Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Robyn O’Brien of AllergyKids and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.
As a mother of four, I thought I’d seen it all. Endless ear infections, middle of the night stomach flus, and every rash, oozing eye and childhood condition I could imagine. And then my life changed abruptly and irrevocably over a plate of scrambled eggs.
It all started on what seemed like an ordinary morning. You know the ones? Where the kids come screaming down the stairs and you're not sure if the chaos is in the form of a game of chase or a favorite T shirt that can't be found.
As my four children powered down their Eggo waffles, tubes of blue yogurt and some scrambled eggs, I decided to slip a few spoonfuls of eggs onto my youngest child’s tray. But she didn't really seem interested, fussed and pushed them away.
As I cleaned up the mess, I noticed that my baby seemed tired. And since she was not quite one at the time, I took her upstairs for her morning nap.
I don't know what made me check on her that morning, but a few minutes later, in an act that can only be defined as Mama Instinct, I went upstairs.
I lost my breath the minute I walked into her bedroom. Her face was swollen shut. As I grabbed her from her crib, I came screaming downstairs, calling out to the older children, asking if they had put something on her face, in her crib, in her eyes.
All I got were those blank little kid stares. You know the ones? And at that point, I got really scared, because my older children had no idea what I was talking about.
I called the pediatrician in a complete panic, and she told me to come in immediately that it sounded like an allergic reaction.
What was happening? I felt completely out of control, unable to protect my baby from something as normal as food. What kind of mother was I?
Little did I know what that day and that diagnosis would bring.
I began to learn about food allergies: How there has been a 400 percent increase in the condition in the last ten years and how the peanut allergy alone doubled from 1997-2002. I learned how proteins and chemicals in foods that can threaten a child's immune system.
I learned that there are chemicals found in our foods that can compromise a child’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to all types of chronic conditions and diseases, including allergies, asthma, ADHD and autism (which now affect 1 out of every 3 American children).
I learned that the reason that people choose to avoid processed foods in their diets is to reduce their children’s exposure to harmful chemicals and ingredients. I also learned that the reason that people spend more on organic produce is because these foods are not allowed, by law, to contain chemically engineered products (like insecticides or genetically manipulated materials in their ingredients).
And I learned that there is so much a mom can do to protect her kids and the kids around her!