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Need help with infant food allergies!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can someone offer a food allergy primer? I'm allergic to lots of things- cats, dust, mold- but not food. We've just started introducing solids to my DS and he is having almost immediate contact rashes from them. Introduced avocado on Saturday, and he developed a rash on his face and chest. Tried banana today and he had an immediate rash wherever he rubbed himself while eating. You know how babies are, they get it everywhere! He doesn't seem to be in respiratory distress of any sort so I hope the damage is just his rash, which has already begun to fade.

While researching it this evening, I found that if you are allergic to avocados, you might be allergic to bananas, too. I wish I'd known that a few hours ago, and my son might not have had a rash! I feel terrible. I'm vegetarian and I've been consuming lots of bananas and avocados while bfing. I never noticed any reaction in him after consuming breast milk.

Does anyone have tips on where to look to find basic information about food allergies? Any good books to recommend? Any hope of these allergies disappearing in a few years? Thanks for any advice. I feel so bad for my ds.
post #2 of 15
I would start here http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/pofak we've been through the allergy ringer ourselves
post #3 of 15
Here are a few other sites with some interesting info on them regarding allergies:

Cross Reactivity

Botanical List of Food Families

Food Allergy/Intolerance List

HTH some! We are also currently dealing with multiple food allergies ourselves.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Those are great links! Thank you. Yahoo groups seems to have a group for everything. I just sent an email to join.

Can I ask what your personal allergy stories are? When did you discover the allergies, while breastfeeding or when introducing the food to your DC? When did you start solids? I'm wondering whether to stop solids all together until 1 year. Unfortunately I'm currently supplementing formula, about 10 oz/day (but my bfing problems are a topic for another forum), so I had hoped that introducing solids would keep me from having to increase the amount of formula I'm giving. I think my breasts top out at about 24 oz/day despite all kinds of crazy efforts. I wonder if I would qualify for a human milk bank...

Any experiences with banana/avocado allergies? Since those with latex allergies are often allergic to banana/avocado, I'm wondering if he's allergic to latex also. Sigh.

Thanks again for the links!
post #5 of 15

Our allergy story is long and intense, but, yes, ds2 reacted strongly through breastmilk, starting at 2 months (directly after his 2-mos vaxes Won't be doing those again). He stopped growing for five months and was completely torn up, head to toe, with the worst eczema any of his drs. had ever seen. His first peds. didn't want to refer us to specialists, took it personally when we pursued specialists on our own and, when we switched peds, reported us to CPS. That was fun. (for the record, CPS was great; just followed up with our other drs. for a couple months and even said our old ped. had a god complex. It was still the most frightening experience of my life.)

To make a very long story as short as possible, ds2 was ultimately found to be allergic to dairy (now ana to dairy, even on contact), soy, eggs, nuts, peanuts, corn, wheat, mustard, buckwheat, banana and avocado and most of the latex spectrum. I've been on the same diet for nearly two years now. We assumed a latex allergy b/c of his severe reactions to banana and avocado and it was recently confirmed as a high positive. Banana and avocado have been pretty easy to avoid; the related fruits have proven to be a little limiting, but not impossible. (beware of "natural fruit flavorings", esp in meds) I would err on the side of caution, as we did, and assume a latex allergy. We have noticed, even though we've made sure that everyone touching him uses latex-free equipment, that every time we're at the drs'/hospital his eyes become red and swollen and he frequently leaves with a rash. Someone on POFAK (great group) suggested sticking with morning appts. By afternoon, the latex powder is lingering on clothes and hands and in the air.


post #6 of 15
I have food allergies so we watch my dd carefully and follow the four day wait rule for feeing infant new foods. Are bananna and avacado the ony two foods you have introduced thus far? If there were more foods, what were they and was there no reaction? How old is he?

Rozalia 8/23/2003
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Missy, wow, you have been through a tough time! How old is your DS now? Any hope that the allergies will abate with time? (I read that they sometimes go away by age 2 or 3). Thanks for your story. It makes my son's rashes not seem so tough, but then again, I wonder if they will develop into something more.

