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Baby Drew had a reaction - just back from the ER - Questions

37 replies [Last post]
By April in KC on Sat, 12-23-06, 04:03

Tonight baby Drew had an obvious and scary food allergy reaction. Drew is 6 months old and is breastfed...recently started cereal.

Tonight after eating organic oatmeal cereal (mixed with water) AND nursing, he got fussy and abruptly vomited the entire contents of his stomach and broke out in hives (mouth, neck and trunk). My husband and I instantly thought of food allergies and my DH said take him to the ER right away. I put him his carrier and off we went (DH had to stay home with the other two boys). I heard Drew vomit twice more during the 3-minute drive to the ER. When I got there, his hives were worse (face, neck trunk, limbs, a little under the diaper area and a bright red ring around his neck...plus his little eczema patches started weeping). He vomited two more times in the ER. They gave him Benedryl. I asked about my Epi, Jr., and also about activated charcoal, but the on-call doc didn't want to give either to him and Drew was alert and breathing okay. His chest sounds went from fine to a bit congested sounding while we were there, but were okay before we left. The Benedryl started to take efffect and the hives started going away. He's sleeping right now (normal bedtime plus the Benedryl effect).

As you may know, I have three boys and my oldest, Nate, has PA. I have avoided peanuts for the younger two (3 years and 6 months old). We have been worried about 6-month-old Drew's potential for allergies because he has eczema. I avoid drinking milk (and all forms of peanut, of course). In recent weeks, I've managed to get the eczema patches to shrink to smaller than dime size from half dollar size. I'm not sure about egg yet, because I don't eat egg unless it's an ingredient in something. I do eat cheese in small quantities without noticeable worsening of his patches.

At the ER tonight, they said to give him three more doses of Benedryl over the next 24 hours, and to be prepared to give Prelone (which I have in the fridge) if he has a recurrence of symptoms tonight (and to call & come back, of course). They said not to give him the Epi unless he was in grave danger and we had also called 911 and were waiting for them. On my own, I have decided to stay up until 2:30 AM (8 hours after first reaction) to watch for biphasic rxn.

Question 1: Does this plan (meds, awake time, etc.) all sound okay to you?

Question 2: How long before I can nurse him again? They said wait for 24 hours...I am to give him water and rice cereal only. (I've never given him formula and have no idea about how to determine a safe one at this point.) Can I add a little sugar to the water to even out his blood sugar while he's waiting to eat?

Question 3: The "what caused it" part...I could definitely use your help here.

He turned 6 months old on December 10, and I've been giving him small amounts of cereal and water for the past 12 days--no other foods. I started him on Gerber organic RICE cereal first, and he had Gerber organic OATMEAL cereal for the first time a few days ago and for the second time tonight shortly before the reaction. So, I'm suspicious of oats. Is this a common allergen?

The second suspicion is EGG, through my breastmilk. I made homemade cookies for the boys' Christmas stockings tonight. Two eggs. I licked my fingers after wiping off the beaters--duh, didn't think about it until it was too late. Could a tiny amount of raw egg plus two cookies containing cooked egg cause this?

Third suspicion is fresh CHERRIES. I had them for the first time in a year tonight.

Any other ideas or input?

Before all this happened, I had already scheduled him to go to see the allergy clinic at the children's hospital Nate goes to. His appt. is Jan. 16...is it okay just to wait until then, or should I call and try to get his appt. bumped up? When they do his RAST, what should I ask them to test?

THANKS, GUYS!!!! The emotional side of this will follow...Nate was kind of freaked out by it, as he saw Drew's hives and vomiting. Tonight I'm just concerned about doing the right things.

Love y'all and this site.


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By April in KC on Sat, 12-23-06, 05:03

Bump to get it to show on today's topics.

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By JenniferKSwan on Sat, 12-23-06, 05:43

I'm so sorry you went through this. It's so scary!

Okay, well you answered one question about the organic cereal. Initially my first thought was Earth's Best which has cross contamination issues. Why any baby food company uses nuts is beyond me but that is another vent and doesn't answer the question at hand.

Oats can be allergenic and sadly, I'm learning it is more common. It is with much trepidation that I gave them to Aiden because he is so allergic to wheat. Oats are generally shipped and processed with wheat so cross contamination is an issue.

Just looked at my box of organic rice cereal from Gerber (I have given to my youngest son). It does have soy lecithin in it. I had issues with Gerber and Beech Nut previously with my MFA older son - between soy and added egg protein. It would aggravate his eczema. I never gave him oatmeal as a small infant because of his known wheat issues. Have only since given him "true made from scratch oatmeal." Have read that Gerber is really bad with cross contamination - they give the standard, "we clean" between but yet some kids have unexplained reactions.

