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AIBU to think that her ds might not really have food allergies?

(86 Posts)
UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Sun 20-Dec-15 07:12:28

I know someone whose ds is friendly with my ds. The boys are now in their teens, but have known each other since nursery.

Her ds has multiple food allergies and a very restricted diet. So, no dairy, eggs, gluten, plus assorted other foods like peppers. He was diagnosed at about the age of 8 or 9 so has been on a restricted diet for several years now.

There was an article in The Guardian yesterday about children with food allergies, so I dropped it round to her thinking she'd be interested. We started talking about her ds's allergies and I asked her if her DS'consultant thought he would have them for life. It then transpired that he had never been diagnosd by a doctor but by a private nutritionist who had carried out the allergy tests by putting the trigger foodstuffs in a glass vial on her ds' hand. The foodstuffs had never come into contact with his skin. hmm

I had never realised before that there was no formal dianosis, and think that this boy probably doesn't have multiple food allergies. I'm not saying he might not have one - he used to come up in hives occasionally when he was small, which is why his mum started trying to find the trigger in the first place - but that he's unlikely to be allergic to the amount of foods the "nutritionist" claimed.

Her ds is likely to go through adulthood with this very restricted diet when maybe he doesn't need to.

AIBU to suggest to her to review this and that her ds should seek a genuine medical opinion?

ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin Sun 20-Dec-15 07:28:25

She really does need to get this looked at properly.
My DS has recently diagnosed allergies which have turned our lives upside down so my view is quite
coloured. I'd love an out for DS, I cling to every hopeful statistic like a drowning man so I find it hard to understand why you would restrict your child's life without a medical diagnosis.
However, looking at this objectively, maybe the quack she saw was very plausible and she felt his input was enough. A gentle word about scientific testing free on the NHS would be what I would do. At this stage of the game its only going to make things easier.

Enjolrass Sun 20-Dec-15 07:34:47

Hmm wow that's difficult.

I have food allergies. Diagnosed.

I have come across loads of people with allergies that aren't. Gluten being the most common. We own a restaurant and you would see people we had prepared a gluten free meal for eating onion rings if their partners plate or eating from the bread bowl.

I do think a lot of allergies aren't allergies and it makes life difficult for this with allergies.

Usually I would say Yabu to get involved. But this is effecting a small child and he his life is being heavily restricted, perhaps for no reason.

Has she said why she didn't get a proper diagnosis?

I can't understand how it was diagnosed with holding the food nearby.

I bake and use milk in some baking and touch it. I am allergic to it. But only if I eat it. I know some people have allergic reactions of they touch stuff but not everyone does.

There could be things that he is allergic to only when he eats it. And since it never touched the skin, I just don't see how contact allergies could be diagnosed.

What reaction was this person looking for?

Bovnydazzler Sun 20-Dec-15 07:36:21

Sounds like she may have gone to one of the quacks discussed here...

Pantone363 Sun 20-Dec-15 07:38:51

She's been to a kinesiologist

They put the food in a vial in your hand and then test arm resistances to being pulled and pushed grin

That sounds incredibly dodgy to me. "Nutritionist" is not a protected term, people with varying degrees of knowledge about food can claim to be a nutritionist, and they are not required by law to register themselves (though there is a voluntary register of nutritionists.) The nutritionist may well have been a genuine expert, but the glass vial thing seems odd and a bit woo.
Are you close to the mother? Is this something you can talk to her about? Otherwise I'm not sure how you can intervene. Clearly the mother thinks she is doing the right thing, but it seems insane to limit her son's food so much if there is no genuine medical need.

maybebabybee Sun 20-Dec-15 07:42:14

Oh God, my friend went to a kinesiologist for terrible anxiety and panic attacks. Kinesiologist told her to cut out all sugar and only drink mineral water. Made me so livid!!

I suggested talking therapy - that went down like a lead balloon. It's all sugar's fault hmm

Lweji Sun 20-Dec-15 07:43:53

More than anything, and that could be the way in, I'd be worried that she didn't have advice or something like and epilepsy pen if the worst happens. Particularly because you mentioned hives.

Eatme Sun 20-Dec-15 07:45:25

The word is intolerant - not allergic.

It's a load of rubbish!! I've had this done out of desperation once but she didn't pick up that I couldn't eat tomatoes without having an allergic reaction.

Why don't you suggest that she pays for a proper allergy test under the pretence that now he's older, his body will have moved on. Give her details for proper testing

ricketytickety Sun 20-Dec-15 07:48:32

You could suggest that some children 'grow out' of allergies and that he could be 'retested' using the spot on method as it's more accurate. That gives her a chance to get it seen to properly without the embarrassment.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 20-Dec-15 07:48:35

Stories like this are why these quacks are harmful and not just a waste of money, and should be banned.

