Our year of eating out 8

We moved house in April 2015. Our new but old house is a big project and the kitchen is not fully functional. So since the move we’ve eaten out a lot more often than normal. As with many allergy families, we have our favourites and Zizzi, Pizza Express and a few other chains got a good bit of business from us.

We’ve always enjoyed eating out as a family, even in the days when there was very little choice and we had to take food for Zac. But in just a few years things have really changed. The introduction of the new EU Food Regs in December 2014 must have been the catalyst for the marked improvement in choice. But I guess the gluten free trend is also a factor.

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Finding safe free from foods in Spain/Portugal/France 4

Travelling abroad when you have allergies and or coeliac disease to contend with is a pretty daunting task. You don’t want to let it spoil your fun, but you know you need to feel confident enough to find the foods you will need, as inevitably you will be mostly self-catering, as eating out is scary enough at home.

Before we went to Spain a few weeks ago, I had a look on the websites of the supermarkets I know out there to see if I could find some gluten free, dairy free brands. It looked like there was a good selection so I felt relatively comfortable. I still packed a good selection of bread rolls, bread sticks, biscuits, crackers and breakfast cereal – just to get us through the early days. I knew that dairy free was easy enough to manage, as Zac was DF last time we were there. The gluten free thing came on since then, and that was what worried me the most.

As usual, I was quite disorganised in the run up to the holiday and did not get round to ordering any translation cards – http://www.allergyuk.org/getting-help/translation-cards But as I did a bit of Spanish at University, I thought I could probably work most of it out for myself. To be honest I am sure there must be a translation app for it, but I never bothered to look. Oops.

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A bit more on Histamine Intolerance – the lesser known condition 7

Allergic reactions – but negative blood test results. How is that possible? I know I am not the only parent/person faced with this puzzle. I belong to a few ‘allergy groups’ on Facebook and have got to know a few other bloggers and sufferers over the last 12 months have discovered that there are many of us in the same boat.

We all feel we are going crazy, because we have such real reactions and yet it is so difficult to get doctors to believe there is anything wrong. Then you have to beg and plead for allergy tests. If/when they finally relent and you go through all that stress and receive negative blood test results – should you stop or continue to strive for a diagnosis?

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Non-IgE mediated allergy to wheat or Coeliac disease? 13

When we met Dr Fox in November, he agreed that the only way to successfully diagnose Zac was to run proper allergy tests. Sounds a bit obvious, but in three years of trying, he was the first doctor we met who came up with that conclusion. Alarming.

After going through his case history, he thought Zac’s reactions to wheat and gluten could either be pointing to wheat allergy or non-mediated IgE allergy to wheat and gluten, as Zac’s reactions when eating the foods seemed so sudden and quite dramatic – instant bloating, liquid stools, tummy ache and itchy skin. More…

Supporting the Allergy UK Nurse Appeal 2

Last week was UK Allergy Awareness Week and there was a lot of press surrounding the rising number of people, particularly children suffering from allergies.

On Monday there was an article by Jo Willey of the Daily Express, quoting a report by Allergy UK that stated that ‘Health chiefs are failing allergy sufferers by providing woefully inadequate NHS resources’. More…