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Mild allergic reaction to cashews and/or coconut

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yesterday my 23mo ds had a reaction to something in my homemade Lara bars (cashews, dates, coconut oil, and chocolate chips).  Within 10-20 minutes of eating it, he got red bumps around his mouth, and today his poop was grainy and gave him welts on his bottom.  


He has always been a pretty rashy baby, way back to before I introduced solids.  For a while we thought dairy was the problem, and while he was off dairy he ate a lot of coconut yogurt.  Although he never had the bumps around his mouth from the coconut yogurt, he did at times have similar grainy poop and welts in his diaper area.  (We ended up concluding that it was wheat bran, but of course now I'm wondering.)  He also ate a lot of mango when he was younger and rashier.  He's been pretty much free of rashes for the last several months, ever since we eliminated 100% whole grain wheat (he does well with a 50/50 mix).


He'll have his 2yo checkup in a month, but I'm wondering what to do in the meantime... i.e. if this is something we should pursue now rather than January, if we should be avoiding other nuts (his favorite cereal is made with almonds, and he eats peanut butter sandwiches daily), if we should consider getting him an epipen.  How seriously do you take a reaction like this?

post #2 of 5

If you suspect cashews, I would take it seriously.  I would make an appointment in the meantime with your PCP in order to get a referral moving.  Could you get an epi pen jr. prescription from your PCP?  Ask.  Having one on hand would not be overreacting, from what you've mentioned.


If he has had no issues with peanuts and almonds in the recent past, I don't think you would have to eliminate them from his diet.  However, your own comfort level should inform you as to what you want to do.  The allergist may have her own opinion on this as well.

post #3 of 5
Cashews & mango both have the same oil (urushiol) which is also what causes rashes in poison ivy. I'm allergic to all of them and get rashes -- including in my mouth & throat, which is really painful. So check inside his mouth too. Definitely avoid them... supposedly it's only raw cashews that are a problem but I'm afraid to try them at all. (I think pistachios are also in the same family but I've never had a problem with them for some reason...)

I wouldn't eliminate other nuts, there are different types/families of nuts and he may only react to cashews... but obviously be super careful about introducing new things & keep an eye out for reactions with any new nuts. I don't carry an epi pen since the majority of my allergies just cause rashes/discomfort but you can never be too careful when it comes to allergies, and especially with a toddler. Maybe call your doctor and get his/her opinion?
post #4 of 5

My son is allergic to cashew, but consumes mango just fine and hasn't complained about anything. BUt then again, the oils would be in the skin and seed, we obviously discard the seed, and daddy usually does the peeling.


The only nut we avoid is cashew. He has eated all other nuts fine with no reaction.


If I was in your situation, I would avoid cashew now, and get a blood test and ask for an epi pen at his next appointment.


ANd with the wheat thing, have you considered celiac or gluten intolerance? The test is not very accurate for babies and toddlers, but if it did come back positive, it is positive. Though if it came back negative, I wouldn't totally rule it out. You can also get the genetic test for celiac, it doesn't diagnose, but if you have the gene, then your percentage of POSSIBLY developing celiac increases compared to the general population, but if you don't have a gene, then the possibility of developing something is highly unlikely

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of you who responded -- this is all super helpful.  We were at the ped's yesterday for our newbie, and I squeezed in some questions about ds's allergic reaction.  We came home with an Rx for an EpiPen, which the doc said wasn't necessary but that if it would give me peace of mind, she would be happy to send me with it.


I forgot to mention that the cashews ds got were raw.  I'm not sure I'll push it with cooked ones, either.


We did try ds on a gluten-free diet for 3 weeks or so, and the grainy poop and diaper rashes go away just as much we cut down all his wheat products to about 50% or less whole wheat.  So I don't have any reason to suspect celiac.  I have heard of other people who just have trouble processing the wheat bran, and this is what I assume ds's issue is.  I guess I wouldn't mind a test to give us more information, but I do feel like the wheat issue is pretty well resolved with his current diet.

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