My son does react violently to egg. He never did through my breastmilk though. He had uncontrollable eczema while breastfeeding and after we switched to formula. It took awhile to get a handle on the cross contamination and allergy issues. My youngest son, who has been tested and has no known allergies, reacted with projectile vomiting the 24 hours following my ingestion of 2 scrambled eggs (the first time I had "straight" eggs in nearly two years.) Allergist said she thought they could have been undercooked and that was why he reacted with vomiting.

You can probably spend the next year questioning the what ifs (been there, done that). I would call to see if they can fit you in for a SPT given his reaction. My understanding with children this young that RAST is not as effective, they still want a SPT to determine if they are reactive. My son had weeping eczema in spots, but we still found the SPT to be the truest measure of his allergens.

The meds sound correct (and way too familiar after my son's ana rxn to barley). I would try water first. If your son balks or seems like he wants more, then I would add the sugar (straight table sugar, not corn syrup). If you are truly worried he is not getting enough to eat (drink), Nutragemen (sp?) is available at many drugstores - it is milk based, but supposed to be highly broken down and hypoallergenic. You should call your allergist or pediatrician before trying though.

Hang in there! I know this is not the best of times to have a reaction given the holidays. Not so much that you are worried about having a bad holiday, but because it can be tough trying to find professional help at this time.

Mommy to Aiden (1/26/05) PA,TNA, wheat,barley,milk,egg, and pea and Connor (7/21/06) with no allergies

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By JenniferKSwan on Sat, 12-23-06, 05:52

Okay - reread your initial post about reactions for cheese and milk. You may want to skip the Nutragemen. Possibly soy if needed? Given the history - try to call allergist first if want an answer about what formula to feed. He should be okay on just water or sugar water though. Though it may be fun trying to figure out frantic cries for food and frantic cries due to an allergic reaction - just want to give you a not so fun heads up.

Okay - regular Gerber cereal has dried milk in some of their varietes. Again, for kids with MFA's - Gerber has been an issue. They send this nice email that they clean between lines and to try again (I wish I could remember where I saw this, but it was a red flag for me because at one time, Aiden was highly allergic to soy).

Hang in there!

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By April in KC on Sat, 12-23-06, 07:39

Jennifer, thank you so much for the replies (both of them). I appreciate you taking the time to share some of your experiences with Aiden with me.

I think I'll drop the cereals for a while and stick with straight nursing...at least until we get to the allergist in a couple of weeks. Egg in my milk is still a possibility, but I a really suspicious of the oatmeal for some reason. Cherries just seem "out there" for some reason.

I will definitely ask the allergist about SPT rather than (or in addition to) RAST. I hadn't heard about that and it sounds helpful.

About two hours ago, some of Drew's hives started coming back. He fussed and had a little gas. I gave more Benedryl one hour ahead of schedule, and now he's sleeping again.

Thank you!


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By McCobbre on Sat, 12-23-06, 15:04

With regard to the cherries . . . I believe I read in the last few days that they are related to other pitted fruits like peaches and plums. I could be wrong here, and my Parent's Guide to Food Allergies doesn't like them in the index.

A coworker's husband is ana to peaches, so I know that allergy is out there. You might consider cherries in a test, but I suspect it's something else.

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By onedayatatime on Sat, 12-23-06, 15:52


[This message has been edited by onedayatatime (edited September 11, 2007).]

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By Corvallis Mom on Sat, 12-23-06, 18:16

You should be aware though, that MOST people with allergies to pitted fruits (technically drupes, right?) are suffering from oral allergy syndrome. This is related to environmental allergies, which I would suspect are virtually an impossibility given how young your child is. NEXT year, more possible. True fruit allergies (other than kiwi and mango) are really really rare.

I would also suspect the oatmeal. We had problems with baby foods too... I think. I mean, DD had problems with [i]everything[/i] from day one. SO, kinda hard to say. But if I had it to do over again, I would never feed her ANYTHING from Gerber or BeechNut either one.

You can make your own safe cereals from the grains using a coffee grinder.

Good luck-- you must be soooo tired. {{hugs}}

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By JenniferKSwan on Sun, 12-24-06, 07:25

You just want to ask for a "Baby Panel" for the Skin Prick Testing and RAST. The SPT always seems worse- bring toys to distract him and wear clothes you don't mind getting permanent marker on!

