Severe hives from unknown source

Posted on: Mon, 01/03/2000 - 12:13pm
NicoleSmith's picture
Joined: 11/10/1999 - 09:00

My almost 4 year old son (severely allergic to peanuts, cashews and shellfish) had a bout of severe hives after eating breakfast yesterday morning. He ate the same foods he's always eaten (a Kellogg's Nutrigrain cereal bar and rice milk), and within an hour had the most severe case of hives he's ever had. Benedryl didn't keep them away, nor did Hydroxyzene. We ended up getting the steroid, Prelone, to chase the hives away. He had no other symptoms (no tongue swelling, etc.) It took a good 6 hours for the hives to go away, only to come back this morning in full force. The Prelone seems to have taken full effect today. We saw the allergist today who said to continue a 5 day treatment of the steroid and an antihistamine.

I've called Kelloggs to report the hives, and they assured me there are no peanuts or nuts of any kind in the production of the Nutrigrain bars. They're willing to test the bars against the ingredient listing on the side of the box and will be sending me a mailing envelope to mail back the remaining bars. I have yet to call on the rice milk, but he's been drinking it for 3 years now with no problems.

Our allergist thinks there may be yet another food that our son is severely allergic to that we haven't yet tested for.

I'm searching for other ideas as to a cause or things we should suspect.


Posted on: Tue, 01/04/2000 - 5:02am
spaeper's picture
Joined: 01/01/2000 - 09:00

My pa daughter once had a severe outbreak in hives due to a virus that was in her system. The hives were absolutely huge and moved around her body. She had to be on some med (predizone, i think) for 7 days, then we could discontinue to see if the hives re-occured. They didn't.
I am not sure how her doc knew that it was a virus she was reacting to, nor have I ever heard of this before, but you might want to ask your allergist about it.
Stay Safe,

Posted on: Tue, 01/04/2000 - 10:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

It can be so frustrating to not know what mystery food(s)/or smell(s) may have been the cause of the hives. My 9 year PA son has had several bouts of hives of unknown origin. He has had these most often when under someone elses care. We now know that he has quite a few foods to which is(was) allergic to- He loved potatoes yet tested positive to them and after 6 years avoiding potato has outgrown that one. He tested very allergic to sesame seeds- this can have as serious reactions as nuts. I encourage you to have additional testing. Is the rice milk almond flavored? My son had been eating ground almond in a cookie without apparent reaction but now due to test results we've had him avoid those and all tree nuts.
Hope this helps.

Posted on: Tue, 01/04/2000 - 11:41am
bakermom's picture
Joined: 11/30/1999 - 09:00

I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. My PA son has hives of unknown origin EVERY SINGLE DAY! It is frightening and frustrating. He gets them at home, at the supermarket, at friends' houses, at school, in the vehicle etc. My son is sensitive to scratches, but aside from that he still has hives from contact or ingestion several times a week. We go to the allergist again tomorrow as we continue to figure this all out! I hope you are successful at finding the culprit.
Andrea, mom to Hunter

Posted on: Tue, 01/04/2000 - 11:52am
SueQ's picture
Joined: 01/22/1999 - 09:00

Hunter sounds like my son, Sam. Has he ever been diagnosed as having dermagraphia (or dermatographia - I've seen it spelled both ways). My son has lived with this for almost 3 years now - he is 5 years old. He develops hives anywhere he is bumped or scratched. Even slight pressure can cause welts, which get worse as he scratches. He takes Zyrtec every night to keep the hives somewhat under control, but it definitely does not eliminate them. It took a while for me to get this diagnosed - unfortunately the 1st allergist he saw tried to tell me that he as allergic to about 14 different foods that he had eaten with no problem. It turned out that he had hives from the "scratches" of the scratch test. When I switched to another allergist, the nurse caught the condition before even starting the scratch test, as Sam was developing hives from the pen marks she was drawing on his back to prep for the test. Anyway, if this is what Hunter has, feel free to write me - I think this is an even stranger (yet not nearly as serious) condition that P.A.

Posted on: Wed, 01/05/2000 - 1:50am
Lidia's picture
Joined: 04/25/1999 - 09:00

My son also "reacted" to Nutragrain bars. He is pn allergic. He had excema for a long time. When we discovered the severity of his pn allergy(6+, we stopped giving him things that "may" contain and also cross contam. issues were taken into consideration. His excema all but stopped. When he did start to itch we would analyze everything! We don't know why, but the nutragrain bars were causing this reaction. At first we thought he was sensitive to wheat, but he tolerates it well in other products. Who knows?? Maybe it is the concentration of the wheat or something else, but we don't buy them anymore and his excema is under control.

