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Mild allergies: is exposure or avoidance to allergen more likely to cure it?

(6 Posts)
BubblingUnder Thu 18-Sep-08 00:30:21

Or neither?

I'm lucky enough to have no allergies so i'm new to this subject and don't even know first principles.

10m old DS gets a reaction (bright red £2 coin-sized blotches with a little pimple in the middle of each) to egg and oily fish and, to a lesser extent, to tomatoes. At its worst it covers him head to toe, but it seems to vary in intensity a lot. Even though it looks very dramatic, I guess it is mild compared to some of the symptoms i have read about on MN, as he doesn't appear to be that bothered by it.

My instinct is to give him little tastes of these things every now and then to see if there is any change and to build up tolerance. -Have i completely misunderstood how these things work? (By the way, he seems to love the taste of these foods.)

Hugely greatful for any advice...

MrsPurple Thu 18-Sep-08 00:39:19

Hi I've not got any food allergies just the general Animals etc, and from my experience no amount of me being near a cat improves my allergy just makes me really ill.

Hope this helps

williamsmummy Thu 18-Sep-08 09:44:46

If based on sure knowledge that your child has food intolerance, then feel free go ahead.
If you have a child with IGE food allergy, then any exposure can result in a more severe reaction happening. Anaphylaxis being the severe end.

Even if your child is intolerant, its worth excluding the problem foods from your childs diet because symptoms may continue , and cause other problems in your childs body.
if the gut becomes inflamed for e.g, it will be more difficult for it to absorb other foods, so leading to a greater list of problem foods.
There is a high chance of your child outgrowing food intolerance, and current advice is to remove from diet, but try small amounts when child grows older.

As for the idea of IGE classic food allergy, that is a whole different area, and you must consider carefully your next step and ask for further medical help for that.

BubblingUnder Fri 19-Sep-08 00:41:41

Thank you both. Williamsmuumy, reading your post i realise i am going to have to research this properly as i don't fully understand the distinctions you draw or how to identify intolerance v. allergy (or what IGE means). Thanks for getting me started though. -I'll go away and read up.

thebutlerdidit Fri 19-Sep-08 08:04:01

I know 2 people who had tomato allergy and where very strict about avoiding them for about a year then reintroduced without a problem. One of them was also lactose intolerant and after avoiding lactose she could then have it without a problem. I think if he is getting hives then it is a true allergy. I think intolerences act locally ie diarrhea.

tatt Fri 19-Sep-08 08:52:55

a skin reaction like you describe is normally a sign of an allergy rather than an intolerance (usually digestive symtoms).

At 10 months a child's gut/ immune system is still developing. Avoiding problem foods until later probably means that they will be OK later on. Totally agree with williamsmummy about the risk of extra problems if the gut gets damaged now.

Although there are attempts to "cure" allergies by feeding small doses of the food regularly they involve very tiny amounts at first and are given under strict medical supervision. Think its best to say "don't try this one at home".

Many problems with food in babies are outgrown. Egg allergy usually goes by age 3, with well cooked egg being tolerated before less cooked egg. So when you reintroduce that go for cake rather than scrambled egg. Flaxseed oil has omega 3 fatty acids and doesn't usually cause allergies.

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