A few years back, it was distressing for my husband and I, to see our younger daughter fall sick, every time she ate some of her favourite food. She would either start coughing; a nagging cough which would linger for sometime or she would get itchy red bumps on her arms, sometimes on her face, (later I learnt the red bumps were hives.). We were clueless as to why she got them constantly.
After many visits to the hospital we learnt that it was due to an allergic reaction, but was not certain what triggered the “hives” on her. The thought of this, gave us many sleepless nights and constant worries, until one day our very own Sri Lankan Doctor, a paediatrician, who was attached to a reputed facility in Saudi Arabia, who on learning of our daughter’s condition helped us identify the root cause of her allergy. She was vulnerable not only to certain foods like coloured candies and coloured drinks, but also to the strong smell of perfume, washing powder, bleach etc, all, with a considerable amount of additive compounds in them. Gradually, with much cajoling, we made her stop eating her favourite titbits like the multi coloured candies, chocolate chips and the luminous coloured drinks. After following the doctor's advice and guidelines, we saw a vast improvement in our daughter’s health. He helped us to keep a food diary and note carefully for any adverse reactions whenever she ate food. In the case of a sensitivity being identified, the practice was to eliminate all suspected foods from the diet and then reintroduce them one by one, to see which additive (or additives) caused the reaction. This was done under the supervision of this good-hearted doctor, whom we are ever grateful to. With the invaluable information on food allergies/additives, which my husband and I acquired, each time we accompanied our daughter, during the fortnightly visits to the doctor, we have become more selective in the choice of food we consume.
Our distressing nightmare maybe over, but with four growing children and their immune system different from one another, I sometimes get the creeps to think, what if , one of them goes through that agony again.
( - This is an excerpt from my published article- )