Monday 24 September 2012

Salicylates: DNA Hair sample results

Enough of the happy Birthday talk, it time to bore you with some more food intolerance information.  If you want to be caught up to speed on what Salicylates are, you can read my original post, where I try to explain what  Salicylates are and how they affect us (Oshawott mainly).

A few weeks ago I relented and signed up to Twitter (you can follow me at @isophiehobart).  I was searching for things, trying to figure out just how it all ticks when I stumbled across an Australian Allergy group.  I 'tweeted' to them about Oshawott's sensitivity and received a response asking if I had gotten a DNA hair sample test done.  

After I picked up my jaw from the floor I quickly googled it.. and low and behold there really was such a thing! I was so excited that even the $150 price tag didn't make me blink an eye.  Wouldn't it be so fantastic to finally have the answers, in black and white, instead of constantly guessing.

After the payment was processed and the instructions arrived via email I couldn't get my hands on the scissors fast enough.  Slightly freaked out at first at Mummy's extreme eagerness as she approached him with the scissors, Oshawott soon understood it was for the greater good.

As part of their service you can also get up to 5 additional items tested, and while I was trying to figure out what extra items to send (vegemite being already bagged up) I had an epiphany.  Pichu had been getting recurring rashes on his cheeks (both sets!), and I had already suspected it could be dairy, but why not get him tested too!  I am brilliant let me tell you.

Unfortunately Pichu is slightly (extremely) more wary of Mummy waving scissors around his precious golden locks.  Obtaining a hair sample, as closely cut to the scalp as possible, on a resisting almost 2 year old is absolutely not fun and I do not recommend it.

All fun and games aside, the samples were then mailed to the UK where the testing takes place.

After several weeks the results were emailed and the list was extensive, for both boys.

Oshawott had a few surprising results, like dairy was no longer an intolerance!  Whoa!  

But. Pichu IS intolerant to dairy.  Of course. 

Oshawott can have honey and bananas!  (when we guessed before that he couldn't)  His squeals of delight the morning I told him he could have bananas were pure gold, even loud enough to wake Coder up from his weekend sleep in.
Pichu can NOT have honey.

Oshawott should avoid rice flour (I had relied on him being able to have rice crackers as most of the other snack biscuits are laced with artificial flavourings and preservatives which are high in Salicylates).  Opps.  Rice flour is also the main ingredient in gluten free products.  He should avoid rye bread, oat flour, peas and egg white protein (just to name a few).

Pichu is intolerant to Casein, which is the main protein in dairy and gluten products.  He is also intolerant to beef, potatoes, wheat bread and eggs.

Those are just a few of the major ones that could cause -me- pain in figuring out a balanced diet for them both.  

Eggs!  C'mon!  I relied on omelets and scrambled eggs fairly often, thinking it was a safe option for Oshawott.  

Oshawott's results

Food items that showed an intolerance.

  • Almond
  • Apple
  • Basil
  • Bread - Rye
  • Cayenne
  • Cherry
  • Cod
  • Eel
  • Fennel Fresh
  • Gum Arabic Additive E414. Used in printing, paint production, glue, viscosity control in inks.  It is main ingredient in soft drinks, "hard" gummy candies such as gumdrops, marshmallows and M & M's.
  • Mixed Fish (F3,Rf205,Rf206,Rf254)
  • Cod, Herring, Mackerel, Plaice
  • Mutton
  • Nettle
  • Oat flour
  • Orange
  • Oregano
  • Ovalbumin. Egg white protein
  • Parsley
  • Pea
  • Rice Flour.  Some dishes like rice noodles are made with rice flour, it is used as a thickening agent for some desserts.  It is also the main flour used to make gluten free items.
  • Scallop
  • Snail
  • Sunflower Seed
  • Turmeric

