Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Update on Allergy Testing

We went back for my son's annual allergy testing last week and received some, what we had hoped would be, good news. First, my son tested negative to milk and eggs! He was elated and couldn't wait to try his first whole candy bar! I talked with the doctor about doing a food challenge and felt, since he has never had a life threatening reaction to any of the foods, we could do one safely at home. So, we started with the candy bar and he ate a piece of a Hershey candy bar about every fifteen minutes until it was all gone. No reaction! He was so excited and couldn't wait to try more things, but I wanted to take things slowly, knowing the kinds of reactions he has had in the past usually started with behavioral issues and moved into lots of sinus drainage, and then ear infections! Sure enough two days later we were starting to see the beginning signs of the effects of milk. My son started doing the whining thing, and I don't just mean the occasional whine, he was distraught over just about everything! We had seen this in the past but decided to move ahead cautiously! We let him eat things that had milk in them but not in large quantities. Such as a couple of chocolate Chip's Ahoy cookies, things like that, and we limited his selections to about two a day. Four days later the sinus drainage showed up, in full swing. He woke up in the morning with his nose totally blocked with dried drainage(o.k. snot)! Still not wanting to burst his bubble I let him continue on, but still limited how much he took in. Today is day six and he woke up with the croupy cough, plus the sinus drainage and the huge circles under the eyes! No school for him today and I had to tell him no more milk either! He was not happy, in the least! I felt really bad for him though, I know he was so excited to be just like the other kids! But once I explained to him that it was either eat things with milk in it and be sick all the time, and take a lot of medicine to keep it under control or not eat it and be able to be active and do the things he liked to do, he was fine.

Well, some of you are probably wondering how do I know it is milk causing him to exhibit these symptoms and I'll tell you, past experience. We tried a food challenge for him before when he had had a negative skin test to milk, and a positive blood test for it. The doctor said more than likely he was not allergic, so we tried the same thing then, and little by little, day by day, we saw more and more signs of an allergy to it. We stopped at around a week then also, when he woke up with a fever and ear infection.

Allergies can show up in many forms and fasions. Not all food allergies will illicit a life threatening reaction. Some will and quickly, others like my son's allergy to milk, show up slowly over several days time, which can be tricky and hard to figure out. If I suspected a food allergy and had my child tested and they came up negative, I would still probably do an elimination diet with that food and journal anything they eat, their activity levels, behavior, and any symptoms for about a month and then do a food challenge to see if there were any kind of reaction to that food. I would only do this on my own if my child didn't have, or I didn't suspect them to have a life threatening reaction with that food, otherwise I would do it under the advice of an allergy specialist! Be on the lookout in the following weeks for more information on elimination diets and how to do a food challenge, that is if I don't go into labor first and I'll keep you updated on his progress! For now check out this great interview from the Allergy Moms blog, it's with a little girl, named Maya, and what she wishes others knew about living a life with allergies!

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