Meet ‘Bubba’. She is a pistol. And a trooper. And allergic to around 25 different foods.
Here is her current allergen list:
- milk – anaphylactic reactions and contact allergic, but can now tolerate highly baked milk
- egg – contact allergic to raw egg, but can now safely tolerate highly baked egg
- sesame – anaphylactic reaction
- hazel nut
- pine nut
- walnut – full body hives from cross-contamination reaction
- macadamia nut
- brazil nut
- kiwi – anaphylactic reaction
- mango – anaphylactic reaction
- salmon – hives
- poppy seed – very low on IgE and SPT tests. We will avoid until she passes a food challenge.
Lots of people ask how we learned about Bubba’s allergies. Trial by fire is the best and shortest answer.
Bubba had eczema starting at 6 weeks old. Because her skin improved so dramatically when I stopped eating dairy and soy while I was still nursing her, we knew she was likely allergic to those foods. When she was 5 or 6 months old we took her to an allergist for a skin test to ‘get the lay of the land’ before we started randomly introducing foods to her. That initial test indicated she was allergic to peanuts, milk, soy, egg, dogs and horses. She was negative to dust mites and wheat.
Don’t ask me why this is the particular panel chosen by our allergist at the time. Over time we added more skin tests as well as blood tests. Unfortunately, many of her allergies were learned of through trial by fire. Sometimes, a big fire. Kiwi, pea, and sesame all resulted in anaphylactic reactions the first time she had them. Others, like pineapple and onion remained ‘funny’ spicy-mouth reactions. Other foods were somewhere in the middle – just vomiting. We later confirmed all of these allergies with testing. We worked with our allergists (and using this Ninja Mama’s research) to explore what might be potential allergens based on her particular profile. For example, many people with a legume allergy are allergic to other legumes, ditto for seed allergies. Some foods, Bubba tests positive for but she has never ingested. We will repeat these tests annually and if her numbers are low or trending downward we will probably conduct food challenges to determine if she can safely eat these foods. You can read more about allergy testing here.
This provides a great explanation and visual for the allergy ‘march’ that many of our little ones will do…eczema, followed by food allergies, potentially followed by seasonal allergies and asthma.
It’s important to know sometimes things can get worse before they get better. We spent the first three years of Bubba’s life adding to her allergy list and have taken great delight in spending the last year in watching her outgrow and safely challenge a variety of foods. Bubba has outgrown allergies to:
- legumes: pinto bean, lima bean, white bean, fava bean, lentil, navy bean, kidney bean