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Hi! I am new to the site - been browsing about a week. 2 weeks ago while on vacation visiting family my daughter 2 1/ 2 year old had an anaphylactic reaction at a birthday party. We were outside and she ran to a table and grabbed a handful of mixed nuts and before my DH could reach her they were in her mouth. She spit out a cashew and was coughing. We thought she had scratched her throat on a chip since she had been eating them a few minutes before.

A few minutes later she was acting strange and her tongue was swollen and purple. My DH ran to the pharmacy for benadryl (which helped temporarily). A few minutes later she said she didn't feel good and threw up all over the yard. We threw the kids in the car and headed back toward my folks (about 20 miles). She passed out in the car and welts like bee stings popped out all over her face, ears and neck. At that point I FINALLY got a clue and we headed to the hospital. We went through the whole procedure there: shots, prednisolone, etc.

The whole time this was happening I never once thought peanut/nut allergy. I was so clueless (even though I have a sister-in-law who is PA and we have always been super careful). It just never occured to me.

I am convinced this allergy is from my gestational diabetes diet (mainly peanut butter and nuts - every day) and eating nuts while nursing for 11 months. I can't believe no one (dietician/obgyn) ever mentioned a possibility of this to me. I am disgusted with the medical community and myself for not knowing about this.

I have a 1 year old DD who has asthma but hopefully not PA (ate less peanut products while pregnant and nursing). I pray she is not.

I am thankful for all of the information out there and that there are so many others to talk to!

[This message has been edited by katie's mom (edited July 31, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by katie's mom (edited July 31, 2001).]

On Aug 1, 2001

Welcome katie's Mom! I have two PA/TNA children. I agree with you totally about the medical communities lack of responsibility reguarding this issue. There is NO mention to pregnant women who have any dietary or allergic history , about the possibllity of peanut allergy or food allergies happening to their unborn child. Or for that matter any information as how to help preventing it from happening! With the knowledge I had from my first child, I stayed away from all nuts during my second pregancy. I also stayed away from egg and milk. OK , so my second child is allergic to peanuts and walnuts, but she is not allergic to milk and egg like her older brother. Maybe what I did helped. It certainly did'nt HURT! I know how you feel! Bless You, Love TLSMOM

On Aug 2, 2001

Hi Katie's mom and welcome, I too have just joined the PA BBoards.

I share your feelings about having eating peanut butter during pregnancy and while lactating, I enjoyed it often as a snack high in protein and easy to make. I can't believe that I wasn't at least warned about the risks. I find it even more reprehensible that a dietician recommended you eat nuts as a regular part of your diet!

I also find it terrible that the March of Dimes is now endorsing Peanut Butter for pregnant and lactating women as a source of folate! (The details are on the Take Action Board!). I think there are far too many people in a position of authority who do not properly consider the advice they are handing out.

Anyhow, welcome, and try not to let it worry you too much. Although it makes me mad, I have to admit that there was a good chance that he would get this regardless. But it's hard to forget the 'What If's' that nag you when you think of this.

------------------ Rosemary N.

On Aug 2, 2001

About to fire off my first letter to March of Dimes! I hope others do so. I am also contacting the dietician I had while pregnant both times and filling her in! I know it is just "venting" but I feel powerful letting people know about this! Thanks for the welcome!

On Aug 2, 2001

I too am completely disgusted by the medical community's complete ignorance on the topic. I am a physician myself and had absolutely no idea about how serious food allergies are and i can tell you that this is not mentioned at all in medical schools or post graduate training (internship, residency etc). I sent a note to the head of pediatrics at the academic institution where I work and told them how my son was mismanaged by the pediatricians and that my note must be distributed to all ER docs, pediatricians, dermatologists, and allergists. And it was. Every little bit helps.

On Aug 3, 2001

I agree that the medical community needs to be more informed. When my son (now 21 months old) was a wee baby, he had horrible eczema. Each peditrician in the practice said the same thing, "Oh, it's just because your son is a Fall baby. His skin will look better once the weather warms up." OK. Try telling me that as each time a stranger would come up to see my newborn and remark, "OH...(insert long pause)'s a baby." Instead of the ooo-ing and aahh-ing over how cute he was like son #1 got, I got that.

So, I paid out of my own pocket to see a dermatologist. Again, I was told that my burn-victim-looking infant was suffering from the weather and to add an extra rinse cycle to the washing machine and to use sensitive skin creams.

Not once did any of the peditricians or the dermatologist say "FOOD ALLERGY". Only my husband's grandfather had a food allergy and it's just to strawberry so I never put the connection together myself. I stupidly relied and believed in the advice of the doctors.

Then, when my son got swollen eyelids after gnawing on a dinner roll, the peditrician on-call told me that my son probably just got bit by a spider or something. I insisted that maybe it was a wheat allergy. She insisted that it was coincidence and that I was overreacting. So, the next time my son gnawed on a dinner roll, he had a horrible reaction. This time, a different peditrician was on-call and was a lot more sympathetic and agreed we should have my son tested even though he was only 9 months old. Thank goodness we did because through the skin testing is how we found out he had a severe peanut allergy. And, he was allergic to wheat, oats, barley, rye, milk, and soy.

