When a food allergy diagnosis rocks your world (and not in a good way)

May 11th kicked off Food Allergy Awareness Week. These days, food allergy awareness is near and dear to my heart. Here’s why…

food allergy ribbon_small

It was the first real snow day of 2014… Wednesday, January 29, exactly two months before my daughter turned 2. She had a few bites of a Cashew Cookie Larabar she had found in the diaper bag. Within 20 minutes, her left eye was red and swollen. It looked as if she had been in a nasty brawl. With a pit in my stomach, I thought… “Cashew allergy?! No, can’t be… she eats and loves walnuts, almonds and pecans.”

About 10 minutes later when my husband (dressed in his work clothes, of course) was holding our daughter, she vomited… spewing the eggs she had just picked at over breakfast. Before I could bathe her, she threw up again. While on the phone with her doctor, I noticed a few, sporadic red blotches… one on her chin, a couple on her chest, a couple on her belly. Confirming my suspicions, her doctor told me to get her in the car and drive immediately to the ER.

By the time we arrived at the hospital, my daughter’s swollen eye and few hives had gone away. She was fine, and hungry. The ER doctor gave her Benadryl and–based on her chowing down of graham crackers, high energy and lack of reaction to other nuts–declared that she had caught a “virus mimicking food allergy symptoms.” But like her regular pediatrician, I knew better.

A month later, an allergist confirmed that my daughter was allergic to cashews. Not to peanuts or any of the other 6 tree nuts they tested, just cashews. For this nut-loving RD who cooked with nuts, regularly snacked on nuts and dreamed of packing fun trail mixes for her kids, I was shocked. Lost. And, most of all, scared. I knew people whose kids had food allergies. And as a RD, I had–of course–worked with people who had food allergies. But, it had never personally affected me. I helped clients create food plans void of their allergenic food(s), and–at the end of the day–I went home and enjoyed my peanuts, cheese, eggs and cashews.

That luxury, I realized, was gone.

In its place was tremendous fear and great loss… fear for my daughter–who now had to carry two Epi Jr. pens everywhere she went–that she would unknowingly eat cashews in a restaurant meal and loss that she might be the one kid at a birthday party who can’t enjoy the cake.

Don’t get me wrong. She is healthy, sweet and loves to eat. And, I am well aware that we are incredibly fortunate to have two beautiful, healthy children. One of them just requires that we scrutinize every ingredients list and keep her safe, as best as we can, until it is her time to scrutinize food labels and ask every server, teacher, flight attendant and host or hostess if that food contains tree nuts. (Because of the likelihood of cross-contamination during the roasting and processing of tree nuts, doctors advise patients with one tree nut allergy to avoid all tree nuts.)

Food allergies are often misunderstood and the term “food allergy” is certainly overused. I hear this from clients all the time…

Me: “Why do you avoid [insert pretty much anything here… gluten, sugar, wheat, cheese, etc.]?”
Client: “Because I have an allergy to [yup, you got it, bread and pasta, added sugars, etc.]”
Me: “Were you diagnosed by an allergist or other doctor?”
Client: “No. I just feel better when I don’t eat bread [or candy or pasta or cheese], so I must be allergic.”

What is a food allergy?

If you suspect you or your child have a food allergy, see a board-certified allergist for a true diagnosis. Here are some basic facts about food allergies.

  • Food allergy is a serious medical condition, which causes the immune system to mistakenly attack a protein found in foods.
  • Food allergy affects about 15 million people in the U.S., 1 in 13 of those are children.
  • Unlike food intolerances (which are also serious, but not life-threatening), food allergies are “IgE mediated.” When someone with a food allergy eats an allergenic food, their immune system produces large amounts of the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE antibodies then attack the allergen(s) by releasing histamine and other chemicals, triggering food allergy symptoms.
  • Eight foods (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish) are responsible for most (90 percent) of all food allergy reactions in the US.
  • Food allergy reactions range from itchy mouth and hives to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially fatal reaction. Anaphylaxis is most likely to occur as a reaction to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. People with asthma and a food allergy are at greatest risk for an anaphylatic reaction.
  • Some children may outgrow food allergies to milk, soy and egg. Peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish allergies tend to be lifelong.
  • Food allergies can develop at any age.

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for food allergies. The safest way to manage food allergies is to completely avoid all food allergens.

For more information on food allergies, check out these credible organizations.

 

PLEASE SHARE: Do you have children with food allergies? What resources do you use for managing their food allergies? Please share. I’d love to hear from you!

