Daughter's reactions - need thoughts


I’m hoping some of you amateur allergists out there can help. :) My daughter has had two reactions in the past month, and I can’t definitively nail down what caused either of them. We know she’s very allergic to peanuts and most tree nuts (which we just found out after the reaction a month ago – had her skin-tested).

1st reaction:

Night before reaction: She was at the mall with friends and she did an aromatherapy thing where she put the aromatic oil onto her hands and sniffed it. When she came home, she was very stuffy and hadn’t been when she left the house that afternoon. I looked up the ingredients and they included sweet almond oil.

The following morning, she was still very stuffy and was blowing her nose all the way through church.

After church, she had Totino’s pizza rolls which she’s had many, many times before. About a half hour later, she left to go to Volleyball practice. 15 minutes into practice, she has a reaction – stuffy nose, sneezing, swelling of lips and face, red eyes, widespread rash.

2nd reaction, a month later:

Eats dinner at a friend’s house – JTM burgers, Klosterman hamburger buns, Lipton pasta sides, and two Peeps. She’d had the pasta and Peeps before, but not the JTM burgers or the Klosterman buns (she’s had Klosterman wheat breads before, though). Read the ingredients for the burgers, and they contained soy protein but no peanut – called JTM and they said they used no peanuts in any of their products. Klosterman uses no peanut or nut products.

About a half hour later, she’s home and again, same symptoms as last time: stuffy nose, sneezing, swelling of lips and face (less this time, though), red eyes, widespread rash.

Both times, she ingested nothing with peanuts/nuts. My theories:

1st reaction: Theory 1: The almond oil in the aromatherapy thing started a mild reaction which continued to the morning…then when she became active at volleyball, it ramped up everything up. Theory 2: There was peanut butter or some sort of peanut or nut residue on one of the volleyballs, which she then touched and then put her hand in her mouth.

2nd reaction: Theory 1: There was peanut or nut residue on the Peeps from her friend maybe touching them at some point when Erin wasn’t there. Theory 2: She’s developed an allergy to soy – the JTM burgers have soy protein as a major ingredient, and the pizza rolls also have soy flour as an ingredient. The Klosterman buns contain soybean oil. She has in the past, however eaten many things with soy, though not necessarily with a high concentration of soy protein, like the JTM burgers.

After the first reaction, we saw the allergist and had her tested for tree nuts. She had tested negative when she was 3 but it turns out that she is now allergic to most tree nuts.

I did not have her tested for soy – her allergist said she’s probably had it so many times that it would be implausible.

So we’re still left without a solid answer, just theories.

Any thoughts or similar experiences out there?

By rosebud2 on May 20, 2009

No but my heart go out to you I have a2 yrold she is severly allergic to peanuts for 2wks now I've been fighting a tough battle. To control itI've been making my own food tring not to by package products.I know you run the same things over and over in your head.What did we do?was this or that.My husband doesn't even unstand.I hope you get some answer I hope we all get more answers.Till then we will keep on fighting for them.

By jenniferbfab on May 21, 2009

My son used to get mysterious hives. Before we knew he was allergic to peanuts, he got hives from Catalina French Dressing, which contains no peanuts. Then after he was diagnosed, I remember he reacted to Bell & Evans breaded chicken, also containing no peanuts. Also, frozen fish sticks and other foods. I just assumed there were trace amounts of peanuts and I avoid these products like the plague. We still see mystery hives once in a while. Not sure you will ever know the reason behind those reactions, unfortunately. Cross-contamination could be a part of it.

Good luck to you. I know it is stressful, but it does get easier over time.

Jennifer B www.foodallergybuzz.com

By Ashley5473 on Jun 1, 2009

In both cases, I subscribe to theory #1! :) In the first case, she may have had a biphasic reaction (2nd could be worse than first) and exercise does make it worse. Also, is it possible that she took an antihistamine which wore off at volleyball?

In the 2nd scenario I think it's more likely that there was residue on the peeps. But what is a JTM burger? Is that a soy burger? If so, she may just be mildly allergic to soy, she just ate so much.....

To Jennifer, have you had the whole gamut of food prick tests done? My daughter can't eat those three things cuz she's allergic to cottonseed oil and sunflower oil which is in A LOT of processed foods. Our life was such a mystery for 3.5 years and I always assumed trace nuts, until I insisted on the other 77 foods they prick test for. :) I am so glad we did. Her eczema is gone for the first time in her LIFE! :) Just a thought....

Good luck to you both in figuring all this out!