Benadryl alternative for food allergies? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 04-22-2009, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS has multiple food allergies. We tried the elimination diet but never got him completely symptom-free so it wasn't very telling. We have the results of the first round of tests back and are waiting for more info. In the meantime, we've eliminated the foods that he tested pos for and have noticed a big difference. Every 2-3 days, he reacts to something and we're not sure what it is. He's been getting Benadryl 3 times/week or so. Without it, he will scream and writhe around for hours.

Is there something else I can try until we get all this figured out? A natural antihistamine of some kind? I hate medicating him so much!
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#2 of 18 Old 04-22-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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What kind of symptoms are they?
Are you keeping a food journal?
Gripe Water is what I used with my DD1 (fennel, chamomile, and ginger) but she became sensitive to fennel.... but that's more for stomach pain than an antihistamine.

If it's stomach issues, then the benadryl might just be putting him to sleep vs. helping with symptoms, though I guess it depends whether they're IgE or IgE responses.

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#3 of 18 Old 04-22-2009, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kjbrown92 View Post
What kind of symptoms are they?
Are you keeping a food journal?
He does have some eczema that gets better and worse but has never cleared up. Very occasionally, he will scratch himself up. The main symptom he has is abdominal cramping. His little tummy will be rock hard, and he twists and turns to the point where I can't even hold him on my lap if it's a really bad reaction. He can scream for hours. General clinginess--not even letting me put him down long enough to go to the bathroom without it being a huge dramatic incident. It's so hard because he's not verbal yet, so we don't always know exactly what's wrong. Before we started removing foods, it was so bad that he wasn't napping and his longest stretch of sleep at night was 45 minutes--but mostly he cried day and night. At least things have improved considerably even if they aren't 100% yet.

I've just weaned him and taken him off formula and anything that has more than a couple of ingredients. Everything he eats comes from home so we know exactly what he's eaten. We aren't keeping a food journal, but I think now that we've simplified things it will be easier to tell what he's reacting to. (I'm suspecting corn as a possibility for our horrific week last week!)

So far he's tested positive with an IgE reaction on the skin scratch test to milk, eggs, and peanuts. We're still waiting for the results of blood work for allergy. I also suspect some food intolerances, possibly to gluten (we've been GF for the past 4 months and I'm looking forward to being able to do a challenge on this to see if we need to be GF or not). It's all just so confusing right now.
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#4 of 18 Old 04-22-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by staceyshoe View Post
He does have some eczema that gets better and worse but has never cleared up. Very occasionally, he will scratch himself up. The main symptom he has is abdominal cramping. His little tummy will be rock hard, and he twists and turns to the point where I can't even hold him on my lap if it's a really bad reaction. He can scream for hours. General clinginess--not even letting me put him down long enough to go to the bathroom without it being a huge dramatic incident. It's so hard because he's not verbal yet, so we don't always know exactly what's wrong. Before we started removing foods, it was so bad that he wasn't napping and his longest stretch of sleep at night was 45 minutes--but mostly he cried day and night. At least things have improved considerably even if they aren't 100% yet.
Wow I could have written those exact words. I don't have any antihistamine alternatives--benadryl did not sem to work for DS, and it makes sense because my intuition is that he is not having an allergic response in that way. He also tested negative for IgE response to everything we tested. I started making my own type of gripe water and that helps some with the night time GI symptoms, the gas, bloating, pain, etc., but we are still very much in throws of it.
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#5 of 18 Old 04-23-2009, 01:29 AM
 
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You absolutely need to keep a food journal- that is the only way you will ever figure it out. Trust me... I've been trying to solve the allergy mysteries for 16 months now, and I still keep the journal and look back through it regularly. I've had a few instances where I was sure DD was reacting to a certain food, but then when I looked back over the food journal I realized that it could be something different. Sometimes it's hard to figure out the pattern until you see the same reactions to a certain food over a period of weeks or months.

Also- if you're suspecting a corn allergy, you should know that Benadryl has corn in it. So even if it helps temporarily, it could still cause aggravation in his system if you're giving it on a regular basis.

Can I ask- did you wean him because of the allergies? Do you have enough safe food substitutes to make up for the fat and calories in breastmilk?

I would also suggest getting him a dairy-free probiotic if you haven't already. Also, you could work on some gut healing for him- things like CLO, bone broth, vitamin C, etc.

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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#6 of 18 Old 04-23-2009, 08:37 AM
 
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I'd say you're dealing with both - allergies and intolerances. I second (or third) the food journal idea. It's what kept me sane, trying to figure out what the reactions were. Top 4: dairy, gluten, soy, corn. Dye-free benadryl has less corn but still some, and I didn't find it very helpful for intolerances anyway. The Gripe Water did help, but again, my DD2 became sensitive to it after using it every night for months. What are you feeding him now? Maybe we could wrap our collective heads around it and seeing if anything jumps out at us or if you're missing a major nutrient....

