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Food allergies

Hi, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, Dyspepsia and lactose intolerant. I am very slim for my height, and eat small, limited portions…a lot of things upset my stomach. Well….I JUST found out that I am 4 weeks pregnant, and I am TERRIFIED that I will ‘starve’ the foetus. I have 3 other kids, before I got ill and ate like a horse, literally. My ‘normal’ weight is 118….but I am 110 now…What do I do, what should I eat. The heavier the food the more pain I get…

Answer:

This is a somewhat difficult situation to manage both your conditions and your pregnancy. Firstly I would recommend that you start taking a pre-natal vitamin supplement, so as to ensure that you provide both yourself and your child with valuable nutrients that may be missing from your restricted diet. I can see you already take a multivitamin already however I would swap if it is not a pre-natal formula as regular vitamins often contain much higher doses of vitamins which are not suitable during pregnancy. Make sure to read the label to ensure it is lactose free as occasionally some supplements contain lactose as a filler. Additionally there are two areas you want to focus on regarding your diet, one is regarding avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, and secondly consuming foods that can help calm, and heal the inflammation in your digestive system. Has your doctor provided any guidance on what foods to avoid? If not I have listed some items below which need to avoid. -Avoid Barley Bulgur Durum Farina Graham flour Rye Semolina Spelt Wheat -Avoid unless labelled ‘gluten-free’ Beers Breads Cakes and pies Candies Cereals Cookies Crackers Croutons Gravy Oats Pasta Processed meats and seafood’s Salad dressings Sauces Soups -Allowed Corn Cornmeal Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato) Pure corn tortillas Quinoa Rice Tapioca In addition meats, fish and poultry, fruits, potatoes, rice, vegetables are still fine to eat. When buying Gluten free products make sure the label states they were made in an environment free from the items listed in the avoid section above. The first step is in identifying products in your supermarket that you can use as an alternative in your daily diet. For example, rice pasta tastes just as good as regular pasta but is naturally gluten free. You can make your own salad dressing using olive oil and lemon juice instead of commercially made products full of additives. It is a slow process, but having suffered from allergies myself and helped others, you can find alternatives. Secondly you want to introduce foods into your diet that can help reduce the inflammation associated with your conditions. I would suggest that trying peppermint tea which has been shown to be beneficial for both Celiac Disease and Dyspepsia. It relieves upset stomachs by relaxing stomach muscles. also try to introduce fresh ginger into your diet. Ginger has been found to help reduce nausea during pregnancy, help settle upset stomachs but also to have anti-inflammatory effects. The inflammatory response is the common immune reaction to gluten in allergic individuals, so treating this inflammation is important. You can slice fresh ginger and add it to hot water as a drink as well as add it to your cooking. I would also suggest taking an Omega 3 supplement which also helps reduce inflammation as has also been shown to be of benefit to the child’s development during and after pregnancy. Make sure you do not take Cod Liver oil as it contains high levels of Vitamin A and D, Vitamin A in high doses is harmful to both children and adults. When purchasing any items always read the label to ensure they do not contain any other items or ingredients as often additional ingredients are not listed on the front.

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