First Blog Post…
By the end of this post, you’ll find out how Lactobacillus helped alleviate my son’s food allergies. I’m usually a straight to the point type person. But, it’s important that I start from the beginning of our story. So, just stick with me and before you know it, you’ll find out about the potential benefits of using probiotics to reverse food allergies.
On August 24, 2015 my 2 yr. old son, JR, began taking a prescription for 10 days of Amoxicillin for a sinus infection. Around the 5th day of taking the antibiotics, I noticed the infection wasn’t getting better. In fact, it looked worse. His nose was extremely runny and he also occasionally vomited after crying or being in a stuffy area. It was due to the mucus build up.
Previously, JR’s doctor said that his sinus infection was because of his seasonal allergies. The ragweed count was high. So, when I saw JR’s symptoms get worse, I figured it was just taking a while for the Amoxicillin to kick in.
During the last week of taking the med, the runny nose had subsided. The Arm and Hammer Simply Saline Baby Nasal Mist (here) really helped! But he was occasionally scratching his head. Again I thought he was reacting to the pollen. So, I washed his hair a few times that week and didn’t think anything of it.
But, while eating Apple Cinnamon Cheerios on the morning after his final dose of Amoxicillin (September 3rd), JR was vigorously scratching the back of his head. He was also tugging his ears. At first I thought it was an ear infection. However, after he didn’t scratch for the rest of the day, I assumed he was ok. The next morning, JR ate cereal again and again he was itching and tugging at his ears. That’s when I figured it was the Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. JR never had a food allergy before but the Cheerios were recently introduced to him. So, the next morning I tried the honey nut Cheerios which he had been eating for a while. JR didn’t scratch but that’s probably because he only ate a few bites before telling me he was done.
Over the next week, I noticed JR was occasionally scratching after drinking cold milk. I didn’t want to believe it but, I finally told my husband and mother that I thought he may have an allergy to raw milk. So, we stopped giving it to him.
Avoiding Food Allergies…
Over the next 2 weeks, JR became a very picky eater. He would rarely ask for his favorite foods (PB&J, cranberries, corn, cereal…) and when he did he’d only eat a few bites. He was eating bananas like crazy, he always wanted french fries from Chick-fil-a, plain club crackers and raisins. At first I thought his eating habits were just a phase, especially since he was still highly energetic and a happy kid.
But, each day JR became more picky. It finally got to the point where he was asking for pancakes all of the time (still can’t figure that out). JR steadily asked for pizza and cheddar cheese which he loved but would only taste them. He wouldn’t touch most vegetables except for potatoes. -And he didn’t want most fruits aside from bananas and grapes. JR was also scratching much more throughout the day. So, by the end of the 2 weeks, I questioned my speculation of a dairy allergy and lactose intolerance. I figured his hay fever was just really bad. He hadn’t shown any other symptoms of food allergies (no itchy or swollen tongue, no hives or rashes, etc.) and occasionally taking benadryl helped.
On Thursday, Sept. 24th, I decided to give JR a mix of cranberry juice with a little pure leaf tea (A mix he normally loved). He really enjoyed it. In fact, he drank all of his and stole his sister’s. I was happy that I was finally able to get more fruit in his system. But five minutes after drinking the juice, he began to vomit. My husband and I just assumed he had a little too much to drink.
The next morning, thinking I was wrong about the raw milk allergy, I tried giving JR cereal with milk for the first time in a while. We had run out of pancake mix and bananas. It was time to go grocery shopping. He ate all of the cereal and drank the milk. After five minutes, he began scratching all over his head and tugging his ears excessively. He kept saying, “mommy, mommy, my head, my ears. they scratch.” I immediately washed his hair and brushed his teeth. He stopped scratching for a while but scratched throughout the day. I made the decision to make a Dr. appointment for Monday.
That night, while on our way to a church service, I asked my mother to give the kids some of the wheat crackers and Kraft cheese I had packed for their snack (during this ordeal, cheese had never seemed to bother JR, only raw milk). After eating a few of the crackers and cheese, he complained about his tongue hurting and ears itching. I became really concerned because his tongue had never bothered him before, even after drinking milk.
The Intense Food Allergy Symptoms Begin…
After church, JR asked for more cheese and crackers. But we decided to only give him the crackers due to the possible dairy allergy. We gave JR the crackers and sure enough, he began scratching his head and wiping his tongue. We were confused. Was it a wheat allergy, dairy allergy, both, or something else completely?
Still feeling like milk was the big issue, my husband and I decided to see if it truly was. So, the next morning (Saturday) we woke up and I put about two teaspoons of milk in a cup. I gave JR the milk before giving him anything else to eat. He took a few sips and within minutes began screaming, “My tongue, my tongue” while vigorously scratching his head. His tongue was red and swollen. Thank God his doctor is literally 5 minutes from our home. So, we jumped in the car and took him to the office. I told the Dr. everything that had been going on. She gave him an evaluation and said she believed he had developed a dairy allergy. She gave us a prescription for an Epipen Jr. and told us to avoid giving him anything with dairy. We then made an immediate appointment with the allergist.
Not One, Not Two, But Multiple Food Allergies…
We soon found out that dairy was only part of the problem. Between the rest of that day and Sunday, JR had a reaction to just about everything he ate. Peanut butter was the worse. He was literally scraping his tongue after tasting PB&J, and screamed as soon as a cranberry touched his mouth. After only two days, his lips were bluish black and his gums were dark. His tongue was puffy and red.
