wondering whether DS has allergies/intolerances - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-12-2010, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've got a suspicion that DS2 (age 4) has a few food issues, allergies or intolerances, but am not sure whether I am interpreting things correctly and so am looking for a few opinions.

Basically, DS2 is sick with respiratory infections way more than his brother (though possibly less than other kids, not sure), probably around 6-8 per year, and often gets ear infections (but again, less frequent than a few other extreme cases I have known), less than respiratory but 4/year about. I also have noticed on occasion a slight rash around his mouth, just distinct small red dots, but haven't been able to link this to anything. It lasts for a few hours up through 2 days. I wonder whether he is having some sort of reaction that is suppressing his immune system a bit.

DS2 is also a fairly picky eater, and only ever wants to eat bread or bread products, and drinks a lot of milk (mostly at school b/c I try to get him to choose another thing to drink when he requests it at home). He goes to school 3 days per week, and while I know that doing an elimination diet might be a good way to assess whether he is having issues with anything, I think it would be a real challenge at school (less so at home, but still hard).

So I'm wondering whether this description sounds like I should be pursuing food allergies/intolerances, and if so, how to go about finding out? I know there is a sort of blood test that can be done at a naturopathic doctor but don't know much beyond that.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:21 AM
 
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Just tuning in and eager for responses. I am in a similar boat, suspecting that DS (3 1/2) might have some food allergies/sensitivities as well and wondering how to know and what to do 1st.
I did (today) just start a 2 week trial of no dairy. I suspect dairy for several reasons.
But I'm concerned at how complicated things can get... what if it's dairy AND something else, etc. It's MUCH harder to do a complete elimination diet with a child. I can't imagine. The dairy feels hard enough!
And I don't know much about allergy testing and what kind to get... I know a lot of times these things don't show up on allergy tests but parents can see a direct correlation.

Listening... !
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:48 AM
 
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My son has soy, egg allergy and milk intolerance. It took us about 12 months to figure it out. The rash around the mouth sounds like allergy, as well as rhinitis (runny nose, respiratory issues). The pediatric allergist told me that allergy tests are usually only 50% correct whether they are positive or negative, the best you can do is an elimination diet. Environmental allergies, on the other hand, are usually spot on.

There are a couple other threads on allergies, it wouldn't hurt to look them up and see other comments as well.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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When I hear "more frequent respiratory infections" and "ear infections", absolutely the first thing I think of is dairy sensitivity. If it were me, I'd pull dairy 100% and see what changes. Then take more steps if necessary. Doing this ALL THE WAY can totally change your life and his. Good luck.

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:53 AM
 
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With a child that age, I'd try allergy testing (for allergies AND intolerances), just to try to help make the guesswork of an elimination diet shorter (because it is tough with and on kids).

Sometimes the things you describe (getting sick more often, nasal drip/congestion, even rashes) can be signs of poor methylation. You might try getting some sublingual methyl b12 (they taste good, so they aren't hard to use - we get one by Jarrow), and just see if taking that makes any difference. There might be more to the picture than that, but it might be worth a try just to see if you notice any improvements. Lately I've been about adding supps/nutrients before I pull foods (I didn't do that at first, we did the hardcore ED, and it was hard).

You might also look at supping zinc, mag, and vite D - all those are great immune system supports, and being low in any of them can depress your immune system. I'm not sure what exactly changed for my DS (we added a LOT of supps over the summer), but he was sick ALL winter last year, and he's had one small cold this winter (and his sister started kindy, so we probably have more exposure).

That all said, sometimes the foods they crave are a clue to the biggest offenders - and in the OP case, that sounds like dairy and gluten. So if/when you do get around to pulling foods, I'd start with those ones.

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Hi;
I'm in your boat as well. My son is 6.5 but I've suspected dairy for a while too (he's been on and off for most of his life). Well this winter the small red dots around his mouth (exactly how you described) turned into yellow, crusty blisters basically covering his entire bottom lip and the area underneath. For some reason he's always worse in winter time.
Is your son pale with dark under eye circles? Mine looks anemic, I had him tested for iron, but that came back fine.
My son is now on the Dairy elimination diet and his poor lip is finally healing. I will continue to monitor him, there are multiple other symptoms he has, but I don't want to hijack your thread!
Oh and the book that explains all this and more (is basically guiding me through this process) is "Is this your child?" by Doris Rapp. Definitely worthwhile to have around if you suspect allergies of any sort!

SAHM to one moody son J hat.gif(06-27-03), one super-girly daughter M hearts.gif (02-23-06) and welcome Sophie! energy.gif(05-23-10) expecting fourth in July baby.gif

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Old 01-14-2010, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all of the suggestions.

i think we're going to go in for the testing - i keep thinking about how to logistically do a gluten and dairy free trial, and i think it would be really challenging with daycare, and at DS' age, he won't understand and just feel bad about not being able to have some things that he wants and has always had. i think it would be totally different if he were home all the time and i had total environmental control.

my ds sometimes has dark circles, sometimes not. my husband has deeper circles under his eyes naturally and so i never know whether to interpret DS' as just genetic or indicative of some sensitivity.

going to check out the book and supplement suggestions, thanks!
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alison77 View Post
my ds sometimes has dark circles, sometimes not. my husband has deeper circles under his eyes naturally and so i never know whether to interpret DS' as just genetic or indicative of some sensitivity.
And maybe your DH has food intolerances/allergies as well. That's always a possibility.

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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i am going through some testing with my 10 month old, who is failing to thrive. He has no other health concerns and the reason seems to point to allergy and gi. A blood test for allergies(by our ped), I was later told is unreliable for younger children. A skin test shows allergies, but nor intolerances and I was told was very reliable. And up next we have a upper endoscopy to see if there is anything physically wrong, but it also will tell us if he has an allergy. And then if allergy then we will have to challenge the top allergy cause foods.

I did want to say that I was given a list of ingredients that contain milk proteins . I'll type them in when I have time.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alison77 View Post
thanks for all of the suggestions.

i think we're going to go in for the testing - i keep thinking about how to logistically do a gluten and dairy free trial, and i think it would be really challenging with daycare, and at DS' age, he won't understand and just feel bad about not being able to have some things that he wants and has always had. i think it would be totally different if he were home all the time and i had total environmental control.
I think you are right. I would do the testing before trying to elimination diets.

Elimination diets can be pretty difficult when you are shooting blind.

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