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My daughter, Alana, is 15 months old and we have noticed an allergy problem right after her 1st birthday. She breaks out in these enormous hives that look more like red cysts, gets a cough and sore throat (she has trouble swallowing food), and very irritable. The hives have never completely gone away since then because each breakout lasts approximately a week and before it has time to clear up she has another breakout. We've taken her to the ER where they said see the pediatrician. Her pediatrician said keep a food journal because she likely has food allergies. We did and the only definite answer we got is that she's allergic to pork. So she's been on Zyrtec (1/2 tsp, QHS) and it has only helped a little, the bumps are now smaller and fewer. She won't do any sort of allergy test or change her medicine. I'm so frustrated and so sick of watching my baby suffer! What should I do?!?
The pedi ought to at least run a blood allergy test (RAST) on some of the most common allergies & possibly any food that she eats a lot of. You may want to consider switching pediatricians. I am currently looking for a new pedi too, I want someone who has more knowledge with food allergies.
I am definitely thinking about doing that...but the pediatrician I'd like her to see isn't accepting patients at this time. I've always liked our doctor (she used to be my pediatrician too) but I'm very upset that she doesn't see this as much of a problem...or at least it appears that way. I've been told by several co-workers that they won't perform that test until she's at least 2. What experiences have you had with allergies and your children?
Personally, just my opinion based on my experience - I'd skip the pediatrician and go right for the allergist. I'd also have the RAST done. Your best hope of having your baby outgrow allergies is through total avoidance to whatever she's allergic to. By continuing to expose her to whatever she's allergic to, you are stretching this out and decreasing her chances of outgrowing the allergy. This is certainly no reflection on you. I, too, followed the advice of our pediatrician. And, get this - my son had three anaphylactic reactions to peanuts before I went to the allergist. No, I didn't realize the reactions where anaphylactic and yes, I had told the pediatrician of the symptoms. I was told by her to avoid the food and we'd test when he got older. My gut told me this wasn't right. We now know that his allergy could have KILLED him had we waited. You are doing the right thing by staying on top of this and not just taking the word of the doctor.
In addition to my son's peanut allergy, my daughter was diagnosed with a severe milk protein allergy at 6 weeks of age. It was a terrible time as we had to keep the journal and cut foods out one at a time (I was solely BF) before we figured it out. We did complete avoidance of milk and all milk products for an entire year and at 1 year of age - she grew out of it! A lot of the childhood allergies can and do disappear.
And... I'm not sure why the doctors insist on waiting until age two to do allergy testing. My son was blood (RAST) tested at 16 months. The allergist said they can do that at any age.
Zack had allergy skin testing done at 10 months old after an anaphylactic reaction to eggs and Ethan had a RAST done at 8 WEEKS! due to blood in his stool & I was exclusively bfing. He was positive for corn and dairy, so I can't eat any corn or dairy products.
You know, it does feel better to know that we are not alone and there are other families struggling with the same issues (not that I'd wish this upon anyone, but you know what I mean...). I made an appointment with a new pediatrician at Watson Clinic (a very large clinic here with everything from OB/GYN to podiatrists...) and I'm hoping he will either order the test himself or refer her to the pediatric allergist. It's good to know there is something that can be done now I just have to be persistent. Thank you, and I'll let you know how things turn out. Her appointment is May 2nd.