My youngest son was tested for: milk, egg, peanut, rice, wheat, carrots, soy, pear, oat, white potato, squash, peas. You could add cherries and others, like meats, chocolate, fish, shellfish. It was a relatively long test for both boys (brought my MIL with me) but the answers were amazing for me. You know what you are dealing with! (not to say you may not have a few you add over the time - but it's a starting off point.

I also wanted to plug Healthy Times ([url]http://www.healthytimes.com[/url]) cereals and products. Her child has food allergies so Rondi is very aware. If you have any questions she will email you back in a very timely manner. We used the brown rice cereal (nothing but brown rice, no added vitamins) with Aiden and he did fine!

Mommy to Aiden (1/26/05) PA,TNA, wheat,barley,milk,egg, and pea and Connor (7/21/06) with no allergies

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By Ree on Sun, 12-24-06, 12:32

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I have 3 boys too and my youngest is 9 mos. We're dealing with PA, EA & MA in my 2 older boys. I've been going incredibly slow with introducing baby food to my exclusively BF baby, and my lactation consultation discouraged me from starting oatmeal or barley cereal. Since I started solids, I've held my breath with every new food. He also has 2 or 3 patches of ezcema, which started in the fall. I'm not sure if it's food allergy related or weather. I'm trying not to assume food, since I know others who have it this time of year without food allergies. I have scheduled a baby panel SPT for him at 11 mos and will food challenge anything negative at 12mos. I think they said they'd only do milk, soy and egg though. I could care less about the egg, since we avoid it for my other 2 boys.

I'm like you with breastfeeding. I avoid peanuts, nuts, seafood, and have very limited milk and egg (only as an ingredient). This is where I struggle though, because I can't tell if the ezcema is from me, the solids, or enviromental, or just dry air.

My 2nd is allergic to milk and when he was an infant his cradle cap was horrible. Once I cut milk out of my diet it disappeared within days and his ezcema cleared up. I know that what I eat makes a difference.

I don't know anyone who's child had an ana. reaction to breastmilk, but I'm sure it's possible. I think I'd assume the oats just because it was recently introduced.

Again, I'm so sorry! Please keep us posted on this..

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By momll70 on Sun, 12-24-06, 14:58

I'm sorry to hear that you went through this. It is so scarry. And you are very good about thinking back to what could have triggered the reaction. I think since is was such a violent reaction it may be the eggs. But then it can be the fruit or cereal. My son got a tiny rash (not severe)from the barley cereal. Then I wonder if organic cereal would be processed on or near same equipment that nuts are processed in. Although I would think that Gerber would be a trusted company. I would avoid anything new. Keep a food diary and can they do any testing on such a young baby? Wishing you a safe Holiday and hoping you never have to go through that again. Keep up posted.

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By Gail W on Sun, 12-24-06, 17:07

Sometimes almond is used to enhance the flavor in canned/maricino cherries. Were they fresh cherries?

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By alliedhealth on Tue, 12-26-06, 00:30

Here's a few notes- I nursed my daughter now 15 months- first born( Son) is PA- Egg does pass through breastmilk. Allergist had advised us to avoid exposure until 18 months-2years, however did not realize that meant me not eating egg either- fortunately no problems for us.
Gerber cereals have soy lecithin- Beechnut cereals rice/ oatmeal do not. This go around I used Beech-nut so as to avoid introducing more than one potential allergen at a time.
The medecines used sound appropriate. I agree to have baby panel done (immunocap) on your child- they did that on my daughter due to apparent allergic rashes- nothing showed up yet but also she has not been exposed to PN/TN so theoretically could not yet be sensistized. Good luck.

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By momll70 on Tue, 12-26-06, 18:23

You know, I always thought that marachino cherries tasted like almond flavor althought I never see it in the ingrediants (it may be one of the natural flavorings).

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By Momcat on Tue, 12-26-06, 20:32

I strongly suspect oats. I know of several people whose kids are allergic to oats at [url="http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.com"]www.kidswithfoodallergies.com[/url] I think your plan of nursing until you get him tested is a good one. Let us know what you find out.


Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

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By April in KC on Wed, 01-10-07, 01:44

Today we did scratch tests and blood tests.

The scratch tests were for cow's milk, egg white, chocolate, strawberry, rice and oat. I asked for the rice, because Drew won't touch rice cereal now without spitting it out. (Note about Cherry: they didn't want to do cherry...maybe they didn't even have the test?)

