Arnica to treat anaphylaxis? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Both my kids have potentially life threatening allergies and carry epipens. I know a classical homeopath who said arnica pellets (to be ingested via under tongue) would reverse a serious allergic reaction. Anyone else heard this or have experience with using arnica in addition to / instead of antihistimines or epinephrine?

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#2 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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Are you sure they didn't say apis? That's the normal one for hives... haven't heard of arnica being used before.

We have used apis and histaminum for hives or swelling, but if it went to full blown anaphylaxis I would skip straight to epipen! Sometimes they work for us, sometimes not.

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#3 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks - yes, she definitely said arnica, and without proof, there's no way I would use anything besides epinephrine. Will do a bit more digging.

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#4 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 04:48 AM
 
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I beg you not to try this out.

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#5 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 07:44 AM
 
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I think the problem is that anaphylaxis is an emergency that happens so very quickly. I'd be nervous that, if arnica didn't work, the child's condition may have deteriorated a lot by the time they got their epi-pen. I think the level of research would have to be quite high for me to even attempt it, and I haven't seen anything that convincing out there about homeopathy for severe allergic reactions. If your kids only had minor reactivity I'd be answering differently. I definitely think natural treatments have a place in relation to allergies, but I tend to use them more for prevention and maintenance. When there is an acute crisis I go for the Western medications, despite the side effects.
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#6 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 08:36 AM
 
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As someone who had several life-threatening anaphylactic reactions as a child -- I beg you not to try this "instead." If you'd like to try it as a supportive treatment, that's a different story, but anaphylaxis is so fast, and so terrifying (did you know that one symptom of it in a list I saw once is "A feeling of impending doom?") and the epi works *so* well and so fast.

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#7 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 09:05 AM
 
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I beg you not to try this out.
I second this.

Anaphalixis must be treated immediately with epinephrine. That's it. End of story. For this "homeopathic" somebody to suggest trying something else is irresponsible and borders on criminal.

This is the problem I have with homeopathic medicine. I studied eastern medicine years ago and walked away from it because the practitioners felt it was the end all be all. If I have a cold - yeah, I'll take homeopathic remedies. If I break my leg - I'm seeing an orthopedist. They felt that was the wrong and that they can "cure" anything. Um, nope.

There is no homeopathic remedy that will stop an anaphalatic reaction.

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#8 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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I second this.

Anaphalixis must be treated immediately with epinephrine. That's it. End of story. For this "homeopathic" somebody to suggest trying something else is irresponsible and borders on criminal.

There is no homeopathic remedy that will stop an anaphalatic reaction.
OMG- just because it didn't work for you, doesn't mean it doesn't work. Obviously, in emergency cases like an ana reaction, you're not going to ONLY use homeopathy and ignore everything else. And yes, suggesting otherwise is irresponsible- but I don't think anyone has suggested that. Also- the OP very specifically stated that it could reverse a "serious reaction"- it says nothing about anaphylaxis.

For us personally, I give homeopathics as SOON as I see a hint of a reaction starting- if I see one tiny hive or blotchy spot near DD's mouth, I toss a couple pellets in her mouth and watch closely. Sometimes it stops the hives in their track, and they are gone within a minute. Sometimes it doesn't, and the reaction progresses, in which case we move on to other options. We haven't had to use our epipen yet. What has actually worked for us for one of our recent major facial swelling reactions was vitamin C. We weren't threatened with anaphylaxis, since we only had swelling (not near her mouth), so there was no emergency. We tried homeopathics with no results. Doc said to give benadryl... did NOTHING. Two hours later, I gave her a large dose of vitamin C, and the swelling started going down within about 5 minutes and was gone the next day.

You also have to know your own child- if you know your child goes into full-blown anaphylaxis within 30 seconds, certainly don't mess around with a treatment that you don't know will work- go straight for the big guns, no questions asked.

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#9 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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OMG- just because it didn't work for you, doesn't mean it doesn't work. Obviously, in emergency cases like an ana reaction, you're not going to ONLY use homeopathy and ignore everything else. And yes, suggesting otherwise is irresponsible- but I don't think anyone has suggested that. Also- the OP very specifically stated that it could reverse a "serious reaction"- it says nothing about anaphylaxis.
The OP asked if anyone had heard of, or had any personal experience with using Arnica instead of epinephrine. Epinephrine is used for ana reactions. Hence people's valid concern over the question.

OP - I have never, ever heard of any viable alternative to epinephrine for severe ana reactions. In life-or-death situations, I wouldn't be taking any chances with my kids, and I hope that you do the same. As someone else mentioned, you don't really have the option of the *wait-and-see* approach with such a severe allergy.
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#10 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thx for all the replies, and please don't worry - I am NOT planning to use anything except our epipens in the event of a reaction. I have been trained extensively on anaphylaxis management as well as autoinjectors, and would not dream of using arnica or advising others to use arnica instead of epipen to treat a reaction. I guess I should have made thar more clear in my op.

