Edited by 1babysmom - 3/19/13 at 6:16pm
First, I want to say that even if you didn't test positive for a gluten allergy on those blood tests, you can still have an underlying gluten intolerance. I've been told this by professionals and also read it in a book about gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance often is the cause of casein intolerance because the intestinal villi have been flattened and damaged by gluten - creating a subsequent inability to digest the casein. Leaky gut is an issue too... but I won't go into that much detail. I have never tested positive for my casein and gluten intolerances through regular allergy tests, but I do have an autoimmune allergy to dairy that I found out through other blood testing and I have a gluten intolerance diagnosed through muscle testing and elimination. I break out into hives from time to time from these allergens (among experiencing a lot of other symptoms), so it's clear that I have a problem even if the go-to standard allergy blood tests disagree.
Were these conventional allergy blood tests you went through, or did you have the ELISA/ACT test? Just curious.
I am 37-weeks pregnant with my first baby, so I can't offer any comparisons to previous pregnancies/births. But I thought I'd share a little bit of what I've experienced during my pregnancy anyway! I was GFCF prior to pregnancy and continued like that during my entire 1st trimester. I only gained a few pounds in those first three months. But in my 2nd trimester things changed. I discovered that my food allergies disappeared, so I ate any and everything I wanted and had my rapid weight gain of 25-ish lbs during that time. After having been deprived for so long, I couldn't hold back! It was like a Godsend that the pregnancy just changed my body chemistry for a while there. Maybe my immune system was suppressed so I had no more reactions? I don't know. My body told me it wanted certain foods, though, so I went with it. I've been listening to my body's needs this whole time. In my 3rd trimester I've been doing GFCF half of the time and letting loose the rest of the time, as I have noticed the closer to birth I get - I'm starting to have some more reactions again. (I also want to go back to GFCF when I'm breastfeeding anyway.) My hives started back up around 8 months. I make sure I have Benedryl nearby just in case since I'm reacting to more than just the gluten and casein... I can't have MSG, sulfites, food dyes or preservatives sometimes too.
It's rough having food allergies! I'm sorry you have to deal with this -- and during such a nerve-racking time as pregnancy. I hope your transition to changing your way of eating goes smoothly. When I first had to eliminate casein from my diet about 6 years ago, it was SO difficult... Casein is hidden in so many foods, so reading labels is crucial. In my case, I am still able to eat goat dairy products without problems, so that has been helpful as well as rice/almond/coconut milk products. I don't do soy. Once you get used to cooking with the same substitutes, it'll all be second nature to you and you won't even remember what it was like before.
I wish you the best with a healthy pregnancy!
first- I'm sorry you're facing these new allergies. Food allergies/intolerences are very difficult to manage but it is possible and the results are worth it! I wish you the best in all your cooking endeavors.
As for me, I learned about my food intolerances after my last son was born (our 3rd) about 3.5 years ago. I'm about 19 weeks pregnant now with our 4th and so far I haven't noticed a large difference from the last pregnancies except that I've been more tired and more nauseous then the other 3.
I don't think I'll know how much it's helped or not until a few months after the baby is born. The last month and post partum are hardest on my body. I tend to swell and gain a lot in the end, then have ppd after wards. I am really hoping the diet changes help!
I'm really curious to know how diet changes have helped others.