Why did I end up doing an intolerance test kit? Read on;
You can interpret that title two ways, I was feeling a bit tongue in cheek when I wrote it in my draft titles…it had been one of those days! CAMHS appointment in the morning, plans for a peaceful afternoon and then BHAM! Lewis decided to stick a garden hand fork into his foot…off to A&E we trotted, or rather hopped. I’m pleased to say he’s fine, no need for stitches but a hefty dose of antibiotics, garden forks are not known for their cleanliness!
Anyway, that’s not what this blog post it about now is it? This is about me for once, little old me (hey, less of the old said the 39¾ year old). I’ve been feeling not quite right for some months now, I originally put it down to the fact that I’d left work and my body was adjusting, my routines were out of quilt and I was running on full steam to support both children with their varying and sometimes intense needs.
Then common sense prevailed and I started to pay attention to my body and monitor what was going on. The most obvious and least fetching to look at was my swollen tummy; from my breast bone to my knicker line I would swell up after meals. I had enough air in my to burp the alphabet, if this was a talent I had possessed, and I’ll not disturb you with details at the other end.
Now, I know I’m not Coeliac myself. I’ve been tested for another reason in the not to distant past and was negative. Sadly, Bethany is our little enigma when it comes to her Type 1 Diabetes and her Coeliac’s Disease. But we do have ‘tummies’ in both my mum and dad’s side so I wasn’t too surprised that I too was starting to show signs.
Then one night I tweeted about my latest discomfort and someone answered me!
That was when the founder of Foods You Can private messaged me so see how I was, not being one to make a fuss I said better now and thanks for asking. Then Bunmi did something amazing (and to be totally honest I was a bit cautious at first to accept) she offered me a home test kit to test for intolerances. All I needed to do was prick my finger, pop some blood in a diddy tube, send it off to the lab and wait for the results.
There are several types of intolerance test kit available, the one I’ve done tests for 40 food products, others available can test for 60, 120, 200.
I was waiting for the catch, there wasn’t one. I did some research into the type of test I was about to embark on (an IgG Intolerance Test). It’s fair to say the scientific jury’s out on how reliable this type of test is and I’m not about to write a glowing blog review on something that I don’t believe is making a difference. But this seems to be making a difference!
So now to the actual intolerance test. The finger prick was uncomfortable, I won’t lie to you, but you do need to collect a fair few large drips of blood from your finger. I have no excuse for hopping around like a baby when Bethany (quick calculation) has done well over 18,000 finger prick tests in her life time so far.
Once collected all was left to do was write my details on the Freepost envelope and the specimen carrier tube and post it off to the labs in Cambridge. Bunmi was fantastic at keeping me posted on progress and reassured me that I’d not only get the written report in the post but also a PDF via email. This was particularly useful because I would be on my holidays in Majorca by the time the results came back – which was exactly a week.
So, here’s the bit you’re waiting for, am I an intolerant mum? Well, yes, quite a lot actually but that aside, here are the intolerance test results!
Clearly I was delighted that I could continue to have my daily dish of Lobster Thermidor (as if) but frankly many results I’d expected, whilst some of the results left me scratching my head.
Indulge me with a throw back memory to before Bethany was diagnosed with Coeliacs Disease. She’d weaned beautifully, I was so proud of my little girl who ate everything and anything. Then came the Type 1 diagnosis that made food a bit of an issue (understatement) but in the 18mths lead up to her Coeliacs diagnosis she started to do the oddest of things; licking the filling out of her sandwiches, removing the breadcrumb from her fish fingers, licking the cream out of bourbons and one of her favourites, cous cous, was no longer in the number one slot.
I believe our bodies and minds are amazing things, we know more than our mind is prepared to let on! I feel sick when I cook oven chips or jacket potatoes, just the smell now turns my tummy. I’d already started to reduce my milk intake, I had skimmed in my tea and on my cereal but in smoothies I’d opt for almond or hazelnut milk. I knew that bread was no friend of mine because I’ve always bloated and pastry left me feeling like a lead weight.
Kidney beans, I love in chillies but to be fair that’s the only time I eat them and I hate peas but can’t be bothered to weave my fork in and out of them anymore so will eat them in a stir fry If.I.Must!
It was the maize, soya and yeast that threw me, I wasn’t going to be able to do a straight swap for gluten free, dairy free or vegan specialised foods.
The changes to diet whilst on holiday were relatively simple and you’ll be able to see this in my Week One diary as soon as I’ve changed Lewis’ dressing, cooked the dinner, ironed some clothes, tidied the house………basically I’ll write that as soon as I am physically possible!
On my return I was able to read the intolerance test report in full each dietary omission had one or two pages of advice and alternatives you should consider to eat to ensure you still get your RDA’s but some of the calcium substitutes apparently have yeast in them and according the the guide it’s best to treat all yeast the same (despite my results only showing a sensitivity to brewers yeast)
This is where my good old friend common sense kicked in again. In fact this was aided by Free From Fairy who pointed out that her new flour blend has potato in it (shock, horror) this was going to be more difficult than I thought unless I set some sensible boundaries.
I’ve decided to omit potato in it’s cooked form i.e. jacket, boiled, roast etc. and as crisps but I plan to continue to eat it as flour and potato starch.
I’m eating corn flour but only in small quantities.
I’m eating gluten free bread and not worrying about the yeast and I’ve stopped drinking alcohol.
The egg I’m stuck on! I rarely eat fried, poached or boiled eggs but of course I bake with it all the time. The day we went on holiday I decided to use up some eggs and Genuis bread that Bethany hadn’t eaten. I made one of my favourites Eggy Bread.
The flight later that day was the most horrific experience I’ve ever had to endure. I had a window seat behind my family, my tummy had bloated to third trimester size and the cabin pressure made this worse. Had I been sitting privately in the comfort of my home there would have been many fizzpoppers, on a plane this was not going to be so easy. plus these were sulphuric fizzpoppers! I remember rocking at one point to try to take my mind off things and easy the pain. So, to eat egg or not to eat egg, that is the question?
Let’s see what the next few weeks diaries reveal, will I rue the day I did an intolerance test or is this going to be the start of a new me?