Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is Corn the culprit?

Welcome to the world of mystery--attempting to discover what foods your child might have an intolerance to.  Welcome to expecting the unexpected--take two.  Back in August we discovered that little Henry did not have an actual cleft.   This was good news to us, since it seemed for the time being that he would not need a surgery to repair his airway.  Most recently, through my own research and daily documentation of what Henry eats and every little reaction from red lips to red bottom, I have made some interesting discoveries.  I do believe that Henry has an intolerance to foods.  I am not completely sure as to what extent.  For instance last night I gave him some, may I add delicious, gluten free sugar cookies.  As a side note, let me add that this brand, which I newly discovered is called 1-2-3 Gluten Free, and it was wonderful!  Not only is it gluten free but also soy, dairy, corn and nut free--a wonderful find for mommies of kiddo's with multiple allergies and food intolerance.   The cookies in and of themselves tasted awesome, and they were soft and chewy.   The problem--I made my own frosting with powdered sugar and a milk free and butter free alternative.  Earth balance makes a great soy and milk free spread (make sure you look for the SOY free) and it's a great way to add some calories for your kiddos who need to grow!  However, there is some corn in it for flavoring.  Then of course powdered sugar is pretty much all corn starch.  I whipped it up and wallah--it was a perfectly delicious reaction to corn which I believe occurred about 2-3 hours after consuming loads of frosting goodness.  I was so excited that Henry liked the cookies and ate about 3 of them (which is a lot of food for my little guy) that I didn't expect for him to have a reaction.  I was pretty darn proud of myself for making a gluten free, milk free, soy free cookie.  I didn't think about the lurking possibility of corn.  I must admit that this is why the elimination diet is so hard.  I am still in the process of discovery and I am not really sure how much or how little of a food will set him off.  Even more confusing, is if I can see something on the outside--such as a rash and hives, what could be going on inside that I cannot see?

Within two-and-a-half hours Henry had a rash on his lips and cheeks.  He also was really fussy and wanted to be held and kept drawing up his legs to his tummy and saying "ouch, ouch."  So sad.  Then he had a yucky poop and a red bottom and a little blood when I wiped him.  Really sad. 

The question is, if Henry has an issue with corn--is there a threshold?  I mean, can he tolerate a little but not a lot at a time?  Can he tolerate a small amount in a food, but not 3 cookies loaded with corn starch frosting?  I know from what I have read about FPIES so far would say "NO" I need to eliminate the food completely.  For those of you who read labels, corn is in everything so I have a challenging time a head of me, and I think many long hours of cooking and creating things my sweet boy can eat.  I am learning as I go about the challenges of having food intolerances, and I am just beginning to delve into these waters. 

I will be compiling a list of resources that I hope will be useful for those of you starting this journey or who know someone who has allergies or intolerances to foods.  Looking into the future we'll be keeping our cookies frosting free until I figure out a way to make it without corn starch.