It's awful my son had to go through nine months of his life with a horrible skin rash and that it takes a bad reaction before the medical community listens or believes. Kudos to those of you in the medical community who are trying to change the attitudes of your peers! But now I am a much wiser mom and trying to educate other moms. Take care. Warmly, Julie B.

On Aug 3, 2001

Hi Katie's Mom

I am a dentist and I know that many doctors, dentists and pharmacist are not aware of the severity and sensitivity that people have with PA. I certainly wasn't aware of the degree of caution that PA suffers have to practice, and I am medically trained. I am actually well aware of the ER protocol and have full medical kits on treatment of medical emergencies, but never had a clue on how easy it is for some people to have an allergen affect them. This is a great awareness site! My son (2 yrs old) just had a severe PA which landed him in the ER. Boy did I learn alot about this very quickly. Stay safe.

Keep Smiling

On Aug 3, 2001

Good to hear all of this I guess. Every academic meeting that i go to will involve my educating my colleagues about food allergy. I will be in New Orleans in November talking to about 2000 folks and i will tell them alright!!! This is amazing and the NY Times article in June is so well written that i often distribute that to people who just don't "get it".

On Aug 6, 2001

It is tempting to blame physicians and others for not warning us about the potential of food allergens in breast milk, but there has actually been very little research into the subject. The first published research documenting the presence of peanut allergens in human breast milk was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this April! (Detection of peanut allergens in breast milk of lactating women. JAMA. 2001 Apr 4;285(13):1746-8.). Further library research suggests that wheat protein (gliadin) and egg protein (ovomucoid) are also detected in breast milk. The article on gliadin was from a Scandinavian journal published in 1987 (Passage of gliadin into human breast milk. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1987 May;76(3):453-6.) and the ovomucoid paper is Japanese published in June of 2001(Occurrence of the major food allergen, ovomucoid, in human breast milk as an immune complex. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2001 Jun;65(6):1438-40.)

So, the research is scattered and some of the most important was just published this spring and summer. What should we do with the results of this research? Should we stop mothers from eating wheat, eggs or nuts during pregnancy or lactation? That sounds a little extreme! My wife just about went ballistic when she realized she should take chocolate out of her diet for 9 months. I suggest we stop blaming ourselves, our physicians, and the March of Dimes for not knowing about research that was not published at the time they made their recommendations.

Are there some more reasonable recommendations we could make? For example, it looks like most severe food allergies run in families. If this is the case then it may be reasonable to limit nut uptake by lactating women whose families show a history of hypersensitivity. Especially if there is already one individual in the immediate family with nut allergies.

On Aug 6, 2001

Washingtondad, I know that in my son's case, I had asked over and over why my son was having his bad eczema. Not once did any peditrician mention food allergy and they kept reassuring me that it was only because he was born in the dryness of Fall. I still had doubts so I took him to a dermatologist and was told the same.

So I do indeed blame the doctors for not knowing that a BIG RED FLAG for food allergy could be eczema. And I blame myself for believing them as long as I did.

As for recommendations, I still believe that educating the medical profession and families about the potential of food allergy is the best. In our case, there was no severe food allergy history. There are no food allergies anywhere on my side of the family and on my husband's side of the family, only his grandfather was allergic to strawberry. No one on either side had any allergy to peanuts or nuts.

So, the idea that severe allergies seem to run in families doesn't fit for us. As a result, I never put the connection of food allergy and eczema together because I hadn't read about it or been told about it. A severe allergy has to start with someone in the family and sometimes it starts in our OWN immediate family.

So I still say kudos to those who are trying to make a difference by helping educate through presentations, letters, etc.

Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for reading mine. Warmly, Julie B.

On Aug 12, 2001

Believe me - I am not trying to "blame" the medical community or anyone for this.

As for immediate family members with allergies - my sister-in-law is pa. I have no blood related family members with food allergies and neither does my husband.

I read every pregnancy and baby book I could get my hands on while pregnant with my first child and not once did I read anything about food allergies to be aware of while pregnant/nursing. I was also consulting with a dietition (gestational diabetes) with both pregnancies - we never discussed any of this. Since I didn't have any allergies to foods it never even occured to me.

Who knows why this happened to any of us or our children - we may never know but it is vital to educate ourselves and share our thoughts, concerns, research with others in the same situation.

Thanks for the posts!

On Aug 12, 2001

Dear AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis,

If you get the chance, would you mind posting the link to the NY Times article you mentioned? I'd also like to pass it along to some people I know who don't "get it".


bunkysmom [img][/img]

On Aug 12, 2001

Hi Bunkysmom, Here is the article: Allergy Prison:


I also posted it in the Schools forum under the topic "50+ links to School Articles."

Stay safe, Rhonda

On Aug 12, 2001

Opps. Double Double. I know that wasn't me.

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited August 13, 2001).]

On Aug 12, 2001

Oops! double post. I don't know why that happens. I should have selected "refresh," I think. Sorry Chris.

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited August 13, 2001).]