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Thread: Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the question

  1. #1
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    Sep 2015
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    Default Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the question

    My 10 week old seems to have an allergy to wheat. I've notice with his poop (mucus and a few small specks of blood) and discomfort, gassiness. He otherwise is doing well on weight gain (was in the 95 percentile at his last visit). But he does have a lot of eye watering and both eyes are very crusty in the AM. Sometimes almost sealed shut.

    I can cut out wheat entirely, no problem, even though I will miss it. The concern I have is am I helping the allergy by not exposing him to it occasionally? I'd like for him to build a tolerance (if that's even possible), and it seems doing it through my breastmilk might be the gentlest way to do that.

    Has anyone had experience with a food allergy through BM?
    Has your chile grown out of it?
    Did you completely avoid it?

    Thank you!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the quest

    I don't have any advice or ideas, but I can tell you I was allergic (read: projectile vomiting, unable to keep any of it down) as a baby to wheat and dairy. My mother breastfed me until I was 3 years old partly due to the allergies. She said we were both skinny because neither of us could have dairy or wheat that entire time. I am no longer allergic to wheat or dairy but am lactose intolerant now. I can't say what caused the change, but I could quiz my mom more if you would like to know more information.

    My daughter, despite the pediatrician having some concerns about dairy/soy allergies at first (mucus in poop at one point), does not appear to have any allergies at this time. Our pediatrician has said not to give her honey (the risk of botulism--pretty standard advice until 1 yr) or things that will choke her but not to stress about keeping other foods from her. This seems to be a new school of thought, so who knows if they'll make changes again in recommendations soon. My daughter is 8 1/2 months now.

    Oh, about the eyes crusted shut . . .it was when our daughter was first a newborn, but the pediatrician said it was due to developing tear ducts and massaging them helped. We were also given eye drops. Not sure which helped more, but her eyes are no longer crusted shut. Have you asked the pediatrician about the crusting? It could be allergies, but maybe it could be tear duct issues as well.
    Last edited by @llli*dormir41; September 29th, 2015 at 06:43 AM.
    & working mom of one sweet baby girl

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the quest

    Hi! Thanks so much. I was allergic to dairy as a baby too (projectile vomiting too. I posted somewhere else that I was allergic to soy, but got the full story from my mother recently) and thankfully am allergic no more. I don't have allergies to any food, though I did go through a brief stint where I was allergic to tree nuts! Eli-pen carrying and everything. It developed out of NOWHERE in my early 20s. Weird huh?

    Interesting to hear your pediatrician's relaxed attitude toward it! I'm going to see how it all goes and take it step by step, gradually adding moderate amounts. My gut tells me complete elimination is a bad idea, but we'll see how baby reacts. Id hate to see him uncomfortable.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the quest

    My daughter started having subtle skin problems (atopic dermatitis) around 3-4 months of age and found out it was food allergies (confirmed via skin and blood allergy testing) - all while on breastmilk. I never really noticed if she had mucousy bowel movements; no diarrhea or blood though. She was bf until 12 months. Once I found out she was allergic to certain foods, I omitted it from my diet completely which made a significant difference. There were times were I would eat something not knowing it had the allergen in it and noticed that my daughter was itchier than usual for the next day to three days.

    You can try building up tolerance for it, but each baby is different. I would suggest seeing a pediatric allergist for a better recommendation, but I'm not sure if he's too young to be seen now. If your baby is allergic to eggs, you can try adding them in baked dishes first and see if there is a hypersensitivity reaction (studies have shown children's immune system building tolerance for egg allergies in this method).

    My daughter is now 2 years old and hasn't really grown out of her allergies (she has 8 allergens that we know of; wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts to name a few). There will be times where we will give her some cheese or bread and she won't have a reaction, and other times she will - I have no idea why!

    I did try reintroducing the foods again while she was still taking breastmilk, but she still had reactions... still in the works even now! Maybe other moms on here had some luck.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the quest

    Interesting to hear your pediatrician's relaxed attitude toward it!
    Well, not sure if this makes a difference or not with every provider, but she's a Nurse Practitioner, breastfed her own children, and seems to pay attention to the new recommendations from the AAP. We haven't had as great as advice or experiences when we end up seeing other doctors in the practice, so I ask for her and only agree to see another doctor if it's urgent and she isn't available. Her reasoning about the allergies when giving her food at around 6 months was "well, she's exposed to it in your breastmilk anyway" and basically went on to say if we noticed blood in her poop it could mean allergies but not to worry too much. She even dismissed the sheet the nurses gave us of how to introduce food to babies starting at 4 months as out of date and told us to just watch for signs of readiness with our daughter.
    & working mom of one sweet baby girl

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the quest

    wow, do you find it hard making food for her? I hope she grows out of them. Those thing are everywhere!
    Do you have a family history of any of these?

  7. #7
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: Food allergy: to expose or not expose, that is the quest

    At first it was difficult trying to figure out the foods I could eat that wouldn't affect dd. I ended losing a lot of weight due to the diet restrictions for the sake of dd, but it really helped out her discomfort. I wasn't getting in enough calories while burning a lot of calories because i was bf-ing and pumping. Although she was getting better skin wise, there were issues/concerns that came up during the whole process bc of her allergies. She had malabsorption problems - didn't know which came first, the malabsorption causing the allergies/weakened immune system or vice versa. It ended up being temporary and all is well now. Don't want to scare you or anything!

    We don't have a family history of allergies but my husband has asthma which can be the culprit. Somehow we bred for the genetic component for allergies (our 8 wk old ds has really dry skin, which our pediatrician says is atopic dermatitis, most likely caused by allergies). Hopefully your baby won't have it as bad as our dd did! I find her case to be on the more extreme side.

    Just remember if you try to reintroduce the food you eliminated, it can take up to 3 days for a hypersensitivity reaction to clinically show.

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