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Daughter #2 food allergy test results

Posted on August 26th, 2008 by Alison Read 6 Comments - Add Your Own »

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Wow. Happy day. I just returned from the allergist with my 2 year old who tested negative for EVERYTHING!

Here’s the thing — in her 2 years of life she has NEVER eaten the following foods: eggs, nuts, peanuts, dairy, soy, shellfish, gluten or avocado. Why? Because I have celiac disease (hence, no gluten) and her older sister is allergic or intolerant to the rest. Daughter #2 eats just like her sister and so hasn’t eaten any of the top allergens. Plus, when I was pregnant and breastfeeding the second time around I did not consume any nuts and cut out dairy and corn while breastfeeding due to difficulties she was having.

Now back up to Daughter #1. No one told me not to eat nuts when I was pregnant. When I started breastfeeding my pediatrician told me not to eat peanuts, so instead I ate cashews. Lots of cashews, handfuls of cashews. Guess what nut Daughter #1 is allergic to… cashews. I also ate a lot of avocado and eggs — I mean, I really ate more than a normal person would. I ate a half of an avocado and a hard boiled egg almost every day. She’s allergic to eggs and was or is allergic to avocado (still testing that one to see if she has outgrown it). I really think, and our allergist agrees, that if someone has the genetics predisposing them to a food allergy, then an overdose (that’s what I am calling it) of that particular food could trigger the food allergy. Nothing has been proven to this end, but I just don’t think it is a coincidence that she is allergic to the very things I ate so much of.

I don’t blame myself — how could I have known? But I wish that I was more aware at that time. I definitely would not have eaten any nuts at all and would have limited my egg consumption, given that these are very common allergens. What I learned from Daughter #1 has benefited Daughter #2. The allergist believes that food avoidance in her early life — not eating or being exposed to the allergenic foods — has paid off. We’ll never know if she is just genetically lucky, unlike her sister, or if controlling her diet is what made the difference.

It’s not like she is going to start eating nuts and eggs and all the rest. We can’t risk that exposure to our other daughter. But when it’s time for her to start school, when she is out of my sight, I don’t have to worry. I have enough to worry about already.

Anyone else out there have one food-allergic child and one not? Do you think it is genetics or environment or both?

Comments

  1. With my second child I had heard NOT to eat nuts, so I avoided all nuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, my second child is allergic to peanuts, cashews. ;-( So, you shouldn’t feel guilty about what you ate. ;-) I think it’s genetics & environment together. I have some friends who ate peanut butter every day of their pregnancy and their children are allergic to peanuts and I have some friends who ate peanut butter every day of their pregnancy and their children are NOT allergic to peanuts. It is very confusing. I can’t wait until someone finds out why allergies occur.

  2. I TOTALLY agree with your statement that an overdose of food, combined with genetic predisposition will likely result in a food allergy to the food in question. My story supports it. I have heard from numerous women with similar stories. The foods were different (sesame, peanuts, egg,…), but the results the same.

    My daughter (first born) is allergic to eggs, soy, dairy, peanut, tree nut. She had outgrown her wheat and corn allergy. When it comes to eggs, I really overdid it: ate boiled eggs everyday during pregnancy. She is off the charts when it comes to egg allergy (reacts to airborn allergen). Same with soy. I baked bread throughout the pregnancy and made it with soy milk to boost protein/nutrition. She is also off the charts for soy! Had peanuts once in a while, she has a low level of allergy to peanuts. Coincidence? Think not.

    I was very very strict about food allergens during pregnancy. My son is still a little young, but he has tested negative to all major allergens other than peanut. My allergist recommended that I eat peanuts once in a while during pregnancy to avoid the allergy. He said research supported this approach. Hmmmm. My son is deadly allergic to peanuts, yet has no other major food allergy?

    Its nice to hear I am not the only one out there making this conclusion.

  3. I’m so happy for you Alison! Congrats

    Son #1: I was a 20-year old mess and stuck anything in my body without a care in the world. He has multiple food allergies, IBS, and I suspect Celiac. But he’s 22 now and really doesn’t want to deal with it.

    Daughter #1: Eleven years later, from a different father, I get Katie. She’s the golden child and has never had a bad reaction to anything. I didn’t refrain from eating any healthy foods, and ate some junk food too. But I had a PB&J just about every day. She has not problems, except her hair is a little frizzy. But that’s her only complaint in life.

    Daughter #2: Born 3 years after Katie. I ate the same things I did with Katie, but with this little one we have major food and environmental and pet alliergies, with a side order of chronic asthma. But, her hair is not frizzy. Thank God!

  4. I am in your shoes also. My first son is 4 and allergic to wheat, cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts. He also has severe eczema and asthma! My second son is 2 1/2 and he has not ONE of these things. My first son had eczema early on and we knew food allergies were likely. But, when my second son did not have any eczema, it eased my mind thinking that he may not be an “atopic” person. So, sure enough, he had no food allergies. For the first 2 years, I fed them the same….mainly becuase I didn’t want my second son’s taste buds to be spoiled to “real” cheese, “real crackers”, etc. etc. because then he would not want to go back. Slowly, (through church nursery and goldfish they serve, crackers and mother’s day out) he is being exposed to other things. But, also for safety’s sake, we continue to feed them the same diet. Check out my food blog. I’m not the best poster (there’s not much time when you are reading labels all day! ha) but it may give you some ideas on new foods. :) Thanks for your site! http://www.foodallergyliving.blogspot.com

  5. Wow, I’ve just spent at least the last hour reading you blog, you have an amazing resource here! I don’t live in the US but still I love how you have written about specific restaurants and cupcake shops that have gluten-free (or no longer), sharing what you have found with others who are sensitive to gluten.

    The conclusions you’ve made here based on your experience make sense to me. And I think it makes good advice to pregnant mom’s. I’ve not gone through pregnancy, so I don’t know how strong the food cravings are, but I think if there’s a chance that eliminating (or drastically reducing) the common allergens from your diet will help it’s worth trying. Even if there is no medical study to confirm it, most often science lags so far behind the ‘old wive’s tales’ that it makes more sense to trust our instincts than to wait for scientific confirmation.

    I don’t have celiac’s disease, but I am allergic to wheat. There are times when I can eat wheat and be symptom free (at least the symptom’s that are noticeable to me)… I saw a term on your site, in remission, maybe that’s a good term for me to apply to times when I can eat wheat without noticeable side effects. At the moment though, my wheat allergy is definitely not in remission.

    I’ve been doing some research for my new site on organic food (among other things) and I came across a statement to the effect that many food allergies are toward the commercially grown (chemically laden) foods and that in these cases people don’t react to the organic food they are otherwise allergic to. I was wondering if you or anyone you know has tested this theory? I’d be really interested to hear if anyone has any experience either way with organic versions of food they are allergic to.

  6. All these comments are fascinating, aren’t they?

    Donna,
    I wanted to address your question about the organic food… what I really wonder about is genetically modified food. I had read somewhere that they had created a new wheat with MORE gluten in it — so obviously people are going to react more! Also, I am very weary of genetically-modified corn and soy, the two most modified food sources. If the genetic makeup of food is changed, then how will our bodies be able to process it correctly? Our bodies cannot adapt that quickly.

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