We clearly knew that food was a big factor for our son, so not long after we started removing sources of glutamate, we decided to do some food sensitivity testing. While there are many different food sensitivity testing options, our integrative pediatrician suggested we try the Alletess IgG Food Sensitivity panel. IgG sensitivity panels test for IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibody levels (opposed to IgE- true allergy) to a variety of foods.
In this test, blood is exposed to certain food proteins and the degree of IgG antibody that binds to the food protein gives an indication of sensitivity. This type of testing has been met with some criticism because of the concern, most will show more of an IgG reaction to foods we most commonly eat. However, it is important to add that many have seen substantial improvement by removing their highly sensitive foods as they can be a source of substantial inflammation.
Sure enough, his IgG food sensitivity panel came back indicating he was highly reactive to over 30 different whole foods and our integrative pediatrician suggested strict removal of these food for 3-6 months. Ugh! We had already removed gluten, dairy, soy, grains, legumes, corn sources of free glutamate. I was completely overwhelmed with the thought of removing more foods and had no clue how we were going to accomplish the juggling act of avoiding all of his food sensitivities while providing enough foods that he would actually eat. I am so thankful he was very young at the time because we had to get very creative with our recipes. Quite frankly, I didn’t know what to feed him and his diet got way too restrictive. Between all of the foods we were avoiding and his own restrictions or other food intolerances, we got down to lamb (least allergenic meat), green apple (low sugar and phenol), Dino kale, and a small amount of sweet potato. We were in a hole and seeming to react to every thing. Head banging from bananas, epic tantrums and biting from berries, sandy stools from oxalates and so on. In addition to this we were trying to find balance in food groups. Too many carbohydrates caused a surge in yeast and fed SIBO (among other things) which resulted in his shakes (CMS) and stimming. Too much protein increased his histamine and glutamate levels and really exasperated his phenol/salicylate sensitivity.
About this time our pediatric neurologist suggested we work with a holistic nutritionist. Finally, a person that would understand yeast, phenols, oxalate, etc. Knowing just about how reactive he was, she nearly demanded that we started him on a whole food four day rotation diet with no leftovers and very little raw food. The idea is to provide nutritional variety, small amount or dose of each food to avoid causing too much inflammation from one particular food and slowly work your way up to more raw while avoiding feeding the bad bacteria. Hence the rotation diet below. The night before starting the rotation diet, I gave him half of a banana which resulting in head banging for nearly an hour. I was terrified of the behavioral reaction of reintroducing so many foods at once but I am so thankful I did.
Variety was key and with every new week we saw more and more improvements. We very slowly worked our way out of that reactive hole, and really stressed the importance of variety and vegetables . We also discovered that he seemed to do better when serving fats away from sugars/carbohydrates and incorporated more and more fiber and raw vegetables with time. At this point in time, we have reincorporated all of his IgG sensitive foods, are no longer on a rotation diet, and consume nearly everything but processed sources of free glutamate, which includes gluten and casein. We make it a goal of getting in as many green vegetables as possible (at least one serving of something green per meal), limit meat to once a day or less which is typically dinner and are largely raw/vegan for breakfast and lunch. However, we are flexible and this is certainly not obtained everyday.
Again, this rotation diet is in pretty rough shape but it is what we used early on. It does not necessarily separate food sensitivities or families (sulphur, amines, oxalates, phenols, etc) out into different days but I was cautious to limit some of these sources of inflammation but indicating some of his foods that may be problematic. We were also struggling with SIBO at the time and did not incorporate as much fiber as Dr. Reid has suggested in her “perfect plate“.