Non Food items

  • Birch Pollen
  • Candida Albicans. This indicates a yeast imbalance in the body.
  • Common Silver Birch
  • English Plantain
  • Goat Epithelium. Epithelium is skin or cells
  • Marguerite
  • Meadow Fescue. A grass found in the UK
  • Micropolyspora Faeni. A spore found in mouldy crops
  • Mixed Grass Pollens (g1,5,6,12,13). Sweet vernal, Rye grass, Timothy, Cultivated rye, Velvet grass.
  • Mixed Rodents (e6,82,84,87,88). Guinea pig, Rabbit, Hamster, Rat, Mouse
  • Mixed Tree Pollens (t9,12,16,18,19,21).Olive, Willow, White pine, Gum tree, 
  • Acacia, Melaleuca, Cajeput tree
  • Paper Wasps. Nest around dead wood
  • Pityrosporum Orbiculare. Is a yeast fungus that causes skin problems, can cause cradle cap.
  • Protamine. Used in medications – please check ingredients before taking any medication.
  • Rabbit Urine Proteins. From contact with the animal
  • Rhizopus Nigricans. Mould that grows on bread
  • Sheep Epithelium. Epithelium is skin or cells
  • Sweet Vernal Grass
  • Thermoactinomyces Vulgaris. A fungus that can cause lung and breathing problems.
  • Trimellitic Anhydride. A highly reactive chemical used commonly in the production of paints and plastics. It is also used in the production of dyes, insecticides and polyester resin.
  • Turkey Feathers
  • White Pine

Pichu's results

Food items that showed an intolerance

  • Beef
  • Bread - Wheat
  • Casein Biggest protein in cow's milk and cheese, similar to gluten
  • Cayenne
  • Egg Yolk and White
  • Grapefruit
  • Hake
  • Hazel Nut
  • Honey
  • Lettuce - Frisee
  • Mandarin Tangerine, Clementine, Satsuma
  • Octopus
  • Paprika
  • Potato
  • Rose Hip Tea
  • Sheep's Milk
  • Tapioca
Non food items

  • Aureobasidium Pullulans. A fungus usually found on plants but can be found in air conditioning, dehumidifiers etc. causes’ chest problems
  • Bermuda Grass
  • Bumblebee
  • Common Reed A tall grass found in reed beds
  • Ethylene Oxide. Ethylene oxide is a chemical used mainly in detergents, plasticizers, fumigants, inks, cosmetics and brake fluid. Ingestion and other exposures to the chemical can cause various symptoms. It is a very common product in the UK.
  • False Ragweed A herb, the plant (mainly found in Canada) is a known cause of dermatitis
  • Green Nimitti fly. Known as midges in the UK
  • House Dust. A common cause of allergies. Mites, moulds, epithelium, insects, textiles.
  • Maleic Anhydride. Used in animal feeds
  • Mealworm
  • Methyltetrahydrophthalic Anhydride. Is used in the production and reconditioning of electrical items.
  • Mixed Grass Pollens (g1,5,6,12,13). Sweet vernal, Rye grass, Timothy, Cultivated rye, Velvet grass
  • Mixed Tree Pollens (t2,3,4,7,12). Grey alder, Common silver birch, Hazel, Oak, Willow.
  • Mixed Weed Pollens (w1,6,9,10,11). Common ragweed, Mugwort, Plantain, Ribwort, Goosefoot, Lamb’s quarter, Saltwort
  • Mixed Weed Pollens (w6,9,10,12,20). Mugwort, Plantain, Ribwort, Goosefoot, Lamb’s quarter, Golden Rod, Nettle
  • Moth
  • Mouse Epithelium. Epithelium is skin or cells
  • Ovalbumin. Egg white protein
  • Rabbit Epithelium. Epithelium is skin or cells
  • Silk
  • Storage Mite. Linked to house dust mite normally found in more agricultural surroundings
  • Trichophyton. A fungus found in athletes foot etc.
  • Virginia Live Oak. A tree

Thankfully these are not allergies, just intolerance's.  And the level of intolerance would vary for each item.  Basically we eliminate all of them from their respective diets and add small amounts one at a time, to see just how much can be tolerated.

A very big question mark for Oshawott is still the preservative, flavouring and additive issue, as these aren't tested for specifically.  I am waiting to hear back from the website's dietitian to get a better understanding of where we go next.

Although we still have questions, the results certainly guide me in reintroducing many fruits and vegetables that we previously avoided.

And what am I going to do about this intolerance to egg business?  Can you make omelettes without eggs?  

UPDATE: November 2012
Actually, now I am unsure of it's accuracy.  I have spoken to 2 Paediatrician's since and they have said that unless they have taken the DNA from the hair follicle (and in my boys case particularly it wasn't, I followed their instructions and cut as close to the scalp as I could.  One Dr had his 'team' research it and didn't find any value in it as a diagnostic procedure. 

So I am really unsure.  We don't avoid all of these things, but I guess I have it as a reference.

