Food Allergies - Anoka,MN

Updated on April 19, 2011
M.D. asks from Anoka, MN
9 answers

Okay since this is all new to me, other than the obvious reactions that a person would have to a food allergy (trouble breathing, hives) what other kinds of symptoms can a person have? Of course it is about Ryan, he has been tested and shown that he is allergic to egg whites and tomatoes. Last week he ate a strawberry pop tart and was fine (one of his favorite foods) and then when I gave him one Monday he got hives all over his face and didn't want to eat anything else the rest of the day. He is going to be having labs drawn up the end of this month (for thyroid, and immune). This is just being so strange in my house, Alexa was tested earlier this year and has a cows milk allergy, and the main ingredient in the pop tarts that I could see was soy so if I have to find food that is tomato, egg, cow milk and soy free I'm going to go out of my mind!! I already hate going grocery shopping, and this would just make it 10 times worse it feels like.

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answers from Madison on

My son throws up repeatedly if he has even a tiny piece of peanut. Maybe it was the strawberry?

I find if my son accidentally has a peanut, he sporadically feels like throwing up for a couple of months. I think he is hyper sensitive for a while. After a couple of months, the extra sensitivity fades.

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answers from Phoenix on

So sorry! I've got a dairy allergy in my house (we're still hopeful she will outgrow it) but she would throw up and then have a tummy ache for about 4 hours. My son was allergic to imitation cheese (cheetoes, goldfist, cheeseits...) and he would get a rash around his mouth, but did outgrow that, thankfully) I can't imagine what your shopping must be like, you can try some recipe websites and they have places to specify soy free, dairy free etc, I think does it. Good luck!


answers from Austin on

My daughter was diagnosed with a cows milk allergy when she was 18 months. We fought constant congestion which caused reoccuring ear infections and sinus infections) since she was 10 months. Milk would make her congested while cheese would either make her vomit or give her the runs for a week.

I've heard that there is a high correlation between a cows milk protein allergy and soy. My daughter out grew her allergy when she turned 5. Until then, she ate goat milk and goat dairy (yogurt, cheese, butter). That way she could have a relatively normal diet... Like, id bring her goat milk mozzarella pizza when it was pizza day at daycare. Had to bake her own cupcakes whenever we had a birthday party invite (or goat ice-cream, juice Popsicles). I home cooked a lot. She ate lots of dinners comprised of meat, rice/noodles/potatoes, steamed vegetable. I bought a bread machine and made homemade goat milk bread (which also would solve your soy problem with grocery store bread). Baking your own bread sounds time consuming but actually the bread machine did everything; it just took me 10 minutes to load the ingredients in.

You can overcome this challenge! I know you feel overwhelmed but you can do it! I work FT--if I can manage it, then I know you can. I suggest you start homecooking everything so you can control what is in the food. Good luck!! Message me if you have questions on what I did to 'make it work'.



answers from San Francisco on

My son's main symptom for his food allergies is the roof of his mouth and his throat itch. He is allergic to carrots, celery, citrus, melons, grapes, bananas, berries, apples and so far that is it. He has been tested for all of his allergies and has to keep an epi-pen with him just in case the reaction ever gets sever enough. The good news is that's all he is allergic to so nuts and dairy are fine thank goodness!



answers from Madison on

My daughter developed an allergy to cow's milk when she was 6 months old. We put her on soy formula. She is almost 11 now and is having tremendous trouble with eating dairy (we don't have dairy in our house) when she is at a friend's house--she comes home horribly sick the next day. It IS possible to get the allergy back at a later date. Just because a child "outgrows" an allergy does not mean it won't come back later.

My husband and I both have casein allergy (we don't use any cow milk products, just goat and sheep), soy intolerance, and gluten intolerance. I also have mild, moderate, and severe intolerances to 21 other foods; it is my fervent hope that, having not eaten these foods for awhile, I will one day be able to tolerate a small amount. My daughter, as of right now, only tested postive for mild gluten intolerance. However, since my husband and I both have issues with cow milk and soy--and she used soy formula--I can see her developing issues with these in the future. Which is why we do not use cow's milk, soy, or gluten in our household.

It is a pain, it does stink, and it's very expensive to have to buy special allergen-free foods. But that's the way it is. Since we've quit eating these foods, we've all been very healthy.

I do once in a while cave and eat something with gluten. If I've eaten too much, I get an itchy anus. Yep, quite irritating, in fact. If I eat anything with cow milk products, I get diarrhea (I usually suffer from constipation) that is black, pflegmy/mucusy, and stinks. I'm also yellow when I wipe--a sure sign of cow milk allergy/intolerance. I will also break out all over my face (I'm 43 years old). My bones, muscles, etc. will ache, and I get very tired feeling.

Actually, there are over 300 signs/symptoms of gluten intolerance/allergy alone, without even getting into allergies/intolerances for other foods. And everyone is different.

I get hives--not from any particular food--but from the COLD. I have what's called cold uticara, and it's a pain in the a**. That one, there is nothing to be done for but to take a couple histamines when they show up.

Soy is in just about everything that is processed/convenient/bought off the shelf. We have to make most of our goodies homemade. You can find good products that don't have milk, soy, gluten, etc., in them, but then you have to make the product at home with your egg substitute, milk subsistute, etc.

