29 answers

Red Dye in Food Allergy

Has anyone had a child that is allergic to the red dye they use in foods? My son keeps getting hives and we think that it is from the red dye. Is there anything speacial we should be doing besides reading the ingredients in all foods? Thanks for your help.

I called the pediatrician's office and asked about it but all they said was they would check into it and call me back. That was 2 days ago and I have not heard from them.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone who responded. Wow, I am glad I decided to ask the question on this site. Lots of great info and web sites. Thank you so much for the offer of prayers too. My MD called this a.m. and they want to send him for a blood test but they said that it would not show the red dye allergy but would test him for all the common childhood allergies. They said the test will cost over $400. My husband does not want to put him through this test if it does not specifically tell us about the red dye but I would like to have it done just to make sure he is not allergic to anything else. I have the order for the test at the lab so I just have to go get the test. Does anyone have ideas on how to get my husband to agree to the testing? I just feel we need to be "better safe than sorry" on this issue. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE FOR THERE RESPONSES.

More Answers

My daughter used to break out when she was young, the only solution we found was to avoid the foods, it's tough, certain things in small smounts didn't bother her though and it was really jsut a matter of eliminating all of them then slowly adding things back in and finding what did and didn't cause ehr to break out, thankfully she outgrew it. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

When I was a kid I was allergic to red dyes, but grew out of it. It was red lake #2 and #6 I think. It's best to avoid all red and orange colored foods. Carry benadryl with you just in case he gets a bad reaction.

1 mom found this helpful

I babysit from my home and one of the boys I babysat for was allergic to red dye, mostly in kool-aid and juices. He didn't break out in hives but he got very hyper, it was a nightmare! His parents decided to cut all red dye out of his diet and it seemed to work and he has since grown out of it for the most part. I agree with the other ladies and suggest just cutting out all red dye, let it get out of his system then slowly add, one at a time, the foods back in to see what exactly is making him break out.

As for the Dr's office not calling back, I would SWITCH Dr's! My Dr gets very upset if we have a problem at 1AM Saturday morning, or anytime after hours, and wait until office hours to call. I am so thankful for our pediatrician he is a godsend!!

Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, I am NOT an expert in this area, so don't take my word as gospel, OK? I have found (with regard to my children's friends with dye allergies) that the allergy is really to shellfish, not the dye itself. Many red dyes are made from boiling the shells of lobsters or whatever to produce the desired color. The solution they have found is to use kosher food dyes and kosher food whenever possible (look on the package for a 'u' in a circle or a 'k' in a star, etc...) It is against kosher rules to eat shellfish, so these dyes are safe for people with shellfish allergies. There are probably plenty of kosher foods already in your house, but if you aren't Jewish, you probably never looked.

This really only applies if the allergy is to shellfish, so be sure to get that checked out first. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,
I believe, with no proof, that my son also is allergic to red dye. Whenever he eats any food coloring, especially red, his behavior becomes atrocious - screaming and crying, seemingly on the edge of being out of control.

We've eliminated all articficial food coloring from his diet by doing what you talked about. We read all ingredients and don't buy anything artificial. We shop at health food stores, at Trader Joe's, or buy organics at the big stores. It has really helped.

Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

None of my children have had that allergy, luckily, but---reading the ingredients is good but it is still a little like pick up sticks. Sometimes it is impossible to figure out what has red in it. Purple, orange, pink, brown, etc. will all have to be eliminated. Remember too that black is the highest volume of red there is. I have a cousin with red allergies. It was a real challenge.

He may be having a reaction to something else as well.

I think it may be time to call the physician back and make an appointment to have him tested for allergies.

I will pray for you.

P. R

1 mom found this helpful

My son is allergic to apple juice, tomatoes and a number of other foods. I took him to an allergist and they were able to test him and tell me exactly what his food allergies were. When he does eat the wrong food his face and ears turn red hot, he gets a rash and his ears/throat/body itches. What has helped him beside avoiding problem foods is over-the-counter Zyrtec.
Good luck!

First of all, get a different doctor. Recognizing food allergies can make a big difference in learning difficulties, personality issues etc....

Not sure where you are from, but try a childrens hospital for kid specialist in that field, and they can also rule out any other food allergies.

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