Tag Archives: IgE

Tbt – A “Bumpy” Car Ride

Today, we go back to the morning of January 9.  It was about three weeks since my son’s anaphylactic reaction and learning of his multiple food allergies. I had just stopped crying and was starting to think that I could and would totally make the best of all of this.  Just when I started to gain control of my emotions and life….Just when I started to feel like I was indeed a great mom for my son….

We ended up back in an ambulance to the emergency room.

AMBLUANCE

As we were driving to work and daycare, I heard my son gagging in the back.  So, I pulled over and saw that he had a red rash all over his chest and neck. In addition to this, his throat was slightly swollen. I panicked, called my husband to come, yelled to two random guys in the parking lot to help me.  I had no idea what was going on.   He had only nursed that morning and I had cut everything that he was allergic to out of my diet. I did not understand what was going on. I was terrified that I would need to administer the EpiPen.

Within minutes, a cop was next to me and calling for an ambulance.   My husband also soon arrived.  As I held my son, I knew that this was a different kind of reaction from his anaphylactic one to yogurt.  He even smiled  at my husband and the cop at one point.  Of course, like the night of December 13, it was snowing so it took a little longer than normal for the ambulance to arrive.

SNOFLAKES

While we took the ambulance to the hospital, he did not need anything but Benadryl. Within two hours, we were on our way home and scheduling to meet with our allergist.

After the allergist, we learned some new information about my son and living with food allergies.

  1. My son was diagnosed with dermatographic urticaria. Click here for more information about this skin condition.  This mixed with his multiple food allergies was making everything more complicated. He has very sensitive skin and gets random hives and reactions to environmental factors in addition to having many food allergies. Therefore, he needed to start taking a low dose of Zyrtec at night. With this Zyrtec, we would hopefully be able to control “random” environmental hives and reactions.
  2. More food allergy testing was done but testing is tricky at this age because they are so young and it’s not so accurate. This is when he ordered for many fruits, vegetables, and meats to be tested.  They also tested for autoimmune diseases.
  3. I also learned that in addition to his EpiPens/Auvi-Qs, I should always be carrying Benadryl with me too.

AUVI-Q

After blood work results…

Based on his IgE levels, my son would now need to avoid soy and sesame in addition to the others (dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, oats, barley, wheat, coconut). However, we also gained some positive news.   All of the other tested fruits, vegetables, and meats were safe for us to continue to introduce.   This also included rice and corn which have been beyond helpful to his diet.  We were also informed that autoimmune diseases were not something that my son was dealing with based on these levels.

Today as I look back at some of the scariest times of my life, I realize how far we have already come and how much we all have grown in the process.  Despite it all, we know that we have so much to be thankful for so we smile on…

tj cartoon

My Random Musings

Tbt – Coconut Milk Food Challenge (Take 1)

It was March 4, 2015.  The day that I had internally dreaded and battled for weeks and weeks now had arrived. Today would be TJ’s first food challenge where he would ingest coconut for the first time.

COCONUT

But before we recap that day, what is a food challenge?

According to Foodallergy.org, an oral food challenge is a highly accurate diagnostic test for a food allergy.” It is done with an allergist at a medical facility due to the potential risk of an allergic reaction. See more here: 

Oral Food Challenge – Resource 1

FOOD CHALLENGES

(Check out the link below for this awesome resource…)

Oral Food Challenge – Resource 2

(Source: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/)


Since TJ was 10 months and allergic to most varieties of milk (almond, soy, cow’s, goat, oat, coconut), we were trying to figure out what route to take after I stopped breastfeeding. I do not regret for one second doing that crazy strict elimination diet from December through June to continue breastfeeding as I know that it was best for TJ’s health and safety during that time. However, we prayed that TJ’s body would mature and be able to thrive on another option as well. I could not breastfeed forever.

Therefore, his doctors analyzed his blood work to devise a plan. To complicate matters, testing for allergies via blood work is not always accurate. People can have false negatives and false positives within their results. (For more about blood tests and its accuracy, click here.) Because of his dermographism, skin testing is not an option right now. His skin reacts to many substances due to being hyper-sensitive, not only due to allergies. According to blood work IgE levels, coconut was his lowest level of his allergies.  Therefore, in theory, he had the least chance of having a reaction to coconut.

(Despite that, it is important to note that there is ALWAYS a chance of a mild or even severe reaction at any level. With an IgE level of 0.6, I was never told to eliminate coconut from my diet during the six months of the elimination diet.   Our doctor, allergists, and nutritionist all agreed, this was PROBABLY not a true allergy.)

Click here to see my post on Allergy Classification.

Still I did not find comfort in the “probably.” Actually, I’ve never found comfort in the “probablys” in life. (Ask my parents…  I drove them crazy growing up, insisting on a “definitely” if I was ever told “probably.” Now, I am still that same persistent self…. my poor husband … )

EMBARASSED

Anyways, I prayed and prayed that God would guide us and protect TJ.

FAITH 10

On the morning of the challenge, TJ woke up and he nursed like usual. After feeding for a few minutes, he unlatched and puked all over.  This had never happened before even before our elimination diet. This was different. It was not allergy related. It was his first stomach bug. The food challenge had to be postponed, and later cancelled until further testing.

I took it as a sign back then that his body wasn’t ready for any food challenges and that we would wait until his allergies were retested around his first birthday to come up with a plan.  For me, the exact timing of the stomach bug was not a coincidence. Instead, it confirmed that this was indeed God’s way of protecting TJ and showing us not to put him in the food challenge back in early March.   How amazing is that!

god is good

4 months later (in July)…

After his first birthday, TJ passed both a soy and pea oral food challenge. He was and continues to do wonderfully with both. It was recommended that he also participate in a coconut milk challenge then at 14 months old.  This time around I was not as worried as I had been in the past.  His body seemed to be making such progress with allergies. But we would soon learn why that word probably is often used…

TJ’s blood IgE level for soy was higher than coconut ever was. He passed soy and consumes it every day since. However, his body would reject coconut milk and cause him to mildly vomit and develop an itchy mouth when he went on to challenge it with his allergist. Therefore, despite levels, coconut is a true allergy and soy may have never been.  It is either crazy frustrating or fascinating … but all depends how you chose to look at it. All of this drove me crazy for awhile but now I accept it as part of this world of food allergies…

Looking back, I truly believe TJ would have had a worse reaction to coconut if he had challenged it back in March. Thank God for that “”perfectly-timed” stomach bug… . Never thought I’d say that

Most importantly, thank God for protecting him not only that day but every day, giving us more reasons to smile on even if it is without coconut…


What are your thoughts on or experiences with food challenges?  

Looking back, has anything negative like a stomach bug ever come at the “perfect” time for you?

 I’d love to hear what you have to say. 

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Newly Discovered Cell May Be Key Contributor to Severe Allergic Reactions

The following link is about some new research being done about anaphylaxis.  Definitely check it out and help us smile on in hope…

“Our study suggests that although you need to have some level of IgE to trigger a food allergy response, you also have to produce MMC9 cells to get a severe response and anaphylaxis,” says Yui-Hsi Wang, PhD, lead investigator and a researcher in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “Without these cells you will not get severe food allergies.”

Read the entire article here: Newly Discovered Cell May Be Key Contributor to Severe Allergic Reactions

Source: http://snacksafely.com/

SMILES