If it is a sign of an allergy or intolerance, what next steps should I do? Testing from a MD or ND? Or jut cut the food out, observe, and wait? What other symptoms may be related to food allergies?
Any thoughts appreciated. I've never delt with food issues before and feel quite clueless now. Although it doesn't seem to bother her, that bright red flush bothers me!
It can be an allergy symptom. Does she have any other symptoms? Someone told me that allergies can affect blood pressure and this could be a sign of change in blood pressure, I haven't looked into this much but you might want to google it. My girls are both gluten intolerant and have started to have that as one of their symptoms. We haven't done any allergy testing just trial and error so I don't really have much advice there. You might watch out for change in moods, skin rashes or hives, sleep problems, and change in bowel habits and bowel consistency. Hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply. She has some other issues but I'm not sure if they are diet related. Her stool is very soft/runny, she constantly has a runny nose, and she has very dry skin (almost eczema) on her hands and thighs. She is also still breastfeeding, which makes figuring things out so much more difficult because I have trouble figuring out if it is something she ate or if it something I ate and passed on to her.
We eat almost everything in our household, so she has exposure to quite a few different foods. The flush she gets does seem to be food related because she doesn't always get it. So she can chow down on fruit/veggies with no response. Same for rice based foods, soy based foods, and meats. She can eat a ton with no rash.
She doesn't drink dairy, but I'm wondering about butter and cheese as I sometimes see a response after eating those foods. Breads sometimes cause an issue, but I don't know if that is the wheat or the dairy used in making the bread. I saw it once when she was eating pasta with tomato sauce and cheese...agian wheet and dairy both there at the same time. I fed her buttered toast for breakfast and it was so bright I felt terrible. :(
I'm thinking maybe a visit to a Neutropath? Maybe we both need a diet adjustment. I freely admit that I fear giving up milk because I love my lattes. But I can figure something out if that is what we need to do.
I get face flushes with certain allergens (mild for me), and sulfates are famous for flushing cheeks, usually starting a few minutes after consumption. Sometimes green pepper does this to me too. There are a few natural sources of sulfates.
I would be watchful at this point. How long will you be nursing for? The fact is, even if you continue nursing for a year or more the amount of milk will be less and less. Direct contact with food will become the chief source of allergens.
Obviously, the first thing is to eliminate the dairy, completely. It would be helpful if you did, too. You can try eliminating it for a week, then give her as much as she was previously eating the next day. You might see something right away. If not, you might need a longer elimination, so try again for a longer period before ruling out dairy. And of course, take note (literally) of every instance of cheek flushing after eating while you are on this ED.
Because of the cheek flushing, I would presume an allergy which doesn't mean much except you can test for it. The end result is the same for both-- elimination. Children outgrow dairy allergies (usually but not always). If it is becoming severe to the point of scariness, a test might be a good idea just so you can get an EpiPen Jr. prescription.
If you think it might be a simple wheat allergy, you could try a simple elimination for that, too. But if you suspect gluten then I would start with a simple blood test before any elimination--the reason being that you need to be consuming gluten for a reliable test. If the blood test is negative (which is not definitive) you'll need to decide whether a biopsy is indicated. For my daughter I simply stopped before that point. We eliminated wheat and have had no further troubles. You need to be consuming gluten for 2-3 months for a reliable test.
Even if you choose to test with an allergist, you will still be doing elimination trials because results can be subject to interpretation. In the end, the food challenges are the gold standard.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
I'm intrigued by this. We recently switched from a vegan diet to one that includes animal products, and I've noticed DS gets rosy cheeks after eating some animal products (not sure which ones at this point!) I actually thought it was a sign of health or something, like more color in his face is good?? But maybe it's an allergy?? I've been wondering if he's slightly reacting to dairy because of his temperament sometimes but now I'll have to notice whether it's correlated with the flushed cheeks.
If you are up for it, I would try an elimination diet, maybe eliminate just wheat if that seems easier first? Or do both at once to just get it out of the way, you could probably tell within a week or two if she's no longer having a reaction.
I love soy lattes, is that an option for you?
My little girl also gets flushed after eating, she is 10 months & honestly I don't think she enjoys eating table foods that much. She will take a few bites & then stop eating. She only wants breast milk or a bottle. She has allergies (environmental) so severe & there is NOTHING her father & I can do (per our pedi) so she has to live with a constant runny nose, watery eyes, etc. Anyhoo..I'm just wondering if you have foubd out anything else about the flushed face after eating? Thanks! BTW..I am new to this site, just became a member last nite, but I LOVE THIS! It's so fitting for me! I am trying to be a more "naturalist mommy".
I had DD in to the GP and yes, flushed face is a sign of allergies but is inconclusive without other signs. However, DD does have other signs including terrible bowel issues (her stools are very loose and smell acidic, rather like vomit), she sometimes cries and seems upset shortly after eating (indication of stomach upset), occasionally vomits or spits up after eating, and has difficulty sleeping. So we have an appointment with an allergist for the 3rd of April, and they will do some tests to see if it is an allergy. If that test is clean, I'm planning on heading over to our local ND to see if it is an intolerance. I wish we could afford to do the ND first, but the MD allergist is covered by insurance and the ND is not and is quite expensive. Sigh. My poor little chub! While I don't want her to have any issues, my hope at this moment is for a clear answer so that I can make the necessary adjustments and see her happy and healthy all the time. I'll come back and post an update after the testing.
I sort of skimmed over the thread so forgive me if I missed it somewhere...Is there a reason you are not just taking her off of dairy and wheat since you suspect those?
Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!
For me, the food that triggers face flushing are not really consistent. My numbers for blueberries are really high, but they don't cause me near the trouble green pepper (sometimes) does. Sometimes I get flushed after mushrooms, sometimes green pepper (other times no symptoms whatsoever). Those also cause other troubles for me, like mild swelling, nausea in the case of mushrooms at times. White wine flushes my face much faster than red. (White wine has added sulfates. Sulfates in reds are naturally occurring and in lower quantity.)
What I'm saying is that if it is indeed this fickle it could be fruits or veggies because, for me anyway, their effects are not consistent. (Mushrooms aren't really a veggie and have a significant amount of protein of their own.)
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
Allergist is a good idea. I would also recommend looking into Candida overgrowth which would be triggered by anything high in sugar or starch. Her symptoms definitely sound like they could be candida related. Candida can cause facial flushing. We have been dealing with what we have called food intolerances for a few years now and we are finally figuring out that it is candida related. My girls are actually tolerating homemade yogurt after years of thinking they had a casein allergy.