Surprisingly, the RICE was the only one that made a hive. (RICE???...still pondering this one) I am a little confused...need to search on scratch testing. The wheal was not bigger than the control (histamine), but it was definitely a raised hive.

The physicians acted baffled about the rice result. They said they'd only had one other kid ever scratch test positive for rice, and it was an Indian child (lots of rice in the diet). I do consume a fair amount of rice...Rice Dream, etc. It wasn't a big wheal...

They're hoping the RAST / CAPRAST will turn up a little additional info.

For now, they said to keep avoiding egg, milk, oat and now rice.

Everyone, thanks again for your top-notch replies. I've had so little time to post, I may post more info later...just wanted to get an update out. Would love to hear any thoughts about rice allergy, scratch testing, anything...



[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited January 09, 2007).]

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By starlight on Wed, 01-10-07, 04:10

Actually, I read at some point that a rice allergy in Asia is about as common as a peanut allergy here. The opposite is also true: peanut allergy in Asia is about as common as a rice allergy here. If you've fed him a lot of rice products or you ate a lot of rice while breastfeeding or there's just a lot of rice in your house, it makes total sense to me.

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By April in KC on Wed, 01-10-07, 15:12


I do eat a fair amount of rice products, especially recently. I'm pretty sure rice isn't his only allergy, though. Unless the oatmeal cereal was x-contam with rice, then rice wasn't even what he ate when he had his reaction. Are false negatives common in scratch tests? I thought for sure that either egg or oat would turn up.

EDITED TO ADD: About the soy lecithin concern...it was an ingredient in his organic rice cereal, but not his organic oatmeal cereal.

We are checking soy, egg, milk, rice and oat in the blood test...which we'll get back in two weeks. I'm stll consuming a fair amount of soy, but none of the others.

Drew is happy and crawling around here this morning. He developed some new eczema spots on his shoulder, arms and kneees following the reaction, but that's the only leftover effect a couple of weeks later. He's a cutie and the nurses loved him.

[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited January 10, 2007).]

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By mommyofmatt on Wed, 01-10-07, 20:47


From what I understand, false negative scratch tests are pretty rare. I was told false positivies do happen though.

I saw you're using Gerber organic cereal right? Does the box have a U with a D on it?

I'm only asking because my ds has reacted to crackers from Gerber with those markings, because there is potential for dairy cross-contam if the box has those markings.

I have heard of other kids allergic to rice. As Momcat mentioned, [url="http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org"]www.kidswithfoodallergies.org[/url] may be another good resource for you.

Good luck sorting it all out! Meg

Edited: I realized some earlier posts covered things I brought up.

[This message has been edited by mommyofmatt (edited January 10, 2007).]

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By jtolpin on Thu, 01-11-07, 10:34

Id question the top 8 foods rather than, say cherries or oats.

You said you've had dairy, egg, etc... Dropping the top 8 and watching for the eczema to disappear, hit baseline, and then add foods one at a time, is a good start, if continuing to BF.

I saw someone mention formula, and if you're going that route, Id start with hypos (Im partial to alimentum RTF). If one works, do NOT switch. Find one that works and buy it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Good luck!!


[b]* Beyond Obsessed * [/b]

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By Andy'sMom on Thu, 01-11-07, 16:50

April, I know someone mentioned it but what about wheat? My DS (MFA) kept reacting to his baby oatmeal and I later found out that oats are rarely manufactured any where that wheat is not. In fact I've only found one small company that doesn't. It's just a thought but given that wheat is in the top 8 it is at least more common than rice.

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By CVRTBB on Thu, 01-11-07, 19:22

Just wanted to say that my daughter, Rebekah, was allergic to rice (and Oats and White potatoes, green beans, corn etc...) as a baby. By about age 5 she had outgrown them all and developed a pa. Now at 10 she has NKA... so there is hope [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]


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By April in KC on Thu, 01-11-07, 21:10

Thanks, Jason and all, for the good advice.

Wheat and soy make me suspicious, too. You all have helped me make a decision. For two weeks, I am going to eliminate all of the top 8 (plus rice, since it did make a hive) and see if his eczema goes away.

Here is my history since Drew was in utero with the Top 8 allergens:

* SOY, WHEAT. Soy and wheat are staples I have consumed regularly (Soy in the last 24 hours). I'm going to stop. I will probably need/search for help on avoiding soy...it seems that it is in everything.
I have also reduced (but not eliminated) the amount of gluten (wheat) in the house in recent weeks because I am gearing up to try a GFCF diet for my oldest son (who is Aspie-ish). I will kick my avoidance into full gear.

