the time. This is why she might tantrum a lot, hard to concentrate, spacing out etc.... We did the food diaries and were amazed at what we were seeing. Days with certain foods were definitely showing bouts of bad behaviors.
We visited Dr. Klassen, who was very informative. He explained the DAN testing and told us where we should begin. To start off, he did the blood allergy test for Kierra to test her for digestive allergies. He also did a dip to test for the metals toxicity. The results from Kierra's allergy tests were somewhat staggering. Kierra is highly allergic to all dairy or casein (a protein found in dairy). She is allergic to everything that would possibly come from a milk or milk product. Even goat's milk (which is highly unusual). She also is highly allergic in areas of nuts, grains and legumes. Essentially gluten and gliadin; which are primarily found in wheats. So she is allergic to wheat, gluten, rye, sesame, splet, and whole wheat, plus peanuts. She is also highly allergic to eggs (yolks and whites) and blueberries. The only good news is she's not allergic to any vegetables, oats, soy, fruits, or seafood. We basically are starting a 10 week plan to eliminate ALL of the allergens out of her system. It's going to essentially compare to de-tox - she's not going to be very fun. The dairy should be ok, since she's not really a big dairy person. But the gluten is a big one, since it's in any refined product like pizzas, pastas, waffles, cookies, crackers..... oh pretty much everything. In replacement, we can use amaranth flour, egg beaters, soy milk and cheeses, rice, anything sunflower based and some oats. We will have to start shopping at Whole Foods stores now, and most meals will now require me to plan ahead extensively and be pretty much a label reader extraordinaire! I have already ordered some cookbooks for kids on GFCF (gluten free/casein free) diets. I also have to go through all the cleaning products, her bathing and daily care products and check them all for things. Big major production.
The metals test came back pretty good. No major levels of lead and mercury were found (this is good). She had one elevated level but it's nothing that is concerning. We'll just keep an eye out on that one.
The fecal test is still needed to be done - which will determine the yeast and the liver, plus all the minerals/vitamins. She's now on a special supplement that is totally dye free. She may or may not have to have series of vitamin B12 shots depending on the results. This may also be the reason as to why her hair and nails don't grow or are very brittle, as well as the paleness of her skin tone. We'll see what the tests say on that one. Hopefully we'll have that back sometime in November.
So this week I started "Stage One" of the new GFCF diet. This means eliminating ALL the dairy in her diet. Harder than it sounds. I almost boned the first day at breakfast. After that, I decided I needed to go to a whole foods store and start looking around. I did this, and was completely overwhelmed by it all. Just because something doesn't have gluten in it, it doesn't mean it's casein or egg free. In fact, most of it still had one or the other. Looking for cookies and bread was especially hard - however I did manage to find some cookies that we could buy. The bread... that's a different story. I actually was on the bread recipe quest this week (and I found one) for gluten free bread without the eggs in it. So far so good: Kierra is eating what I'm preparing. Unfortunately the other two girls are getting it as well (because you can't give two kids a cupcake and say, "here you have an apple". I rationalize it's healthier for them. So I rounded up all the stuff in the pantry Kierra can't eat and either gave it to the neighbors or donating it to charity (what wasn't opened that is). I don't know if I've noticed in change in Kierra at all. I'm waiting for this horrible backlash from no dairy - but haven't really seen it. I have a feeling the gluten will be the worst one to eliminate (did I mention that starts NEXT Monday?).
So that's it!!! Hopefully this transition goes well, and I survive it with at least 40% of my sanity. Wish us luck!
Thursday, October 25, 2007