That Monday, I took JR to see the allergist and she was quite baffled with the situation. She told me that it was highly unlikely that JR was allergic to so many foods. She gave JR a prescription for 10 days of Zyrtec and a referral for an Ige blood test. The Allergist also asked if JR had taken any meds. But throughout this whole ordeal, I never connected the antibiotics to the allergies. So, I said no.
Antibiotics Can Cause Food Allergies…
While in bed that night, I thought about everything the allergist had asked. Suddenly I heard a little voice say “Amoxicillin” #ThankYouJesus
I jumped out of bed and on to the computer. That’s when I found loads of comments in forums about children who had developed sudden food allergies after taking antibiotics. Several articles mentioned that children 2 yrs old and younger who take antibiotics are more likely to develop food allergies. JR is 2 and he’s been prescribed amoxicillin twice. The time before was at 9 months old. My heart was sinking. I found the culprit, but there weren’t any answers.
I got off of the computer and began to pray that God give my husband and I what to do. The next morning, I called the allergist and told her that JR had taken amoxicillin right before all of this had started. She said that he may have an allergy to amoxicillin but we couldn’t check to see until a few weeks had passed.
Zyrtec Was Not Our Friend…
After 4 days of giving the Zyrtec, I felt uneasy. JR wasn’t having anymore scratching episodes, but his lips, gums and skin where darker than ever and his face was swollen. I decided to research the antihistamine and found loads of complaints including the horrific withdrawal symptoms of using it after as little as 2 weeks. I also realized that the Zyrtec was only masking his allergies. So, we decided to take JR off the med.
A few days went by and I called the allergist to see if she had JR’s lab results. She was immediately apologetic for not initially believing that JR was allergic to so many foods. The results had come in and confirmed allergies to gluten, dairy, peanuts, corn, eggs, sesame seed and soybean. Dairy was the worst with an Ige reading of 7. To make matters worse, although JR didn’t get tested for fruit and vegetable allergies, he was reacting to most of them.
That night while in prayer and meditation, I began thinking about how the amoxicillin could have possibly caused the allergies. I remembered that antibiotics are known to kill off both good and bad bacteria. But how could that cause allergies? I got up and onto the computer. I found a few articles about the link between antibiotics and food allergies. Read one here. I got off of the computer, went to bed and started thinking. Suddenly, my mind went back to a few years back when I had taken probiotic supplements to restore good bacteria and fight chronic yeast infections. I sat up in the bed, wondering if there were probiotic supplements for children with multiple food allergies. I got up and back onto the computer. Online, there were suggestions on how to restore the good bacteria but unfortunately, all of them included giving JR foods he couldn’t tolerate.
I searched throughout the night and finally found a few comments in forums. Parents were saying they used probiotics to help their sick children. Some said they had tried the powdered version of a probiotic called Culturelle. It was said to have reduced and even cured some food allergies.
The next morning I went to my local CVS and found Culturelle for kids which is dairy free and soy free. I began giving JR the probiotic by mixing it with a little tea every morning. (I first tried water and he wouldn’t drink it). After about 2 weeks (October 20th), JR took another Ige test. The results showed that his dairy allergy had been cut in half. I knew it was true because JR’s food allergy symptoms were much less severe. He was scratching less, his tongue was no longer red and his lips became much lighter. In fact, On october 20th, JR had no reaction to any of the foods he ate. Take a look at what he had for breakfast and dinner:
Breakfast: A bowl of Rice Krispies with milk.
Dinner: Homemade Chimichangas -chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions, fajita seasoning mix all wrapped in a tortilla and it wasn’t gluten free!!!!
(Purchasing the Culturelle powder from CVS cost me $30. But I was able to find it for about $16 on Amazon here: Culturelle Probiotics for Kids, 30 Count . The Lactobacillus Chewables, 30 ct are much cheaper and can be found here. There are also adult versions of this probiotic supplement.)
Today, the allergist agrees that JR is free from his dairy allergy. He eats pizza, drinks milk, eats bread except whole grain wheat bread, and most fruits and vegetables with no reactions. He still has a sensitivity to peanuts, corn and processed cranberries although not nearly as bad. I know because he’s stolen his sisters peanut butter crackers a few times and he can eat items containing corn. But no tortilla chips!
I figured that JR may still have the peanut and corn allergy because the Culturelle only contains one strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus GG. Since he no longer has the dairy, soy, nor a host of other allergies, we have more probiotic options. In turn, we have now been giving JR probiotic foods and Primadophilus Children probiotics by Nature’s Way in addition to the Culturelle. It’s for ages 0 to 5yrs and contains 7 different strains of good bacteria with 5 Billion active cultures. Note that it may contain traces of milk and soy.The Primadophilus is here on Amazon. As you probably already know, that peanut allergy can be vicious. But my husband and I truly believe that JR will be free from all of the food allergies. Especially after reading GizMag’s article, “Probiotic Treatment Cures Peanut Allergy in Children,”.
So, that’s our story. I could easily write more, but i’ll save the rest for later posts . I can’t guarantee that probiotics will work for you or your child. All I can tell you is… they worked and are still working for us. I have to give thanks to the Lord because he gave us the knowledge to find out what we should do for our son. If you feel that our story is too good to be true, then simply don’t try the probiotics. If you believe our story, ask your doctor about the use of probiotics for you and/or your child.
Have probiotics worked for you? Are you thinking about using them? I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to leave a comment or ask questions below. If your comment is negative/rude or off topic, it most likely won’t be approved. If you ask a question, I’ll try to get back to you in a timely manner.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story!