Isobel Bracewell explains why she would prefer a tin of elemental infant formula to a jar of caviar!
To all readers of Foods Matter -
Doctors refused to believe that I could possibly be reacting to so many foods
despite an anaphylactic episode and an emergency hospital admission. I frequently
had tingling or swollen lips and tongue, breathing difficulties and sometimes
was unable even to swallow water. These were not panic attacks or hysterical
It was at this point that the charity ‘Action Against Allergy’ gave me details of a state registered dietician in the local private hospital who had a special interest in people with food allergies and intolerance. When all hope had almost gone she threw us a lifeline.
Finding the formula
I had to stop the six foods which by then was all I was able to take as she was
uncertain as to which of them was still causing reactions. She wrote to my GP
for a prescription and asked him to refer me to a gastroenterologist who had
a special interest in nutrition. His private waiting list was even longer than
his NHS list!
My husband and I just looked at each other.
After many tests it was confirmed I had multiple food and drug allergies - as
my husband and I had been trying to tell doctors for so long. The consultant
said that my body appeared to have an adverse reaction to food and only appeared
to tolerate nutrition in the elemental form. I was also salicylate sensitive
but he didn’t know why these reactions had occurred.
In April I decided to try taking FOS (fructooligosaccharide) powder from Biocare
(dosage one rounded teaspoonful a day). This has helped my body to accept a few
foods again. It will be a slow process and I have been told that I will be on
elemental formula for a very long time but I look forward to the day I will be
able enjoy the superb recipes which appear regularly in Free From Recipes Matter.
My consultant wrote (and other professionals would agree) ‘The number of patients who have to go on to elemental diets is extremely small. The vast majority of people can be managed by other methods and do not have to see an allergy specialist.’
I disagree. It appears to me that many professionals are unaware of elemental diets and their value, even in the short term, for people with multiple food intolerances.
Do please contact me if you wish to have a chat. An email to Foods Matter will be forwarded on to me. I feel so fortunate.
First published June 2006