Anyone dealing with food allergies?
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  1. #1
    Registered User missmollymayhem's Avatar
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    Question Anyone dealing with food allergies?

    My daughter was just diagnosed with a severe allergy to milk. MILK! Of course she LOVES all things milk-related: milk, cheese, yogurt, icecream....

    So far she's adapting to soy milk, and we've got some expensive cheese made from rice- and she's feeling SO much better now that she's off milk. It's tough on her, but we're making it work.

    Her daycare seemed to be confused that she couldn't have CHEESE or YOGURT because *gasp* they are dairy products... but I think we have that worked out

    Anyone else dealing with food allergies? Explaining it to family and childcare?

  2. #2
    Registered User hollyhill's Avatar
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    Yes, My Dd is anapylactic tp peanuts.
    A trace amount could kill her. Of course she has no interest in eating them because she never has......
    So I don't know what you mean by severe. I associate severe allergies with life threatening reactions so having a fondness for the allergen is not an option.

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    Yes, ds is allergic to milk and eggs via allergy testing, so we had switched to soy. BUT now he has developed a soy allergy too. It's like all of a sudden after 6 months of having soy he got bright red cheeks and super duper red teary eyes after his cereal! Be aware that when there is a dairy allergy, there is a probability that they will develop a soy allergy. But soy milk is much better nutritionally than rice milk.

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  5. #4

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    There are several different forms an allergy can take ranging from the anaphylactic reactions that kill which Hollyhill's dd has

    to allergic addictions in which a child becomes either addicted to the stuff that gives him or her trouble and they absolutely crave the offending food or they hate it.

    Some allergens only provoke mild symptoms, others can cause hives, asthma, rashes.

    My kids have the milder forms. The allergist that dealt with them when they were tiny (Dr George Luciuk in Richmond BC) told me that a quick and dirty test for allergens in moderately sick kids (chronic asthma, glue ear, runny noses, learning difficulties, ADHD and so forth)

    was to ask the parent 2 questions:

    1-- what do they love and can't live a day without having? and
    2-- what do they hate and can't or won't eat EVER.

    Those two answers will often be the offending foods.

    It's a long and involved chemical chain reaction in allergic addiction but the short form is that the child gets addicted to the surge of adrenaline and other immune chemicals that the body pumps out in response to the offensive food.

    As for living with it, as Hollyhill says, it depends on how severe the reaction is.

    If it's lifethreatening, you have to have everyone really aware, and ready to act with the epi pen, and know immediately how to spot early signs, and which are the offending foods. People who still act ignorantly shouldn't be allowed near your kid, as they could kill the child due to their inability to act appropriately. Period.

    If it's one of the lower but still uncomfortable reactions, you let people know and if you find out after that your child has had a food they react to, then you get really cranky and explain in loud, angry and glorious detail that you will be up all night with a kid with itchy hives, or vomiting or asthma or whatever symptom your kid has.

    With my son pork caused him to be really hyper as did certain food colours. He never felt good eating pork even later as an adult. He was allergic to milk, they caused a lot of his asthma and glue ear. Once he got to know what made him sick he avoided it just fine.

    With my dd chicken and eggs make her nauseated, and she never had milk till she was 5 or 6 and still isn't big on it. She would get asthmatic breathing when I drank any milk while breastfeeding her. Dr L said she was really very allergic to it.

    Dr Luciuk told me they were mildly allergic to soy, but basically gave me a choice, if I removed milk and they drank soy milk, they would likely have a worsening legume allergy later. not too bad, although ds doesn't feel good when he eats soy stuff. Dd loves it which is more like allergic addiction.

    If they kept contacting milk, likely they would have a relatively severe milk allergy as they grew up.

    He pointed out that most kids allergic to cows milk proteins are also allergic to goats milk (and they didn't get any better when we tried it)

    At that point there wasnt' the other milk substitute for soy and milk allergic kids so it was a choice.

    He told me that calcium tabs and supplements wouldn't work as well, as they would be lacking things like magnesium and zinc.

    So we put ds on soy milk, I continued to bf dd till weaning a year later, and then she was on soy milk too.

    Now I don't know if i'd do the same. I think I might have just fed more meat for protein, and supplemented calcium and magnesium in liquid supplement forms.

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    Registered User hollyhill's Avatar
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    Margery said.......

    If it's lifethreatening, you have to have everyone really aware, and ready to act with the epi pen, and know immediately how to spot early signs, and which are the offending foods. People who still act ignorantly shouldn't be allowed near your kid, as they could kill the child due to their inability to act appropriately. Period.