Because of what I had heard, I had simply wanted to know if others had heard of it or tried it, and I guess the answer is a resounding 'no'.

Thanks everyone.

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#11 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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thx for all the replies, and please don't worry - I am NOT planning to use anything except our epipens in the event of a reaction. I have been trained extensively on anaphylaxis management as well as autoinjectors, and would not dream of using arnica or advising others to use arnica instead of epipen to treat a reaction. I guess I should have made thar more clear in my op.

Because of what I had heard, I had simply wanted to know if others had heard of it or tried it, and I guess the answer is a resounding 'no'.

Thanks everyone.

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#12 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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Urtica Urens 30C has definitely helped us a lot with hives and rashes.
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#13 of 29 Old 10-25-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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There is no homeopathic remedy that will stop an anaphalatic reaction.
This is patently untrue. That said I would never suggest that anyone attempt to treat homeopathically during this kind of reaction. It would be irresponsible at best *unless* it was being used while help was already on the way.

I have personally seen a remedy work to stop anaphylaxis. However the remedy was given by one parent while the other went for the epi-pen. It did stop the reaction in it's tracks. Not just once either. It was not arnica. It was the child's constitutional remedy which also happens to have a long history in managing allergic reactions. The idea was the remedy was reducing susceptibility-it wasn't prescribed FOR the reaction. It just happened to work. The epi pen has never been needed.

I can't begin to see how arnica would be a good choice for this. Can you get more information?

I will also say that I agree with SpottedFoxx. Too many practitioners put all their eggs in one basket and stand firm in the belief that they can fix everything. There is NOTHING out there that is 100% effective. The best thing you can do in any field is know your limits. You cannot mess with people's lives. Promising things you can't deliver *is* criminal. Homeopathic medicine can be miraculous when it's well prescribed, but that's not easy to do. And I have great remedies for bone breaks...but get the danged thing set first.

Alternative and complementary medicine can really shine when people are willing to seek information. The best results I've ever seen where when people dropped their egos (practitioners) and multiple modalities came together and everyone brought what had to the table.

Emergency medicine can shine in a vacuum. But that's not generally how healing happens. In a crisis we're not talking about healing. For an emergency situation unless you have a ridiculously high level of training you use what is tried and true. You don't play "what if" guessing games. My two cents.

(and vitamin C can be amazing...but there's the time sensitive issue you brought up, CS. If you have 30 seconds, as you said it's just not an option. 5 minutes? perhaps.)
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#14 of 29 Old 10-26-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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Vitamin C has a very interesting roll in the mast cell world (mast cells are what release histamine). Here's an interesting article if you are so inclined... http://www.articlesbase.com/nutritio...i-1004524.html

Quote:
I have personally seen a remedy work to stop anaphylaxis. However the remedy was given by one parent while the other went for the epi-pen. It did stop the reaction in it's tracks. Not just once either. It was not arnica. It was the child's constitutional remedy which also happens to have a long history in managing allergic reactions. The idea was the remedy was reducing susceptibility-it wasn't prescribed FOR the reaction. It just happened to work. The epi pen has never been needed.
This isn't a case of using an homeopathic remedy FOR anapahalaxis. This is a case of a long history of dealing with a person's allergies and having things already on board that managed a reaction. This is my daily life. I have a rare disease which is allergic in nature. I live on a mix of eastern and western medicine. It's what keeps me alive. I have staved off anaphalaxis using various meds other than epi - however, if I go into anaphalaxis (not the state prior but true anaphalaxis), I must use epi.

This is where I have a problem. Breaking out in hives is not an ana reaction. Swelling of the lips and/or tongue is not anaphalaxis. It's an EXTREME reaction meaning your throat closes, your blood pressure either skyrockets or plummets. You can lose consciousness. You may lose control of bodily functions. You can hemorrhage from a full degranulation of mast cells. If hives or swelling were true signs of ana, I'd be shooting myself up daily.

Some of what is described here is not really anaphalaxis but an allergic reaction. Now, I'm not saying to wait till a person (especially a child) goes into full ana before administering epi, if that person is known to go into shock with certain substances and they come in contact with it - absolutely. However, giving someone something when they are having an allergic reaction and it doesn't go into full anaphalaxis doesn't mean it necessarily stopped an anaphalatic reaction.

