Back in 1998 we discovered that our daughter Karlissa was allergic to Peanuts. We systematically eliminated Peanuts from her diet. Avoiding one item in life did not seem too difficult. Peanuts it seems are the one allergen that most companies and foods are willing to declare most often. Later we realized that Karlissa also has an allergic reaction to Aloe when she comes into skin contact with it. (Hopefully she won’t ever eat it.) This means that 95% of the sunscreens in the USA can’t be used on her. While we were living in Australia we found found very few sunscreens that had Aloe in them as the need for higher SPF levels due to the thinned ozone layer. She has also tested positive for Cinnamon allergy and Asparagus, but while she has tested positive for them, we have not eliminated Cinnamon from her diet and Asparagus is not something that we normally eat, but hasn’t been restricted.
In May 2005 we realized the second time our 10 month old child went to the hospital that he had food allergies too. Jaden was allergic to:
- Wheat and all glutens (Barley, Rye, Spelt, Triticale)
- Soy (all forms including Soy Oil and Soy Lecithin)
- Dairy (Cow, Goat and Sheep)
- Avocado (reason for the hospital trips)
- Cantaloupe / Rock Melon
- Peanuts (Does not have reaction to Refined Peanut Oil such as used for frying waffle fries at Chick-fil-A as chemically refined Peanut Oil in theory has none of the Peanut protein in it.)
- Tree Nuts (Strangely not to Pecans, Walnuts and Pine Nuts, most others produce severe responses on the skin tests. These three were introduced in late 2011 and early 2012.)
- Pineapple (Reintroduced to diet in 2012)
- Peaches (possible – reintroduced in 2011)
- Cinnamon (probable – though reintroduced in 2007 or so)
- FDC Yellow 5 (possible to not restricted currently)
Our children have had reactions to the following medicines:
- Liquid Childrens’ Claritin (Clarityne) – Karlissa had some systemic itching with this. Strangely she doesn’t react to the pill form so it must not have been the active ingredient.
- Singulair – After about a year on Singulair, we realized that Jaden was constantly itchy and anxious/paranoid which we found out were potential side effects. Took him off and much improved, however he has had to use his rescue inhaler about once a week now.
Of the list above, he has tested positive on a scratch test for all of them except Yellow 5 though I don’t think he was tested for the Avocado. All but Peanuts and Tree Nuts he has ingested either before we knew or accidentally since we first found out and has had a reaction. Basically of the top 8 allergens listed for the USA, Jaden is allergic to 6 of them. Only White Fish and Shell Fish do not cause him to have an allergic reaction.
What are his reactions? Well, it varies depending on the allergen. With the glutens (Wheat, Barley and Rye), he usually has a running nose and sneezes and if left untreated with antihistimine, will develop into an Asthma response. Soy and Avocado both have caused severe Asthma responses, though Soy may start with a runny nose too, which may mean that taking an antihistimine immediately after some Soy may prevent the Asthma attack. Dairy and Pineapple causes Hives whether touched or eaten, and we honestly don’t remember the response to egg. Cantaloupe is one of those things that he only reacts sometimes to it and usually it will be runny nose and red cheeks but not always. We can’t tell if it is related to the actual strain of Cantaloupe or the amount eaten in some sort of time frame. As for the Cinnamon, Karlissa actually tested positive for that in allergy testing and it appeared that when Jaden ate it that he would have a mild reaction, but we aren’t stopping him from eating it anymore. Yellow 5 is something that we have been trying to watch. If he is allergic to Yellow 5 then the reaction is red cheeks I think.
What this means for food around here is that we have had to broaden our palate in some ways and learn to live without other foods. We are still learning and experimenting and watching. Of course if you haven’t guessed already, going out to eat is virutally impossible. We must travel with food for Jaden whenever we go to eat.
As for myself the father, I am allergic to Cats. So I guess cats will never be on the menu either.