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He can't be allergic to everything, can he??

(13 Posts)
yumcha888 Sun 04-Sep-11 11:06:06

hi all

We started weaning my 6mo DS at 23 weeks due to intense interest in food (he was scoffing it from my plate) and increased numbers of bfs during the day and night. He seemed quite happy to play with and scoff carrot sticks but when I gave him some mashed banana his skin turned bright red. We calmed it down with some 1% hydrocortisone (our neighbour was a dermatologist and she had some hanging around but she's moved now).

We stopped weaning for a week but started again yesterday as his weight plummeted from the 50th to the 25th percentile. Mashed carrot and mashed potato seemed to be fine but this morning's mashed courgette has turned his face bright red with raised bumps on the back of his neck.

I'll make an appt with the GP tomorrow and watch him like a hawk today but I wondered what experiences you guys had. Are bananas and courgettes very allergic things? What else should I definitely avoid (obviously fish, nuts, dairy, eggs)?

Any advice or shared experience (especially if it ends with your DCs growing out of it!) muchly appreciated!


libelulle Sun 04-Sep-11 11:21:13

Obviously it's possible that he has multiple allergies but this does sound a bit like what happened to us. My dd had an allergic reaction to dairy at weaning and in the weeks after it seemed to us that she was reacting to just about everything- wheat, egg, sweetcorn, lentils, carrots and latex (latter not eaten just mouthed!!) to name but a few. But none of these apparent extra allergies persisted and three years on, she is allergic to dairy and strawberries but that is it. I wonder if an allergic reaction to one food primes the system to be more sensitive to other things in the coming days, and that once it settles down, you are ok again. No evidence for this you understand, just an idea! Incidentally my dd had positive skin tests initially for dairy, egg and wheat (what fun that diet would have been!), but by that point we knew she could eat egg and wheat without issues. The year after, skin tests were only positive for dairy. I think immature immune systems can go a bit haywire before settling down. It is not clear at the moment, incidentally, that avoiding allergenic foods before a certain age necessarily decreases the risk of an allergic reaction to them. We were actively encouraged by our consultant to give dd peanuts as soon as possible!
Good luck, and don't let the gp fob you off - referrals to allergy clinics are notoriously difficult to wangle!

libelulle Sun 04-Sep-11 11:23:37

I should have said peanut butter not peanuts - obviously consultant wasn't advocating introducing small choking hazards as soon as poss!

trixymalixy Sun 04-Sep-11 11:40:42

I don't think you should be avoiding anything at the moment and proceed with weaning as normal, avoiding things that he has reacted to.

DS has multiple allergies, DD us allergic to egg, but the advice we were given was just to proceed with weaning as normal unless there was a reaction.

Cutting out dairy with no evidence or medical guidance would not be a good idea.

I think it is quite common to have skin reactions to things that aren't true allergies.

yumcha888 Sun 04-Sep-11 16:54:33

Ok, thanks guys. I was a bit worried that this was happening because I'd started before 6 months but it looks like this would have happened anyway.

What kind of reaction did your DCs have and how did you treat it? My DS is up several times during the night because, I think, he is itchy. I'm using Oilatum (which I think is stinging him because he hates it) but I'm eager to stop / not get into an itch-scratch cycle.

ChocaMum Sun 04-Sep-11 22:02:48

I agree with what trixy said about you can have skin contact reactions to many things just because they irritate the skin rather than you are allergic to it. If you are noticing a rash anywhere other than the head area then it's probably worth seeing the GP about, but I remember my DD had a red face from just about everything at the beginning. Also when you are allergic to certain foods babies tend to avoid the foods they are allergic to. for example one of my DD's allergies is egg and I remember the several months before she had an anaphylactic reaction to egg she always refused egg no matter how I cooked in, even when I made omelettes using her other favourite vegetables.

Good luck, I hope weaning gets easier with less redness.

yumcha888 Mon 05-Sep-11 09:51:24

libelulle DS just swiped peanut butter and toast from me, which lead to a body full of ugly welts and a panicked call to NHS Direct. No need to tell me off! In hindsight it's obviously stupid to encourage BLW and then sit munching highly allergic things within swiping distance. Point is, won't be trying the giving-allergic-foods-to-build-tolerance thing!

