Sugar *ALLERGY*???? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 06-02-2011, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder if any one knows about the possibility of a sugar allergy?  

 

I know a lot about the negative affects of sugar, but what I want to know instead is if anyone has had this experience in themselves or family or had the same suspicion (and tell me why)?

 

DD1 is a highly allergic 6yo.  We a relatively free with sugar, for a whole-foods/ granola kinda family.  I love it, and DD has had so many food issues that when we can find an ice cream she can eat I am thrilled!

     But what I've noticed is that she gets really emotional after she has some of the dark, brown organic sugar we put on her oatmeal, even at amounts that are modest compared to what she eats at other times with no obvious trouble.  Wheat has a similar effect.  Moody, violent, non-verbal, overwhelming.

     I know I can test this through elimination, but I want to hear from others.  I will put this question to our allergist, for sure, but I'm a bit pessimistic that he will agree with me.

     But my thoughts are this.  DD is allergic to every grain but oats.  She is highly allergic to grass pollen.  Sugar is a grass.  Corn, even in refined form, causes her a reaction, then why can't sugar be similar?  

     Clearly we are not dealing with hives, shock or any other scary symptoms, but my suspicions are getting very strong.

 

Thoughts?


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#2 of 16 Old 06-03-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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She may have a problem with it but you can't be allergic to is as there are no proteins in sugar.  There is molasses in brown sugar, that may be as issue if you only see it with brown sugar.  There are also things like fructose malabsorption but those issues are usually GI in nature.

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#3 of 16 Old 06-03-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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     But what I've noticed is that she gets really emotional after she has some of the dark, brown organic sugar we put on her oatmeal, even at amounts that are modest compared to what she eats at other times with no obvious trouble.  Wheat has a similar effect.  Moody, violent, non-verbal, overwhelming.

   

Whey you say amounts that are modest compared to other times, are you saying she eats the same kind of sugar at other times and has no issues with it? You say that she has similar issues with wheat, maybe she has a wheat allergy and is getting cross contamination of wheat with the oatmeal and maybe it's not the sugar at all? Just some thoughts :)
 

 

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#4 of 16 Old 06-03-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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Oats are commonly cross contaminated with wheat/gluten.  Good point!  Are you sure they are clean oats?

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#5 of 16 Old 06-03-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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My DH is allergic to cane sugar.  He had an IGg allergy test done, and his blood showed that he is moderately allgeric.  So it is possible, but our doc tested for about 40 allergins, otherwise it isn't one that would have been on our radar. 


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#6 of 16 Old 06-03-2011, 03:04 PM
 
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My DH is allergic to cane sugar.  He had an IGg allergy test done, and his blood showed that he is moderately allgeric.  So it is possible, but our doc tested for about 40 allergins, otherwise it isn't one that would have been on our radar. 



An IgG allergy is not a typical allergy (as in can produce anaphalaxis).  IgG testing is for intolerances (GI issue most commonly) more so that IgE levels.

 

I believe a food has to have a protein to be able to be allergic to something.  Sugar is a carb.

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#7 of 16 Old 06-03-2011, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Whey you say amounts that are modest compared to other times, are you saying she eats the same kind of sugar at other times and has no issues with it? You say that she has similar issues with wheat, maybe she has a wheat allergy and is getting cross contamination of wheat with the oatmeal and maybe it's not the sugar at all? Just some thoughts :)
 

 

          It is entirely possible that she IS having some issues with the "white" organic sugar, but what stands out is when she has the dark brown organic sugar.  My thoughts are that perhaps it might be like when you have a corn allergy (we both do).  Corn meal causes a pretty strong allergic reaction.  Less so is the corn starch and less than that, the corn syrup.  They all cause some reaction, but as it gets more refined, the reaction is milder.

     We both have many not-so-severe allergies.  If you continue eating these, they sort of blur into what I call an "allergic fog", usually causing malaise or just low energy, increased moodiness and fickle digestion.  

     Really the best way I can test is to ELIMINATE sugar, but, oh dear!  That doesn't sound fun!  I plan to reduce the sugar as best I can and eliminate the brown for awhile.  Perhaps then reintroduce it as molasses?  And then if she does have some trouble again as I described before, how the heck do I separate it from a plain old sugar meltdown?

 

     As for for a gluten allergy, I am pretty sure we are dealing with a simple (but really bad--yikes!) wheat allergy.  But, you know, we never did even do a blood test for that.  She doesn't have changes in her stool when we have had this trouble, but that would not dismiss it as a possibility.  Also, blood tests can be negative even when a gluten allergy is present and her symptoms don't seem to point strongly enough in that direction to want to subject her to a biopsy.  Also, if oats are the issue indirectly it could be that the oats are contaminated with wheat--even a tiny amount sets her off.  (Her allergist asked if I was ready for her to challenge wheat.  NO!!!!)   But wheat also causes an immediate redness where it has touched her, and she will have swelling on the inside of her lips as well.

     By the way, I mentioned "violent" but I wanted to say that it only applies to wheat, not what I am observing with the sugar.  I didn't make that too clear.
 

 


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#8 of 16 Old 06-04-2011, 03:50 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post

 

An IgG allergy is not a typical allergy (as in can produce anaphalaxis).  IgG testing is for intolerances (GI issue most commonly) more so that IgE levels.

 

 

I thought it was exactly the opposite...?

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post

 

I believe a food has to have a protein to be able to be allergic to something.  Sugar is a carb.


In 7 years of dealing with food allergens and food allergen forums (other than this one) I have never heard of this.  Can you point me to more information/resources?


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#9 of 16 Old 06-04-2011, 05:48 AM
 
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I thought it was exactly the opposite...?