Milk substitue: goat, sheep, almond, oat, hemp, rice, coconut, hazelnut.
Egg substitue: flax seed and water

I go grocery shopping at specialty stores--NOT the average grocery store where most people go shopping. I live in Madison, WI, and I shop at Whole Foods, HyVee (they have a food allergy/intolerance section), Willy Street Co-Op (you'd be surprised how many of your local co-op stores have foods for people with food allergens), Woodmans (a huge warehouse that just added 3-4 aisles of food for people with food allergens), and COSTCO. I do very little shopping at the "main" grocery stores in town, like Sentry Metcalfe (they have a teeny tiny section for people with food allergens), and Copps (they have a teeny tiny section for people with food allergens), or Piggly Wiggly (none), or Cubs (virtually nothing).That's just the way it is.

I get the magazine Living Without. It is dedicated for people with gluten allergies/intolerance and to all people who live with food allergens. I really like the magazine, and they have subsitutions in the back for all sorts of food allergies/intolerances. It's definitely worth the money to get a subscription.



answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds like you will soon have some more detailed medical answers, and you'll be able to make whatever plans you need to make from there.

First, egg allergies are commonly outgrown by around age 8 if you are able to avoid them and thus avoid reactions. I'm also curious about what kind of reactions your son has had to egg whites. My son is also allergic, but the only time he's had any reaction is after licking the beaters from cookie dough (he got hives on his face from the contact with the raw eggs.) We keep the proportion of eggs down for him (we don't serve him custard or scrambled eggs or omelettes or anything, we don't allow contact with raw eggs, but he'll eat pancakes and other baked goods made with egg) and so far he hasn't had any other reactions (in four years.) So an allergy does not automatically mean complete avoidance - depending, of course, on the nature and severity of the reaction he's had.

My youngest has issues with dairy (gastrointestinal) but over time he's grown to be able to tolerate yogurt and some cheese, both in regulated amounts (if he has cheese today, I don't serve it to him again for two or three days.) A glass of milk or ice cream still make him throw up.

Also just to throw into the mix: my oldest has always had really reactive skin. His only allergic reactions have been hives, but there have also been numerous times (all when he was younger than 3) when he broke out in hives for no discernable reason. Our pediatrician finally told us that skin is weird, and in some people, hives and other rashes can be the body's response to a virus or stress or some other benign condition.

I know it can seem overwhelming, but you will figure this out. Good luck!


answers from Omaha on

Other symptoms could include red eyes and itchy lips. My son is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts & peas. I am allergic to cantalope. It is a challenge to learn how to cook without the foods you are used to but it does get easier. We found out about my son's allergies when he was 11 months old and he is now 5 years old. I would just make the suggestion of making sure you ALWAYS check the ingredients. Even if you've bought that specific product/brand 50 times before they could change ingredients without notice. We experienced that with the bread that we used to buy. One day I grabbed some off the shelf to buy and looked at the label and it said milk. Never had before! Good luck with the tests. Hopefully you will have much clearer directions once that is done.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

First - good for you! You're doing the right thing by getting educated so you can be the best Mommy possible and provide your children with nutritious and safe food for them! It's an added task that some moms don't have to think about, but it sounds like you're already used to that and are doing a great job.

I would recommend visiting - the website is the food allergy and anaphylaxis network (FAAN) and it gives good, concise information on the specific allergies you're dealing with.

As for reaction symptoms: sudden coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives (generally start at the top of the head and work their way down the body), swelling of the face/ears, and wheezing caused by swelling/closing of the airway.

The first time a person has a reaction, those things happen gradually and give you plenty of time to notice that something is wrong and seek medical attention. However, each time that the person has a reaction, their body creates MORE antibodies to that allergen and the next time they ingest it, those symptoms will come on faster. That's why the Pop-Tart was "fine" the first few times (it wasn't but it appeared to be) and then caused the reaction the next time.

Like it or not, you have food allergies in your family. Here are a few baby steps for you:

First - you need to keep Children's Benadryl and a syringe or spoon with you at all times. Ask your pediatrician for their doses. This will stop a mild-moderate reaction in its tracks for about 4 hours and buy you time to get to a doctor/urgent care/ER.

Second - ask if you need an Epi-Pen. If one of your children has a severe reaction (anaphylaxsis, where two or more systems are involved such as skin and respiratory - hives and wheezing) you are prepared. I have had to inject my son with the Epi-Pen and it is VERY simple. Just takes a few seconds and instantly stops the reaction and buys you time. You MUST be seen after injecting this because it is a shot of adrenaline and will raise your child's heart rate for a bit. It is safe, but needs to be monitored.

Third - you must read labels. You MUST read labels. The egg, milk and soy will be listed in bold letters at the bottom of the ingredient list because they're part of the "Big 8" that have to be disclosed. The tomato will be a little trickier, but really, you know not to give the kid tomato juice/soup/spaghetti sauce, etc. Maybe the family has regular spaghetti but he gets oil and parmesan on his. It's a small change and worth it to avoid a reaction and creating more antibodies.

Best of luck to you as you embrace this adventure. When you're in the grocery store and reading labels and thinking, "Why me? I hate this! I hate having to do this!" - just remember that your children really do like oxygen and the ability to breathe. You are literally choosing to keep your children alive and THAT is worth it!



answers from Lincoln on

Here are some other symptoms of food allergies. My oldest daughter is allergic to kiwi and if she has any food that has been in contact with kiwi or any food in contact with a utensil that was used on kiwi without washing it, she will throw up for 24 hours straight. I read that people allergic to kiwi are often allergic to latex as well so we are mindful of that. She also has had some eczema but we have never been able to trace the exact cause of it. My youngest daughter is allergic to nuts, shellfish, and corn. Her food allergies cause a stomach ache and diarrhea.

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