Long time MDC lurker here... Can I get some feedback from the forum pros to make sure we're on the right path with respect to my 4.5yo DD's food issues?
Background: Fussy, sleepless baby. Exclusively BF. When she was 9mo we had an IgE test done after a yogurt reaction and she tested positive for dairy. I eliminated it from my diet from 1 year though weaning @ 3.5yo (although, I was not overly careful during her last year of BFing) and we kept her on soy products after weaning.
Around the time she weaned she began to get eczema all over her body which her ped. showed no interest in trying to solve. I got fed up and a few months ago, I brought her to a DC who ran a IgG panel on her. SURPRISE! No IgG reaction to dairy but has a reaction to soy and eggs. He said that her IgE reaction to dairy had likely cleared up since she didn't get hives/rashes when she had them.
1) The DC recommends staying off of soy and eggs for 6 months, then re-testing. Seem like a reasonable plan to you?
2) Is it possible that the test for dairy is a false negative b/c she was on a (very lazy) dairy-free diet when the blood sample was drawn? I'm wondering b/c since we've given up soy and eggs, but gone back on the dairy, her eczema actually seems worse! But, it's only been one week, and we went swimming last Sunday and she always has a reaction to the pool water, too.
Don't know if I should give it time, or retest....
Just trying to clear up something. You said at the beginning that it was an IgE allergy. Then when you said it was retested, you said dairy wasn't an IgG. So was the second test IgG only? Or was it IgE and IgG? Or was it IgE?
If you add a food back in, like dairy, and there's a worsening, then it's either a false-negative or the wrong test. OR when you took out soy and eggs, did you increase ANYthing else? And did you take out all the soy and eggs? Soy is in a lot of stuff (lecithin and vegetable oil, though they're getting better about marking things).
You also might want to start a food journal if you haven't already and start marking down all the food she eats, and any/all symptoms. You might find some smaller or less well known triggers (depending on what the doctor tested her on - did he test her only on the top 10, for example, or was there a blood test for 200 foods?). I react to some pools. With eczema, I thought people usually got better in chlorinated pools... don't remember why though.
There were 2 tests:
Test #1 was back in 2007 and was an IgE test for dairy. She tested positive for what the ped. called a 'low level' allergic reaction to dairy. His RX was to avoid giving her dairy products until she was 1 year of age. I found this RX to be utter crap -- not only did I have to avoid giving her dairy products until she was around 2, I also had to give them up for 2 years because we were BFing and she was having horrible sleep issues due to the dairy allergy.
Test #2 was an IgG-only test from BioTek Labs, which was last month. She tested negative for dairy (actually was one of the LEAST allergic foods she tested for!!!). The doc (a different one) said her IgE reaction to dairy had likely cleared up b/c of our avoidance for so long. So, he OK'd us for dairy, but said to cut out soy and eggs. We've been doing so to the best of our ability- even watching for hidden sources of soy like lecithin and oil.
I just wanted to check with the folks in this forum who have been down the road before and make sure this makes sense. Can someone really 'outgrow' their IgE allergy? And, if she's not having rash, gas, or tummy aches to dairy now, and is showing no IgG reaction in a test, can I really say she's 'outgrown' her allergy?
Thanks in advance for any input!
So it sounds like she tested IgG negative for dairy, but the DC didn't do an IgE test for dairy, so s/he's just hypothesizing that it's ok now. I would discard the idea that she's still IgE positive to dairy.
It is possible to outgrow an IgE allergy. I *think* that is more likely to happen when you're particularly good at avoiding it.
Chlorinated pools can help eczema because they keep it from getting a secondary infection. Lots of children/adults with eczema have problems because it gets infected; the skin is so broken much of the time. Bleach baths and pools can help if this is a problem for you. I am not sure if it helps if secondary infections aren't your problem. Also, chlorine pools DO give some people eczema. They are very drying as well.
I second Kathy's idea to do food journaling. I would also do a strict dairy elimination diet and see if that helps. If you get to a baseline, then you can challenge with dairy.
We never tested IgE positive to dairy (despite having other IgE positives to egg, wheat, peanut), but every time we challenge with dairy, we get disrupted sleep, and sometimes a bit of itchy eczema. We're pretty strict about no dairy for DS, other than the "challenges." (I put challenge in quotes because they aren't necessarily planned in advance. Like last week when DS was really jonesing for my Chipotle leftovers, having already wolfed his down. We told him it had milk/dairy in it, and he wanted to eat it. Yes, we let him make this decision. And he had disrupted sleep for 2 nights.)
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.
Somewhere you'll find statistics about how likely it is that a child will outgrow an IgE allergy to milk (by age 1, age 2, age, 5). I think you're more likely to outgrow an IgE allergy than an intolerance (which I think you have to be healed from), but that's just my opinion. Since there was no IgE test for dairy, it's still possible that she's allergic to it. Or there's always the chance for false positives and false negatives on those tests. Reactions trump results, isn't that how the saying goes?
Thanks for the input, everyone!
Because I'm dealing with 2 kiddos who are sensitive now (I'm on elimination to figure out what DS is reacting to -- I'm pretty sure it's dairy and soy), I'm keeping DD on the current doc's/IgG test's recommendations (dairy OK, no soy or eggs) for a few weeks to see what happens. Her skin has gotten a bit better even in the last few days, but again, I don't know if that's the diet or b/c we're getting a few days away from the pool visit.
IgE and IgG are two totally different things. An IgE test won't tell you anything about IgG "intolerances", and an IgG test won't tell you anything about IgE allergies. So the fact that the 2nd test (an IgG test) showed no reaction to dairy doesn't say anything at all about her IgE allergy to dairy.
Additionally, IgG tests, from what I understand, are prone to false negatives if you haven't consumed the food recently (a few months, I think?). IIrc, IgE tests aren't like that.
If her eczema's gotten worse, and you can't tie it to the pool, my next suspect would be dairy if you added it recently.
Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
@Deva - that's what I thought, I just wasn't explaining myself well. Thanks!
Her skin looks better still today, and no sleep issues/tummyaches so I remain hopeful, But, if at the end of 2 weeks I don't see drastic improvement, I know what the culprit is and the cow's milk will be banished from the house again.