Eatme Sun 20-Dec-15 07:51:28

The NHS advise RASP tests, patch tests, skin prick tests. All these can be done privately. She doesn't need to go through the GP.

ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin Sun 20-Dec-15 07:51:33

I feel very sorry for your friend. It really does look as though she's had the wool pulled over her eyes by a charlatan.

ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin Sun 20-Dec-15 07:56:17

Eatme and Rickety, that's a brilliant idea.
I was thinking how damaging this could be for the relationship between
her and her son. Can you imagine going through the misery of food avoidance for years and then finding
out that it was based on that nonsense.

INeedNewShoes Sun 20-Dec-15 07:58:13

I have proper allergies to nuts and chickpeas & lentils. I found out about the chickpeas and lentils when, following seeing a kinesioligist who restricted my diet so much that basically only vegetables and white fish remained, my mum tried to make me a filling meal of lentil soup and chapattis. I ended up in hospital despite the fact that the kinesioligist had put these ingredients on my safe list.

Proper testing on the NHS then confirmed allergies to chickpeas and lentils.

I obviously don't have respect for the kinesiology method now. I think it should be banned!

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 20-Dec-15 07:58:52

A teenage boy completely avoiding dairy, eggs and gluten...does that seem plausible?

It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he's already ascertained for himself that he's not even remotely 'allergic' to any of these foods and just doesn't tell his poor deluded mother about his sly intake of chocolate, Maccas, cake etc when he's out with his friends.

Enjolrass Sun 20-Dec-15 08:03:29

It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he's already ascertained for himself that he's not even remotely 'allergic' to any of these foods

I agree with this. A boy at dds school used to eat fruit and nut bars, even thought his mother told everyone he was badly allergic to all nuts.

No idea how he knew he would be ok though

maybebabybee Sun 20-Dec-15 08:03:58

Elphaba I was going to say the same thing! grin

I have no problem with alternative therapies that have no basis in science if they help people, even as a placebo. But things like this or, for instance, one of my colleagues claiming that seaweed and crystals can be an effective cancer trearment...well.

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 20-Dec-15 08:11:54

No idea how he knew he would be ok though

It's teenage don't-give-a-shit-itis isn't it?

I have a work colleague whose 13yo DS was diagnosed with severe diabetes about 18 months or so ago. He still tries to keep up with his mates' Mars bar intake, despite knowing his pancreas is pretty much non-functioning and that it could put him in hospital. It's what made me think that the boy in the OP has probably taken matters into his own hands.

DinosaursRoar Sun 20-Dec-15 08:12:40

Elphaba - I hope so, although there's a lot of teenagers who don't experiement with allergies (particulalry if they've met other with real and very serious allergies).

OP - I'd have some words about teenagers often outgrowing allergies and she should go to her GP for testing as they'll do it now, but to be sure she tells the GP the way the previous nutritionist tested...

DinosaursRoar Sun 20-Dec-15 08:18:45

oh and you have my sympathies, I have families members with made up allergies. It's depressing to think about catering round it this year. At least one of the days we are going to the one with the made up allergies for their DCs (no doctor has seen this child about allergies, just their mum decides a new food will be cut out now and then, a new one reintroduced as "she's no longer allergic to X").

Enjolrass Sun 20-Dec-15 08:21:24

It's teenage don't-give-a-shit-itis isn't it?

quite probably grin

Mermaid36 Sun 20-Dec-15 08:22:58

Elphaba that's just a gluten free vegan-ish diet....there's enough junk food that's still edible if you know where to look! Most of the vegan fairs I attend are full of sweets, cakes, curries etc which are all very lovely.
Plus, the free-from sections in the supermarket are great these days (I am dairy and egg free)

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Sun 20-Dec-15 08:24:12

Hi, thanks for your responses. Yes, apparently the "nutritionist" tested his arm resistance after putting the vials on his hand. I'm no scientist but I would not fall for that, and I'm amazed his mum did, as she's not stupid.

Interesting that several people have suggested that he might already have tried out the "forbidden" foods himself - that hadn't occurred to me despite having two sneaky teens myself! I'll ask my ds if hd knows if that's the case. They go to different sixth forms though, so ds only sees this boy at his house.

I'm not sure there is anything I can do, I just have visions of this boy going off to uni and having a restricted diet when he possibly doesn't need to. Having said that, he seems to be thriving on what he does eat.

When my DD received her nut allergy DX, and I was stressing over not automatically getting an epi-pen, the consultant calmly explained that toddlers parents are so careful I wouldn't need one. She told me the problems really start when allergic kids hit their teens and start eating what they like without paying attention or taking their allergies seriously, so based on that, this would be a great time for the teenage son to get properly tested. If he does have real food allergies now is the time to reinforce this with him. I suspect he may not be allergic to everything the quack claimed, although he may be allergic to something to cause hives. Gluten and dairy being two of the most common food allergies, maybe the quack was just hedging his/her bets!

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