In mid-March, I begin to think about spring allergies. Last year my oldest son, now nine, suffered a lot. He wheezed—which never happened before. His eyes were itchy, red and swollen—something with which we are accustom. There was also congestion, of course. But by far, the most worrisome was the wheezing, which left me standing by his bedside as he slept while coughing and wheezing while I spoke with his pediatrician over the telephone at ten o’clock in the evening. Under the advice of the pediatrician, I gave him some breathing treatments that we had and it helped a great deal.
This year have a new reason for being hopeful. Under the guidance of a naturopathic physician, we learned through a delayed (IgG) allergy test, that my sons are both sensitive or have a delayed allergy to gluten (wheat and rye). He advised us to remove gluten from our diets. Three weeks ago today, I gave away our wheat pasta, replacing it with rice pasta. After much searching, my husband found a gluten-free bread that did not contain egg or dairy—not an easy task. (I tried making the bread in my bread maker but it was about as hard as a softball.)
I noticed that after one week of giving up gluten, I felt awful. I was tired, crabby and foggy. My younger son reported that he had a headache—something unusual for a seven-year-old. My older son succumbed to a terrible cold after two weeks with much congestion. Of course it is difficult to determine if the backlash from the gluten-free diet contributed to a temporary increase in inflammation in his sinuses.
Now three weeks later, we are okay (I think). Plus we are hopeful—the naturopath doctor said that people who have a delayed allergy to gluten suffer from increased inflammation and worsened seasonal allergies. He said that a patient of his would end up in the hospital each spring for breathing trouble, until the year he removed gluten from his diet. That year, he was okay—the inflammation did not exist.
So as we approach April and May, I will wait and watch my son. There are so many factors such as the amount of pollen in the air that it will be hard to draw a final conclusion. But I am hopeful that there will be an improvement in his seasonal allergies through the preventative measure of removing gluten from his diet.