I strongly suspect that Ds2 (6 years old) is allergic to strawberries, but haven't identified anything else. About a month ago, he developed a strange, scaly, dry, red-bumpy rash all around his mouth. He had eaten a lot of strawberries in the days previous, so I figured it might be that. I took him off strawberries completely (he loves them! ), and the rash went away. I gave him small amounts over the last couple of weeks, and he was fine. At breakfast on Wednesday, he ate 10 or so, and got a rash by Wednesday afternoon. He says he doesn't feel any tingling, tightness, couching, breathing issues, etc that are characteristic of an anaphalactic reaction, so that eases my mind some.
No one in my family is allergic to anything (that we know of), so this is new territory to me. Googling "strawberry allergy" has not helped much.
So some semi-ignorant newbie to the world of allergies question:
Is it possible to be allergic to only one thing, and that only in larger quantities?
If he is allergic, but keeps ingesting, will the reaction get worse over time?
I do plan to have him tested so that I know, but not immediately because our health insurance stinks.
Thanks to anyone who has input!
It doesn't sound like a true (IgE) allergy but could be an intolerance. If you are worried it may lead to an ana reaction, I would suggest a visit to an allergist. It is also possible that things get worse with larger amounts of a food. I know I can eat some watermelon but if I go over say 2 slices, I have an oral reaction.
It sounds like an intolerance (my DS gets a rash on his mouth with some of his intolerances) but I always rule out allergies, just in case.
Could be many possibilities, and folks have already expressed several. It could be just a sensitivity, strawberries and kiwis as well, plus tomatoes, other fruit can cause some upset. No tingling sensation is encouraging. I would lean towards limiting them (try cooking them!) and not worrying about it. If it is a histamine response, it could be connected with an environmental allergies, as cross-reactions are possible. If the body is allergic to ragweed, say, then you can get a mild response from blueberries, etc. I don't know what strawberries are connected to.
Also, don't dismiss other allergies entirely. Most people think of swelling, hives, etc., but also lethargy, confusion, panic attacks (heart racing like an adrenaline rush), headaches, intestinal cramps, coughing, frequent urination can also be allergic responses. My DD's wheat allergy started to express itself at 3 1/2 as lethargy, mood swings, and violent rages.
My niece is allergic to strawberries, but it's artificial strawberry flavor that can send her to the hospital. Go figure!
In spite of all the dire warnings, if none of the responses you've received has raised any red flags, I say relax, be watchful, and just limit the amount. I get mild reactions from grapes and blueberries, but I still eat them in small amounts. But then i have tons of allergies, even some severe ones, so maybe that's not a good example.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
Thanks for all you input. I am pretty obsessive about washing strawberries, so it's probably not anything surface related. I did think it might be pesticide related, as conventional strawberries absorb that stuff easily. So, the organic pick-your-own farm opens its fields next week, so I am going to get some fresh from the source and see if he gets the same reaction.
I have given him other berries, kiwi, etc and no reaction.
An interesting thought that it might be a combination reaction to environmental factors plus the berries. How in the world to you figure that out?
Maybe unrelated - but he refuses to eat most nuts, including peanuts or peanut butter (his dad and siblings live on the stuff). Maybe he knows something we don't?
Not two allergies together. If the body has an histamine response to proteins in a particular pollen source, the body can mistake some fruits for that source and have a reaction. (Cooking usually destroys the offending compounds.) The theory goes (I'm parroting my allergist here) is that fruits don't have significant sources of proteins, if any, and this would explain why some people can get a true allergic response to them. How can you tell the difference? Sometimes it's obvious (see other people's responses above!), other times, it's mild enough to be a guess: allergy or sensitivity? But it's all the same to your poor red bum when it all comes out in the end (sorry, i couldn't help myself there.)
My highly allergic DD chooses to avoid strawberries and tomatoes, two fruits that often cause trouble, and I have no doubt that she feels something unpleasant. When we were eliminating allergens from her diet, I was lax on eggs, but she eventually chose to not eat them. Once wheat and other major ones were gone from her diet I think she noticed the effects of them more clearly.
Being 6, you could ask him why he doesn't eat peanut butter or whatever else. Maybe he doesn't like the flavor, and walnuts and pecans can really bug people sensitive to tannic acid. Or maybe he does have an allergy.
I think your plan to have him tested is a good one, and I think that waiting until the money comes in is no problem , because it doesn't sound as if anything is causing a lot of trouble. I have a lot of environmental allergies, and got tested for those. I didn't think i had any food allergies, but decided to get tested anyway because they are so much easier to control--and wow!--I had so many allergies! How did I not notice this? Really I was in an allergic fog. Nothing was causing anaphylactic reactions, so I didn't think I had an allergy. Some were pretty severe, though, and as I eliminated them I noticed the symptoms if I ate them accidentally (the first thing peanuts do is make my eyelids feel fat). And I felt so much better. I had no idea how bad I was feeling day to day, I just thought it was being a mom! But it was like taking Prozac, I felt that much better. So allergies can be kind of sneaky.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.