 

 

 


In 7 years of dealing with food allergens and food allergen forums (other than this one) I have never heard of this.  Can you point me to more information/resources?



 

IgE allergies are the ones that can cause an ana reaction.  IgG, IgA and I think there is another are what *most* docs/people would say are intolerances.

 

As for your second question,  I have to go but real quick everything I have read/heard/been told is that the protein in food is what an IgE allergic person reacts to That is what there is a difference between a milk allergy vs. an person who is lactose (the sugar in milk) intolerance.  As I said, I *believe* it has to be a protein but I can't at this point show you a reference, this is word of Dr/mouth info.

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#10 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Corn is an allergen, and has proteins.  Corn syrup causes reactions in me and so something of the original proteins must still be intact.  Corn and sugar are both grasses.  This is my thought.  (Though, I guess, corn products are made from the seed, sugar from the stalk.)  I don't *know* that this is an allergic reaction.  It is not causing any reddening or swelling, but neither does corn in DD, and she has a mild allergy to that.  Corn isn't even entirely eliminated from her diet (usually popcorn, some candies) but we carefully control how much at once, and how often, or her energy rushes she gets 1/2 hour after eating it can easily turn to into BAD energy.

     This could all just be coincidence, too.  With soooo many allergies, I am always vigilant for continuing coincidences, and in this way we discovered that buckwheat was causing her the same trouble that rice does (bad headaches and stomachaches primarily).  So I will continue to watch and perhaps limit brown sugar for awhile and give it a go in a few weeks.


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#11 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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It's totally possible that she is having a reaction of some sorts to the sugar, my DS reacts that way with several foods. That said, if she doesn't typically get alot of sugar, could it just be a blood sugar level type of thing too. People who don't usually eat much sugar (and even people who do) sometimes get that type of reaction when their blood sugar is too high or too low. So, it's possible that it's something like that as well, especially if you're not seeing any other type of symptomes (GI, rashes, swelling,etc.). I agree, that I don't *think" you can have an IgE allergy to sugar, but you can indeed definitley have an intolerance.

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#12 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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Somebody referenced this book, either on these forums or some other forums

http://www.littlesugaraddicts.com/ 

May be something for you to look into.

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#13 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All worth investigating, thanks.  


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#14 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 09:54 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

I thought it was exactly the opposite...?

 

In 7 years of dealing with food allergens and food allergen forums (other than this one) I have never heard of this.  Can you point me to more information/resources?


Hm, everything I've read and been told about allergies was as scsigrl said. This is why many allergists don't recognise IGG testing and feel that many people overdiagnosing themselves. They only recognise a IgE result.  They draw a very clear line between intolerance - which doesn't involve the immune system - and allergy - which involves the immune system and can be life-threatening. For intolerance, it can vary by the amounts - e.g. you may be able to take a cup of milk  once every three days just fine. But if you drink it every day you start to get runny stools which has nothing to do with the immue system being mobilised. That is an intolerance.   But say you are allergic to peanuts, or NSAIDS (a class of drugs) or dustmites - you may experience breathlessness, hives, rapid heartbeat, welts and eczemic rashes etc, symptons caused by the immune system mobilising and overreacting - this is an allergy.

 

sweetsilver, sugar can be made from many different plants. Did you check the source of the sugar you mentioned?

 


 

 

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#15 of 16 Old 06-06-2011, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Agreed, but, speaking from personal experience, some allergies can be mild.  Others can be severe but not life-threatening.  Others are more like you would expect: wondering whether to grab the Epi Pen.  We have some of each in the house, plus I have a hard time (intolerance) with plain milk, especially raw milk.  I have a severe oat allergy that sends me into an adrenaline rush plus confusion and ---blech blech blech get this out of my body!  Some allergies make their presence known primarily as GI distress, just like many intolerances.  In kids, including mine, I have seen some intense but not life-threatening allergies expressed as tantrums, moodiness and rages, and if I were a kid this is how I'd react, too.

     I had no idea there was such a diversity of reactions!dizzy.gif  I can tell in my own body if I've accidently consumed something.  Oats I've mentioned above, plus it exacerbates my dermographism.  I feel peanuts (usually consumed accidentally as peanut oil) in my eyelids first, lungs second.  Rice a blechy rush.  Corn swells my tongue.  Soy tingles my jaw.  Hazelnuts rake my throat.  I haven't had straight eggs, but in cake they give me GI trouble.

     Many mild allergies strung together kind of puts me in a lethargic blur of !blech!  All allergies.  I say all this with a sense of humor, and often joke about it.  I don't mean to sound defensive one bit, I know just what you are saying.

 

     We both have been tested (skin prick), followed by challenges.  DD's allergist asked if we were ready to challenge wheat. ( "NOOOOOOO!  Devil child!  Devil child!  NOOOOOO!")  "Um, no thank you, I don't think we're ready for that."  But we will do a peanut challenge (in office) and fish challenges at home.

     Self-diagnosing to some degree is necessary, as not every allergen is available for testing.  Buckwheat produced similar symptoms as rice, and teff flour batter reddened her skin surprisingly fast.  So, we watch, we eliminate, we challenge, we test, we challenge and on and on we go.  Thankfully nothing more has been as severe as wheat and dairy.


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#16 of 16 Old 06-07-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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With ALCAT (it shows an inflammatory response to food vs. IgG (intolerance) vs. IgE (allergy)), my DS was sensitive to cane sugar, and my DD2 was sensitive to beet sugar and honey. So yes it's possible to have a reaction to some form of sugar. There are other sugars that we used: palm sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, maple sugar). After 3 years, DS can have cane sugar again, and DD2 can have honey and beet sugar again. So things do change (thankfully) with healing.


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