* MILK, EGG. Milk and egg I _used to_ consume as minor ingredients in processed foods only--i.e. no glasses of milk or obvious eggs--except for the day I made cookies. When Drew was 1-4 months old, I stilll used milk daily...I stopped that when he started to get eczema. For the past three weeks I have stopped consuming any milk ingredients and any egg ingredients (careful label reading).

* FISH. I have had infrequent, small exposures to fish by occasionally taking one of my husband's Omega 3 supplements. No exposure in the past two weeks. I have my own non-fish supplements.

* TREE NUTS. I have absent-mindedly eaten almonds on two occasions when I was packing Nate's (DS1's) lunch, but only those two times. No exposures in the past month.

* PEANUTS. I have completely avoided peanut and shellfish since the late second trimester of pregnancy.

* NOTE ABOUT RICE AND SOY. As I dropped the dairy and egg from my diet, I increased my dependence on rice and soy. Drew did test positive on the scratch test for Rice. Soy was not scratch tested but is being tested in the blood test.

I'm so glad for this board. Avoiding the top 8 (plus rice) (for a period of time) is a GREAT idea. I may cry, though, after I see how many things soy is in.

Will report back. Thanks. Sorry this isn't really strictly peanut related. Please let me know if I should move the post. Love this site!

EDITED to add:
Valerie, thanks for the hope. I needed that.

A couple of people mentioned POFAK. I signed up the other day...will take time to get oriented. E-mail me if you have any tips.

What was the name of the cereal that wasn't x-contam?

EVERYONE, Sorry for not getting everyone's names mentioned in reply posts...there must be a trick to being able to see the posts and write your reply at the same time...obviously I haven't figured it out yet! I send a big blob of goodness to you all.


[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited January 11, 2007).]

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By April in KC on Thu, 01-11-07, 21:36

In addition to what I just posted, I also wanted to add a lighter note about Nate's response to Drew having allergies. Nate is 6 years and Drew was 6 months at the time. Nate can be a prickly pear, but he loves his brother.

The day after Drew had his reaction, Nate told him:

- "Drew, now that you have allergies, too, I need to teach you about what to do."
- "Never eat food anyone gives you unless it comes from Mommy or Daddy. They will read it and make sure it's safe."
- "At school, my teacher set up a peanut-free zone for me. I'm sure when you get older, if you ask, they will set up an oat-free zone for you, too."
- "Oh, and, always root for the Chiefs. That's all!"

April (proud mom of Nate, Joe, & Drew)

[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited January 11, 2007).]

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By April in KC on Fri, 01-19-07, 20:34

UPDATE: (Very confused)

Drew's blood tests were negative for everything we tested (egg, milk, soy, oat, rice). In addition, his total IgE was very low, 3.

The Dr. told me that she does not consider Drew allergic to anything. She basically encouraged me to eat whatever I want, and to introduce foods to Drew one at a time, one per week, when we were ready. She said that eczema does not have to be linked to food allergies. She thinks the "reaction" he had was a virus. (vomiting, hives over 36 hours that responded to benedryl, eczema flare the next day)

Because of the small positive SPT for rice, she offered to have us do an oral challenge in the office for that, but she told me that she did not think he was allergic to rice.

It was a longer, more awkward conversation than that, but I can't really write it all down right now.

There was a part of the conversation when I asked, what if I feed Drew some of the same oat cereal (I still have it), and he gets hives and throws up again? Would we come back to the office? Would that be considered an allergy? She said, if that happens, just don't feed him oats. I asked again if it happened, would it be considered an allergy, and she said "no, because he tested negative on the SPT and the blood test for Oats."

I need to think about what i am going to do next... ...eat, not eat; feed, not feed; stew, not stew...or just trust and be happy that he's allergy free.

By the way, here's some more info. I did eliminate the top 8 allergens plus rice for six days, and Drew's eczema got worse and started weeping. I ate a LOT more corn and potatoes during that week than I normally do. A few days ago, I cut out all corn and added soy back in, and Drew's eczema has stopped weeping and seems to be getting better (Dad and Grandma both agree).


I trust you guys A TON. I would love to think it's possible that Drew is not allergic to foods. With a low Total IgE, what do you think?


[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited January 19, 2007).]

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By Corvallis Mom on Fri, 01-19-07, 21:07

Trust YOUR instincts.

