Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Healing Allergies: A Little Background

    November 16, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Health is a funny thing. Some of us seem born with it, others have to work for it. I like to think that my understanding of health is holistic. I like to think I understand that certain things are connected. The foot bone is connected to the leg bone, after all.

    Now that’s a brilliant place from which to begin.

    I’ve made a lot of comments over the years that probably seem very anti-allopathic/Western medicine. I chose, after all, to treat our children’s problems myself using a special diet. And, mostly, I was successful. By eliminating certain foods {those containing gluten, casein, soy, and artificial anything} and also stepping up the children’s nutrition using various special supplements, I pretty much had the situation under control.

    Until I didn’t.

    We took a trip in early June. Our son’s tics returned with a vengeance. I reread labels on all of our foods. I couldn’t figure it out.

    And so I came to the end of myself.

    But before I go on, I need to reach further into the past. About this time last year, we were at the home of one of the elders from our church. I was still trying to figure out how to navigate the social aspect of having food allergies. Those of you who do not have allergies might not fully appreciate how allergies can complicate life. Whenever anyone we didn’t know well invited us over for a meal or a birthday party, I was filled with anxiety.

    What do I do? Do I tell them our children probably can’t eat what they serve? Can I trust them to make special food without accidentally including forbidden ingredients? Is it rude to bring my own food, and if I do do I tell them in advance or do I just do it and inform them when we are there? Do we just say no and avoid the whole situation altogether?

    Allergies are complicated.

    As I was saying, we were visiting with one of our elders from church and it became evident that the children had allergies. I don’t remember how exactly, but it came up. And then the wife says something I’ll never forget: “Our son used to have allergies.”

    At the time, this child was about six-years-old {the youngest of eight, for those of you who might be concerned that our elder is younger than he should be}, so it wasn’t that he’d grown out of it. The wife begins to explain that they go to this chiropractor that performs an allergy elimination technique that worked for their child. I was dubious, to say the least, but she was pretty convincing as she detailed their child’s horrendous experience of years of bleeding eczema. It was slightly grotesque, so I won’t share more than that.

    This family became desperate, and they searched everywhere they could for a cure. Nothing helped {which sounded familiar to my ears, since drug intervention for tics promises little other than ineffectiveness over time plus side effects}. And then they found a chiropractor in our local area who viewed allergies a little differently than the average person.

    And this doctor, over the course of a few months, not only identified the root causes of their son’s health problems, but eliminated them altogether. And so now he eats ice cream at a birthday party like a normal person.

    So why did I wait so long, you are asking? The first was cost. Alternative medical approaches aren’t exactly covered by insurance, even if they work. The second was disbelief. Since I believed that both E. as well as A. showed signs of being on the autism spectrum, and since many autistic-type children have severe food allergies, I assumed that their allergies were somehow “different.”

    In fact, I wasn’t even sure that they were traditional, in the sense that allergy is generally defined as a histamine reaction to something that shouldn’t be fought by the body. Instead of fighting a cold, my children’s bodies seemed to spend more time fighting wheat and dairy.

    To be honest, even though my mind is “open” when it comes to medicine, this usually involves nutrition. In other words, health is built over time through a combination of good food, clean water, and sunlight.

    I suppose the truth is that sometimes I don’t recognize an answer to prayer, even when it is staring me in the face. I was looking for a different sort of miracle, the kind where I wake up and all the problems have mysteriously disappeared.

    So, as I said, I had our son’s tics completely under control using dietary and nutritional intervention…until June. I now know that our son’s body had begun reacting to corn, chocolate, caffeine, and coffee {not that I ever gave him the latter} in addition to his other allergies. What became clear to me at that time was very important: Dietary intervention was not a cure.

    It seems so obvious now, but it was so easy for me to think of diet as the solution. This was still very Western-medicine in nature in that it treated symptoms rather than the root problem. In other words, I knew what was causing the tics {food allergies}, but not what was causing what was causing the tics. And was there an infinite regress here? Might I never get to the end of the causes of the causes?

    By the time a generous benefactor offered to pay for E.’s treatment, I was feeling helpless. I was no longer in control, and I had spent over two months trying to solve the problem on my own without success. Si and I decided that the only reason we would say no to such generosity was pride {wanting to take care of our children ourselves}. We didn’t want to let that get in the way of our son’s good health. We also figured that success with E. would be a sign that we could start saving to have A.’s allergies treated as well.

    So we headed off to the chiropractor. E. was pretty excited and hopeful. I, on the other hand, was a desperate, very pregnant, tired mommy.

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit

    6 Comments

  • Reply Kimbrah November 20, 2008 at 12:19 am

    “And so I came to the end of myself.”

    This is so where I am right now with Karlos. I don’t think it can get much worse. I can’t wait to read the rest.

  • Reply Rachel R. November 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Looking forward to it. 🙂 And praising the Lord with you, by the way, for what I’m sure must be extremely freeing for you all!

  • Reply Anonymous November 18, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Look forward to hearing the rest, Brandy.

    In Him

    Meredith in Aus

  • Reply Jeana November 17, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Wow, I can’t wait to read the rest!

  • Reply Brandy November 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    There will be more tomorrow, and I might continue on after that if it gets too long. I have a lot of new readers that aren’t aware of the children’s problems, so I thought I’d start with a little background before I explained the cure. 🙂

  • Reply Rachel R. November 17, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Is there more to this story? Did I miss it? Or has it not been posted yet?

  • Leave a Reply