I'm just curious to know:
How much time people have spent trying to figure out allergies and food sensitivities for themselves and their children.
How much money have you invested in trying to figure it out?
Have you found the traditional means (allergist, paed, family dr, etc) helpful or have you found other alternative methods more useful? Or have you worked your way through this with books, the internet and forums such as this?
And how many people have found conclusive information that has helped resolve the symptoms?
Right now it seems like an endless challenge in our house and a very expensive one at that.
For IgE allergies, insurance usually covers it (again depends on the plan I know but generally). Between testing, scopes, office visits, RX's and food challenges I would guess we have spent about $2000 over 4 years.
For intolerances, it can be harder to get them covered and not usually in full. I have heard of people using flex spending accounts for it but again, it depends on the plan and unless you are spending big $$$ I am not sure how worth it they are to set up.
ETA: Time....Oh my oh my. I don't even want to start to guess how much time I have spent researching and going to conferences and stuff! WAY more than I have on any other subject in my LIFE!
I have not found traditional doctors to be that helpful, either the tests are not 100% accurate or a lot of the times the doctors just don't know that much. I would love to be able to seek out alternative methods but that just gets too expensive. For the time being we are trying to figure this whole thing out ourselves. I'm 28 years old and just starting to figure out my food issues, we have a 3 year old and a 21 month old who both have intolerances/allergies and we have been trying to figure things out completely for about that past 3 years :p
We have pretty much figure out our 3 year old's issues and she is doing pretty good now. We're still trying to figure out DD2's food issues completely, we have our good days and our bad days.
I have found the internet and forums to be the most helpful, I've spent a lot of late nights at the computer.
It was extremely overwhelming in the beginning but it has gotten a little easier as the girls are getting older.
Over the last 11 years (DS is turning 11yo in a couple of weeks).... Neocate after he weaned, that alone was like $800/month for 5-6 months, plus the upper GI, Genova stool test, 2 ALCAT tests, blood tests, allergy testing, numerous doctor's visits to numerous kinds of doctors, prescriptions... We have a $2500 deductible before insurance pays anything... we've spent thousands of dollars easily. Both DS, DD2, and I have food intolerances. And I was on $300 prescription meds for back spasms for months and when I took out gluten, dairy, soy, the multiple-times-a-day ones went away and I weaned off the meds. But yes, thousands of dollars. My osteo's theory is that our food intolerances are from chronic lyme and when that is cured, the food problems will be as well... we're still working on it.