(This is the first in a series of posts on our experiences as we trial our son who has multiple food allergies with oral food challenges at home. Oral food challenges should always be performed under direct medical supervision based on each patient's individual reaction history. Please do not try oral food challenges at home on your own without medical approval.)
Based on our son's food allergy reaction history and the results of his recent skin prick (scratch) test, our son's allergist gave us the option to begin a wheat allergy oral food challenge at home. Our son's food allergy reactions usually consist of a mild to moderate eczema flare with the very rare case of mild asthma.
We will be trialing 13 different foods over an extended period of time which our son has previously tested positive for via an IgE Rast test, allowing a minimum of two weeks between each new food. The foods we will trial include egg, oat, pea, soy, pork, strawberry, beef, sesame seed, milk, wheat, coconut, green bean, and corn. All foods will be baked above 200 degrees before they are consumed, as directed by his allergist.
Wheat Allergy Oral Food Challenge
When we first received approval from our son's allergist to begin oral food challenges at home we were full of mixed feelings. On one hand, we were thrilled at the chance to possibly add some common everyday foods back into our son's very limited diet. On the other hand, what if something went terribly wrong and he had a severe reaction at home?
We decided to begin his food trials with baked wheat. Wheat is one of the most common ingredients found in popular foods, and we wanted a chance to starting adding common foods back into his diet.
When we first set out to buy wheat to bake for our son, we were surprised at how difficult it was to find an all-purpose wheat flour without added grains like barley. Our son is still severely allergic to barley and we are continuing to exclude this allergen from his diet.
After searching everything from specialty stores to supermarkets and big box stores, we finally found a barley-free all-purpose wheat flour made by Archer Farms at Target. (Archer Farms is the store brand of foods offered exclusively by Target Corporation.) There are more options for specialty flour available online, but I was so eager to cook a new food for our son that I didn't want to wait to have a product shipped to me.
The first recipe I made was my Crusty French Bread recipe. With minimal ingredients, I knew this would be the perfect recipe for a wheat allergy oral food challenge. We baked a loaf of bread, fed a bit to Mitch, then sat, and waited.
Waiting for Mitch's reactions can be stressful. He can take 48 hours to show signs of a reaction in the form of eczema, and by then we begin second guessing everything else he eats within those 48 hours. Was a prepared food cross-contaminated? Did we miss an ingredient on a package? What if his reaction is not related to the wheat allergy oral food challenge, but related to something environmental?
Within 48 hours Mitch began itching his butt. Sure enough, he had a small, mild eczema flare. But was it from the wheat or something else? Unfortunately, the only way to confirm whether or not he was reacting to the wheat was to continue the wheat allergy oral food challenge and hope the flare went away.
A couple of days later, his flare died down and he was still eating wheat. Yes! Success! We couldn't believe our son with multiple food allergies was now eating baked wheat without any reaction whatsoever. We are so grateful for having the opportunity to try a wheat allergy oral food challenge at home.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. This is simply a recount of my personal experience. Always check with a doctor about any allergy-related issues.