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Dairy causing our food allergies?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

My family began eating strict vegetarian a month ago.  (yay!) 

 

Today I had a handful of almonds (to which I am allergic to and typically will have an immediate itchy swelled throat reaction) and to my delight I had zero reaction!!  Then to really test my theory that the dairy might have been causing my food allergies, I went home and grabbed a banana which I am also allergic to, and ate the whole thing without an itchy throat in sight!  This seems too good to be true!!  I have always been allergic to almonds, avocado, apples and bananas...which I eat anyway but I always have to put up with the pesky 15-20 minute reaction of itchy swollen throat, tingly mouth and lips and itchy ears.  Maybe dairy free is my answer?!!

 

Wait, there's more...

 

My oldest daughter, who suffers from ADHD/sensory disorder among a few other issues, seems to have inherited my food allergy issues.  But we've never been able to pinpoint which foods make her react.  Her pattern typically looks like this: two or three times a month, Emma's lips will look bright red. When this happens, she says her lips feel tingly. The next day, usually her lips swell up as though she's been stung by a bee.  Next her mood swings and behavioral meltdowns will happen.  Swollen lips = terribly unhappy cranky explosive Emma.  That has always been the case.  Since we switched to vegan eating...Emma hasn't had a lip reaction the whole time. This past weekend, my oldest girls went off with our neighbors to a birthday celebration and had cheese pizza.  (I wasn't prepared and didn't want to be rude to my neighbors when they asked.)  So this was on Saturday. By Saturday night - you guessed it - bright red lips on my Emma and sad eyes on her.  :(  By Sunday, lips swollen as can be.  All day yesterday, swollen lips.  Yesterday evening...massive meltdown in our car.  She nearly blew our eardrums out screaming about how mean we were to her.

 

Have I found our solution?

 

Do I just have to keep Emma off of dairy to prevent the lip swelling and perhaps even her severe mood swings?  Since she's been on lithium orotate, she has gotten better but we still deal with these breakthrough fits which always seem to coorelate with food reactions.

 

Anyone with experience on all this?  I'm feeling hopeful.  :)

post #2 of 39
I have had luck being less sensitive to airborne particles like pollen, but not foods. I wish I had! It makes sense that an immune system always on because of daily ingestion of allergens would overreact to other things as well. If it were me, though, I'd be cautiously optomistic. That throat reaction is concerning. If your throat swells... Do you have an epi-pen?
post #3 of 39

Are you allergic or highly sensitive?  I ask bc my 15mo had a nasty reaction to oats at 6 and 10mos - head to toe red, itchy hives, swollen face so bad that her eyes were half shut.  I always have Rescue Remedy on me and I used that to bring down the reaction, but she's never tested allergic to oats.  I finally took her to an ND who did some testing and she is "sensitive" to dairy and oats - but not allergic.  Varying levels of sensitivity can mimic allergies to things. 

 

DH had blood tests done for food allergies - nothing.  Accupuncturist checked him with a piece of bread - he's got major sensitivity to gluten and especially wheat - but his regular doc vehemently denies that he has any food issues bc it's not an 'allergy'. 

 

So I guess if it was me, for clarity, I'd find a good ND to get tested then you really know what you're dealing with.  And carry some Rescue Remedy just in case!

 

Pek - My father used to have an epi-pen - docs never told him why or what could trigger an 'attack' but he always had one while I was growing up.  He's also epileptic and was on dilantin and phenobarbitol for almost 40 years.  Until he started to see a naturopath who weaned him off the narcotics (he's never had a seizure in the almost 15 years he's been off) and if he feels a residual 'tic' coming on or his throat tightens, he grabs his RR and it resolves within 30seconds ;-)

post #4 of 39
Although the medical community places a lot of emphasis on "sensitivity" versus "allergy", that distinction makes no difference when you are suffering!

I would use caution with any food that caused swelling in the mouth or throat. That seems sensible to me.
post #5 of 39

I agree there should be less one side of the fence or the other, but for many people who suffer food issues, the true causes just aren't known or acknowledged by docs who shun the alternative testing available.  If I had a known chance of reacting to something and that reaction was throat swelling, I'd probably avoid it as well.  But sometimes you don't know the cause, thus my carrying RR - for the instance I hope never happens but I'll be prepared!

post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I have had luck being less sensitive to airborne particles like pollen, but not foods. I wish I had! It makes sense that an immune system always on because of daily ingestion of allergens would overreact to other things as well. If it were me, though, I'd be cautiously optomistic. That throat reaction is concerning. If your throat swells... Do you have an epi-pen?

No epi pen...it's never been more than an aggregation.
post #7 of 39

There are multiple types of tests for allergies--skin and blood tests (and even multiple types of blood tests).  There is so much debate about it, but we had the good fortune of having a great immunologist early on who told us "The gold standard is to remove the suspect and look for a reaction."  It's not convenient and doesn't give us a sheet of paper to "validate" anything--but really, it's the best way to know.

 

It's possible that if you had an intolerance to dairy that it could cause systemic inflammation or overstimulation of your immune system and that could make you more sensitive to other things.  So removing that source of inflammation could calm your system down.