Nita, my son is 6 months, and the only foods that he's had are oatmeal (no reaction), avocado and banana. He had oatmeal for one week, then avocado (rash), then we waited three days and tried banana (rash). On the first day of banana, he didn't have any reaction, but the next day, he had a rash almost everywhere the banana touched. We introduced oatmeal before rice cereal because he has had lots of constipation issues.
post #8 of 15
One the day he did not have an allergy to bananna did it not get on as skin as much or was it wiped quickly? Was what different about that day, if you recall?
post #9 of 15
Hi Nosy--

ds2 is now 25 months and a lot of his RAST numbers have gone down considerably. It's entirely possible that he'll outgrow wheat and soy in the next year, and maybe eggs in about three years. We saw an allergist up at Johns Hopkins a few weeks ago and ds' allergies are **nothing** compared to many of his patients. Really puts things in perspective. He said that our total avoidance of even the milder allergens has been the greatest contributor to his decreasing numbers and to just keep that up. He's probably stuck with dairy; that one's pretty high and he's very reactive, even to the airborne protein. And, of course, latex isn't going anywhere and so he won't outgrow banana and avocado and most of that spectrum, but that's small beans compared to his current list. I know of people who dwell on "if" or "when" their child is going to outgrow the allergies--it's not worth that kind of energy. It's easier to just change your lifestyle and your view of "normal" than to put life on hold for a "maybe".

I don't post on MDC very much, but it was the mamas here who got me through when my son was so sick--they gave me the knowledge and the backbone to stand up to our peds. and to do what was necessary to help my son. So I do try to respond when I see other mamas struggling with it. In the beginning, it's so overwhelming and you feel so alone.

post #10 of 15
About the banana--sometimes it takes an initial exposure to "trigger" an allergy. Then, the next time, the immune system is on alert and reacts...

post #11 of 15
On a lighter note, there are worse things. My whole life I have been allergic to CHOCOLATE. I have cheated a few times and just ate it, but I pay dearly.... big nasty hives that go on and on... I was allergic the same way to peanuts as a kid, but by the age of 12 or so I could eat PB just fine. My choco allergy got better for a while, to the point where i could have it here and there, but then it came back with a vengeance. eek! i avoid peanuts now too in case the same thing to happen. I'm with you all who err on the side of caution.

My 1sd daughter was allergic to dairy until she was seven. Now she lives on "annie's shells". is completely fine. So they can outgrow it, just keep a close watch for return symptoms.

Blessings to you all, it is scary stuff.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Nita, I can't really pinpoint anything different as to when we gave DS the banana the first versus second time, except that my DH mashed it the first time.

Missy, thanks again. I'm getting ready to post on POFAK. Although of course, I hope he'll grow out of it, I've spent my whole life avoiding cats, mold, and dust, so at least I can relate. My goal now is to figure out what I can to do minimize any further allergies. Just one more reason all my bfing difficulties are so frustrating- if only I could breastfeed exclusively! DS gets about 8-10 oz of formula/day despite every herb/pump/supply-enhancing trick in the book. I tried to get my ped to give me a prescription for human milk, thinking that that would be better than any formula, but she said since we don't know what the bf mothers are eating, it probably wouldn't help.

Hippie mom, I can't imagine being allergic to chocolate! Good to hear your DD outgrew her allergy.
post #13 of 15
Rozalia has no food allergies but does have sensitive skin if food touches her skin and is not wiped immediately. That is why I was asking about the bananna. Maybe is is a skin sensitivity?

Also for the moms who mentioned they have seasonal allergies, I also have seasonal, food allergies, and chemical sensitivity. I used to see an allergist, was always sick, had asthma, on 4 medications a day plus an emergency inhaler and nebulizer and now have no problems, do not see the allergist, off all medication, etc. I started taking Bluebonnet Optimum C 1000 and I am healed! I also switched to natural cleaning products.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Interesting idea, Nita. What else is her skin sensitive to, and how is it different from a food allergy?
post #15 of 15
From what I understand about latex allergy, the reactions are usually skin only and short lived, unless of course you're one of those who react systemically or are severely allergic. My guess with the banana on skin reactions would be that it's the same way.

It occurs to me though that if one's skin is reacting to contact, one's mucous membranes would also react to consuming the item, therefor....
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