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Food Allergy Chronicles: Part One - Discovery of the Allergens

Leah Williams

https://www.foodallergy.org/

My twins are both allergic to Egg and one is allergic to Peanuts. Because I am not allergic to any food items, learning how to create an allergy free home took some work. We found out about their allergies early in their first year of life. Within the first 4 years we’ve had some curve balls, but we’ve managed to hit a home run with perfecting their diet.

It started out with a formula/milk allergy. Between consistently scratching and projectile vomiting we learned the kids were allergic to their Similac Advanced formula. My lil guy scratched Day and Night and was eventually diagnosed with Failure to Thrive because he started losing weight from all the calories he was burning from scratching!  The formula was aggravating his eczema and causing him to itch like crazy. He was miserable and I was too watching him struggle.

After several doctor visits, trial and error on other formulas, we settled on Similac Sensitive. He gained his weight back immediately. He became a lil porky with an adorable round belly that I enjoyed blowing raspberries on lol. He was happy and so was I

Fast forward to 9 months.

Hi, My name is Leah and I am Addicted to Pinterest

I was, and still am, an avid Pinterest reader. As a new mom, I utilized that app for ideas on infant activities, cute milestone photoshoot ideas and when the time came, creative ideas for the introduction to solid foods. I’d read that egg whites were a great finger food to start your baby with for solids. It was re-pined a few time and decided to start their solids off with that. One morning I made a breakfast of egg whites and cubed watermelon for them. That morning went south quickly and ended up being an EPIC PINTEREST FAIL!! We ended up racing to the ER because my daughter had an immediate allergic reaction to the eggs.

I regret not researching more on the subject. If I had, I would have found that eggs shouldn’t be given so early on. I’ve read that “eggs [shouldn’t be introduced] until the age of 2, peanuts, tree nuts and fish until the age of 3” (Early Introduction of Allergenic Foods May Prevent Food Allery in Children, AAP News, February 2013). Would it have made a difference if I had waited? Probably not. I also read that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods could actually increase the risk of food allergy! Because the allergy was not hereditary, I had no reason to be cautious of giving them eggs.

Aaliyah BEFORE her allergic reaction to eggs

Aaliyah AFTER her allergic reaction to eggs

 

HIVES - SWOLLEN LIPS - LETHARGIC - UNRESPONSIVE

I will NEVER forget the fear that crippled me that day. My sweet jovial daughter turned limp in my arms approximately 3-5 minutes after eating the eggs and there wasn’t anything I could do for her. I felt helpless! Everything was in slow motion. I gave her some milk thinking that would take away the hives (I don't know know why I thought that would work) and began taking pictures to send to my best friend who is a Nurse Practitioner.

Aaliyah stopped drinking the milk and her eyes went glassy. I called her name and she didn't respond.Once I realized she'd stop responding to me I picked her up and ran to the bathroom. Id just given her a bath before breakfast and hadn't let the water out of the baby tub. I ran her into the bathroom and put her into the now cold bathwater and she didn't flinch!

I screamed to my husband to call 911

Through all this mayhem I checked Josiah and he did not have a reaction that day even though did eat a small amount of his eggs. We had them both blood tested and that’s how we found out that they are both allergic to eggs and my son was allergic to peanuts as well.

With that revelation, I dedicated all my free time to researching how to cook and provide my children with an allergen free diet. That meant, for the better part of their first 3 years, that I cooked and created ALL OF THEIR MEALS from scratch! No fast food… no jarred baby food… no restaurants…  Everything was pureed in my kitchen so that I was confident in all the ingredients!

Was it tiring, YUP! Did I ever want to run to the grocery store and get them something quick and convenient? Absolutely! But their life depended on my diligence to their special diet. I am their mom and I don’t take that job lightly.

Stay Tuned for Part 2

 


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