OK...so we made it to 2017.
Life has been a bit crazy since the last time I blogged here.
Long story short...Liv was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases in a span of 5 months last year. And then over the summer she broke a bone in her foot.
You're probably wondering how/why these two things might be related.
Well: at an ortho appointment the doctor noticed some sores on Liv's legs and asked if she had a gluten allergy. I said "not that we know of" but we had an allergist appointment the next week. At that appointment I mentioned the gluten thing to the doc and she ordered a blood test just to make sure.
Test came back with elevated IgE levels for gluten (but negative for celiac) and so the doc recommended a gluten cleanse.
Eight weeks later Liv's hair is growing back as quickly as she's losing it (and - knock on wood - she isn't losing much at all right now) and her skin has totally cleared up. No psoriasis plaques, no eczema, nothing. The pediatrician said if it seems to be working, stick with the no gluten diet.
[If you're wondering, yes...there is a link between gluten and autoimmune diseases].
As for Liv she's feeling better, she looks better, and she's handling the "no gluten" diet rather well.
Now, as I tend to do on this blog it's time to give some shout outs to local restaurants and their handling of food allergies, which now includes gluten.
A few weeks ago we dined at LaScola Italian Grill and they get a gold star for handling guests with gluten issues. The restaurant has a dedicated gluten-free menu - including rolls!!! - and they were amazing with Liv's allergies and gluten sensitivity. Also, her fettuccine alfredo was SO much better than the version with "regular" noodles.
We've dined at another favorite spot - Mancy's Italian - twice since Liv went gluten free and both times I've left with a not-so-happy feeling. Last week when we dined there I had made it a point to mention Liv's allergies in our OpenTable reservation and the waitress was aware of them when she came to our table (one point for Mancy's).
They also have a gluten free menu but (here's where points are deducted) they charge an extra $3 for gluten-free pasta dishes and an extra $7 (!!!) for gluten-free pizza. Seriously. 50 points deducted for Mancy's Italian.
Why in the world would you punish people for not being able to eat gluten? That's beyond ridiculous.
I will give our waitress a few points for giving Liv her own plate of olive oil (to reduce cross-contact), but the whole charging-extra-for-gluten-free negates any points.
Restaurants need to realize that food allergies are not a "fad" and they aren't going away - in fact they will likely continue to grow. As such, the industry as a whole needs to stop punishing diners for their food allergies and this includes putting and end to the "extra" charges for things like gluten-free pasta and pizza.
And with that I'll wish you all a Happy 2017! Here's to safe eating and allergy-friendly restaurants :)