    ........I second that.
    I have always been a stickler when it comes to allergic terminology. Dds allergic reaction is considered "severe" because it is life threatening.
    I have found that I had to carefully explain to each new friend what my Dd's allergy meant because many people perceive an allergy to be merely an inconvenience and so don't take it seriously.

    Now that Dd is 14, I no longer do all the explaining to new people, leaving it up to her. I find that she often chooses to just avoid all foods rather than have to "explain" her requirements. It is a Teen thing....she doesn't want to attract attention to herself.
    If she feels threatened (ie: lots of peanut products being shared at someones party) she will explain her concerns and most people will remove the products.........
    The exhausting thing is she needs to repeat the same things endlessly and always be vigilant. Only in our home is she completely safe.
    It is a very frightening thing to know that your child could die from something as common as a peanut.

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    My little guy is "very sensitive" to milk. He didn't tolerate milk based formula well so we used soy. Now he drinks soy milk and does fairly well. He can tolerate small amounts of milk, if he happens to want my cereal or on occasion at someones house he has milk he does "alright".

    He basically gets the gastric symptoms, severe stomachache, very restless and irritable, diarrhea/constipation, and occasionally will vomit from it if he gets too much (yogurt, cheese). I haven't had to deal with daycare, but getting grammy to realize he can't have dairy products is tough...

    My DD didn't have food allergies, but you couldn't even put a bandaid on her without taking her to the hospital! She has reverse reactions to meds, and had an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic when she was younger; fortunately she was already at the hospital when it got that severe. Those are scary moments, I wouldn't wish any mom to go through that with their baby!

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    Registered User staceyy's Avatar
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    I am allergic to lots of things but I'm not sure what. I know this sounds crazy but I always break out in hives and sometimes the lympth nodes behind my ears swell. My eyes also water a lot, I tried going to the doctor to find out what exactly I'm allergic to and was given an allergy test. The doctor said I did not test positive for any of the common allergies but the allergens in my system were so high that they're sure I'm alergic to something.

    I suspect I'm allergic to fish and seafood as my face usually breaks out the day after eating it. Pecans usually cause a reaction even if I just touch them.Monosodium glutamate (I hope I spelled this right) that is often put in Chinese food causes my lymph nodes to swell, whole wheat gives me hives and breakouts. My husband smokes and somehow the smoke causes me to get upset at my stomach. I'm also allergic to a teddy bear dh bought me that is filled with aromatic herbs. I became so ill from that that we had to remove it from the bedroom. I'm also allergic to the drug Perkoset. I know that I'm allergic to lots of things, I just haven't been officially diagnosed. There are numerous other things I'm allergic to but I can't seem to pinpoint them.

    I'm allergic to all of these things but I do not limit any of them. I've had hives for so long that I operate as if it is normal. And yes, I seem to love the foods I am allergic to. I usually keep Alavert on hand to lessen the symptoms.

  9. #8
    Registered User missmollymayhem's Avatar
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    Holly-
    I ment severe as in allergy level, not reaction. The testing that was done rates everything on a scale from 0-6, and her milk allergy is a 6. She has been very ill and we thought she had bad environmental allergies, like her father and I do. Turns out if was just milk and grasses. Obviously, this is not as severe as your DD's peanut allergy, but it still affected her health quite a bit. Different type of allergy and reaction, really.

    i do have the fortune to work for our allergist, I'm actually his assistant, and iI am in the room with him on every consultation doing the dictation and assisting in the surgical procedures. This gave me the insite to have her tested instead of trying to guess. It also gives me insight on what can potentially happen in the future-developing new allergies, outgrowing this one, etc. If we practice strict avoidance for a year or so it is possible she can outgrow this.

    MamaWolf- we often develop allergies by eating the same foods over and over. So if I switch completely to Soy based products in place of milk she would likely develop an allergy just as your DS did. THat's why I've purchased a range of products made from soy, rice, and almond, and I don;t let her have the same thing over and over. It's tough, but it sounds like we're all doing the best we can

  10. #9

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    I do that rotation thing too, it helps a lot. I developed a nasty allergy to legumes by over using soy and beans in an attempt to go vegetarian a few years back.

    It was a wake up call that in our family (I include the kids here too) we can't eat the same thing too often.

    It's another reason (besides frugality and saving my limited energy) that I menu plan, and keep different things for different days.

    It works well for our family, but you are the first person besides us and our allergist to know about rotations.

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