Food Allergy Testing for Kids

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Some of you already know that a couple of months ago my husband was diagnosed with food allergies to soy, eggs and gluten. He has a candida (yeast) overgrowth that’s causing his rheumatoid arthritis to flare up to the point where he has chronic back pain and fatigue.

His rheumatologist suggested a candida-free diet, which is basically no gluten, no carbs – even fruit and beans. My husband has been really strict about adhering to his new diet – living off meat and vegetables and lost 10 lbs., which he didn’t really have to lose because he’s already a slender guy.

The rheumatologist also suggested that my kids get tested for food allergies. I’ve been wanting to get it done with my oldest because he’s had stomach issues since he was a newborn. He had colic and gas a baby, more incidents of stomach flu than any other kid I know, and has a lactose intolerance (he’s never been tested but unless he drinks Lactaid milk he complains of an upset stomach).

Now half the time I do think he’s faking it because it usually doesn’t bother him enough to play with his younger brother or chase after butterflies outside. But other times I do notice that he’s not quite himself.

Interestingly, Fooducate created an infographic that shows that celiac and gluten allergies are about 18 times more prevalent than dairy allergies.

So the testing begins. But it’s not pretty. Basically, we have to collect saliva and stool samples at home and then send it into a lab. YES. STOOL. SAMPLES. Ugh. I have to collect two samples for each child over the course of three days, and refrigerate it (first batch must be refrigerated until we can collect the second batch on the third day) until we’re ready to send it off. Our doctor (and another friend who had food allergies) recommended the GI health panel from DiagnosTechs. There are other lab services out there, but we liked that these could be done at home.

Here’s what the lab test kit looks like before – believe me, you don’t want to see the after.

food allergy testing

Hmmm. Where do I store them? Next to the milk or perhaps in the produce drawer? I’ll spare you the details but I did wrap the first batch of vials in 2 plastic bags, and then in a small box. I can’t think too much about it sitting in my refrigerator or I’ll make myself crazy.

But in three weeks, we’ll have the results back and will finally be able to tell if food allergies are an issue with my oldest son. I suspect I have a milk intolerance too. I just hope my kids and I can stay strict like my husband if we have food allergies too. I think I might go crazy if I have to cut out gluten. Or worse, cut out soy (what kind of Chinese woman would I be without soy sauce?!) like my husband.

It’ll be the longest three weeks of my life. But thankfully no more stool and saliva samples in my refrigerator – so I’ll need to disinfect it like crazy.

Have you gone through food allergy testing? What was your experience? How did you adjust to food elimination from your diet?

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  1. I found out about 7 years ago I was allergic to garlic. No, I am not a vampire. Until I found out I thought I had some major stomach problem, now I just have a problem eating out as everything has garlic in it.

    • Wow, I can see how that’s tough. I think I’d be more devastated about garlic than soy sauce. How are you cooking without it – do you use more onions?

  2. I think this is great you are doing this for your family. How much was it to have this test?

    • About $250 for each person, which is really expensive but we can’t do the elimination diet (too hard and I really wanted conclusive results). I some health insurance plans may pay for it.

  3. Both of my kids were allergic to milk when they were little–got a rash. We never got them formally tested, just avoided it until they outgrew it–thank goodness!

  4. When I was diagnosed with migraines in elementary school, we did some elimination testing/food diaries, but I never actually did this type of testing (I don’t imagine at-home test kits were available 20 years ago). We did discover that I was allergic to avocados though. Thankfully, we haven’t had any allergy issues with my son up to this point, so hopefully I don’t have to do something like this. Good luck to you!

    • Thanks for stopping by. Avocados? That would be tough for me. Yes, I think the elimination test works wonders but I wanted to know right away and the test picks up other things like – gross to say – tapeworms, toxoplasmosis, etc.

  5. I didn’t know that you had to take the kit home for a food allergy test. I thought all the testing was done at the office. Good to know if we ever decide to get our son tested.

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