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DD just diagnosed. Don't know how to feel.

(19 Posts)
belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 08:18:58

19mo DD tested allergic to peanuts yesterday with the skin prick test. She didn't react to the other nuts they tested, but consultant told us to strictly avoid all nuts. The next time they want to see her is when she's four.

I was really surprised and overwhelmed as I had not expected her to teat positive. I thought I'd just over-reacted to a minor skin reaction months ago. We have avoided nuts ever since on advice of GP but not been meticulous about 'may contain nuts' labels (which I now feel very guilty about). Consultant said no nuts in the house. I lost all ability to think so didn't really ask questions and was given a few leaflets. Didn't ask about seeds, are these linked to nuts?

I don't know where to start really. DB asked about the severity as for their DD's allergies they have been told which are more severe than others (eg her egg allergy is more severe than her nut allergy). Dr didn't mention this but the weal was only 4mm so is this relevant? He said we didn't need an epipen as she's so young and won't be unsupervised around food. Pointed to a section in the leafllet and said 'if this happens just ring 999'. All very business like and concise, but I feel unsupported and confused.

DH was very little help when I told him last night. He is a doctor. He gave the impression that he thought it was all a load of rubbish. I flew off the handle a bit and swore at him for the first time ever, having managed a distressed toddler alone all day and trying to deal with this news. It's easy for him to be flippant when he has no responsibility for feeding her!

So to start with, what do I need to talk about with our Childminder? Any top tips for label reading? How do I address the guilt of having eaten peanuts in pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Thank you for reading my long and incoherent drivel.

belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 08:47:15

Looking at allergy plan sheet given by consultant, he hasn't written a dose or anything. Is it just as it says on the piriton bottle (2.5ml)? I suppose it is. Stupid question. He did just seem to think I would know all this already.

jesieb Thu 24-Mar-11 08:47:27

Firstly the guilt: there was nothing you could if done differently as you did not know. You did not intentionally eat nuts knowing she was allergic. So this is 100% nothing to feel guilty about.
I do know how you feel though, I was convinced I was poisoning DS. And in effect I was. DS has multiple allergies and intolerances, all of which I ate daily!

Labels on food are really good these days, under or above (depending on product) the ingredients, if there is an allergenic food in there it will say Allergies and list them: nuts, contains nuts, may contain nuts, can not guarantee nut free, was produced in a factory which produces nuts. Etc.
Nuts will not be hidden.
Reading labels gets easier. You learn to scan and somehow the key words just jump out you LOL, I think it just comes with practice and regular practice makes confidence.

Do you have an allergy nurse at your surgery/ in your area? Our allergy nurse is from another surgery but she comes to our house when we need her. She's great, full of leaflets, receipes, advice etc. She's also just at the end of the phone for quick calls.
If not book in to see a nurse it your HV, I find one of our nurses so much better to talk to about things which drs find trivial.

I'm not 100% but I think seeds are different.

Childminder: tell her that you've had DD tested and she has a nut allergy. Dr has said no nuts or nut products to be had in the house, and you would appreciate this to be continued there. Give her a copy of your leaflets. Make sure she knows the signs of a reaction and that if it effects her breathing etc she is to call 999 (before calling you to stop wasring precious time) but obviously phone you straight after.


cardamomginger Thu 24-Mar-11 09:03:50

So sorry you are going through this sad. I have no experience of childhood allergies, but I am an adult with adult-onset multiple nut allergies and have been going through testing 6 month old DD for allergies.

Firstly, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY for having eaten peanuts throughout pregnancy and whilst bf-ing. Guidelines for nuts and other allergens have changed from avoid like the plague, to eat as normal. Current research suggests that early exposure to nuts and other allergens (in a child who is not allergic) as well as exposure in utero through the mother eating nuts is beneficial in reducing the likelihood of allergic reaction. Excluding these foods and delaying their introduction to a DC's diet is more likely to result in allergic reaction later in life. So don't feel guilty. Although I understand that of course you do! Guilt is all part of motherhood - I am feeling guilty about my inability to eat nuts, due to my own allergies, and what that may mean for DD. Plus I am lactose intolerant and DD has cows' milk protein allergy - even if there is a link, nothing I can do about it! But I understand!!

