Allergy vs. Intolerance - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 11-06-2011, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Since my son was born, he's had signs of an allergy/intolerance. The lactation consultant told me that it was probably a sensitivity to dairy, and if he didn't have any major reactions, it was no big deal. His pediatrician said he probably has seasonal or household allergies and to keep some benadryl on hand in case he needs it. I have never given him any type of medication other than a few doses of erythromycin when he had a goopy eye at a few weeks old and a few doses of tylenol here and there. He has only been what I would consider "sick" twice in his almost three years. Somewhere around 1 year old, he had a 102 degree fever that only lasted one day with no other symptoms, and a couple of months ago, he vomited once and generally felt bad all day.


But he has had these symptoms consistently (meaning, pretty much every day):


- allergy ring around his anus

- dark circles under his eyes

- his breastfed poop was always green. I figured it was because of my oversupply/over-active letdown, but my daughter has not had any green poop

- since he's eaten solids, he has several very loose and extremely smelly poops every day

- congestion/sneezing


Does this sound like an intolerance or a full-blown allergy? Would a pediatrician be the best person to diagnose him? What type of test should I ask for? Should I skip that and go straight to an elimination diet? Any other advice for me?


Thanks in advance! orngbiggrin.gif

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#2 of 3 Old 11-07-2011, 07:36 AM
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I'm thinking allergies, and I think he has environmental ones as well.  Just an opinion.  You're going to get several different opinions on testing.  We did a skin-prick test on my daughter at 2 1/2.  We could have skipped that one as the main allergen was dairy and it was really obvious.  We got another test at 4 1/2 because she was showing some new, vague symptoms and that one helped a lot.  It put us on the right track for an elimination diet, not a TED but one food at a time.  In our case just eliminating the culprits for a week helped dramatically.  Not every one gets such definitive results that way.  I wanted to add that she was tested for allergens only, and not intolerances, not fruits and veggies, just the proteins.


Environmental allergens you can test for, but it's a pretty safe bet that if he has an allergy to, say, tree pollen, that he also has an allergy to dust mites (some 85% of those with allergies are also allergic to dust mites, I've been told.)  Taking measures to get the allergens in your house under control seems onerous at first, but it makes a big difference.


BTW, I *hate* Benadryl!  We use the generic Zyrtec and it seems to work just fine.  That was on the recommendation of her allergist.  I would figure out what is causing these symptoms first, because you need to be off them when you test.  You can more easily assess cause and effect without them.  that said, once you figure this out (and you will) if he still has trouble then you can start giving it to him.  But I don't think you'll need to on a regular basis once you get to the bottom of this.


You could try swiping some foods onto his skin, his inner wrist and arm is a good place.  My daughter's skin is very sensitive and this trick usually works for her.  For dairy, use whole milk which has the highest concentrations of casien.


I disagree with the doctor that said a little is OK.  Sometimes, sometimes, but I don't think your son's symptoms are that mild.  Sure, he's not breaking out in hives while his throat closes, but still, not mild at all.  Whether allergy or intolerance, it needs attention.

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#3 of 3 Old 11-08-2011, 06:30 AM
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Typically if it's all GI (which your list looks to be.  Dr's don't really consider the allergy eyes a valid issue) I would say intolerance.  Usually "they" see things like hives, breathing issues and that stuff along with GI stuff as an allergy.


I would suspect there would be no reaction on allergy testing in this case but you can try it! The things is that the testing has 50% false + rate which could have you pulling a lot of foods that don't actually cause a reaction.  I would start with a really good (ingredient level) food log as well as symptom log right along side of it.  I would not change anything till you start a journal because if you do you won't remember what the changes were!  At least that's what I have found out the hard way ;)

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