I can't figure out what my child is allergic to - Mothering Forums
Allergies > I can't figure out what my child is allergic to
GracesMama's Avatar GracesMama 12:58 AM 01-11-2010
DD is almost 2. A few months ago, she broke out in hives after eating a bite of shrimp. I also noticed she would get a rash on her face any time she ate something with the preservative, sorbic acid. Our ped did a blood test, testing all the common food allergies, including shell fish, and everything came back negative. We didn't do a blood panel for preservatives, we'd have to go to another doctor for that, but I've been avoiding sorbic acid.

So, fast forward a couple months...the last 2 nights DD has broken out in hives only on her legs. The weird thing is that it happens when she's in the bathtub, right after dinner. However, nothing is different in the bath. We've been using California Baby body wash for sensitive skin since she was born. I was thinking maybe it was something she ate for dinner and the hives just happened to occur 10 minutes later in the bath. However, the only common item we had for dinner the last two nights was broccoli. DD has had broccoli before, but not in the last few weeks. Also, 3 nights ago, I ate shrimp, and yes, she is still nursing quite a bit, but the rash didn't occur until 24 hours after I ate the shrimp, and I haven't had any more and the rash occurred again tonight.

Any thoughts? Could she have spontaneously developed an allergy to the body wash or to broccoli?

sbgrace's Avatar sbgrace 01:21 AM 01-11-2010
I would think the shrimp (and no more eating it mommy )
Hives are notoriously tricky to pin down as they come and go randomly and not always right after the offense (particularly, I would think) when it was possible via breastmilk.

Temperature changes, water, etc. can cause hives too but since this is the first time you've seen it, she's not eating or washing with anything new, and you ate shrimp I think it's most likely the shrimp. You know shellfish allergies can be anaphylactic. I'd avoid anything in that class with her.
elanorh's Avatar elanorh 04:39 AM 01-11-2010
Yes, I'd avoid all shellfish right now. Even though the allergy test was negative for that, allergy tests aren't as reliable until kiddos are around 3 years of age (false positives and false negatives) - the gold standard is whether there is a reaction when kiddo eats the food, and you've had that. None for either of you for now; you can retest in a year and probably have more reliable results.
kjbrown92's Avatar kjbrown92 11:43 AM 01-11-2010
When I used to eat dairy with DS (unintentionally), he would react exactly 24 hours later, so yes, it could still be the shrimp through you. I'd avoid it as well.
FireWithin's Avatar FireWithin 11:55 AM 01-11-2010
This makes me think of a histamine reaction. Shrimp is especially high in histamine. Warm water also brings out histamine. It takes a few days to get histamine out of our systems (I say as I scratch my scalp - too much butter last night)
We are dealing with histamine issues here. There have been a couple of histamine threeads floating around. Do a search for histamine. If nothing comes up do a search for histamine with my name. You'll get something.
sbgrace's Avatar sbgrace 03:45 PM 01-11-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mammo2Sammo View Post
This makes me think of a histamine reaction. Shrimp is especially high in histamine. Warm water also brings out histamine. It takes a few days to get histamine out of our systems (I say as I scratch my scalp - too much butter last night)
We are dealing with histamine issues here. There have been a couple of histamine threeads floating around. Do a search for histamine. If nothing comes up do a search for histamine with my name. You'll get something.
I really am not clear (re: my own son) how to differentiate between hives from a food allergy and hives from histamine.

Shellfish is one of the top eight and has anaphylactic potential so I'd assume allergy and avoid the whole class of shellfish strictly for both of you.
FireWithin's Avatar FireWithin 04:02 PM 01-11-2010
My son and I have both been allergy tested and no ige allergies for us. Yes, I agree you need to take shellfish seriously.
Ds is hungry will write more later.
rhesp1212's Avatar rhesp1212 06:28 PM 01-11-2010
I agree with the PP's about avioding all shellfish for now. Sometimes, it's a case of an iodine allergy.....shellfish is high in iodine. So, you may want to also consider avoiding other foods high in iodine, such as iodized salt.

Once a hive reaction is started, it can come and go for several days up to a week or more before it completely goes away (all from the initial exposure usually).
sbgrace's Avatar sbgrace 06:19 AM 01-12-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mammo2Sammo View Post
My son and I have both been allergy tested and no ige allergies for us. Yes, I agree you need to take shellfish seriously.
Ds is hungry will write more later.
That's helpful! Some of my son's allergies are to high histamine foods (all his known allergies cause hives) but he actually tests positive in allergy tests.
FireWithin's Avatar FireWithin 10:01 AM 01-12-2010
I also would wait another year, do another panel and then fully decide. Although I do think that it is histamine. Do you get itchy with any other foods?

So what is happening to our bodies is that we are not able to process histamine well. It builds up and we get itchy. Some foods are high histamine (shrimp, dairy, tomatoes), other foods release histamine (some grains, citrus). Guess what, my son is allergic (non-ige) to all of this plus a boatload more. So, we are focusing on getting our bodies to be able to process out the histamine in a more timely manner.
Koalamom's Avatar Koalamom 11:10 AM 01-12-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mammo2Sammo View Post
So, we are focusing on getting our bodies to be able to process out the histamine in a more timely manner.
Please share what you are doing. It seems that everything we eat causes skin issues for us. We are working on getting us over it so we can actually eat again.
GracesMama's Avatar GracesMama 02:30 PM 01-12-2010
Thank you everyone. It's starting to make more sense. We're both officially off all shellfish and we'll see what happens. I'm especially curious about the iodine. We use iodized salt in our cooking and sometimes for a little seasoning, but not much.
dollyanna's Avatar dollyanna 03:21 PM 01-12-2010
According to my allergy Dr., allergy blood tests can prove a positive reaction, but not a negative. So, you could test negative for an allergy to shellfish, but still be allergic to it in reality. I have tested negative for at least two things that I am clearly IgE allergic to.

As far as iodine goes, it is generally believed that it is a myth that shellfish allergy = iodine allergy. Most people who have an iodine allergy have an allergy to iodine-containing proteins in shellfish and not to iodine itself. People who are allergic to iodine contrast dyes are actually allergic to something other than the iodine. I have a shellfish allergy and eat iodized salt, etc. without a problem. Iodine is a necessary nutrient. Check out this article http://www.allergicchild.com/shellfish_allergy.htm

However, I DO find that I tend to be allergic to some things that contain iodine as an ingredient, and I'm not sure what the connection is, if any. For example, I am allergic to antibiotic ointment (neosporin, bacitracin, etc) but I think it maybe has to do with the fact that I happen to also be allergic to sulfa class antibiotics.

Cross-contamination is a big thing with shellfish allergy, particularly in restaurants, so watch out for that. Personally, my allergy has gotten so bad that I no longer eat food from Asian restaurants. Also, in case you take glucosamine, that is derived from shellfish.

Good luck!
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