 

Still, a 15-20min reaction with an itchy throat is not something I'd want to try eating all the time, either.  It's concerning.

 

But for your daughter, I would totally keep her off of it.  

post #8 of 39

keep her off dairy for 3 weeks and then try yoghurt or cheese pizza again. that will be your answer.

 

make sure you figure out if its lactose intolerance or milk protein intolerance.

 

my dd has milk protein intolerance so if she has any milk product she gets tummy aches or mood swings. even low lactose stuff. 

post #9 of 39
I'm setting myself up for attack, but I'm going to say this, anyway.

Diary reactions have 3 possible causes : lactose, casein (protein), and fat.

The course of my dairy problems indicates a dairy fat issue, and there's support on the Internet for that claim.


Lactose would not cause swelling, so I doubt this is a lactose issue. To me, the ideal test of a lactose problem is breastmilk. It's high in lactose, so if human breastmilk can be tolerated, it's not a lactose issue..
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I'm setting myself up for attack, but I'm going to say this, anyway.

Diary reactions have 3 possible causes : lactose, casein (protein), and fat.

The course of my dairy problems indicates a dairy fat issue, and there's support on the Internet for that claim.


Lactose would not cause swelling, so I doubt this is a lactose issue. To me, the ideal test of a lactose problem is breastmilk. It's high in lactose, so if human breastmilk can be tolerated, it's not a lactose issue..

 

What's to attack about any of that...?  (I'm not being snarky, I'm asking honestly)

 

But I think that any allergen has potential to cause swelling.  And human breastmilk also has casein in it.  Casein proteins differ by the animal (for instance: people with cow's milk casein intolerance can sometimes tolerate goat's milk because their casein proteins are slightly different).  I'm wondering if the lactose would be the same, but it's definitely not something I've researched.

post #11 of 39

For my daughter I know it's the casein.  I tested it out by going completely dairy free for a month, then experimented with various vegetarian/vegan cheese alternatives.  Anytime there was casein in it (as is the case I found with most of the vegetarian lables) she had horrible stomach distress.  The vegan cheeses however do not and she is not only fine nursing after I eat them but can eat them herself with no reaction.  Unfortunately for us, when I had her tested she was reactive to not only cow dairy, but sheep and goat as well.

post #12 of 39
What's to attack? The dairy fat claim. I've brought it up before and was told that I had no idea what I was talking about and was completely wrong. It was nearly a year ago, but very memorable, as I had only just started posting.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

What's to attack? The dairy fat claim. I've brought it up before and was told that I had no idea what I was talking about and was completely wrong. It was nearly a year ago, but very memorable, as I had only just started posting.

 

greensad.gif about your experience. 

post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfirechick View Post

For my daughter I know it's the casein.  I tested it out by going completely dairy free for a month, then experimented with various vegetarian/vegan cheese alternatives.  Anytime there was casein in it (as is the case I found with most of the vegetarian lables) she had horrible stomach distress.  The vegan cheeses however do not and she is not only fine nursing after I eat them but can eat them herself with no reaction.  Unfortunately for us, when I had her tested she was reactive to not only cow dairy, but sheep and goat as well.

 

 

Not entirely uncommon, but at least you know.  My 9yo can't take it in goat but we haven't tried sheep (I want to say goat would be easier than sheep but I honestly can't recall--I didn't have access to sheep until just recently)

post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 

I wanted to check in here and report that I am still seeing an absense of my usual allergic response!  My daugher hasn't had a reaction either, although after dinner last night I let my girls split a milk chocolate candy bar which I had bought earlier from a fundraising kid.  So Emma got whatever dairy was in that half-bar...I can't imagine it could be much.  I guess I'll find out just how dairy-sensitive she is if her lips swell up today.

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

What's to attack? The dairy fat claim. I've brought it up before and was told that I had no idea what I was talking about and was completely wrong. It was nearly a year ago, but very memorable, as I had only just started posting.

kuddos to you for sticking out and not letting a bad moment sully the whole picture. 

 

i recall i had a few of those kinds myself and it is hard. 

 

i am glad you are around coz i do value your contribution esp. when we  have differing points of view. 

post #17 of 39

OP are you keeping a food log?  food diary? if you are going to experiment. 

 

i found dd didnt react to right after the moment. but suddenly out of the blue she'd react (in the beginning) and i found we'd be doing a little for a regular no. of days. so yeah its a trip trying to see how sensitive she is.

 

my advice - stay away. dd was sensitive all these years, and now she no longer is sensitive. she reacts within a few hours. 

post #18 of 39
Milk chocolate is about 40% dairy. http://www.aphrodite-chocolates.co.uk/how_chocolate_made.html

How is she?
post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Milk chocolate is about 40% dairy. http://www.aphrodite-chocolates.co.uk/how_chocolate_made.html

How is she?

 

No issues noted so far.

 

The last time it happened, she had 3 slices of cheese pizza on a Saturday night and her lips were swollen by Monday afternoon.  So she still has time to come home with a reaction. 

 

I'm going to start keeping a food log for her as suggested by MeeMee.

post #20 of 39
I'm not convinced dairy is the problem. For your daughter, anyway. I hope you share updates, especially from the food log. I am very curious, now.
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