By definition, a double whammy is when two bad situations occur together (hence, resulting in double the trouble). If you or your child is suffering from seasonal allergies, it’s possible that hidden food sensitivities aggravate your symptoms and result in double the misery.
You’re probably familiar with the symptoms of seasonal allergies like itchy, water eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat or blotchy skin and may be suffering some of those right now (like everyone in my house is). If you or your child have any of the following symptoms of food sensitivities, you could have an intolerance to certain foods that you’re not even aware of (we did – more on that later).
Digestive: Gas, bloating, constipation, runny stool, irritable bowels, etc. Basically, frequently not feeling well in your gut.
Skin: eczema, hives, strange rashes, acne
Mental: irritability, foggy, poor sleep/insomnia, anxiety
General: joint pain, fatigue, under-eye circles, puffy eyes, headaches
Sinuses: congestion, chronic sinus or ear infections, constant runny nose, pressure
Sometimes we don’t notice these physical symptoms in our children but they show up in their sleep patterns, attention and ability to focus at school, degree of hyperactivity, or mood swings. Bottom line is that it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you don’t feel good inside, and with seasonal allergies layered on top of food sensitivities, the double whammy effect prevents us from enjoying spring and all the outdoor fun.
The good news is that many people find relief when they identify what their body may be sensitive to. For me, gluten acts as an inflammatory agent (it does in many of us, sadly) and when my sinuses are already inflamed with seasonal allergies, eating gluten results in painful sinus pressure that can last for days. For my son, his sensitivities to dairy really impacts his gut, while his extreme sensitivity to artificial food coloring impacts all aspects of his behavior, sleep, focus and mood.
Through a process called a food elimination diet about four years ago we were able to identify and remove the foods his body reacts negatively to. We’ve had a completely different child living in our home since then. If you’re interested, you can learn more about our journey and how to take this step for your own child in our guidebook we wrote.
Spring is a great time to identify any food sensitivities because the symptoms are really present and so many people just feel blech too often! If you have questions about how we did this, please leave a comment below or send me a note. After experiencing this ourselves, we were compelled to help other families achieve the same. The guidebook for parents was born out of this passion and my son so bravely tells his story because he doesn’t want other kids to suffer and feel the way he did. Trust me, when your kids see how good they feel without foods or ingredients that make them feel crummy, it makes it so much easier!
Best wishes – Gina