2 Comments
  1. This is the exact same thing that happened to my daughter! Piece of my Cashew Cookie Larabar, swollen eye, vomiting, rash! We went to the allergist and also have to carry an epipen but we have to wait a few more weeks to get a blood test to see all what she’s allergic to. This whole thing makes me sad for her and worries me. I don’t want to instill fear in her but I also don’t want to be lax about the situation. Still trying to figure things out…. Thanks for sharing and for the info!

  2. Wow, Sarah. Food allergies are so worrisome, especially for parents trying to navigate a new and unknown world. Best of luck to you and your daughter. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Further report. Criminal case found 70-533 design pdf near railroad between 38th and 200-125 pdf 100-105 pdf 11th Street. Homicide. Completed. Criminal police, forensics, ambulance and emergency medical Finished. 70-533 design pdf Received, 5885. Caught the suspect yet Finished. No 300-075 exam topics suspects found. 5885, finished. Shakes looked at the finger, that root was cut off 70-533 design pdf the bones exposed bones finger. 70-533 design pdf She looked at the glittering diamond ring, those eyes, and 300-101 questions and answers pdf that twisted mouth Europe, that horrible mouth. Thriller spread 300-101 questions and answers pdf throughout her body. Emilia Shakes swimming in the water snake river during the summer camp, and absolutely did not hesitate to 300-115 tutorial jumped from the 100-foot CISSP exam topics bridge, but as long as 300-115 tutorial she thought 200-125 pdf of a hush think of Was tied into a ball, 300-115 tutorial could not move, immediately 300-075 exam topics fell into the feeling of 100-105 pdf panic like an electric shock. Because of CISSP exam topics this, CISSP exam topics 300-115 tutorial Shakes walked so fast and was so crazy 300-101 questions and answers pdf when driving. As long AWS-SYSOPS design pdf as you move, they can not catch you She heard a voice AWS-SYSOPS design pdf and quickly looked 300-101 questions and answers pdf up. A rumbling sound 70-533 design pdf came from far and louder and louder. Few pieces of 300-075 exam topics shredded paper are 100-105 pdf raised by the wind CISSP exam topics and fly along the rails. Dust circling around 200-125 pdf 300-115 tutorial her, like an angry ghost. Then there 300-075 exam topics 100-105 pdf was a 100-105 pdf 300-101 questions and answers pdf deep whine Emiliano Shakespear, a five-foot-nine patrolman, found 70-533 design pdf himself facing the locomotive of a CISSP exam topics 31-ton American-American company. The red, white, blue-faced steel behemoth is approaching her at ten miles an hour. Stop Stop She shouted. The train driver ignored her. Shakes ran to the railway, standing in the middle of the rails, swinging his legs waving his 100-105 pdf arm, signaling the driver to stop moving forward. With a long and AWS-SYSOPS design pdf harsh brakes, the 300-101 questions and answers pdf locomotive stopped. Driver head out of the window. You can not open here, she said to him. He asked her what 70-533 design pdf 300-075 exam topics it meant. She thought, he looked so young, actually driving such a large locomotive. 70-533 design pdf Here is a crime scene, please turn off 300-101 questions and answers pdf the engine. Miss, I did not see any crime. But Shakes did not have time 70-533 design pdf to listen 100-105 pdf to him long-winded. She was looking up at a gap in the barbed wire fence to the west of the viaduct. Not far CISSP exam topics from above is Eleven 300-101 questions and answers pdf Street. One way of trying to bring a 300-115 tutorial victim here is to find that there is a way to AWS-SYSOPS design pdf stop the car at Eleven Street and drag the victim across 200-125 pdf the narrow path 200-125 pdf to the edge of the cliff. If you park your car on the 37th Street AWS-SYSOPS design pdf in the 100-105 pdf horizontal direction, he CISSP exam topics may be seen by people 70-533 design pdf in the windows of 20 apartments. The train, sir, just stop 70-533 design pdf it 100-105 pdf here. I can not park the train here. Turn off the engine. In this case we can not 300-101 questions and answers pdf turn off the train 100-105 pdf engine and it must be running. You call the 300-075 exam topics dispatch or someone else to stop the train to Nankai. We can not do that. Get it right, 300-115 tutorial sir, Ive noticed the number of your car The car Youd better do it right away Shakes roared. What do you want, Miss, give me a ticket But Emilio Shakus climbed back up the steep 100-105 pdf hill again. Her poor knuckles crunched, her lips covered in lime, dirt, and her own sweat. She drilled through the gap she had found CISSP