Allergy Testing for kids

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by smiling_mama, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

    HAs anyone ever had their child allergy tested? WHat does it entail? My 2yo is allergic to dairy tomatoes and cherries, but i'm curious about soy - plus I'd like to have an "easy" answer - soy is in EVERYTHING,eliminating that sounds painful, just to "see" (i am only wondering about soy allergies because many kids with dairy allergies have soy allergies)

    sorry this is written poorly nursing at computer
  2. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    There are a couple of different ways to allergy test kids. In one method they lay the kid down and put drops of allergens on their back. They then scratch through each of the allergens. If it swells or turns red or anything, they are allergic to that substance. My daughter was tested this way about 25 years ago. When they did Dakota they just drew blood and tested the blood. But it wasn't very accurate. The test said he was not allergic to milk or wheat. Even though we knew he had asthma because of a milk allergy nad he had reflux because he was allergic to wheat. The test also said he was allergic to bananas and he ate bananas every day without a problem. We basically cut him back to a minimal diet and slowly built up to see what he could tolerate and what he reacted to. The final outcome was wheat, rye, oats, barley, all dairy, soy sauce, ketchup, worchetershire sauce, anything with smoked flavoring, anything with nitrites, and apple juice. We cut all that out of his diet. Gave him Rice Dream to drink, put him on probiotics, and a herbal mixture called Iberogast. For the next year and a half he was very restricted. But gradually outgrew the allergies. Within 24 hours of starting this regimen we were able to throw the Zantac away. He had been on that since he was 8 months old. We were also able to wean him off the steroids and other asthma meds. Within a month he was drug free and asthma and reflux free. The only things he reacts to now is whole milk, he can eat yogurt and cheese and ice cream. And he still reacts to things with nitrites and nitrates. It's really hard to get food that doesn't have wheat in it. But you can do it if you're careful. We always knew right away if he had something he wasn't supposed to.

    Good luck.

  3. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    nowadays, most allergists start with a simple blood test. The skin scratching isn't as prevalent as it was when I was a kid, and let me tell you, it was absolute torture to go through it! I'd never ever put my kids through that if there was any other alternative. Personally, I chose to eliminate the foods I suspected were a problem. So far, my mama instincts have been proven correct about 9 out of 10 times when I re-introduced the foods to see if there was a reaction.

    If you know your child is allergic to tomatoes, eliminate potatoes too. A modified elimination diet isn't nearly as painful as allergy testing. We are on a gluten-free diet (no wheat of any sort) and it's not that bad. The idea of starting to cut out all traces of wheat and gluten was much more intimidating than actually doing it.
  4. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

    I've heard that tomato allergies also can signal potatoes and pepper allergies - He doesn't really like peppers, but potatoes seem fine. Its hard for me to tell what he is allergic to, because they manifest in such different ways. Dairy gives him excema, dirhea(sp?), and out of control behavior, and lots of meltdowns. Tomatoes give him a diaper rash that bleeds, and cherries make him break out in what looks like hives. Now that those things are all out of his diet, he is MUCH better, but I know that many kids with dairy allergies also have soy allergies. Does anyone know anything about this??
  5. nimh

    nimh ~foodie~

    i've got a book reccomendation for you: doris rapp _is this your child_ it's the definitive book about childhood allergies.

    be well
  6. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

    nimh: I just ordered that book from thanks for the recomendation.
    mama_boogie: I think you're right about it seeming harder than it is. I was PETRIFIED to eliminate dairy, especially because he doesn't eat meat, but once it was gone, and his skin cleared up and his mood stabilized, I realized that reading labels and cooking from scratch isn't that hard. But he isn't really nursing much anymore (like once or twice a month), so I worry about fat and cholesterol for his little brain. Eggs have a lot of cholesterol though right?
  7. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    The cholesterol in eggs isn't the problem it was once thought to be. And they are nutritious. Use organic, free range eggs, or pasturized eggs, for safety. Start with only the yolks, well cooked.

    A lot of kids get non-histamine reactions to tomatoes (mainly a red face, with splotches and sometimes a red bottom the next day after a stool) but this isn't always a real histamine related allergy, but a reaction to the acid in the tomato. These kids (three of my kids had this, and none of them are allergic to tomatoes) can often eat potatoes, but a few kids can't. A good allergist or immunologist can do the right tests.

    When Sunshine and Lennon had their tests, they started with scratch tests, then did did subdermal testing, for the things that seemed to either be hard to read, or showed really high levels of reaction, then a RAST blood test, and then a blood histamine test, then a test where a long swab was placed in their nose for a few minutes and then put into a tube, I was conforting less than happy toddlers when this was done, so I don't remember what it was, but I think it was to test the reaction of their mast cells in the nose. We found immunological desensitization (allergy "shots") VERY helpful. Our dd Moon is going to start this this summer, as she wants to be a Vet and has cat allergies.

    Not all dairy allergy kids are soy allergic. None of my kids are soy allergic, and two of them are terribly dairy allergic, I am also dairy allergic and I am not allergic to soy, BUT everyone is different.

    I did rotation diets and elimiation diets with my kids, but it can be VERY hard on the kid, when they can't have something everyone else is having, before you know if there is an allergy, and if you suspect multiple allergies, it takes a long time to reintroduce everyting then wait until they recover, if there is a reaction, also it is very difficult to control for other allergens, like enviromental ones, which can have identical symptoms to food allergies, and can make you think someone is allergic to something they are not. No reason to eliminate something if there is no allergy. (except maybe dairy, as it really isn't meant for human consumption.)

    In a matter of days, a good immunologist can determine allergens and start treatment. We found that with Sunshine, our elimination diet was nearly spot on, (but we did miss a few things, like peanuts, which she didn't SHOW an allergy to until she was 19 years old, but the tests were positive when she was 3.) but, she was my oldest child, and Moon wasn't eating solids yet, and she was too young to be around a lot of other kids, so we were OK with it. Even with the Home Elimiation Test, I still thought it was a good idea to go to a good allergist. Sunshine and Lennon got a lot better after desentisation work.

    I hope it works well for Moon, as well.
  8. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    When my kids had testing, they tried Sunshine at 2, and said that many kid this age just don't manufacture histamine the way an older child or an adult does, so if they are allergic,, they may not show a reaction, and they can show reactions to things they are NOT allergic to. I was told to wait until at least 3 to test my kids, but talking to a good immunologist, a PEDIATRIC immunoloigst is the best thing to do.

    I hope your little boy feels better.
  9. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

    I worry he doesn't get ENOUGH cholesterol!
  10. We had our boys both allergy rested last year..with the drops on the arm and then also the sub-dermal testing. Tyler was 11 but Zach was 3 and they did his when he went in to have his tube surgery, so he wasn't awake for the discomfort. Tyler was allergic to waht seemed like--most everything and we put him on Allergy shots and drops for several months...this year he is off the shots and is not having any trouble this year at all!!! He is on his singulair, and that's IT for once in his life!

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