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Palm/coconut allergies

14 replies [Last post]
By BitsnBearsMom on Tue, 01-29-08, 15:33

My 8yo ds has lived with allergies all his life - had his first anaphylactic reaction at 6 months old to the dairy based formula in the infant cereal we gave him.
He's outgrown many of the allergies (dairy, eggs, peanuts - was always a questionable one as the test was so small, beef) and is still allergic to many tree nuts and last year we found out he was allergic to coconut too.
It's the coconut and palm oils that are causing us the problem as we (our allergist's nurse and I) now think he might be allergic to palm oil as well. It's starting the same way the coconut allergy did - started with a super sore stomach then progressed to vomiting if he eats anything with coconut in it - also complained of a tingly tongue after eating shredded coconut before he was dx.
Anyway - wondreing if anyone has any info on a palm/palm oil allergy? Can't seem to find much - he doesn't go to the allergist again until next year (unless we feel we need to go)
We are eliminating it but finding it hard.... palm oil and coconut oil are in the weirdest places and most foods that don't contain tree nuts have either palm or coconut oil in it. I do bake most of his treats/bread at home but it would be nice to have SOME convenience foods that we can grab and go.

The tree nut allergy seems so much easier to manage then these new ones!! Any advice/info would be appreciated.

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By falcon on Wed, 02-06-08, 14:52

My son has a positive RAST to coconut but hasn't reacted to it so far. We do avoid things that have coconut in it but he seems to tolerate the derivatives ok...I have been concerned about all the lotions, soaps, shampoos, etc that contain derivatives that get lathered all over his body...seems better to avoid that but hard to find shampoos, soaps, lotions,etc. that do not contain coconut derivatives...we use kiss my face olive soaps and vanicream shampoo, but I think the shampoo might have derivatives...we have been using it w/o incident so I haven't checked recently.

Do you avoid lotions, etc. with coconut derivatives? If so, what do you use for shampoo, soap, skin cream, sunscreen? Thanks.

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By BitsnBearsMom on Fri, 02-08-08, 11:40

We do try to avoid them.... the soaps and shampoos I've come across in Canada for kids doesn't seem to contain coconut.... wondering about that new foam soap I bought him now that's drying out his face really bad. Usually he uses Jergens bar soap but this was something new we tried.
The sunscreen we use is Ombrelle and I've called to make sure it's ok.
He hasn't had a rast for the coconut yet but they will be doing another round of the rast next spring when we go back again.

The nice thing I learned from the AAIA is that coconut oil is heavy and expensive to use so the companies (in Canada) are trying to get away from it even though it's a healthier oil. Palm oil is high in saturated fat and they are trying to find healthier alternatives for that too in Canada at least!

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By falcon on Sat, 02-09-08, 01:14

Thanks - can you suggest a moisturizer? And would appreciate if you would share the name of a shampoo and soap? Maybe I can get it on line. Thanks.

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By cathlina on Tue, 02-12-08, 00:59

I use Lubiderm for Sensitive Skin...available at Wal-Mart. No dyes, fragrances etc.

For shampoo, I use Free and Clear. Free of dyes, fragrance etc. I buy it online at


They also have conditioner, hair spray etc.

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By Jana R on Sat, 04-05-08, 20:55

I don't know if this will help but since lotions/shampoos etc don't need to label specifically for coconut (or other food allergens for that matter) you do need to check the source of those multisyllabic ingredients. This was a list I compiled five years ago - you would need to contact the manufacturer if any of these ingredients are in your products to see what they were derived from if you need to completely avoid coconut.

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By girlygirl on Mon, 06-02-08, 01:25

Im allergic to coconut but have found an all naturl body shop that i get my soaps and things out. I use olive oil on my skin in stead of a cream or lotion. I know you said you have a son but makeup has it in it and Ive landed in the hospital from over the counter cought meds. Ive even found some toothpastes with it in it.

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By jbasile on Sun, 08-17-08, 23:04

Joining in on the discussion. My eldest has peanut and treenut allergies, and sadly just learned that my youngest has those, plus coconut and citrus too! So sad.

We've recently "gone green" around here and were using all organic cleansers. Guess what they ALL have - COCONUT. I'm feeling so guilty for coating him with coconut (although I had no idea he was allergic...)

Any advice for a newbie here?

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By BitsnBearsMom on Sun, 11-30-08, 01:58

Still not alot of advice from me as we're still having a hard time dealing with the coconut/palm oil allergies here. the reactions are getting worse and we're finding coconut oil in the oddest foods/places - most chapsticks I'm finding contain either palm oil or coconut oil.
You have to do alot of calling to manufacturer's to get the ingredients.
We have an appointment with the allergist on Feb 5th so I'm hoping we can get more info about it. The coconut/palm seem much more difficult to manage then the nut allergies.

