Allergic to Cocoa/Chocolate?

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 5:45am
nonutsplease730's picture
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My PA son has not had any chocolate/Cocoa yet. He went for his year check up with the allergist and he said he didn't see any problems trying him with it. The only concerns with chocolate would be to be very careful with cross contamination issues. My question is does anyone that is PA have problem eating chocolate/Cocoa? Does anyone with PA eat chocolate/Cocoa without any problems. Just trying to get an idea on what the risks would be. Should I feel pretty confident on letting him try it. It's so hard to try new things with him. I stay so anxious about it. I would so love to open up a whole new list of things he could eat! I myself would SO LOVE to have chocolate again! Homemade Chocolate Chip cookies here we come...I hope! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Thanks for any advice. Also I called Hershey's today about their cocoa and semi sweet chocolate chip's and I seem pretty confident that they are safe. Any thoughts on that too? Thanks so much for the help!

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 5:57am
kandomom's picture
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Joined: 01/12/2006 - 09:00

The cross contamination issue would be w/ peanuts and nuts (if you are concerned about nuts).
DD eats chocolate fine. I use Guittard chocolate chips.
There are online stores that sell peanut free chocolates too.
[url="http://www.nutfreecandy.com/"]http://www.nutfreecandy.com/[/url]
[url="http://www.vermontnutfree.com/"]http://www.vermontnutfree.com/[/url]
Nestle Canada also makes peanut free versions of Coffee Crisp, Kit Kat, Aero, Mars Bar etc.
Enjoy your homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 6:17am
nonutsplease730's picture
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Thanks so much for the information on the peanut free sites! I'm always looking for those!! That's good to know about your DD being able to eat chocolate with no problem! Thanks again!

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 7:51am
lj's picture
lj
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Joined: 01/26/2006 - 09:00

My PA, TN and kiwi-allergic son eats chocolate with no problems. He chalks it up there with his "favorite" food groups. We use Hershey's chips with no problems. I find that the recipe for choc chip cookies on the back of the dark chip package is great. I always get compliments when I make those! We also use Hershey's syrup, hot fudge and choc bar products (with safe labels, of course).
LJ

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 9:08am
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

I've met/learned of 3 people in the last 7 months who are ana to chocolate. Only one of them is also ana to nuts (can't remember if it's peanuts or tree nuts, strangely).
It amazed me.
We trust Hershey's labeling, and we don't have a problem with cocoa. If it's clear to me that a cake has been made with cocoa rather than chocolate (red cast), I have fewer problems with DS eating it, other things being okay.

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 10:10am
lauramacf's picture
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Joined: 01/25/2007 - 09:00

My 6-year-old daughter has multiple life threatening food allergies, (wheat, egg, peanut/treenut) as well as other food allergies (milk and soy, plus some). She has absolutely no problems with chocolate and cocoa, but as another poster pointed out, it is the cross-contamination issues you'll want to be concerned with. Because of her other allergies, she cannot have most brands of even nut-free chocolate (milk-free chocolates usually have soy in them and vice versa). We have used Hershey's cocoa before, but I'd normally hesitate to recommend anything to severely peanut allergic folks because her peanut allergy may be unproven (her scores are high and there was a suspected peanut reaction, but it's not known for sure).
I can say that two chocolate items we use indicate they are peanut free: Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips, and AHLaska Chocolate Syrup (not their cocoa, though, only their chocolate syrup--I know that their cocoa has a warning label but the syrup indicates clearly on the bottle that it is peanut free). The AHLaska syrup was my daughter's first introduction to chocolate, and we all were thrilled when she could have it. We have to limit it to one cup of chocolate rice milk per day, otherwise she'd drink nothing but. I worried that being able to have "some chocolate" but not "all chocolate" would be a problem for her, but we've always been very careful to outline for her the reasons why, and she accepts it gracefully.

Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 1:16am
monkey's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2005 - 09:00

if someone is reacting to chocolate or cocoa, they should consider whether they are in fact reacting to soy lethicin. just a thought

Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 9:46am
JennB's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2007 - 09:00

I have allowed my child (PA)to have choc. from Vermont Nutfree....Best choc chips...

Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 9:27pm
NicoleinNH's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

My 5 yr old loves chocolate. We order from Vermont Nut Free. She is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, honeydew, cantaloupe. Her younger sister is 2 and we haven't given her chocolate yet. No real reason other than I prefer to wait. I also buy plain, milk chocolate Kisses (by Hershey) for my allergic DD. My oldest doesn't like chocolate (he's 7).
Vermont Nut Free is the best chocolate I've had. I wish they had more items (like mini choc chips). Their White Chocolate Chips are heavenly! We just received an order yesterday.
Nicole

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 7:37am
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by monkey:
[b]if someone is reacting to chocolate or cocoa, they should consider whether they are in fact reacting to soy lethicin. just a thought[/b]
There are people who are actually allergic to chocolate though.
I guess folks can be allergic to everything.

