April/May 2008

Life Story

A New Game Plan for Eating Gluten and Dairy Free

First Down Star quarterback Rich Gannon’s record-breaking career with the Oakland Raiders ended abruptly in 2004 when his neck was injured from a hard hit on the playing field. An NFL Most Valuable Player who took the Raider’s to the Super Bowl in 2003, he’s now retired from football and working as an NFL television analyst for CBS. Rich isn’t the only person in the Gannon family whose medical issues have brought major lifestyle changes. Over the years, after many months of ill health, wife Shelley discovered that she and their two daughters, Alexis, 13, and Danielle, 10, have food sensitivities. Today, the family eats gluten and dairy free. Field Position It started in 1997 when Danielle was a new baby. She was losing weight and seriously sick with diarrhea and vomiting, bloated and crying constantly.   More...

Play it Safe When Reacting to Bee Stings

Rebecca Cunningham wasn’t overly concerned when her daughter, Sophy, was stung on the bottom of her bare foot by a yellow jacket. As an emergency room doctor at the University of Michigan Health Center, Cunningham tended to minimize most of the childhood scrapes that Sophie and her younger sibling, Ella, endured. Compared to what Cunningham saw at work every day, a bee sting was nothing. She lifted her daughter onto a picnic table, calmly examined her foot, put some ice on the sting and comforted the whimpering little girl. That summer two years ago, Cunningham, her husband John, and their two young girls were camping with extended family in a remote spot in a national park in Michigan. Hiking into the woods miles away from city noise and the stress of high pressure jobs was something this family, which resides in Ann Arbor, loved to do. Sophy had been stung once before. This was no big deal.   More...

Surprising Dairy-Free Alternatives

When Rachael Epstein, owner of Sprout organic hair salon in Baltimore, Maryland, discovered that her 4-month old son, Ezra, was allergic to cow’s milk, she went on a hunt to find a substitute. For a while, she tried a soy-based formula but he reacted to it in the same way, with constant congestion and alarming episodes of breathing difficulties. Ezra’s pediatrician didn’t believe the formula was the problem — he diagnosed the baby with asthma. But after Ezra was rushed to the emergency room one night because he couldn’t breathe, Epstein changed physicians. Ezra’s new doctor, a naturopath, took Ezra off the soy formula and all dairy products and recommended rice milk. Ezra liked it and, fortunately, it didn’t cause a reaction. The difference was notable. On dairy or soy formula, Ezra suffered constant allergy-induced asthma attacks. After quitting both, the episodes stopped. The doctor’s advice to quit dairy and soy and start on rice milk “was single-handedly responsible for curing Ezra,” Epstein says, who adds that her son was a skinny baby. For the next five years, Ezra, now almost seven, continued drinking rice milk. Although generally healthy, he was underweight. He just couldn’t seem to put on the pounds the way his dairy-consuming friends did.   More...

Dairy Free Alternatives

Consult with your health practitioner prior to making a dietary change. For more information about alternative milk products, check out these sources.   More...

Allergic or Sensitive to Milk?

Allergy to milk proteins (casein and/or whey) is not to be taken lightly. “When someone is allergic, they must avoid dairy foods completely or they will have a reaction, either immediately or within two hours. The reaction involves histamine,” says Maryland-based nutritionist, Kelly Dorfman. Symptoms can include wheezing, vomiting, hives, angioedema (fluid collection that causes swelling) and anaphylaxis — an immediate, acute reaction that can cause severe breathing difficulty, loss of consciousness and, in rare cases, death.   More...