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By Itchyknee on Tue, 01-13-09, 07:55

Don't forget about sodium lauryl sulfate, which is derived from palm oil. It is the substance that causes foaming. I have dermatitis and believe it is from palm oil. Once I kept from eating it at home and using it in my detergent, the shampoos weren't too bad since I could rinse them off. Most kids don't actually need a lot of SOAP on their bodies to get clean, we are just fooled into thinking they do! Also, beware the "natural" dishwashing detergents and laundry soaps...they almost ALL have palm and/or coconut oil in them. And did you know that almost every infant formula has one or the other in it? No wonder so many kids have allergies now!! The best thing was, once I eliminated MOST (unfortunately, not all) palm or coconut oil from my diet, not only did my dermatitis get under control, but the arthritis I thought I had went away too! Wish we could get Andrew Weil working on this, don't you?

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By elmo472 on Fri, 07-24-09, 14:00

Well I'm a 13 yr old girl who loves all the foods I'm allergic to because of this stupid coconut/palm allergy that i have. This completely sucks. I'm allergic to Cornpops, movie theater popcorn, Skittles, Twizzlers, Butterfingers, Pecan Twirls, restaurant margarine (in the packages), gummy worms, ALL of the Little Debbie cakes, Oreos and Oreo Cakesters (in all of the flavors, too!), and Three Musketeers. I'm not sure if I'm allergic to the Three Musketeers Mint yet. The odd thing about my allergy is that I use Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo and that has coconut in it. Hmmm... Maybe it's only if I ingest it.

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By mamanetty on Tue, 04-13-10, 05:00

Hey everyone if you are looking for a safe body soap that is palm oil and coconut free try the Olive oil soap from kiss my face co. I have started using this and have been breakout free. I also have found that Dove shampoos cause little to no breakouts. As far as foods watch out for generic brands they are loaded with coconut and palm oil derivatives because it is cheaper to use. The safest lip balm I have found is the Chap-stick brand cherry or strawberry. Foods are touch and go still have to read every ingredient. Also be careful as the allergy persists exposure to someone even eating coconut laced products can sometimes cause allergy flare ups especially in respiratory tract also let your any health care professional know because a lot of the soaps and hand lotions they use to keep their hands clean contain coconut and palm oil products buts also some medications do as well now.Hope this helps

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By kristiefrommelt on Thu, 02-17-11, 19:41

My daughter is 12, almost 13. She has an anaphylactic food allergy to coconut. She has several other allergies but they seem to be manageable at this time. I have done so much research on her allergy. Its not a very popular allergy but is very dangerous to her. If you would like anymore information please let me know.

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By veelee on Fri, 02-17-12, 13:37

My 10 yr old daughter used someone else's hand sanitizer and had a skin reaction to it. Turns out it had "Tahitian Palm Milk" in it. Is this just a fancy way to sell an unpopular ingredient? Are people with topical allergies automatically assumed to have related food allergies as well? I should mention that she has had excema and itchies off and on in her life, and commercial frostings make her feel ill.

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By Tammy K on Thu, 03-15-12, 18:57

I'm 51, I started having problems with allergies to nuts at Xmas in my teens. I never knew the canker sores were caused by the allergy to the nuts. When I was pregnant, no problem with the nuts, but was allergic to peanut oil. After the birth, everything seem okay. Then 5 years ago, I found Palm oil allergy, canker sores within 20 minutes of eating, swollen tongue and throat. I avoided anything with palm, which is 99% of products in the stores. Last 4 years the allergy has increased to include all palm, sesame, peanut, almond, soy, and some canola oils. Also finding eating bacon causing an reaction. I now never eat anything I'm offered made by someone else. I bake/make 95% of my food from scratch. I keep an antahistimine (liquid) available, to avoid hospital after reaction, works quick to take swelling down. I do have an EPIPEN. The worse reactions are to sesame oil, the swelling comes up so fast, feels like i have straws to my nose. I have asked the Dr before for tests, said wouldn't help much, but going to insist. The items I'm allergic to seems to be increasing. I do great when just eating my own food. I'm glad I'm not alone, just sad that seems there are alot of people out there with it, and nothing to help. If you ever saw the movie "Hitch" with Will Smith when he drinking the antahistamine in the drug store after a reaction, I to have done that. Funnier on film than experiencing the real thing. If anyone has an input for help or where to go for testing/herbalists, please let me know. I live in Canada - Alberta.

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