exam topics on the tracks and 300-075 exam topics turned around to study the Javets Convention Center across 11th AWS-SYSOPS design pdf 100-105 pdf Avenue and 300-075 exam topics across 300-101 questions and answers pdf the street. The convention center is full of CISSP exam topics people today - there are participants and journalists. A huge banner reads Welcome United Nations Representative. Earlier in 100-105 pdf 300-101 questions and answers pdf the morning, however, there was still no one on the street, and the murderer could easily find a parking space in the street, before 100-105 pdf the people unwittingly moved the victim to the tracks. Shakespeare strode to Eleventh Street and observed the six-lane main road, which is now 300-115 tutorial 300-075 exam topics full of traffic. Let it go She burst 200-125 pdf AWS-SYSOPS design pdf into the car sea, calmly cut 300-115 tutorial off traffic on the north lane. Several drivers tried hard to force her to issue two tickets in a row. In the end, they dragged a few rubbish bins to the center of the road as roadblocks 200-125 pdf to ensure that these good citizens abided by the 300-101 questions and answers pdf rules. I am asking 300-075 exam topics you now. They want to see you. I only know these. Because they have something, they are not, they are regular, heavy, and want. Lincoln. Tone. The handsome young man reached 300-075 exam topics for his blond hair. He was 70-533 design pdf wearing brown trousers and a white shirt, tied with a blue tie and 70-533 design pdf the bow tie was 100-105 pdf flawless. When he hired Tommar a 200-125 pdf year ago, Lyme once told him that he could wear jeans and a T-shirt to work whenever he wanted. But from that day until now, 300-101 questions and answers pdf CISSP exam topics he has been meticulously dressed. Lyme AWS-SYSOPS design pdf did not 100-105 pdf know if it was because he had kept the young man so far, but he did. No one had been in custody before Thomas before AWS-SYSOPS design pdf for six weeks, and those who resigned AWS-SYSOPS design pdf were tantamount to 200-125 pdf AWS-SYSOPS design pdf excommunication. Well, how do you tell them I told them to give me a few minutes to let me see if you got dressed first, and then they could come up. You did 200-125 pdf not ask me Self-assertion. Thank 300-075 exam topics you very much. Thomas back to 200-125 pdf 300-115 tutorial take a few steps toward the small stairs downstairs shouted Come on, gentlemen. What did they say to you, is not it Said, You have something to 300-075 exam topics hide from me. Thomas did not answer. Raim 300-075 exam topics looked at the two men up the AWS-SYSOPS design pdf stairs. 70-533 design pdf When they 300-075 exam topics first entered the room Lyme 70-533 design pdf first spoke. He said to Thomas Putting on 200-125 pdf the 300-115 tutorial curtains, you have already 300-115 tutorial disturbed the two birds too much. The actual meaning of this sentence was that he had enjoyed the bright morning 300-115 tutorial sunshine. 70-533 design pdf Can 200-125 pdf not CISSP exam topics speak. Sticking to the mouth of the 300-075 exam topics tape stinky and sticky, so that she can CISSP exam topics not pronounce a word. She felt despair more helplessly than CISSP exam topics the cold, 300-101 questions and answers pdf handcuffed metal on her wrist, compared to the short, stout fingers on 300-101 questions and answers pdf her shoulders. The CISSP exam topics taxi driver, still wearing a ski boot, led her to a dark, damp corridor that ran through the rows of pipes and plumbing to the basement of an office building. But she does not know where the exact location is. If I can speak to him T. J. 300-115 tutorial AWS-SYSOPS design pdf Kofax is a fun person. Morgan Stanley third floor of the mother of insects. A negotiator. money Do you want 300-115 tutorial money I give 200-125 pdf you AWS-SYSOPS design pdf money, a lot of money, boy. But more than a few. AWS-SYSOPS design pdf She thought the remarks more than ten times, desperately trying to seize his eyes as if she CISSP exam topics could deliver the remarks into 300-101 questions and answers pdf his head. Beg for you, she begged CISSP exam topics silently. She started thinking of her 401 k Retirement 300-115 tutorial Savings Fund an important 200-125 pdf 200-125 pdf U.S. tax deferred savings plan to AWS-SYSOPS design pdf protect retiree benefits, with about 42 million people participating and a total asset pool of more than 2 trillion. - translator, she can give her all the pensions to him. Oh, beg you She remembered the scene of the last night The man turned around after watching the fireworks, pulled them off and put handcuffs on them. He put them close to the trunk, and then re-drive the road.