It takes a while to get used to reading all the ingredients on packets of food - but soon it will be second nature. When you are eating out, make sure you tell the waiters and get them to check with the chef in the kitchen. You definitley need to speak to the childminder - she needs to follow exactly the same rules around food as you do, including not bringing any nuts with her when she looks after DD. And she needs to be up to speed on what to do if DD eats nuts by mistake.

As for "may contain nuts", but nuts are not listed as an ingredient, I take the view that this is a "get out" clause that everyone prints on labels to cover themselves legally in case someone has an allergic reaction. But that is a judgment I am prepared to make for myself based on the level of risk that I am prepared to expose myself to.

Seeds are different - I can eat them just fine. Has DD been tested for sesame seed allergy or have you fed her humous/tahina and it has been fine? I just ask cos sesame allergy can sometimes go along with nut allergy. But not always.

Not sure about the epipen question - hopefully someone will be able to answer that for you. I do find it a bit odd that you weren't given one though - OK fine she won;t be unsupervised around food (yet) but accidents do still happen. Can you phone the clinic and ask about this? Or discuss it with your GP?

I understand that DH's reaction must have been upsetting, especially as he is a doctor. Could he be expressing his own feelings of upset and (unnecessary) guilt, although in a way that is not very helpful to you at the moment?

Really feel for you. It's horrid. Good luck and I hope someone with a bit more experience comes along to offer some better advice. And remember - NONE of this is your fault. XX

nottirednow Thu 24-Mar-11 09:13:44

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nottirednow Thu 24-Mar-11 09:15:26

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belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 09:21:44

Thank you for your kind and supportive messages. Lots to think about. I couldn't face work today (how pathetic! People are constantly dealing with much worse than this! I work with some terminally ill children!) so I'll sort through the food cupboards and practise label reading. Will ring HV and see if there's an allergy nurse. Would help to talk to someone I think. I am very good at appearing more confident and together than I feel. This may have misled the Dr and even DH to an extent I suppose.

Great that there's a chance she'll grow out of it. Also another good reason not to give her chocolate! Will need to look at ice cream then. She loves to have some of ours at the beach.

belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 09:23:05

Yes, I know I'm being stupid over the guilt! We actively looked at research and decided NOT to avoid peanuts as I was used to eating them (peanut butter).

Jammygal Thu 24-Mar-11 12:42:41

Iceland are good for nut free icecream.

She can also have
mini milks
strawberry/mint cornetto
Plain Magnums

kellys icecream
M and S cornish

Jammygal Thu 24-Mar-11 12:47:14

Nut free Bakery goods

M and s croissants
M and S pain au choc
Iceland frozen doughnuts
Fab bakin boys muffins, cupcakes and flapjacks
Hovis/Morrisons crumpets
I love food company birthday cakes/cupcakes (sainsbury)
Hovis bread (best of both, wholemeal)
Braces bread (malted, white, wholemeal)
Kingsmill 50/50
Hovis pancakes

Jammygal Thu 24-Mar-11 12:52:58

Oats so simple
Waitrose /Morrisons shreddies
Waitrose multigrain hoops
Kellogs corn flakes
Rice krispies
Readyy brek

belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 12:55:35

Thanks for the food ideas. Particularly good to know about the ice cream. So cornets from the ice cream man out of the question then? Not that she's ever had one of her own, but she does associate them with the beach and is a bit obsessed! I do most of my own baking so not too worried there I suppose. She is MAD about cake in coffee shops though, so guess I'll have to avoid them altogether. Not sure she'll be happily fobbed off with her own, brought from home, cake.

belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 12:56:21

And thank goodness for oatibix and Morrisons shreddies. She loves her breakfast!

Jammygal Thu 24-Mar-11 12:56:46

Cadburys buttons
Cadburys elf bars
Cadburys cream eggs (large size)
Malteser bunnys
kit kat
tunnocks tea cakes
tunnocks caramel bars

Jammygal Thu 24-Mar-11 13:01:32

Not all will have to check askeys are ok for at home ;)

Jammygal Thu 24-Mar-11 13:07:51

Choc hob nobs
mcvities digestives
Mcvities rich tea
Jammy dodgers

belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 13:12:34

She doesn't know about chocolate yet! I, however, am partial to most of those things on your list...

belindarose Thu 24-Mar-11 17:03:49

She doesn't know about chocolate yet! I, however, am partial to most of those things on your list...

Annie1963 Wed 31-Dec-14 11:04:03

Someone put must not eat these with a nut allergy...they have nuts in them and all can contain nut traces!!!

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