seed allergies...please help


My 3 yr old was just diagnosed on Thursday with peanut, tree nut, and seed allergies as well as other *environmental* allergies.

I understand about the peanut & tree nut allergies, but am confused about the seed allergy. We were told to stay away from all seeds (she mentioned sesame, poppy, and sunflower specifically), but what about pumpkin seed, flax seed, cottonseed and some of the other *seeds* that I see mentioned on labels.

What *seeds* should we be avoiding? There are soooooooooo many seeds out there that I don't know where to start.

Also, what about cottonseed oil & flaxseed oil? We were told that peanut oil should be safe, as we've eaten in places that cook their food in peanut oil and Vincent has never had a reaction.

I'm so confused [img][/img]


On Mar 10, 2007

Ask what seeds (specifically) your child was tested for -- and which ones tested positive. As you said, there are so many different ones.

I am allergic to sesame seeds, but I have no problem with any of the other seeds. I eat sunflower seeds regularly, and pumpkin seeds occasionally.

Sesame and poppy seem to be the most common seed allergies, and often go together.

Sorry I haven't been much help -- but I find this confusing too.

On Mar 10, 2007

I agree with Anna Marie, your doctor should not be talking about "seed allergies." That's like saying "legume allergies" or "nut allergies"--too broad. You have to know which ones your child is really allergic to--it is too onerous to avoid all of them if you don't really need to.

Maybe your child is only allergic to sesame seeds but the allergist wants the child to avoid all seeds for now. If that is the case, they need to explain it to you. The more information you have, the better.

On Mar 10, 2007

I agree that I would need more specifics. My ds is allergic to pumpkin and sunflower seeds, but is ok with sesame seeds. That makes a big difference for us, as he can eat sesame seed buns.

Hope you find your answers.


On Mar 11, 2007

Linda, it obviously makes a bigger difference for you then you realize. I can't buy ANY buns that do not risk cross-contamination with sesame seeds.

On Mar 11, 2007

My son is allergic to sesame seeds, but has no problem with any other type of seed including mustard and poppy.

I agree with the others - ask for more specific information from your MD. There's no reason to limit our kids more than they already are.


On Mar 11, 2007

Thank you!

She specifically mentioned sesame, poppy, and sunflower so I am going to make sure to definately stay away from them.

I know Vincent reacted to sunflower, but according to the paperwork that they gave me about his reactions, it said he didn't react to sesame but yet I was told to stay away from that & poppy (there was nothing mentioned about poppy on the form...hmmmm).

Does anyone know anything about sunflower oil? Is it broken down the same way as peanut oil?

On Mar 11, 2007

My son reacted to sunflower oil. He is allergic to sesame, poppy and sunflower. Sometimes he ate Tostitos Tortilla chips and was fine and 2 times he felt something on his mouth before he even bit into it and didn't want to eat it.

Our doctor told us you can't tell how much protein is in the oil so to stay away.

I bought a bread machine and started making my own bread. It's easier then making it on my own from start to finish. It's hard to find bread that is not contaminated with seeds and they don't list for this allergy yet.

[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited March 11, 2007).]

On Mar 11, 2007

There's disagreement about oils. Some people feel they are safe, some feel they are not. Personally, I stay away from all oils made from my allergens.

On Mar 12, 2007

My daughter has a "blanket" seed avoidance order from the allergist too. She tests positive to sesame, sunflower, and poppy, we were told to avoid all seeds. Were also told that oils were safe BUT I truly don't think they are. My DD's RAST numbers rose for sunflower from one year to the next while other seed scores remained stable, and I believe it is because we allowed things with sunflower oil. Now, her allergy to sunflowers hasn't proven itself with anything but eczema, but it was still disappointing to see the numbers go up, and very hard to take away foods that she loved due to the sunflower oil.

