Essential Carbohydrate Living

Essential Carbohydrate Living

Disclaimer

All recipes, ideas or thoughts about digestive health posted to this site are to be used at your own risk. I am simply sharing my journey to bring hope and encouragement to parents and individuals who are unsure about where to begin. I am still learning along with the rest of you!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Food Intolerance and the Immune System

With the popularity of probiotics hitting main stream media, I have to ask why food intolerance is not considered a serious risk to the immune system. I have heard more than one celebrity promoting yogurt or another food containing healthy bacteria state that 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut.

Search "food allergies" vs "food intolerance" and you will likely come across the difference being that food allergies affect the immune system and food intolerance does not. You will also find that the only type of food referenced as "intolerant" is that for lactose, or milk products.

I have not come across a single article or medical reference discussing the fact that people can also be intolerant to sugar and starch. How are people suppose to know that milk is not the only culprit?

My research indicates that undigested food.. specifically undigested carbohydrates (lactose, sugar and starch)... promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the large intestine and can lead to other health problems.

The message I hear in general is a promotion of adding "good" but no talk of removing the "bad" and this confuses me.

There is no question that diets high in refined flours and sugars create other health problems such as obesity and diabetes. So why is it so difficult to find concrete data and articles regarding the harm these foods also cause in our digestive systems?

This post is more rhetorical than scientific. Aside from research associated with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I have not been able to locate additional evidence that omitting harmful carbohydrates in the light of digestive imbalance is also a benefit to the immune system.

I only have my personal experience and knowledge regarding CSID and the inability to break down sugars and starches. If you have a personal experience related to food intolerance and the immune system, I would love to learn about it.



Pulling "A Place to Start Without Sugar or Starch" from Booksellers

A quick note to alert those interested in purchasing my book. Given the drastic changes in Parker's diet and allergies since I published, I have pulled the book from the market until I have time to revise and update the information. In the meantime, most of the pertinent information can be found on this site. Once I re-publish, the book will focus on my journey and learning curve and guide you to basic food "rules" with the understanding that every case is different. In addition, I hope to offer the book at a significantly lower price in both print and e-book format.

I would also love to hear from those of you who have received a copy of my book. How did it help you? What did you find most helpful? What else would you have liked to see included?

If you would like to contribute to the revised edition in any way, please contact me by completing the contact form located in the left sidebar.


Getting Ready for Spring: The Challenge of Environmental Allergies in Addition to CSID

After over a year of requesting a referral to an allergist to re-test Parker for both food and environmental allergies, he was finally seen by a new allergist at the beginning of February. I had really hoped the test would conclude that at least some of his allergies had subsided. After all, his eczema issues have been cleared up for nearly a year.

The poor guy was so brave as he lie on his belly squirming in response to the skin test. I felt awful for him, but grateful to have a clear picture of his current status, even in the absence of eczema. After the test, the doctor reviewed the results from Parker's blood test back in June of 2013. I was shocked to learn that the environmental allergies included oak and other tree pollen in addition to learning that his shrimp allergy could be potentially severe.

After a silent prayer of thanks that he had not been exposed to shrimp in recent years, I asked for more details. Apparently the blood test had revealed a significant difference (x100) in antibodies for shrimp--so much that she did not feel comfortable re-testing on the skin along with the other allergens. The doctor then highly recommended Parker have an epi-pin until we could re-test the shrimp in isolation.

Thus the trial and journey of seeking insurance approval, filling out school forms, etc. began. I won't go into the details here, but I will share that so far, Parker has not been "approved."

As we prepare for spring and his unavoidable exposure to environmental allergens (dust mites, oak tree pollen, grass pollen), we are taking a pro-active approach. Daily showers after school, protective lotions, a regimen of daily antihistamine, and going back to 100% cotton clothing to allow his skin to breath.

Due to a significant loss in income prior to the holidays, we had to move into a smaller home that has carpet in the bedrooms. This is adding a new challenge of reducing dust-mite exposure as well.

I hope to report the results of our efforts soon. As much as I strive to report success, I have to face that this journey is more often a trial-and-error process. I look forward to your comments and learning how you handle multiple health issues in addition to dietary restrictions.