Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Visit with Dr. Wood and update on allergies

We finally got to see Dr. Wood last week at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Our baby tested negative for a milk allergy, and I have slowly been reintroducing dairy into my diet while nursing her. So far I have seen no negative reactions. The test is only 50%-60% accurate, though, as she is only 5 months old. I will introduce solids at a slow pace and watch her closely to make sure that she's okay. The good news is that I was told that food allergies are much more common in boys, so the likelihood of her following in her brother's footsteps is much smaller.

Both of my boys who get chronic ear infections tested negative to a dairy allergy as well. That said, I was told that they could still have an intolerance to milk, thus creating the environment for ear infections. (As far as I know, milk products can cause more mucus in your system which can block the eustachian tubes from draining. They have had NO infections or ruptures since removing all dairy from their diet.) Dr. Wood suggested that I can try to slowly reintroduce dairy (like casein, whey, or in baked goods) and see what happens. If they show no reactions, then perhaps I can be less strict with their dairy avoidance, though they will most likely not be able to have straight cheese or cow's milk, at least not at this time.

My oldest son, who has been highly allergic/anaphylactic to milk products, got blood work done to test the severity of his milk allergy. We are currently awaiting the results. Dr. Wood suggested that if his milk allergy is under a certain percentage, then we can try a food challenge where I bake 1/4 cow's milk to 3/4 rice milk and see if he has any reaction. I will get the results soon, and will post them as we go along. I have to admit that I'm a little bit scared to try dairy with him, but in looking towards the future, it would be a lot easier if I didn't have to worry everywhere we went about whether or not an item contained dairy products in it. He was last tested when he was 7 and had not outgrown his milk allergy at all (that said, he had, however, outgrown his egg allergy). He is now 12, so we are hopeful to see what the results are. My hope is that he will be able to tolerate certain levels of dairy by the time he goes off to college. If not, then at least he has the skills necessary to live a happy and healthy life regardless of his allergy.

As far as my soy allergy goes, I asked Dr. Wood about it, and he said that people who are allergic to certain types of trees (which I am highly allergic to as well as many grasses, cats, dust, etc.) can have a higher chance of having a soy allergy as well as an allergy to other legumes. He suggested that I would probably be okay with soy lecithin, soy oil, and soy sauce. As of right now, I have tried all three and have had NO adverse reactions. Yeah!!! I did, however, have a flat bread roll up that had high fiber and protein (from soy), and my throat started to feel like it was swelling shut. Although I love a lot of the healthier options, I suppose that my body can't tolerate soy in that high concentration. We have been cooking a lot with rice milk and almond milk with a lot of success. All of the recipes thus far in my cookbook have been easily adapted to be soy-free (excluding soy sauce and soy lecithin), which makes me happy:) I bought some coconut milk, and am hoping to come up with a dairy-free/soy-free whipping cream. If I have success, then I will post the recipe:)

8 comments:

Stephi said...

At 8 months old, I gave my son cottage cheese to try as a finger food. He loved it, however it didn't love him. He ended up with hives and itchy/swelling eyes. We have an appointment with a Pediatric Allergist at the end of February where I'm assuming we'll find out just what part he's allergic to, or if he's allergic to all of it. :( Until then, no dairy. I'm not even giving him anything cooked or baked with dairy, just not willing to take that chance.

This is a great blog, and I've checked out your main website too. Might just be buying your cookbook soon! Great stuff here, thanks for sharing. It helps!

Juventa said...

Good luck with your son. You're definitely smart to keep him off of dairy until you get him tested in February. I'm glad that my blog is helping:)

Brandy said...

I just came across your blog and I feel like you are talking to me...I was just at the ENT with my 1 yr old son today for yet another follow up for his chronic ear infections. He just got in his 1st set of tubes in Nov and the one is already blocked. The first thing the dr asked me today was if my son had reflux as a baby. He did until we switched him to Alimentium formula when the peds determined that he had a milk sensitivity issue. Back in September we switched him (with the peds. approval) back to regular formula, and then he got his first ear infection. My daughter also had tubes put in, but after they were in she was fine. His tubes have been in a little more than a month and the one is already totally blocked, he has constant drainage, etc. It wasn't until my ENT appointment today, and reading your blog that I really think his constant runny nose and ear infections are due to a milk sensitivity and not the viruses/ bacteria we thought. I can hardly wait to continue reading on your site.

Alisa said...

Wow, sounds like you are getting it all under control!

I had never heard of the connection between environmental allergens and soy. My husband hasn't tested positive for any food allergens (with prick test), but he has the highest marks for many pollens, and he seems to be quite intolerant to soy and other beans. Hmm.

Juventa said...

Alisa - That's really interesting about his other allergies and soy sensitivity. I wonder what his results would be if here were tested?

Brandy - I wish you the best in transitioning your kids off of dairy if you need to. I hope that you can find success with your kids' ear troubles.

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Sonya said...

My son (4 yr old) also has a SEVERE milk allergy. I have found a doughnut shop in my town that does not have milk or dairy in their glaze doughnuts! My child eats donut holes like crazy now!! I am so happy for him. :) Never be scared to ask. I make them show me the labels, etc.. And, three yrs later have finally found a doughnut!! YEPPPEEEEEE!

Juventa said...

Sonya,

That's marvelous! I know there are a few allergy friendly bakeries, but they're over an hour drive. I'll have to look around and see if there is anything local:) Thanks for sharing!