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Am I the *oldest* allergy parent?


Forum: Food Allergies

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  #1  
May 7th, 2006, 11:44 AM
cbrmommy's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 382
I should probably start with an intro, so here goes..
Im Shannon, almost 29 year old mom to two girls, Cora who will be 10 in August, and Bailey who will be 9 in August. I had a milk protein allergy when I was young, as did my brother, but I eventually outgrew it, although I still dont care much for dairy products. When I had Cora, she was exclusively breastfed. For the first 3-5 weeks, she would eat, vomit -and I dont mean little baby spit ups....she had what we called power pukes that covered everything within 3 feet - then go to sleep for about half an hour. She would wake up hungry yet again, eat, adn repeatt he process. We got NO sleep at all for hte first couple of months. Her doctor suspected she may be allergic to something i was eating, so he switched her over to Similac formula. After the switch, things got worse. She was blistered from the hives, vomiting constantly, losing weight, and just not thriving at all. They drew some blood, and determined she was also allergic to the milk protein, and switched her to a soy based formula. Once they switched her, she made an impressive recovery. When she was about 7 months old, I started her on some table foods. She did pretty good with most of it but still had issues with random breakouts with the hives, upset tummy, etc...but we chalked that up to some products containing trace amounts of dairy. Then I had Bailey, who was also allergic to the milk proteins. We tested her before she even left the hospital, and started the soy formulas immediately. She didnt have the problems Cora has as a newborn.
Fast forward 2 years...Cora was 3 when we had her tested at the allergist. At the time, they wouldnt do testing on children younger than that. We learned that she was allergic to milk, eggs, beef, pork, grapes, and mushrooms, with milk adn beef being her two most severe allergies. Because of her results, the allergist decided to proceed with Baileys testing, since she had several of the same symptoms, and suffered from severe asthma, same as Cora. Her results concluded that she was allergic to milk, pork, fish, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Lots of allergies, huh? On top of the food allergies, we determined from the testing that they also were allergic to pretty much every freaking tree surrounding our house, including maple and pine, cats, dander, and mold spores.
Both girls are now, as I said, nearly 9 and 10, and are doing MUCH better with their allergies, although its mostly been about controlling their diet. They havent really outgrown any of the food allergies yet, though some have lessened in severity. The milk allergy is still just as severe, resulting in anaphylactic reactions and shock, so we're extremely careful about that. Their pollen/tree/seasonal allergies have lessened in severity, to the point where rather than having to take a daily dose of Zyrtec, they only use it as needed. Well at least they did...Bailey has started usign a daily dose again as her allergies have flared back up this spring. We moved to an area that doesnt have as many trees. There are none around our house...the closest tree is about 2 blocks away. But for hte most part the allergies are under control, and the asthma hasnt been an issue in over two years now.
So, Ive been dealign with the food allergies for nearly 10 years with my girls, and all of my life with myself and my younger brother, so I guess Ive got a lot of experience with it. Id be happy to answer any questions you guys have as far as foods go, and how to deal with daycares and schools, as Ive had to battle that out on a yearly basis since the girls first started preschool. One major point I would like to draw attention to where food allergies are concerned is reading labels. This is a MUST!!!! YOu HAVE to familiarize yourself with the allergen, different names it could have, and make sure you read EVERY LABEL, as manufacturers change the way they make products constantly, and while one can of X Brand cream corn might not contain milk, another can of the same brand does. Anyway, thats my intro, about me and the girls. And if anyone has questions Id be happy to help in any way I can!
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  #2  
May 7th, 2006, 09:42 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Central California
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Quote:
One major point I would like to draw attention to where food allergies are concerned is reading labels. This is a MUST!!!! YOu HAVE to familiarize yourself with the allergen, different names it could have, and make sure you read EVERY LABEL, as manufacturers change the way they make products constantly, and while one can of X Brand cream corn might not contain milk, another can of the same brand does.[/b]
OMG-that is soooo true. I've even found that the exact same product may have different ingredients in the bulk package than the regular sized. For example, potato chips: Tim's hawaiian kettle chips in the larger sized bag do NOT have corn oil, but in the regular sized bag they HAVE corn oil. So frustrating. I have to double check every single label every time I go to the grocery store to make sure that the "safe" foods are still safe. Urggg...
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  #3  
May 8th, 2006, 09:42 AM
cbrmommy's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 382
Quote:
Quote:
One major point I would like to draw attention to where food allergies are concerned is reading labels. This is a MUST!!!! YOu HAVE to familiarize yourself with the allergen, different names it could have, and make sure you read EVERY LABEL, as manufacturers change the way they make products constantly, and while one can of X Brand cream corn might not contain milk, another can of the same brand does.[/b]
OMG-that is soooo true. I've even found that the exact same product may have different ingredients in the bulk package than the regular sized. For example, potato chips: Tim's hawaiian kettle chips in the larger sized bag do NOT have corn oil, but in the regular sized bag they HAVE corn oil. So frustrating. I have to double check every single label every time I go to the grocery store to make sure that the "safe" foods are still safe. Urggg...
[/b]
Doesnt it drive you insane???? We found out the hard way on that one that you can NOT slack off ever! Soy ice cream is SO expensive here! like 4.99 a pint!!! So the girls ice cream has always consisted of non-dairy topping, frozen and scooped into a cone or bowl. They love it. SO we were at my uncles one night and pulled some out of the freezer as a desset for the girls, and within minutes Bailey was having a severe reaction and we couldnt figure out what she had gotten into because the only thing she had eaten was the "ice cream" that was supposed to be non-dairy!
Well, we read the label, and the non-dairy topping wasnt so non-dairy after all. It contained caesinate, which is a milk derivative! Since then we've gotten back on track with reading ALL of the labels, and havent had too many problems. Of course, grocery shopping takes HOURS because you have to read every label. And it kind of ticks me off that out of ALL the snack foods made, like cookies, chips, crackers, etc...there arent more that are Allergy Friendly! Even if they dont contain the actual allergens, they are processed on machines that also process the allergens, thus contaminating them for people who have allergies. Its SO frustrating!
and sheesh...even things you wouldnt suspect....like potato chips...WHY do chips need milk? But they contain them....some bbq flavors and dill & vinegar chips....with MILK! wth??? Its definitely a test of my patience to do the shopping.
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  #4  
May 10th, 2006, 10:42 PM
dingledine's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My oldest, is 11, I am 33, he has food SENSITIVIES, a world away from true allergies. We are hoping they go away with a 3-4 mo. elimination diet.
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