This is the conclusion to a three part blog about how I discovered my barley allergy. If you need to get caught up click on : Part One or Part Two.

I was discouraged and tired of the games by the fall of 2011. I didn’t feel the dermatologist and his team were listening to me .

In one meeting they explained to me that “dermatitis” was a generic term for some internal irritation causing an external reaction. That got my mom and I thinking. We asked if an allergy could be included in this list? They said yes.

So we requested another blood test-this time for allergies. Allergies run rampant in my family so why couldn’t it be an undiagnosed allergy resulting in a rash?

During all this, the dermatologists recognized my frustration and pulled a last resort move: putting me on prednisone. Prednisone it is a steroid (with a lot of side effects) and my type A personality doesn’t do well on steroids.


To add to this, October of 2011, I started my first career job teaching and substituting at a private English Language Institute. I was under a lot of stress and my skin began to break out on my neck and face. I was concerned about my students reaction to my appearance even though I tried to hide marks with make-up.

I scheduled an appointment, sooner than my check-up not only because the my skin had gotten worse but also  because the prednisone was making it impossible to sleep.

After assuring me the rash was not related to the prednisone they shared the results of my allergy test. As  they read the results I nodded: She said you are aware you are allergic to: mold?-yes, grass?-yes, cats?-yet, tree-nuts?-yes dust?-yes you have had hay-fever?-yes.

Then she said “barley?” and I said “excuse me?” I told her that was a new one. And her response: “Well fortunately barley is not in too many foods so you should be ok” (boy was that misleading! But that is another blog).

After announcing this, she looked at my charts and got very upset. I asked why? The person in charge of writing out my prescription had made a huge mistake: I was on more than double the prednisone I was supposed to be!!! No wonder I couldn’t sleep! After that appointment I never went back.

I began to wean myself off the steroid as they had instructed and started the journey to remove barley from my diet. As I did I discovered: it was the barley causing the skin problem all along! Such a simple issue that cost so much time, money, and frustration.

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I am now barley-free it has required some adjustments to my diet, label reading at the grocery store, and limited the foods I eat out, but is well worth it-the puzzle was finally complete.

Any of you discover that final puzzle piece for yourself or with a family member?

Still in the middle of a frustrating puzzle?

Anyone else have similar accounts to share?

6 thoughts on “Why I am Barley-free: The Conclusion

  1. Thanks for sharing. I had never heard the complete story. Being wheat free I know all about reading labels and trying to find food that I can eat at a social gathering and also eating out. It’s a real problem but worth the effort.

  2. I just found out that I’m allergic to barley too! I’ve had a hard time finding a ton of information too and my doctor also said that barley isn’t in a lot of foods. What kinds of flour do you buy? Can you do an updated post of new things you have learned and what foods to stay away from? Any help would be appreciate!

    1. Hi Melissa I am sorry that your also allergic to barley too. I buy organic flour mostly gold medal brand that comes with a green label. I will work on a update post soon. Glad I can help.

      1. Thank you for responding! I looked for the gold medal organic and my local grocery store had it but it was significantly more expensive than other alternatives. I ended up buying two types of Bob’s Red mill whole wheat flour. But I’m realizing it’s hard to substitute whole wheat directly for all purpose flour so I might need to buy some of the gold medal organic flour.

      2. You’re right the gold medal flour is more expensive but I haven’t found many alternatives. Bob’s Red Mill items are very good but yes whole wheat flour is denser and will change recipes for dessert items like cookies and cakes.

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