Garlic, Garlic Everywhere!

Posted by Wendy Neal Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Bookmark and Share

A couple weeks ago we found out that my son has food allergies just like me. It was no surprise to learn that he is allergic to dairy, gluten, wheat, and egg whites. But what was surprising is that he's allergic to garlic as well. Which seems silly because garlic is so healthy for most people.

What was even more surprising to me, downright shocking actually, is that garlic is used in so many products, and that according to law, it DOESN'T NEED TO BE LABELED on the food ingredients! It can legally be included as part of "spice" and "natural flavor" without needing to be listed separately in the ingredient list. And did you also know that garlic is prevalent in almost all tomato products, including ketchup, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, etc.? And also in most salad dressings? And chicken broth? And gravy mixes? And bread mixes (even the gluten-free kind)? And just about all other processed food? I didn't.

For the first week of my son's new diet, I thought I was doing good to avoid all his food allergens. The dairy, gluten, and egg whites were easy because I'm on the exact same diet. I thought I was avoiding garlic as well until I started researching online about garlic allergies, just to see how common it really was. I was surprised to find A LOT of people are allergic to garlic, yet garlic isn't recognized as a common food allergen, and therefore doesn't need to be labeled as such.

Like Mother, Like Son

Posted by Wendy Neal Sunday, April 18, 2010 Bookmark and Share

Wow, it's been three weeks since my last post.  I've just been so busy!  With spring also comes track, baseball, and T-ball season.  Seems like we're always on the go.

So my son has been pestering me for the last few weeks about getting tested for food allergies. I guess he had seen the tremendous transformation I went through after eliminating all my food allergens, and how much better and healthier I felt and looked. I had also mentioned to him in passing that after just a few days my skin had completely cleared up and I no longer have acne. Being a 13-year-old, I think this fact really peaked his interest, because he does seem to have moderate acne and is not happy with the way his skin looks. He had even been researching online and discovered that not only can food allergies cause acne, but that it's also hereditary, and he was just convinced that he was allergic to something.

I had also read online that food allergies can cause a whole host of other problems; in particular it can cause ADD or ADD-like symptoms. My son has never been diagnosed with ADD or suspected of having it by teachers, but over the years I have noticed minor symptoms including constant daydreaming, inability to concentrate, short attention span, etc. And it seems to have gotten worse since he became a teenager. He has probably only watched a handful of movies in his lifetime all the way from start to finish, because he just can't pay attention long enough to understand the plot, so he just quits watching it. And his grades have started to slip a little since he got into junior high, I think because he doesn't pay attention in class so he gets lost. He is extremely intelligent, so I know it's not that.

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