Friday, 13 September 2013

Gut Allergies - Why We Need Awareness And Understanding

On the support forum I run and another I co run I am constantly writing the same replies to the same questions. Time and again the same questions come up - a child/baby with reflux who the doctors say they will "always" outgrow by 6 months fails to do so. Then 12 months comes, but weaning is problematic and the child appears to be reacting adversely to Cows Milk, Wheat and other foods. Tests are negative and parents are fobbed off and made to feel they are blowing symptoms out of proportion.

Many doctors perform allergy tests, for gut allergies which cannot be tested for, and then promptly dismiss the case because there is nothing for them to do. They may perform a pH study, previously the "Gold Standard" reflux test which cannot detect alkaline/allergic reflux or pressure changes in the bowel and possible allergic bowel inflammation is never picked up. Few hospitals can offer an impedance study, fewer still know how to interpret the results adequately. So because they don't have a clear answer many doctors are dismissive.

You would be horrified how often this happens, I hear about it all the time.

Some carry out endoscopies but stop above the stomach and the results are clear - so there must be "nothing really wrong". All too often the spotlight is then turned on the mother who "must" be neurotic, over-reporting symptoms, depressed perhaps? But lack of understanding or explanation is NEVER an excuse for being dismissive and accusatory. Ignorance does not excuse such actions - or have we not come so far from the Witch hunts of the seventeenth century? I have no explanation does not equal "someone is to blame". Even the most sympathetic doctors run out of ideas when tests come back clear.

I'm not sure what alarms me most - that there is still so little understanding amongst health professionals about gut allergies and their impact on the full length of the GI tract and elsewhere, or the stark truth that gut allergies in infants and children are occurring in epidemic proportions.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Forget juggling, let's try cloning next...

Please speak quietly. I am currently in a catatonic state having made it through the first few days of the new school year with three schools (and four children between them) to juggle. I'm not sure I am likely to accurately process much for the next two days....

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