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#15 of 29 Old 10-26-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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You are correct on each count. That was not a case of a remedy given for anaphylaxis. It was a remedy given that halted the progression. Though there was CNS, GI and respiratory involvement it did stop. I'm not talking about a few hives that the remedy tamed. Again, this is a singular exception and not even close to the rule.

I have two kids with anaphylactic reactions and both have epi's but we are very lucky in that we've had excellent guidance for many years now and have been able to reduce susceptibility. Same triggers, less severe reactions. We now have time.

Most of what people are describing here are not true anaphylactic reactions. Using alternative medicine for hives and swelling *when you have time to do so* is a very different ball game.
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#16 of 29 Old 10-26-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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Anaphylaxis is a multi-system response. Hives + palate swelling = anaphylaxis. Asthma + vomiting = anaphylaxis. It may not lead to anaphylactic shock (where one's blood pressure drops). It might. If I experience hives + a thick feeling in my throat, I reach for the epi-pen. If it's just hives or minor local lip swelling, I monitor my reaction to see if it progresses.

I would not use arnica for anaphylaxis.

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This is where I have a problem. Breaking out in hives is not an ana reaction. Swelling of the lips and/or tongue is not anaphalaxis.
But both of those things happening at the same time DOES = an anaphylactic reaction. Not all anaphylactic reactions will lead to system shut-down and death. That's why it's important not to apply rules to all allergic people- you need to know your own (or your child's) history and base your decisions on that (plus current symptoms.)

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Anaphylaxis is a multi-system response. Hives + palate swelling = anaphylaxis. Asthma + vomiting = anaphylaxis. It may not lead to anaphylactic shock (where one's blood pressure drops). It might.


I think the point is to use the alternative medicine to slow/stop symptoms before it turns into full-blown anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock.) Again, if your child's history shows that they go into full anaphylaxis in less than a minute, you don't have that time to mess around with other treatments. But if they take 10 minutes to reach that state? Maybe giving alternative meds ONE minute to halt symptoms is worth a try. It's a judgment call.

The OP states that the homeopath told her that it could "reverse a serious allergic reaction", NOT that it would reverse a state of anaphylactic shock. So before we continue jumping down others' throats, let's just get that clarified.

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#18 of 29 Old 10-26-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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Anaphylaxis is a multi-system response. Hives + palate swelling = anaphylaxis. Asthma + vomiting = anaphylaxis. It may not lead to anaphylactic shock (where one's blood pressure drops). It might.

I would not use arnica for anaphylaxis.
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#19 of 29 Old 10-26-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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I think the point is to use the alternative medicine to slow/stop symptoms before it turns into full-blown anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock.) Again, if your child's history shows that they go into full anaphylaxis in less than a minute, you don't have that time to mess around with other treatments. But if they take 10 minutes to reach that state? Maybe giving alternative meds ONE minute to halt symptoms is worth a try. It's a judgment call.
and this. exactly. Dd takes a little while now and we can always stop it. However she used to be far more reactive and far quicker to react. We have some time and the epi pen is out and ready when we treat. Luckily we've never had to use it. Ds is the same way. Though things have *really* changed for him.
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#20 of 29 Old 10-27-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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There is no homeopathic remedy that will stop an anaphalatic reaction.
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This is patently untrue.
Do you have a link to some science I'm unaware of that says that?

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#21 of 29 Old 10-27-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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no, and I said specifically in my OP that it wasn't a remedy for anaphylaxis. The way that homeopathy works (unless it's in an acute illness that is following a particular pattern like chicken pox, a particular strain of flu etc) is to support the individual in their specific responses. A study cannot exist when conducted by mainstream protocols to evaluate this.

For instance, there are a hundred or so remedies that are excellent for improving/regulating thyroid function. Calc carb is only going to work for you if you fit that picture with those symptoms. Your sister may need kali carb. You neighbor, kali iodatum. This is a modality that address the person, not the disease.

Now the way that repertories are built is that case studies confirm the actions of certain remedies. If I look up anaphylaxis in my repertory several remedies are listed. That doesn't mean that they'll work for you. That means that if the response fits the picture then they may. Again, you can't treat based on a single symptom.

There are case studies of individuals, but there are no trials with specific remedies as there are no remedies for *anaphylaxis.* There are remedies for people who experience it. Once again, I wouldn't use them in an acute situation which is what seems to be getting missed here. No one has suggested that a remedy should ever be used instead of emergency medicine in an emergency situation.
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#22 of 29 Old 10-28-2010, 06:48 AM
 
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No, you did say that it was untrue that "There is no homeopathic remedy that will stop an anaphalatic reaction." By which you are saying that there IS such a homeopathic remedy.

