Monday, October 31, 2016

Nasty food allergies: Pumpkin, Chocolate, Broccoli and Almonds

After my youngest daughter was diagnosed with a corn allergy, we finally started making strides towards health improvements for her. This got me wondering about Pumpkin and what might have been missed. I asked her allergy/asthma doctor about whether she had been tested for corn too. She hadn't. We set her up in June for further food allergy testing, but had to wait until October for the appointment. We had the appointment this last week, and discovered some shocking results. Unlike her sister, she is not allergic to corn.  No, she is allergic to one of the mainstays of her diet:  potatoes! Not only that, she is also allergic to broccoli, chocolate and almonds. We've begun the process of eliminating these from her diet, which isn't easy when you are already gluten intolerant, and many of the GF foods you enjoy have potato or almond flour as a substitute. From what I read, potato flour can also be found in cheese, modified corn starch, MSG, maltodextrin, yeast and other nonpotato type of words. So far, we have already seen improvement in her belly cramping, and I'm sure her diet isn't completely clean yet. Interestingly, the one night last week that she had the most abdominal pain was after she drank an Ensure before bed. Of course dark chocolate is the only kind she likes... Can you say homemade, potato free, corn free, gluten free, almond and chocolate free Thanksgiving? Hoo boy!

As I mentioned in a previous post, in October Pumpkin was also diagnosed with postural tachycardia. She was falling down and passing out sometimes. It has improved with increased fluid intake and intentional daily exercise. POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) is common in hypermobility syndrome. I think I will look further into MCAS in light of Pumpkin's recently discovered food allergies. I think MCAS tends to pop up in these patients too. Just wanting to cover all the bases.

This past month or so, Pumpkin has been having lots of abdominal cramping, anal sores, intermittent diarrhea, 5 lb weight loss and more joint pains along with the rest of her health problems. Her blood work, as usual, showed no elevations in crp or sed rate. CBC and CMP was also normal. She'll see GI next week. Her rheumatologist is having her increase her 6MP to see if it will help. Usually GI isn't very helpful, but we'll see what she has to say.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Orthostatic tachycardia

In the summer Pumpkin started experiencing dizziness.  We noticed it when she had been on Lexapro for a few weeks for her depression.  We played around with the dosing, and settled on a smaller dose in the evenings.  In August and September she had multiple episodes of standing up and falling down as she started walking and passing out during the night.  I thought the night episodes were seizures, but they were infrequent and as I never saw them, I wasn't sure.  On the 30th of September, she went to the neurologist (their time to get an appointment is long), the doctor found that she was having a very fast heart rate increase when she went from lying to sitting or standing.  The heart rate doubled from 55 to 110 from lying to sitting.  She got into a pediatric cardiologist the next week, and he seemed to think it was normal "vasovagal syncope" and didn't even address the tachycardia.  He recommended that she drink more. I talked with the neurologist's office about it, and she referred her to a different cardiologist that she was more familiar with.  He, at least, took time to listen to us.  He agreed that she was having postural tachycardia and recommended that she drink more and try to exercise 30 minutes a day.  He said there are medications to help with it, but that they have side effects in addition to their positive effects.  Pumpkin agreed to give the lifestyle changes a try first for a few months.

She is having consistent low back pain, RLQ abdominal pain and some diarrhea.  She will see rheumatology, allergy/asthma doc and gastroenterology in the next month.

She got a super cute haircut.

Pumpkin is in the top left corner with her tongue sticking out.  She is at a friend's birthday party.