Allergist is [i]probably[/i] right... in that a very low total IgE is a good indicator that this anaphylactoid response (since that's probably what it would be classified as then) wasn't IgE mediated. However, nothing is 100%. Not even the combination of test results.

Benadryl [i]can[/i] help with viral symptoms... it simply blocks histamine receptors, so anything that generates an inflammatory cascade (including infection) can be helped [i]somewhat[/i] by it. Particularly nausea/vomiting. But it sounds like benadryl did a lot more than just "help."

I'd be especially suspicious since your little one is [i]sooooo[/i] little-- that is, a total IgE of 3 kU/L doesn't sound very high compared to kids with known MFA whose total IgE can climb into the thousands. But at just 6 months, it MIGHT only be starting to climb. KWIM?

Corn is a VERY unusual allergy... but it [i]is[/i] possible. It is also possible that this reaction was triggered by a non-IgE mediated mechanism.

Most unpleasant of all, there are some people who are just susceptible to idiopathic anaphylaxis. The mechanism is not really understood.

It sounds to me like you really NEED to get to the bottom of this somehow, though. Is it even possible that this was somehow triggered by an environmental source?

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By April in KC on Fri, 01-19-07, 22:44

Thanks, CM.

By environmental trigger, I assume you mean something like dust mites, pollen, dog, cold, etc.?

I'm interested in figuring this out. His eczema flares vary a lot. It's been very easy to think it's diet-related, but maybe not. Would environmental allergies affect total IgE?

In general, Drew is a little stuffy at times, but I haven't really noticed a lot of watery eyes or runny noses...does that matter? He does seem sensitive to scented things. On two occasions, he sneezed three quick times in the detergent aisle at the store. I use unscented detergent, diapers, lotion and shampoo for him (for myself, too...except for the diapers, LOL). Most of our house has hardwood floors, but we do have a few area rugs, including in his room (I am trying to get DH to pull it out). No pets.

I'm not very knowledgeable about environmental allergies, even though Joe (DS2) seems to have them to some degree. Would they ever make a baby throw up five times in 45 minutes?

Another thought about the total IgE is the exclusive breastfeeding thing. He had only started solids since December 10, and then it was just a little bit here and there...maybe four small rice feedings and two oatmeal. Obviously allergens can and do pass through the milk, though.

Your feedback means so much to me...it's good to talk to other folks who understand how puzzling this can be.

My gut is nevous...undecided...and also a bit hungry. : )

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By mommyofmatt on Fri, 01-19-07, 22:47

A couple of thoughts...hopefully they'll be cohesive.

I think you may want to keep a food diary of what you eat and see if there are any patterns to his eczema.

FWIW, my ds RASTS negative to milk, but is anaphylactic to it, as proven by food challenge. He does test positive on SPT though.

My neighbor's dd tested very mildly positive on CAPRAST to milk, negative skin test at age 1. Allergist said to avoid since she had broken out in hives after eating something with milk as an ingredient. At age 2, she now skin tests positive to milk and was told that testing can be unreliable in children very young in age (1 or under). I've always been told to factor in reaction history as the strongest factor for determining an allergy, and weighing that with test results if there is no reaction history. Now, these two reaction/test result cases I've given you may not be that common -- I don't know...

I know you're unsure what his trigger was, and sure it's possible it was a virus. I do find it interesting that his eczema flared on corn, and got better on eliminating it. I have come across people with a corn allergy.

That's why the only thing I can come up with is a food diary, which is time consuming, and a pain, but it might give you some idea of what if anything to avoid until you can get him retested when he's older.

Sorry you didn't get more clear cut results. Meg

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By April in KC on Fri, 01-19-07, 22:51


I think the food diary is a great idea. I'll try it.

Thanks - April

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By April in KC on Sat, 01-20-07, 03:17

Sorry, double posted.

[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited January 19, 2007).]

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By Ree on Sat, 01-20-07, 03:25

Personally, I'd take the allergist's word for it and assume no food allergies. I'd always carry Benadryl & Epi anyway, and proceed slowly. Ezcema isn't always food, and could be environmental or just dry conditions.

I'm dealing with 2 children with known food allergies and 1 baby with NKA. I'm taking him in for SPT in a couple weeks b/c I'm not sure how to introduce allergens that my older boys are allergic to. If the allergist tells me what yours has, I would go with it. My baby has ezcema behind his knees and parts of his legs. He didn't have these this summer and my diet hasn't changed (he's BF). I've introduced new foods, but none of the top 8.
This is so hard, isn't it??

[This message has been edited by Ree (edited January 19, 2007).]

