It has been forever since I last reported on the status of Jake’s allergies. I have written this blog post many times in my head, but I just kept waiting for my thoughts, emotions, and consequently – solutions – to become more black and white. I am finally confident in my stance after countless gray days of uncertainty, fear, and confusion.
Spoiler Alert: Jake is not 100 percent healed, but he is drastically better.
I have been on a serious mission this year to improve Jake’s seven IgE allergies, gluten intolerance, and multiple seasonal allergies. In January, Jake had a few tests done at our integrative MD’s office and we met again in March to devise a plan.
Then, over the summer Jake had his annual allergist appointment. The purpose of this conventional medical visit was to give Jake a skin prick test to back-up the blood test from our integrative MD’s office. Also, I wanted to hear what he had to say about the other tests that we had done at her office. It was interesting to compare these two schools of thought to see what, if any, common ground they shared.
Here is the journey we’ve been on in 2014 …
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
We began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in January of this year. Jake was on it for seven days. We stopped the diet because he was having side effects that I was not comfortable with. The results of the CDSA 2.0 stool test showed that the SCD was not a good fit for him.
The purpose of the SCD is to weaken the bad things in your gut that are causing the problems and strengthen the good. The CDSA revealed that Jake’s gut, in the grand scheme of things, is in good condition. The good bacteria are strong and the bad bacteria levels are also where they need to be. Another plus is that the test results for yeast and parasites came back negative.
The guilty culprit … gut inflammation
Jake has elevated Eosinophil Protein X (EPX) levels, which means his gut is inflamed. In this particular case, a high protein diet like SCD, will only worsen the inflammation.
This first piece of the puzzle was huge. I believe this explains why I saw such huge gains in his speech towards the end of 2012 when I removed food that he was sensitive to. I think the food was adding to the inflammation load and that it affected him neurologically.
The good news is, his EPX levels were high, but not off the charts. If they were super high, we would be looking at conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Integrative MD’s take: Elevated EPX (gut inflammation) causes the IgE allergies. One option is to put Jake on Singulair. This med would block the allergens from coming into his body, lower the inflammation, and therefore decrease the allergies.
Allergist/Conventional Medicine’s take: There is no scientific evidence to support that gut inflammation is the cause of Jake’s allergies. This test means nothing; don’t waste time trying to keep inflammation at bay.
Another huge clue … low IgA and IgG antibody levels
According to the blood work that we had done, Jake has low IgA antibodies, which are found in the nose, breathing passages, digestive tract, ears, and eyes. IgA antibodies protect body surfaces that are exposed to outside foreign substances.
Jake also has low IgG antibody counts. These antibodies are very important in fighting bacterial and viral infections. Honestly, this finding makes no sense to me because Jake is always well and never sick.
Integrative MD’s take: The low IgA count explains why Jake reacts to so many things outside and why he is so sensitive to soaps, lotions, and cleaners. He doesn’t have and doesn’t create antibodies to attack bad things that come into his body. His body gets bogged down by the amount of toxins coming into it and therefore, has a hard time getting rid of all the waste. This ultimately results in inflammation and allergic reactions like hives, wheezing, and sores on his feet. Adding colostrum will help bring these antibody counts up and reduce the inflammation.
Allergist/Conventional Medicine’s take: These numbers are something to keep in mind, but not something to be super concerned with. These counts have nothing to do with inflammation. People with allergies can have normal or low IgA and IgG counts. Some people have low IgA numbers their entire life and have no symptoms. There is evidence that people who have eczema typically have IgA counts that are off.
Common ground: Chances are, with time, Jake’s antibody numbers will resume normal levels. Both agreed that re-testing these levels in a few years would be wise. Both also agreed that it is ideal to have antibody counts in the normal range.
What?!? Normal IgE levels?!?
The blood test in January showed that Jake’s IgE levels, although a little high -179 – were still within normal range (0-180).
Integrative MD: Allergies are getting better!
Allergist/Conventional Medicine: As Jake ages, his IgE level could be getting lower and simultaneously, his body could be building up resistance to the foods that it was once allergic to. On the other hand, some people with eczema have IgE levels as high as 20,000, but then test negative to everything on a skin prick test.
Did the skin prick test and blood allergy test match up? Does my child still have seven IgE allergies? Tune in tomorrow for the results …
- WebMD, Immunoglobulins, Information & Resources, http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/immunoglobulins.
- “Breaking the Vicious Cycle,” by Elaine Gottschall.