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Allergies and intolerances

My baby won't eat since allergic reaction (peanut)

8 replies

Johntorodegregwallacesandwich · 12/12/2011 16:42

Hi everyone, first post in the allergy section..

I have a 6.5month old baby and he's been BF since the start, no formula except a couple of bottles in the first week or two. Obviously I've been trying to get him interested in food for the last few weeks but he'll grab, taste and generally spit out with that face babies do like, 'wtf?'!

So last week, he was reaching out for a bit of my toast with peanut butter on (you know whats coming!). He chewed on it for a minute or so then seemed really narky. Started rubbing his eyes furiously. I thought 'what, he's tired but he's only just woke up' so sat down to BF him and noticed his lip swollen and white like he'd been punched. So panicked and called an ambulance (never called one in my life!). We spent all day at hospital while they observed him, his face was very puffy for a long time and he had a rash on his body. His airways weren't affected though but he was tachycardic in the ambulance.

He has a allergy test in Jan but seems to have gone off food altogether, not that I've been pushing it much but just turns his nose up at everything.

So I'm just after some advice really, is late weaning going to be an issue? He's on the 75th percentile for weight. His sister was weaned at 5.5months and has no allergies, she was FF. We have no family history of food allergies but my sister has asthma and I get a little hayfever. I feel a bit in the dark to be honest though I've looked on allergy uk to try and educate myself a bit!

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greenbananas · 12/12/2011 17:09

Poor you - what a dreadful experience!

My son (now 3) goes off food following every allergic reaction, both minor and major. He starts rejecting even foods that he was previously fine with. My feeling is that his immune system needs time to recover from the shock (although I've no real evidence for thinking this, it's just my instinct that this is what's happening). It seems that breastmilk is all he wants for a few days while he is still recovering.

'Late weaning' won't be a problem - he is still very young in any case, and it sounds like his weight is absolutely fine. Babies get most of their nutrition from breastmilk / formula until they are about 1 year old, so you really don't need to worry about his nutrition just yet. Some children aren't particularly interested in food until they are about 8 months old!

Welcome to the allergy boards - although in a way, we would rather not have had you here, if you see what I mean Sad There are lots of clued-up and supportive mummies here x

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greenbananas · 12/12/2011 17:30

I should also add (if you have not been told this already): it might be a good idea get some Piriton syrup and keep some in your handbag (for use if your DS has any future allergic reaction, e.g. hives). It does say on the bottle that it is not suitable for children under one year old, but you can give a dose of 2.5ml if you need to.

Have you been given any information about avoiding peanuts yourself while you are breastfeeding? There might be no need to do this if your DS has not reacted to traces in your breastmilk until now but, then again, it might be a sensible precaution until you see the specialist in January.

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shouldbeelswhere · 12/12/2011 19:55

Oh poor you. What a horrible experience, I've been through similar though my DD was 18mths, and know how frightening it is.

I'd echo all that greenbananas says. My DD always goes off food after a reaction, last time she didn't eat properly for about a fortnight. I think in her case she just gets too frightened to eat. I wouldn't worry too much about that, I think it's a confidence thing and I think appetite just comes back as they feel better and feel safer however little they are (she's just 3) though I think it's such a primitive self protection thing even as little as 6.5 months I'd say they still want to come back to what feels safe (only my opinion have no idea if any research has been done into this.)

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Johntorodegregwallacesandwich · 13/12/2011 10:52

Thanks to the both of you.

TBH, the advice we were discharged with was very minimal, pretty much avoid giving baby peanuts but don't hold back on anything else. They didn't offer advice on BF, didn't even ask whether he was BF or FF, I had to offer this info. Though they asked alot about asthma and eczema which he doesn't suffer from. They sent him home with piriton and a short course of steroids so yes I will take your advice of carrying piriton in my handbag for emergencies!

I eat peanut butter quite regularly and didn't notice any ill effects of him taking it through my breastmilk, no gastro effects but maybe I haven't been too diligent! Though I will probably avoid peanut butter now as I'd be afraid of transferring any externally to him rather than worried about if any goes into my BM. We also use groundnut oil but Allergy UK say this isn't much of a risk (though not 100% risk free).

The thing is the cultural side of things, my DH is Nigerian and peanuts are grown in Nigeria! So its a bit of a case of, 'how can my boy be allergic to groundnut?', he was a bit Hmm to it all really. Though he's a pharmacist and familiar with the clinical side and the upcoming research on desensitization... but its not as if thats something you can do in the comfort of your own home is it? Or if our area offer it anyway. I just had to be diplomatic and told him he'd have to wait and speak to the allergist, they're the experts. I also reminded him that most of the worlds population are intolerant to cows milk!

I just feel like somehow its my fault, should I have intoduced food earlier? we even had invitations to the LEAP study. Theres so much conflicting advice, I reassure myself alot with the Kellymom website. He just hasn't been that interested in food, not actually injesting it anyway!

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shouldbeelswhere · 13/12/2011 22:14

I don't wish to worry you but my DD gets very itchy with groundnut oil so we avoid it, which is a bit of a pain because most of our local chippies use it :(

Like you say I'm sure you'll feel better about things once you've had your appointment. Maybe you could write a list of questions to ask so you don't forget at the time? Just a thought.

Tell your DH no one in our family had a nut allergy either until my DD, every person is different and most of all it isn't your fault, it's just one of those things. :)

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Beccabell · 15/12/2011 12:20

I would leave the food for a few weeks and then start again with simple foods that don't have much flavour. An allergic reaction to food makes the food taste spicy like chilli - my dd is terrified of eating anything that's remotely spicy (like sausages) unless I buy a very bland brand. She associates pepper/spices with the nut allergic reaction that she had. If you leave it a whiile and go back to basics, I don't think you'll have a problem, and you can introduce new foods gradually again. You must take all peanuts out of your diet though as the traces can get onto his food via hands/surfaces, and through your breastmilk also. I don't know the minimum age for an Epipen Junior - do you have one now? Definitely keep Piriton to hand at all times, even when you go out as it works really well if it's given quickly. I'm sorry he had that reaction - it's very scary.

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Beccabell · 15/12/2011 12:32

If forgot to add - me, dh and older dd have no food allergies, but after probing into dh's family, they all have cat allergies, and dh's brother has oral allergy syndrome which is a cross reaction allergy to birch pollen that means he has an allergy to raw hazelnuts (not cooked or nutella). The more I have probed, the more I have found allergies in his side of the family like mild asthma and mil has allergy to penicillin. It is caused by genes and something else in the enviroment or the way we live is causing more and more food allergies in kids. 5% of the kids in our school have nut allergies - that's mad really. Your consultant will explain everything to you and will do skin prick tests for other allergies I would imagine (maybe a blood test). Hopefully it's just peanuts, and I know a few kids who have grown out of this - tree nut allergy is the one that's most likely to linger.
My dd is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts and shellfish - all things we used to eat a lot of, although we never fed them to her when she was very small. Don't worry too much (easily said I know) - it's quite easy to avoid nuts. Curreis/Thai/chinese are all out, but you can get allergy free chocolate (kinnerton), and most children are OK with labels that say "May contain traces of nuts" - it's just labelling that says the product contains traces of nuts that have to be avoided. Your consultant will explain it all to you.

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shouldbeelswhere · 15/12/2011 17:26

I note that there was a thread on here about the new nice guidelines, you might find those useful, going to your GP armed with what should have happened when you went to hospital. ie that you should have been given an epipen before you were discharged if they agree it was an anaphylactic reaction.

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