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 8:14am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

my oldest tested positive for chocolate this summer. I don't think it's something that will kill her, but I have noticed flu-like sypmtoms or a migraine if she eats(or drinks, like choc milk) too much(or even just a little). Her soy was negative... is it the cocoa bean that she reacts to then?? I am not sure myself even.
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 8:22am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

It's possible that even with the positive test result that this isn't really "allergic" Chanda... chocolate is a BIG trigger food for migraines. VERY well known-- medical literature is full of references about it. (It's as bad as aged cheeses and red wine.) Just a thought.
I have migraines, but I am [i]soooooooo, soooooo lucky that isn't a trigger.[/i] An addiction, yes... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Anyway- to answer the question. It is my impression that chocolate [i]allergy[/i] is actually quite rare-- just like corn allergies are actually quite rare. But you will meet a lot of people who [i]think[/i] they have a genuine allergy to it. (But when you talk to them about it, most of them haven't ever seen an allergist, etc...) So I dunno-- maybe it is a fairly common intolerance.
We were also VERY nervous about chocolate. DD didn't have any until she had outgrown her soy allergy. She was about four when she first tried chocolate. Lucky for her, she's never had any trouble. We use Guittard dark chocolate chips when she can stand that much milk XC, and make things with dark cocoa when she can't. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 12:32pm
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

thanks Corvallis Mom....I have migraines, she inherited them from me, been suffering for about 20 years now(wow, I'm old!!!)
I've never had chocolate trigger one for me, lots of other foods. The chocolate is the worst part of this milk allergy(I have to avoid because I am nursing)...I miss chocolate [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
To be honest, I don't know if it's an allergic reaction or a migraine reaction when she eats chocolate...they are pretty similar(feel like you've been run over by a truck, her body hurts, her tummy, her head...just like the flu, it stops her cold in her tracks, about 15 min after eating...occasioanlly she will even puke). So we just avoid it, for now. She can have a small bite, but no more cakes, pudding, choc milk etc...
I just never knew much about it, since it isn't serious I didn't read up on it(like the milk, nuts, eggs...) anyone know the exact ingredient that causes the ickyness?? cocoa I assume?? I'll google it [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Thanks!!!
EDIT, I just googled, it is rare, you were right. But her test was positive(skin prick)...do you think it was wrong then?? hmmmm, I have no idea! Mayeb I should do blood to verify?
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited February 10, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited February 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 12:57pm
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]It's possible that even with the positive test result that this isn't really "allergic" Chanda... chocolate is a BIG trigger food for migraines. VERY well known-- medical literature is full of references about it. (It's as bad as aged cheeses and red wine.) Just a thought.[/b]
But just like having a positive peanut or milk result don't you have to trust the result--especially if you are suffering a bit when consuming it? I do think it's rare, but three people is statistically interesting. One works with me. He is more worried about chocolate than nuts. He does not carry an epi--I trained him. But when someone offers him a cookie or brownie, he says, "No thanks. I want to live." He recounts for people his last ana reaction. And one other person is a kid at a Waldorf school nearby. Yes--that's why they are so good about food allergies. During the third grade they learn about Judaism (different religion each year apparently), and they decided not to use gelt during Hannukah because this child is ana to chocolate.
So it exists--I'd be careful unless tests proved I didn't need to be.
Quote:[b]
Anyway- to answer the question. It is my impression that chocolate [i]allergy[/i] is actually quite rare-- just like corn allergies are actually quite rare. But you will meet a lot of people who [i]think[/i] they have a genuine allergy to it. (But when you talk to them about it, most of them haven't ever seen an allergist, etc...) So I dunno-- maybe it is a fairly common intolerance.
[/b]
How do you know they've not been to an allergist though?
Again, statistically interesting, in DS' grade there are two kids (two we know of--one two houses down and the other a good friend) who are/have been ana to corn. We live in a town under 100,000. The neighbor's most recent test--this year--has indicated he has outgrown it, but he had an ana reaction last year after eating something fried in corn oil at the movie. I don't know.
The other kid is also allergic to peanuts (in fact, both are), but it's not as big of a deal as corn.
I listened to the most interesting interview on NPR's Fresh Air a few months ago about the prevalence of corn in our society since the mid-80s, and the increase in corn allergies made sense to me. It's amazing how all-pervasive corn is in our lives. Almost enough to make one believe in conspiracies. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I'm just glad DS isn't allergic. Knock on everything.

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