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By Corvallis Mom on Sat, 01-20-07, 18:54

I know that I have read somewhere that eczema [i]can[/i] be related to viral illnesses-- just like hives.

I also know that any time DD has been ill, from the time she was about the same age.... about a week or two later, she would flare with horrific eczema. Sometimes her eczema is clearly allergen-related, and sometimes not. It is very difficult to know. As awful as it sounds, you may have to try reintroducing corn into your diet to see what happens. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I also agree with OP who mention that tests are not the whole answer-- especially with kids. And besides, IgE mediated or not, if he's got a problem with something, avoid it, right?

Good luck figuring this one out!

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By April in KC on Tue, 01-30-07, 04:00


Note: This thread is not very peanut related, just food allergy related. For Drew's needs, I have joined another food allergy board, but I'm still lurking there and don't feel at home yet. Thanks if you're following this.

Update: I kept a diary and reintroduced wheat and soy into my diet. Nothing got worse or better as a result.

Then, after two weeks with absolutely no rice, I reintroduced rice into MY diet (this past weekend). I felt like I needed some confirmation. I considered going to the allergist's office for the challenge, but I didn't really feel _encouraged_ to do so after their casual response indicating I should eat what I wanted.

So...I had a piece of cake that contained rice flour, and a bowl of Rice Crispies. Then I nursed Drew. He reacted after he nursed. Drew got splotches above and below his mouth, a few in the middle of his chest and a few on his arms. We gave Benedryl and watched for other signs. Luckily, that was it--no vomiting this time.

So...I haven't quite internalized it yet, but I guess Drew really has a rice allergy. Who has a RICE allergy, KWIM?

I saw my pediatrician today (not the allergist). Since Drew's eczema is still not tamed (since even before the latest rice challenge), he offered to let me try some elemental formula for a week (I'll pump to keep up my supply). If this helps his eczema clear up, we'll know there are other undiscovered allergies in play.

That's it for now. Love this site.


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By Lam on Tue, 01-30-07, 22:08

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you're pinning it down!!

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By mommyofmatt on Wed, 01-31-07, 14:18

Hey April,

Sorry to hear it looks like he has a rice allergy [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] But at least it sounds like you're starting to figure out his situation, which is a positive right? Much better to know what you're dealing with and manage it right?

Hugs, Meg

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By CVRTBB on Thu, 02-01-07, 00:28

I remember being shocked that my daughter had a rice allergy too... she did great with nutramigen formula. She also had really bad excema! She had it on the tops of her feet, behind her knees, on her elbows, under her chin and on her face until we figured out all the foods she was allergic to! (Which was 20 foods but we only had to avoid 10!)

Hope it gets better for your little guy!

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By April in KC on Wed, 02-21-07, 08:00

Sorry for going MIA. I have been doing a ton of reading, working and going to doctor's visits for my kids and myself.

The plot thickens. As I eliminated foods from my diet for Drew, my own health started to fall apart (despite adequate food intake, mostly wheat-based + veg + fruit + meat). Drew's skin has been getting worse, not better...his face has been bleeding a little on both sides.

A few weeks ago, I started getting mouth sores and a certain bumpy, itchy rash on the back of both of MY elbows that I hadn't seen in many years, but used to get as a child. It's not hives...I know because I used to get cold urticaria, and I know hives well.

This is something itchy, but bumpy. And when it heals, it leaves thickened, scarred skin behind. I researched it. Rash on both elbows might = Dermatitis Herpetiformis, a silent form of....

.....Celiac disease.

People who get the DH rash are often atypical presenters of Celiac who don't have all the usual GI symptoms, but can still have intestinal damage and compromised nutritional status. My mom has peripheral neuropathy, another atypical Celiac symptom. And I had recurrent miscarriages, another symptom. And Nate has chronic diarhhea...and behavioral symptoms...it's all so confusing, but now I need to get to the bottom of this.

I know...it makes some sense but not perfect sense for Drew. The severity of the first reaction to oatmeal makes sense, but not the hives. The positive SPT for rice does not make sense, unless it was contaminated, or unless there is ALSO a rice allergy. But the low total IgE part would make more sense. And one of the rice things I consumed had barley malt in it (gluten).

(Warning--wild speculation) What if mom's celiac antibodies, passed through nursing, or perhaps child's own celiac status, damages the child's gut, and the child's damaged gut allows the passage of proteins (leaky gut), resulting in the development of IgE allergy?

I had some blood tests drawn a couple of days ago...trying to find a dermatologist who can properly biopsy the rash on my elbows for dermatitis herpetiformis.

