Semi-New / Help reading symptoms

Posted on: Fri, 01/29/2010 - 12:01pm
jsndsplus3's picture
Joined: 11/30/2009 - 17:44

Hello - I'm fairly new to this. My 11 month old DS has PA/TNA/EA. I am not sure I'm taking this serious enough. Actually, just not sure what I am to be looking out for as far as ingred. go. Tonight he has hives and I am assuming it is from the vitamins I gave him. I need help understanding what he is going through (he obviously can't talk yet). When he has a few hives on his stomach and possibly back, I assume they are itchy. But is there someone out there who can tell me what else might possibly be going on..... My husband and I have not ever had hives so, it is difficult for us to know how to help him. I know Benadryl. But how long do the symptoms last (not only the visible ones but the symptoms we may not see). Could his stomach hurt? What other symptoms should I be aware of? He has an epi but I would not give unless Benadryl does not work and obvious signs of distress.

i cannot think what it is in the vitamins except palmitate??? He is TNA and his older sister also has TNA - and is sensitive to cocunut. (Her only symptoms so far have been itchy tongue and throat.) Palmitate is a derivative of palm oil??? So related to coconut or is it a separate allergy? ( I gathered this info from archived forums). I'm so glad I found this site. I don't really think I or my husband know what we are dealing with...not to make a mountain our of a mole hill....but really, I think it is bigger than i realize. Thankfully the vitamins tasted horrible, he only took 1/2 a dose..... ; - )

Anyway, my may concern now is to be sensitive to what he may be feeling. My usual course of action is if it's not bleeding, dry up the tears......( not quite that harsh but almost!!).

Thanks in advance for any info. I have posted a few questions and have always been impressed with the responses. Thanks. DS2

Posted on: Sat, 01/30/2010 - 3:10am
jenniferbfab's picture
Joined: 05/04/2008 - 12:43

Hi jsndsplus3,
I'll try to answer your questions one at a time.
1) Hives. My son is now 6 so he's able to explain what he is experiencing better than he was at the time of his initial diagnosis. Sometimes when he has hives (following apparent ingestion of trace amounts of peanut or skin contact with food wrappers of peanut containing foods), he is completely unaware of his hives. No scratching or complaining whatsoever. (Even at Halloween, when he was covered with hives after trick-or-treating--he'll wear gloves next year-- he was totally unaware of his hives! That leads me to believe that hives are not always itchy.
2) The vitamins and your son's reaction to them. Was this the 1st time you've given him the vitamins? If so, I would come to the same conclusion you have, that the vitamins contain something to which he has a sensitivity or allergy.
3) If he is allergic to something in the vitamins, it is possible his stomach hurt. Did he cry at all?
4) In my experience, symptoms disappear very quickly (less than an hour) with administration of Benadryl. I noticed, however, after my son's most severe reaction, his eczema was aggravated for months afterwards and he would get hives easily. It was as though his body were on high alert for months. I would recommend checking with your allergist for a really good answer on duration of symptoms.
5) I can practically hear what my allergist would tell me to do in this situation. He would say "We don't know what caused the hives. Not enough information to test, so just don't give him those vitamins anymore and keep track of any other hives or reactions."
6) How careful to be or sensitive to be to his reactions? Check with your allergist on this--they know best.
My personal opinion? If there are hives but no crying, Benadryl should take care of that swiftly. More hives or other symptoms may require the Epipen. You have to make that tough decision when you assess your child's symptoms. It is so tough to know what crying means with such young children. You have to gauge what is going on by looking for a variety of symptoms. I am cutting and pasting a description of symptoms from
"1. Skin. Skin reactions are the most common type of food allergy reactions. They can take the form of itchy, red, bumpy rashes (hives), eczema, or redness and swelling around the mouth or face.
2. Gastrointestinal system. Symptoms can take the form of belly cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
3. Respiratory system. Symptoms can range from a runny or stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing to the triggering of asthma with coughing and wheezing.
4. Cardiovascular system. A person may feel lightheaded or faint.
In really bad cases, tree nut and peanut allergies can cause a condition called anaphylaxis (pronounced: ah-nuh-fuh-lak-sus). Anaphylaxis is a sudden, potentially life-threatening reaction that, in addition to the symptoms mentioned above, can make someone's airways swell and blood pressure drop. As a result, the person may have trouble breathing and could lose consciousness."
When my son had his most severe reaction, I believe his throat or mouth swelled bc he had difficulty speaking and made gagging sounds. Also, he salivated a great deal and kept spitting saliva out. He cried a lot as well and clutched at his throat. THEN, he rapidly became covered from head to toe with hives.
7) I have no medical training and do not feel qualified to answer the questions re: palm oil and coconut. None of the moderators here are medical professionals--we're peanut allergy moms with various non-medical backgrounds. :) I would recommend addressing those questions to your allergist, to be safe.
I hope this info helps a little. Your questions are great and I think the answers may be somewhat subjective. You'll find peanut allergy families and allergists have varying views on these questions. My best advice is to hear what your allergist has to say and then do what you are most comfortable with, go with your gut.
Take care,
Jennifer B

Posted on: Sat, 01/30/2010 - 11:55am
jsndsplus3's picture
Joined: 11/30/2009 - 17:44

Thanks for all the information. It was the first time he took the vitamins. We did not have his Benadryl...left his bag at grandparents, snowed/iced in, so could not get any. But he seemed fine, a little cranky but otherwise okay. Good to know that hives don't always mean itchy skin. He also reacted to amoxicillin with hives but did not seem to bothered/itchy.
Thanks again. DS2

Posted on: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:32am
BestAllergySites's picture
Joined: 03/15/2009 - 21:46

In addition to Jen's comments I wanted to add that hives are external and when you are at that point with something that is ingested--you have no idea of what is going on internally. Meaning--internally could be far worse.
When my son was that young he would scratch at his tongue and spit food out. We did not realize at the time that he was allergic and that his tongue was itchy.
Be careful to watch your child's reactions from here on out. It is very difficult when they can not speak.
Also keep in mind that the more they are exposed to an allergen the worse it can get. (For some their allergies can get better.)
But for us, egg was itchy tongue at age 2 and is now near anaphylaxis at age 7.
Also, hives on the body for us at that age were not always related to food but sometimes to perfumes, dyes, chemicals etc in the clothing our son was wearing.
If I were you, I'd follow up with an allergist just in case. Glad your little one is okay. Any other questions-feel free to ask.

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