I'd avoid all obvious seeds and seed oils for now. Nut oils and seed oils are supposed to be safe when they are highly processed or heat processed (read "cheap") oils, and problematic when they are "expeller pressed" or "cold pressed" (read "fancy schmany.") But I blame our addiction to Tostitos corn chips for the sunflower number rise because there were many times that I could distinctly smell sunflower aroma when I opened the bag, but since I'd been told sunflower oil was safe I continued to give it. You'd think they would be using a "cheap" highly processed oil, but if they were I probably shouldn't have smelled sunflowers at all. Don't rely on labels to tell you if the oil if expeller pressed versus heat processed, so don't take a chance.

I don't really know much about cottonseed oil, but the only safe margarine for my DD is made with cottonseed oil, so I hope to heaven to never find out that it isn't safe for her.

Focus on what you normally find in your diet and look for possible seeds in your regular foods and recipes. Do some research on the other seeds you are concerned about and take your questions to the doctor. Remember that some spices are the ground seeds of plants, some may be off limits to you, but others not. We avoid mustard (the spice and the condiment) simply because she has never had it and we don't know for certain if she would react, so we're waiting. We avoid pumpkin seeds, too. But we don't avoid cumin or coriander (both ground from cilantro seeds, I think), or buckwheat flour (ground from the seeds of the buckwheat plant), or strawberries (think about it, the seed is right there on the outside of the fruit). That doesn't mean those are safe for your child, it only shows that my daughter can tolerate them fine--and that when you start looking for seeds you are likely to find them in unexpected places.

I know this is so hard and confusing. I'm sorry you are having to go through it. There are some good resources on the web (like culinary dictionaries) to help you get to the bottom of things as far as what is a seed and what isn't.

Check out this link for interesting info: nut vs. seed (hint, a nut IS a seed, but all seeds aren't nuts)


On Mar 12, 2007


I totally missed your mention of Tostitos! We've had to give them up (switched to Chi Chis brand), and also had to give up Lays potato chips. Unfortunately, more and more manufacturers are starting to use Sunflower Oil because it is a healthier option.

Someone also questioned avoiding sesame when there was no reaction . . . sesame allergies are becoming more problematic, and though not as prevalent as peanut allergies they can be just as severe. I know of a child who outgrew his peanut allergy, but not his anaphylactic sesame allergy. Like peanuts and tree nuts, sesame is not to be taken lightly. Avoid, avoid, avoid, and maybe it will be outgrown.

On Mar 13, 2007

Our allergist told us that cottonseed oil is fine. My son has not reacted to cottonseed oil.

It's amazing how much more food you have to avoid from the sesame, poppy sunflower allergy. Breads, chips and pretzils.

I think it's Utz or another brand of chips from Frito Lay that makes one "baked" kind of chip that doesn't list sunflower oil on the ingrediants but all there other chips now have a huge sunflower on the bag and have sunflower oil in them. I worry about cross contamination. I will give them a call one day or send an email. Actually, I tried calling them and got an advertising recorded message and then the line hangs up when it's done. Maybe because I called from my cell phone. Right now we stay away.

I'm making bread from scratch, bought a bread machine, ice cream machine although every now and then I buy breyers and hagan daz, van. and choc. flavors. Going to be making my own donuts tonight. I don't want to start making my own potato chips. Where does it end. I love to cook, bake but I don't have time for all this.

Isn't it a shame that we are allergic to natural things. I guess I should start eating plastic. [img][/img]

Also watch out for breadcrumbs, we use Corn Flake Crumbs.

[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited March 13, 2007).]

On Mar 13, 2007

Mustard is a seed too, FYI. Both of my boys react to's in a lot of things so we have to be careful about it.

On Mar 14, 2007

Thank you all so, so much for all of the information.

I spoke with our allergist's office yesterday and they really explained everything to me.

We only need to stay away from poppy, sunflower, and sesame seeds for the time being...whew! She *thinks* that Vincent is *safe* with sunflower oil, but I just don't want to risk it so we'll stay away from that for a while.

As for the the tree nuts, he didn't react to pecan or walnut, but she wants us to avoid all tree nuts.

We had bloodwork done today to determine if he may outgrow the PA, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get good news!

Thanks again [img][/img]

------------------ ~Temple~