Writer and blogger Kate Thompson has four children. Kitty and Archie are eight years old. Along with their older brothers (aged 12 and 16) they suffer from food allergies, in their case “gut allergies” called non IgE allergies which you can’t test for.
The more well known allergies are IgE allergies – these are the ones which bring an instant reaction – sometimes this reaction can be very dangerous, and the person cannot breathe properly.
Kitty and Archie don’t have such an immediate reaction, but can still become very unwell. Since their allergies can’t be identified via a test, it can be difficult to know exactly what is making them ill. They spoke to Jump! Mag about coping with their allergies, and continuing to eat healthily despite their limitations.
There are different types of food allergies. We have Eosinophilic Disease, when the body gets confused and thinks some foods are like germs and need attacking. The problem is this attack can end up hurting your body too!
Eating those foods make your throat, tummy or bowel red and sore and stops them working properly. If you are not careful then things we all take for granted like eating, swallowing and digesting food don’t happen properly. Going to the toilet can be painful, take a long time and be really difficult.
Like any other food allergy you must stop eating the food your body is reacting to. Some people react in a quick, dangerous way to foods. This can be life threatening. Others react more slowly but the long term effect can be very serious. All our bodies like to be cared for, letting them get red, sore and swollen for long periods of time can damage them. Our bodies work best when they are properly cared for. We all try and look after our teeth by not eating too many sweets!
If you have a food allergy you look after your body by avoiding those foods your body reacts to. Sometimes that means you cannot eat foods which have important things in them for growing. That can mean you need to find those important things in other foods, or in a special formula drink, and take medicines to keep healthy.
We all know someone who cannot eat nuts, or eggs, maybe both. Imagine not being able to eat anything made from milk, AND nothing made from wheat, gluten – which includes oats – OR soya. It’s hard. Getting enough energy is really important – we use a lot of it in school! So sometimes food you might think is less healthy is just right for us!
Healthy Eating is really important. It is about looking after your body. But most of all it is about eating in a way to take care of your own body in the best way possible for you.”
More Info on IgE Allergies
Do you know anyone who carries an Epipen? They contain medicine for this sort of allergy. These people have been tested, and their trigger foods identified, which makes it easier to avoid eating these foods. People with these have to be very careful not to eat (and sometimes even touch) foods that would cause a reaction.
These are what we see as ‘classic’ IgE food allergies Our Allergy Adventures is a great site for kids. Lots of activities and useful child-friendly information. They’ve got together with the Lunchbox Doctor to create an Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Menu, to help you keep lunchtimes happy times.
For general info on allergies for kids www.allergykids.co.uk/
More Info on Non IgE Allergies
Read more about allergies and intolerances, or more specifically Gut Allergies, from the writer of this article, Kate Thompson – you can find her blog here with more Lunchbox/Takeout ideas, recipes, and tons of great advice on where to buy products free from allergens, and more.