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#23 of 29 Old 10-28-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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No, you did say that it was untrue that "There is no homeopathic remedy that will stop an anaphalatic reaction." By which you are saying that there IS such a homeopathic remedy.
those two sentences are not the same. a basic understanding of homeopathic medicine would tell you that there is no "remedy" for any condition. that's not how it works. so while there is no "remedy" for indigestion, there are many remedies that work beautifully when they are well matched.
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#24 of 29 Old 10-28-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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Both my kids have potentially life threatening allergies and carry epipens. I know a classical homeopath who said arnica pellets (to be ingested via under tongue) would reverse a serious allergic reaction. Anyone else heard this or have experience with using arnica in addition to / instead of antihistimines or epinephrine?
I'm curious as to why you are looking for an alternative treatment to epinephrine? It just seems like such a no-brainer to me to reach for the epi-pen if my child is experiencing anaphylaxis. Enlighten me

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#25 of 29 Old 10-28-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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I'm curious as to why you are looking for an alternative treatment to epinephrine? It just seems like such a no-brainer to me to reach for the epi-pen if my child is experiencing anaphylaxis. Enlighten me
She's not. If you read the whole thread, you'll see that.

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#26 of 29 Old 10-28-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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http://www.romanreign.com/how_to_sur...axis_shock.htm

I saw the topic of this thread the other day, and it concerned me. So, I did a little googling, and found the above link. It is a pretty detailed account of a person's experience with anaphylaxis, including mention of arnica, and how it factors into their treatment regimen.
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#27 of 29 Old 10-28-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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In that instance the arnica is being used for the emotional/mental component more than anything *unless* physical damage (like contusions) were sustained during the event. It is excellent for shock and trauma. This isn't really for the physical affects of anaphylaxis-there are better remedies for that.

Regardless that's not part of treatment....it's cleaning up afterwards. That makes more sense.
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#28 of 29 Old 10-29-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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But both of those things happening at the same time DOES = an anaphylactic reaction. Not all anaphylactic reactions will lead to system shut-down and death. That's why it's important not to apply rules to all allergic people- you need to know your own (or your child's) history and base your decisions on that (plus current symptoms.)





I think the point is to use the alternative medicine to slow/stop symptoms before it turns into full-blown anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock.) Again, if your child's history shows that they go into full anaphylaxis in less than a minute, you don't have that time to mess around with other treatments. But if they take 10 minutes to reach that state? Maybe giving alternative meds ONE minute to halt symptoms is worth a try. It's a judgment call.

The OP states that the homeopath told her that it could "reverse a serious allergic reaction", NOT that it would reverse a state of anaphylactic shock. So before we continue jumping down others' throats, let's just get that clarified.
My son is anphylactic.
I just want to clear up a couple of things because I think it's important for people to know.

Your previous reactions (severity, time frame, start and escalation, symptoms, etc.) have no predictive value for future reactions. My son's most severe anaphylaxis started with hives within maybe 5 minutes of ingestion of trace amounts of his allergen. I treated them like we had treated hive reactions in the past and we went on. The hives continued. He complained of a "rock in his throat" maybe 15 minutes later. I eventually put him to bed because anaphylaxis didn't register. He was in anaphlaxis but I was unaware. He survived that. He seemed better. He went to sleep. He woke up vomiting, diarrhea, completely swollen everywhere, hives again, pale, etc. about two hours later. I feel very fortunate he survived the biphasic/secondary reaction.

My point is this--that was a drawn out sequence but his next anaphylaxis could be directly to shock and death. Also, research has shown that even a brief delay in epi pen administration leads to an increased risk of death. Most those who die in anaphylaxis did get an epi pen. They just got it too late to reverse the cascade.

For that reason no respected allergist would advise a person to delay an epi and try something else given help is on the way. In fact, you give an epi before you even call an ambulance. The timing matters a lot.

Further, as in my son reaction can go away and then go biphasic (more deadly, often the blood pressure drops) two hours later. So a person is to give an epi pen, call an ambulance, and remain in the ER for I think it's two hours but it may be more to watch for that secondary reaction. So I would worry that even if a child appeared to respond to a treatment you would still be at risk of a more severe reaction later. Anaphylaxis does kill so I would never consider anything as a substitute personally.

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#29 of 29 Old 10-29-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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But even in your example, you had 15 minutes of "just" hives before it turned into an ana reaction. That is the time where I'm suggesting that you could try alternative treatments, NOT after it had already turned ana. Unless you have a history of ana reactions every time (which you yourself said you couldn't predict based on history), what would make you think that it was anything other than just hives at that point? And I'm sorry- even with my DD's numerous severe allergies, I'm not going to inject her with epinephrine every time she gets a hive- we would be doing it multiple times a week. Maybe I've missed your point... ??

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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