Before J was diagnosed at 13 months I new very little about food allergies. I new that people had peanut allergies and they could be life threatening, but as far as other food allergies go I pretty much assumed that they were more like intolerances, that you could eat the food but may get a stomach ache. Once J was diagnosed I learned that was so far from what a food allergy is.
A food allergy is basically your body fighting the protein in the food. When the immune system fights the food it releases histamine and other chemicals. This is what causes respiratory reactions, skin reactions or other allergic reactions. The United States recognizes the following foods as the most common allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, treenuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. It is believed that these foods make up 90 percent of food allergy reactions.
The most common question I am asked is how did you know that J had food allergies? When J was four months old he developed awful weepy eczema. They suggested that he may be sensitive to certain foods since allergies, eczema and asthmas are related, but they would not test him until he was about a year. Then when he was 9 months old we gave him a milk based formula to supplement him since he would not eat baby or table food. Once he injested the formula he broke out in hives and projectile vomited. We then had him allergy tested and he tested positive for milk, eggs, peanuts and treenuts. My daughter was tested at 10 months and my 12 month old was tested at 4 months.
There is no cure or medicine for food allergies. Most children allergic to fish, shelfish, peanuts and treenuts do not outgrow their allergies. Milk and eggs are more likely to be outgrown, however studies, including one at John Hopkins have shown that they are harder to outgrow than they were 20 years ago.
I am planning on doing more reviews on allergy friendly products in the next month and giveaways so keep visiting my blog. If you have any questions about food allergies, please ask- no question is stupid I am more than happy to answer them or direct you to someone that may be able to answer it. Here are some great sites if you would like to learn more:
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)
Kids with Food Allergies