Anyone have any idea how to introduce solids to highly allergic babies? The NHS Direct nurse suggested rice and yoghurt but surely yoghurt has dairy?

libelulle Mon 05-Sep-11 13:19:54

Not sure why I'd tell you off?! I was just relating my own experience.

The point I was making is that we actually have very little idea about how to reduce the risk of allergy. You have to make your own judgements. But if you exclude all allergenic foods (esp dairy and eggs) without specialist advice, you run an equal danger of your child becoming deficient in essential nutrients. Not right now, since your son is so small and presumably still on mainly milk, but eventually. You need advice from a dietitian - get on to your gp about a referral asap, nhs direct will be no use for this kind of advice.

libelulle Mon 05-Sep-11 13:23:09

Incidentally it's worth remembering that most early weaning foods are quite low in calories - certainly lower than milk. So the relationship with the weight loss is unlikely to be that straightforward.

garliclover Mon 05-Sep-11 13:52:27

I could have started this exact same thread, though my DS is now almost 15 mo and already confirmed allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs and sesame (and you're right, libelulle, the diet is not fun at all!). With these foods he is obviously allergic because the reactions are scary: first a red face and weak crying, then projectile vomiting, then a rash, a coughing fit and wheezing. However, he also seems to be reacting in minor ways to a whole host of other foods, including bananas, lentils, melon and rye. And when he goes to nursery he always gets a rash and sometimes comes back wheezing. But if we cut out everything that we suspected as an allergen we really would go completely insane (as it is, we are just about coping with the already very restricted diet).

As libellule said, NHS direct not brilliant, and neither (in my experience) are HVs or even GPs sometimes, when it comes to allergies. Yoghurt? To a baby that may be allergic? However, I agree that cutting out important nutrients, including dairy, on the basis of a suspected allergy is not great, either.

Is there any sort of family history of allergy, even if just hayfever? If so, and if your baby still reacts to food in this way, it may be worth pushing for a referral, at least to a dietician if not an allergy specialist.

You mentioned itchy skin at night. My DS had this, and Oilatum made it worse. The only thing that worked for us was Baby Aveeno, but with skin things what suits one baby doesn't suit another. Perhaps you could ask your GP about Balneum Plus? It's meant to soothe itching as well as hydrate skin.

Please let us know how things are going. I think the more mums post about their experience the better!

lukewarmmama Tue 06-Sep-11 11:17:16

Google weaning food/allergy scale, or similar, to get a least of the foods that are least likely to cause a reaction, eg this is the first one that came up here , and start from there (eg rice, definitely NOT yoghurt!). Take it slowly - one thing at a time over a couple of days, so you can see the reaction. Good luck!

yumcha888 Mon 12-Sep-11 22:33:16

just got back from a holiday in Croatia (which, from a weaning point of view, represented quite a challenge) so have just caught up.

libelulle sorry - the telling me off thing wasn't aimed at you! I'm feeling guilty about the peanut butter incident and didn't mean to misunderstand you. I totally got what you were trying to say!

garliclover agree about Oilatum and I love Aveeno too! Where do you get your Baby Aveeno from? I thought it was only available in the US?

We don't have a history of allergies but I did have quite serious eczema (I got it under control in my 20s using Chinese medicine and common sense) and am intolerant (which, I think, is very different to being allergic) to shellfish. But I'm really confused about what to believe about passing down allergies.

Got an appt at the allergy clinic but it's not until November. I will try and post back with results. In the meantime we're introducing one new food every week and so far DS has a diet of potatoes, carrots and cauliflower only. Not very exciting but he seems to be enjoying it.

The thing I'm trying to figure out right now is how to settle him when he's itchy. The poor little thing gets so miserable.

garliclover Wed 14-Sep-11 22:13:04

Hello yumcha! Hope your holiday was fun despite the weaning challenge. I got the Baby Aveeno through, who are the only suppliers in the UK. Be careful, though, because some of the products contain milk protein (in case you think your DS might be allergic)...I think the one made for babies called Eczema Therapy is the one we used (can't remember now, as we're lucky enough to have defeated it! for now, anyway).

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