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#7 of 18 Old 04-26-2009, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll definitely start a food journal. We'll also try gripe water, vit c, and probiotics.

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Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post
Can I ask- did you wean him because of the allergies? Do you have enough safe food substitutes to make up for the fat and calories in breastmilk?
I did wean him because of allergies/intolerances. We were both completely egg, gluten, dairy, soy, and corn free for 4 months and he was still having horrible reactions (now I realize it was probably the PB I was eating!).

Right now I know he's not getting his nutritional needs met. His protein and fat intake is not adequate. I was adding some oils (cod liver, flax, and rice bran) to the rice milk that he drank at bedtime, but then I wondered if he was having trouble digesting those oils so took them out again. I keep thinking that if we can get just get 2 weeks clear, then I can add back things and get him nutritionally back on track again. It just isn't coming together the way I hoped.

Right now his major foods are rice, peas, applesauce, chicken, bananas, peaches, and pears. He has several other "occasional" foods which are mostly other fruits and veggies.
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#8 of 18 Old 04-26-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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I assume we are talking about your 13 month old. I would be worried about starting him on rice milk as his only source of a "milk". Any chance you could nurse again?

The food journal is a great tool (I need to get better at keeping mine). I wonder how much vit c. you would give, and would you give it every day? I'm just curious because our children are the same age and I am considering adding vit c.
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#9 of 18 Old 04-26-2009, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, this is my 13 month old. Poor baby!

I feel so torn between eliminating more foods until symptoms clear or adding things back. He hasn't had a major reaction in a week now. I don't know if the remaining problems are from food intolerance or from not getting a healthy diet. It's all so confusing to me!

I totally agree about the rice milk. He's done better since going off breastmilk even though I restricted my diet also. It just made it sooo much harder to figure out what he might be reacting to. I've considered putting him on formula but I supposed I would need to find a hypoallergenic kind because he can't have dairy or corn (corn seems to be a major ingredient in the soy formulas).
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#10 of 18 Old 04-26-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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Yeah, I think the only formula that does not have corn is the allimentum ready to serve. It does have casein but they say it is broken down enough to not cause a problem. Of course that would depend on the child though. If there is one thing I have learned is there are no across the board rules when it comes to allergies.
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#11 of 18 Old 04-26-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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I've considered putting him on formula but I supposed I would need to find a hypoallergenic kind because he can't have dairy or corn (corn seems to be a major ingredient in the soy formulas).
All the 'hypoallergenic' formulas are made of corn. And if they're not, they usually are milk based or have some other major allergen in them.

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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#12 of 18 Old 05-04-2009, 01:16 AM
 
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Vitamin C is a "natural" antihistamine, unfortunately most is made from corn. The only ones are Twinlab Allergy C from sago palm and possibly Nutritiotic Sodium Ascorbate, which is made from corn but it supposed to be okay for corn allergic individuals. Or you could go natural with amla capsules.
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#13 of 18 Old 05-04-2009, 01:17 AM
 
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what is getting for calcium?
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#14 of 18 Old 05-04-2009, 08:09 AM
 
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I've considered putting him on formula but I supposed I would need to find a hypoallergenic kind because he can't have dairy or corn (corn seems to be a major ingredient in the soy formulas).
The Baby's Only Organic Soy does not contain corn. They use brown rice sugar as a carb source. Not sure if that would work for your ds.
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#15 of 18 Old 05-05-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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Soy formula is bad news, especially for males:

http://www.westonaprice.org/soy/index.html
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#16 of 18 Old 05-05-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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If you're worried about giving him too much benadryl, ask his doctor for a perscription for Atarax. It's still an antihistamine, but it's harder to build up a tolerance to. It's a fairly common maintenance medication for small children with eczema.
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#17 of 18 Old 06-28-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Hi. I am new to the discussion. I have a 10 month old who has the same allergies-dairy, peanuts, and egg. My symapthies to you!

We had a blood test and skin prick test to determine what it was. The allergist told me to keep nursing (and just eliminate all those foods)..what a hard change!

Also to supplement she gave me formula called Elecare. My baby does great on it.

Have you looked online for "egg, peanut, and dairy allergies"? The food lists are so long of all the different names that these fall under. Thats what my initial problem was was that I didn't know all the other forms these came in.

My allergist said they could do additional testing too, not sure if you are able to look into more tests. I would definitely agree with the stomach issues being related to gluten. I have been around a lot of people with gluten allergies and intolerance and almost all are stomach related.

My baby suffers from nasty excema as well, I have been told to use Aquaphor which works good too, and Sprouts has really great natural lotions for baby excema that have worked great!

I still have to give my baby Benadryl more related to excema and red splotchiness, and I hate it is there anything else that can help get it under control thats not so medicated?

 

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#18 of 18 Old 06-28-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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