I'm not sure if I have dermatitis herpetiformis. I'm not sure of anything.

The weirdest part.......

....On Sunday, I was at church feeling overwhelmed. As I worshipped, I felt like God wanted me to actively bring my needs to him in request, AND ALSO accept his answer or lack of answer with praise. So I knelt and prayed for a diagnosis. And I also gave thanks for either an answer or a continued mystery, whichever he wanted.

Immediately after church services were over, a woman I didn't know well at all (didn't know her name, church of 500) approached me and just started asking me about Drew, Joe and Nate. Obviously she knew who I was and somehow knew that my kids were going through health troubles. [I found out later that my DH had talked to her in a previous week.] She was incredibly kind, and she went well beyond a surface conversation. She really wanted to know about the boys' health and how it was impacting us as a family.

Before long, she told me that she had someone she wanted me to talk to, a friend whose now-adult son had peanut allergy and multiple food and chemical allergies / sensitivities. She thought I should talk to this person. I gave her my phone number.

Well, the second lady called me tonight, and we had the most incredible conversation. Her story was truly amazing, with a son who had terrible food allergies and sensitivities to many chemicals, and behavioral as well as anaphylactic and GI reactions. Her son is 22 now and doing well in life (law school), which was so encouraging to hear.

She gave me so much encouragement and advice...that alone was an answer to prayer...and then she mentioned that SHE has (present tense) "the rash on her elbows, too"...has always had it and has no idea what it is.

OMG, it makes me wonder....if our rashes are dermatitis herpetiformis, and we both have silent Celiac and kids who have food allergies (she also had a daughter with milk allergy)...what is the connection? Does a mother's untreated celiac (or DH) status somehow contribute to the kids' development of allergies? It's estimated that celiac is vastly underdiagnosed in the US. If you have any doubs about yourself, please read up on it. The symptoms can be subtle.

It's too early for me to get too wound up about this one way or the other...maybe a rash is just a rash. But this has been a mystery for me since childhood.

One way or the other, I am going to find out whether I have Celiac / DH. If I do, I'm going to find out about all my children, too. Celiac has a strong genetic component.

Oh, and for you "long eyelashes" folks, it's said that this is common among Celiacs...not sure if this is true or not.

I did a search tonight on this board for the word "elbows" and read up on other peoples' elbow rashes. I was just curious to see if there are others. I think maybe there are a few stories that might fit.

For the curious, rash inside the bends of the elbows is not dermatities herpetiformis, but rash on the outer side of the elbows (where you lean them) very well could be. When it is on both elbows and is confirmed as DH by biopsy with immunofluorescence, it is highly correlated with Celiac / gluten intolerance, regardless of whether there are obvious GI symptoms. People with this type of rash can also get it on their knees and buttocks. It can pop out occasionally (or constantly) with a high gluten load, and it can also come out with exposure to iodine (or iodized salt, sea salt, etc.).

I do not get it on my knees, but the woman I was talking to on the phone tonight does. She has no clue whether she has Celiac, either.

Her son with the bad allergies also had hypogammaglobulinemia, which can also occur with Celiac.

So, I have no answers yet, still more questions.

When you get tested for Celiac, they want you to stay ON gluten so the test will be positive. If the blood test is positive, they want to do an intestinal biopsy. Well, I had my blood test last week, no results yet, and I don't want to wait weeks or months to have a biopsy, since I'm nursing Drew and he's having problems.

So I have some thinking to do. Thinking... and praying... it's premature to say anything.

I wanted to write this up, because even if it's not true for me, it might have relevance for someone else down the road who is searching for an answer.

Sorry about the length...will post when I know more.

Even if this remains a mystery, I want to give thanks to God for such a gentle and sweet answer to prayer this week. The two women I visited with were just wonderful.


[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited February 21, 2007).]

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By April in KC on Sun, 03-11-07, 07:22

Update: Today I received a letter from my immunologist stating that my bloodwork was positive for antigliadin antibodies, that I have gluten intolerance and may have celiac disease, I need to see a gastroenterologist for further eval, and I need to be on a gluten-free diet for life.

I've been gluten free since a few days after the tests...but may have to go back on at some point in the future for a challenge. That would have to be after Drew is weaned. I'm working on that.

Nate's blood tests are not back yet.

What was formerly the "raw" half of Drew's face is doing much better on my gluten-free diet, but his other spots are not responding.

[This message has been edited by April in KC (edited March 11, 2007).]

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