Posted on: Wed, 01/05/2000 - 10:12am
NicoleSmith's picture
Joined: 11/10/1999 - 09:00

Thanks for all the replies. If nothing else, it helps to know we're not alone in this "battle" of food allergies!

Posted on: Wed, 01/05/2000 - 10:13am
kalpertk's picture
Joined: 08/30/1999 - 09:00

Has your child been tested for soy protein? I know we can't have nutrigrain bars because of soy protein. We are peanut plus many other food allergies. Soy protein being only one of the many.

Posted on: Wed, 01/05/2000 - 10:25am
CMHoff's picture
Joined: 11/19/1999 - 09:00

You should also consider the fruit that was in the Nutrigrain bar. I know of someone allergic to strawberries, raspberries, etc.

Posted on: Sat, 01/15/2000 - 6:05am
Beth V's picture
Joined: 01/15/2000 - 09:00

When my son Alex was about 6 months old I
brought him to a dermatologist because he had
exczema. He also had a brownish-red spot on
his back which I also asked him to look at.
He told me not to worry, it was nothing. He
called it a solitary mastocytoma. He scratched it and it became hive like- reddened and raised. Two weeks ago, Alex
started breaking out in hives to nothing in
particular. It was like there was an alien
in his body. They would just come and go.
Pressure also caused the hives. We took him
to an allergist and he said he thought the
solitary mastocytoma and the hives were related. Called it urticaria pigmentosa.
We started him on Claritin and Singulair.
After 4 days of Claritin we are going to try
Zyrtec and see which works best. He also
tested positive for peanut allergy. We drew
blood for RAST testing also. My heart is
breaking--Alex is only 2 years old. I'm
looking for answers as well as responding.
Those who wrote with unexplained hives--Look
up urticaria pigmentosa and mastocytosis on
the computer. It's scary but informative.

Posted on: Sun, 02/06/2000 - 12:06am
Tammy James's picture
Joined: 06/01/1999 - 09:00

Help Wanted!! We are in the middle of a severe case of hives. Our son is 3, and was diagnosed PA at 18 months; so far we know of nothing else he is allergic or sensitive to. His only 2 reactions so far have been throwing up immediately after ingesting a taste of peanut butter. Yesterday we were out and about, stopped at Eat-N-Park, our usual stop because we know the "food history" there. Our son had his usual lunch, everything was fine. After we left, we headed to a furniture store we had never been to before. Minutes after we got there, our son started to cough - nothing major. I asked if he was okay, he said yes... but he also said "I think I'm allergic to something in here." I thought nothing of it - embarassed to admit that now. The cough went away quickly. We hung around the store for 30 - 45 minutes, tops, as he was very cranky. The rest of the day was fine, aside from the crankiness that wouldn't go away. At supper, he refused to eat anything, and didn't even take one bite. He was energetic and otherwise normal. At midnight last night, he woke up calling for me, and coughing non-stop. I gave him a drink of water, but it didn't help. He was also scratching his ears and neck. After I turned on the overhead light, we saw that he had red blotches around his neck and behind his ears. We thought it was his sleeper causing the itch, so we changed his clothes. It was the only thing we could think of because he hadn't eaten anything for almost 12 hours. We gave him Benadryl, and after 25 minutes, the coughing stopped and he fell back to sleep. I stayed with him all night, keeping a close eye on his breathing. He was fine - restless, but fine. This morning the hives had spread from head to toe - really bad where his eczema is. We gave him more Benadryl and will continue until the hives are gone. He still coughs occasionally. HERE IS MY QUESTION: could this be a reaction to the furniture store somehow?? My sister-in-law suggested this possibility. She has a close friend with many allergies, whom she spoke with after I called her for advice. Her friend also suspects the furniture store. The store really did have a pungent odor - stain, etc. Has anyone heard of this? ALSO, why the long delayed reaction??? We do not have an allergist at present, (we recently moved)and I do not think our pediatricians are trustworthy in the area of allergies. Are we doing the right thing with the Benadryl? And does anyone have any ideas at all?? A quick reply would be GREATLY appreciated. BTW, our son is showing no breathing problems, just the occasional cough.
[This message has been edited by Tammy James (edited February 06, 2000).]


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