Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scott's New Diet

Some of you may know that Scott has been having some health problems over the past 8 years or so.  One of the biggest issues is that he has had a lot of trouble with his esophagus, making it difficult, sometimes impossible, to swallow food or drink.

After several tests, years of seeing specialists, having scopes, getting his esophagus "stretched out" several times, trying prescription drugs, and more, nothing has helped.

Last fall our family doctor called up to let us know that a new test was being done regarding his condition and food allergies.  Scott agreed to try it out.

His first round of allergy testing was the typical pricks up and down the arm.  Nothing significant was found there.

The second round involved several metal plates attached to his back for 48 hours.  They tested for 20 different foods, and I'm not sure how they selected which foods to test for.

The results came back showing that he had a strong allergic reactions to soya and chicken.  And moderate allergic reactions to potato and cornmeal.  Wheat was inconclusive.

So, for 2 months Scott largely avoided 4 foods - chicken, potato, soya, or cornmeal.

By far the hardest one was the soya, as there is soy in so many foods.  If you read food labels you will know what I mean.  Soy is in almost every sauce and salad dressing.  It's in crackers, cookies, even things you would never think of such as Pam (non-stick spray) and chocolate bars.

I don't know that he completely avoided every single one of these for the entire 2 months, but he did pretty well overall.

The results?  Nothing.  Sometimes he would go a day or so and be able to swallow, but he didn't notice a marked improvement in his swallowing.

At Aunt Heather's funeral, we heard that his cousin has a very strong gluten allergy.  This is not surprising as Scott's Grandpa had celiac disease, and at least 2 of his aunt and uncles also had problems with gluten.

Scott has never been tested for gluten allergies or celiac disease, other than the metal plates which tested for wheat but were inconclusive.  However, with some encouragement from family members who were more familiar with the gluten problems in his extended family, he decided to add gluten to his list of foods to avoid, and has been gluten free since January 30.

During the 2 week period so far, he has not had any problems with his esophagus.

The only exception was once, 2 days ago, when he accidentally ate flour in a sauce at a restaurant and couldn't swallow a few hours later.

We're not jumping to conclusions, but it has been very interesting to witness him being able to eat and drink normally every day for the first time in many, many years.

If we find that this is the only lifetime solution to Scott's health problems, then I am ready to take on this new challenge.  I say "I" because, let's be honest, I do about 99.9% of the cooking and grocery shopping around here.

However, I'm very selfishly hoping he will be able to add in some of the other foods such as potato, chicken, and soy, as it is getting really hard to cook for the whole family. Many days I cook separately for Scott.

So far I have managed to cook a few dinners a week without chicken, soy, potatoes, pasta, bread, pizza, tortillas, etc.

But I think I can speak for the other 6 of us when I say that we are a little sick of rice.  Scott has said he will never tire of it.  What a trooper.  (Thank goodness he lived in Taiwan for 2 years.)  But he does miss the soy sauce, teriyaki, and other flavours that would usually go with it.

So, that's the update for now.  If you have any great meal ideas or recipes, please send them my way.


  1. Keith's niece has celiac's disease. My sister in law has put together a ton of recipes and tips for cooking for her. If you're interested I could put her in touch with you and I am sure she could open tons of ideas for you. Let me know!
    Good luck!

  2. Don't forget rice noodles...then you can have pasta!

  3. Honestly, that sucks but I'm glad things are going better for him. That would be very scary not being able to swallow. However, kind of a crappy and at the same time good diet plan. I should try that!

    It's amazing what how genes affect you, and in our case, our posterity so much. I'm still convinced that Tyler shows significantly better behavior when he's eating healthier and avoiding too much gluten and dairy. We're improving in this area and its noticeable in his behavior..

  4. Wow, gluten-free is hard enough. I couldn't imagine that along with all of his other sensitivities. Good luck to you! I'm glad its helping Scott though.

  5. WAY frustrating. Happy to hear that you might have found the missing key to the puzzle. Big hugs to Scott.


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