I still keep the 4 year old on a low Salicylate diet, but don't cut it out altogether.  As he may grow out of it, and the levels of things that he can tolerate vary from someone else that is intolerant.   As long as his symptoms are mostly harmless the Drs told me it was good to keep exposing him to it.  

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  1. That's amazing Sophie! My 2 1/2 year old has skin issues and I've wondered if he has a dairy intolerance or if its about the washing powder I use etc, I'll have to look into this! Thank you x

    1. There is a good chance his issues are related to diet. We have been having skin issues for almost 4 years on and off, for the two youngest and it was all because of diet.

      Let me know how you get on, if you do decide to do it.

      We are seeing a Nutritionist now that we have all of the results.

  2. OMG! That is one huge list! I'm so glad you've found some answers to help you. Have you had allergy/intolerance tests done with your GP here in Aust? I'm so amazed at how much can be told about an individual through a few hair samples!

    I once had a live blood test done where your blood is put straight under a microscope and it's amazing to see everything move about!

    I work in the early childhood industry and again it astounds me with the amount of children that walk through our doors with allergies and intolerances, some of which are life threatening! Makes you think? Is it because we are becoming more aware of such issues? But why are there more cases? It's a common thing for me to have so many Action Plans within my days at work!

    Sorry for the essay :)

    1. I think partly it's because there are so many more preservatives, flavouring and additives in food now. Definitely becoming more aware, and having tests now to be able to pinpoint suspected issues.

      Both the little boys had skin prick tests done over a year ago. It showed no allergic reaction. So then we started the elimination process on the eldest one and eventually narrowed it down to Salicylates, Amines and Dairy.

  3. Sophie this is gold!! I'm on it already. We have been trying to work out what the problem is with my son for years and I think that this may just be the key to helping us. I can't really give you any advice on the egg substitute but I'm sure that there are plenty of people who can. Hopefully the dietician can help you with some ideas.
    Prue x

    1. I think it's certainly worth investigating, there are a few do at home kits available, but I think they may only test for around 30 common groups of foods.

  4. This was extremely interesting! I'm so glad that you found somewhere that was able to provide such extensive advice... as for the egg-less omlette... good question!


    1. I think I will have to see just how intolerant they are to egg, they love omelettes so much!

  5. Thanks for sharing this! My 2 year old has some significant food intolerances (suspect dairy, egg and something in sushi!) and it would be so nice to have a way to pin down the foods without the strict requirements of elimination diets. Glad you have received your results- also not sure about the egg-less omelette :)

    1. It's such a difficult process to pinpoint the exact culprits, and then even the level of intolerance (as it may be negligible and all about balance). If you check out my original post, there is a list of common symptoms of Salicylate sensitivity.

  6. Fascinating. I haven't had any problems with Mia yet, but at 10 months old there is still plenty of time and plenty of food left that she hasn't tried so who knows what will happen in the years to come. I am going to tell my sister about this, she has suspected a dairy intolerance for a while now but has never been able to have it proven conclusively so this might be worth a try.

    As for the eggs, I don't know of a substitute but I was talking to a doctor friend of mine on Tuesday, her daughter is allergic to egg white, and apparently researchers are working on a way to eliminate the protein that causes the intolerance to create a hypo-allergenic egg. Apparently the eggs never used to cause so many issues for so many people but it's suspected that the hormones that chickens are given has contributed to it. They've been working on it for 10 years though so it could still be a while yet!

  7. Gosh that is just amazing, I am glad that you feel you are making forward steps. I hope you continue to. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses

  8. We have a family history of allergies and intolerances so it's fantastic there is an easy way to identify them without having to undergo horrid skin prick testing or tedious elimination diets. I will definitely be looking into this further - thanks so much for aharing. And I hope this now helps your boys - BTW, have you tried "No-Egg"? You can get it in the healthy food/gluten free section of the supermarket. I'm not sure it can make omelettes but it can be used as a substitute for eggs in recipes - hope that helps!

  9. That's an amazingly detailed list. All that from hair? Our bodies are such complex and efficient things but we do expose them to a lot don't we? Good luck with finding the balance for your kids x

  10. Just extraordinary, Sophie. The marvels of modern science. You are so informative - thankyou. best of luck with dealing with the results and thanks for linking up with the POTMC. J x

  11. Hi, I stumbled across your blog in a google search about intolerance testing.

    Have you had success with the results of this test, now that we are a little further down the timeline?

    Thanks so much


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