December 4, 2005
Most Common Food Allergies & Finding Help
The most common food allergens are not always the biggest problem. According to the AAAAI, six foods cause almost all food allergy reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat and tree nuts.
Not all reactions are anaphylactic. Reactions may include diarrhea, vomiting, colic, abdominal pain, constipation, bronchitis, asthma, sneezing, coughing, eczema, hives, excessive crying, sweating, sleeplessness, and headache.
When our 3rd child was 6 months old, she spent many a night screaming and we had no idea why. Turns out she was allergic to milk and, because she was breastfed, was getting that milk via mom's diet. Make sure you get proper medical care and advice. Our family doc at the time was not that well educated on child food allergies.
Our experience is that your family practitioner is not enough, you need a specialist. Find a recommended allergist in your area and develop a good relationship. Your allergist can be a trusted advisor through the many trials and tribulations of raising a child with severe food allergies.
Posted by David at December 4, 2005 8:20 AM
Our son did not sleep through the night his first year of life because of multiple food allergies, though we didn't know the cause of his sleeplessness.
One doctor told us he simply had eczema and to treat the symptoms. Another doctor told us he likely had food allergies and recommend we get him tested.
Shortly after that appointment, at 10 months old, he took a bite of another toddler's peanut butter sandwich and had a serious anaphylactic reaction. Through the testing process, we found out he had milk, egg, and peanut allergies (the peanut allergy being life-threatening). We eliminated milk and eggs from his diet and his skin cleared up beautifully within a month. Soon, he slept through the night for the first time, and my husband and I rolled out of bed to our knees and gave thanks to God (since we were seriously sleep deprived, but also because we were so happy for our son to be healthy and sleeping).
Since that first serious incident 4 1/2 years ago, we carry an Epipen with us at all times. He's a healthy, happy 5 year old who is doing great. At age 3, he outgrew the milk and egg allergies, which meant a huge change in our family. For those of you who manage multiple food allergies in your family, you know what a blessing it must have been to add those foods back into his diet. For people who have never had to avoid certain foods, they just don't understand the complexity of the situation.
We still daily manage the peanut allergy by avoiding peanuts completely in his diet. We are prepared in case he were to eat a peanut by accident, but we pray and work diligently to be sure it never happens.
I am thankful for this site because it helps me keep my awareness and diligence up in caring for our son. It's helpful to meet others in similar situations, to learn and help each other.
My admiration to all those parents out there who are raising children with food allergies. I can relate.
Posted by: Andrea Simanson at December 25, 2005 3:55 PM