Category: Dr. Visits

The Greatest Christmas Present Ever … Hope

I couldn’t have asked for a greater Christmas present this year. Just a few days before Christmas, I received a call from Johns Hopkins Hospital with the lab work results for my oldest son. Ever since he was a baby, he has never been able to have any dairy products without severe and life threatening reactions. We had him retested every few years with no change in his dairy allergy. It’s now been four years since we last had him tested. (He is 12 years old.) We got the blood work back from his RAST test, and although it is not a negative result (less than .1 out of 100), he came back at .3 out of 100!!! It is truly miraculous! Because of that, he now qualifies for challenge testing. We will start out by baking 1/12 c of cow’s milk and 11/12 c rice or almond milk into a batch of muffins or pancakes, let him eat 1 every other day (which would be equivalent to about a tsp. or so of cow’s milk per serving) and observe him for a month or so. If he shows no reaction, then we will increase his amount little by little. Although this is VERY exciting news, I will still have my epipen in hand, just in case. I plan on doing this as a blind test so that he won’t know which muffin has the dairy in it. That way I can be a little bit more objective with his results.

When I shared with my son the results of his blood work, he said that the first thing he wants to eat when he can have dairy is a doughnut! (I wouldn’t thought it would’ve been cheese or ice cream:)). I will keep you posted on our progress. My hope is that by the time he is fully independent and on his own, he will be able to fully tolerate dairy products, if not straight, then at least in baked goods. I will also be testing my boys who get ear infections at the same time, watching for any symptoms and seeing what level, if any, of dairy they can tolerate. Here’s to a bright future and a Happy New Year!!!

Visit with Dr. Wood and update on allergies

We finally got to see Dr. Wood last week at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Our baby tested negative for a milk allergy, and I have slowly been reintroducing dairy into my diet while nursing her. So far I have seen no negative reactions. The test is only 50%-60% accurate, though, as she is only 5 months old. I will introduce solids at a slow pace and watch her closely to make sure that she’s okay. The good news is that I was told that food allergies are much more common in boys, so the likelihood of her following in her brother’s footsteps is much smaller.

Both of my boys who get chronic ear infections tested negative to a dairy allergy as well. That said, I was told that they could still have an intolerance to milk, thus creating the environment for ear infections. (As far as I know, milk products can cause more mucus in your system which can block the eustachian tubes from draining. They have had NO infections or ruptures since removing all dairy from their diet.) Dr. Wood suggested that I can try to slowly reintroduce dairy (like casein, whey, or in baked goods) and see what happens. If they show no reactions, then perhaps I can be less strict with their dairy avoidance, though they will most likely not be able to have straight cheese or cow’s milk, at least not at this time.

My oldest son, who has been highly allergic/anaphylactic to milk products, got blood work done to test the severity of his milk allergy. We are currently awaiting the results. Dr. Wood suggested that if his milk allergy is under a certain percentage, then we can try a food challenge where I bake 1/4 cow’s milk to 3/4 rice milk and see if he has any reaction. I will get the results soon, and will post them as we go along. I have to admit that I’m a little bit scared to try dairy with him, but in looking towards the future, it would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to worry everywhere we went about whether or not an item contained dairy products in it. He was last tested when he was 7 and had not outgrown his milk allergy at all (that said, he had, however, outgrown his egg allergy). He is now 12, so we are hopeful to see what the results are. My hope is that he will be able to tolerate certain levels of dairy by the time he goes off to college. If not, then at least he has the skills necessary to live a happy and healthy life regardless of his allergy.

As far as my soy allergy goes, I asked Dr. Wood about it, and he said that people who are allergic to certain types of trees (which I am highly allergic to as well as many grasses, cats, dust, etc.) can have a higher chance of having a soy allergy as well as an allergy to other legumes. He suggested that I would probably be okay with soy lecithin, soy oil, and soy sauce. As of right now, I have tried all three and have had NO adverse reactions. Yeah!!! I did, however, have a flat bread roll up that had high fiber and protein (from soy), and my throat started to feel like it was swelling shut. Although I love a lot of the healthier options, I suppose that my body can’t tolerate soy in that high concentration. We have been cooking a lot with rice milk and almond milk with a lot of success. All of the recipes thus far in my cookbook have been easily adapted to be soy-free (excluding soy sauce and soy lecithin), which makes me happy:) I bought some coconut milk, and am hoping to come up with a dairy-free/soy-free whipping cream. If I have success, then I will post the recipe:)

Soy allergy invades our dairy-free home

I went to the allergist last week and found out that I have developed a soy allergy. It was a 3+ on the skin prick test (the same size as the histamine test). I suspected it because my throat got a lump in it after eating soy yogurt and started tightening. I felt the same thing after drinking a cup of soymilk…lump in throat, tight chest, difficulty swallowing. I know that adults developing allergies was possible, however, I never thought it would happen to me, especially since we suffer with so many dairy allergies in our home. I found myself angry, bitter, and then devastated this past week. That said, I am determined to make lemonade. There are many people out there who suffer from both a dairy and a soy allergy, and if they can do it, then so can I! Since soy has been a major source of protein for me since I currently can’t have dairy (it upsets my nursing baby), I will begin by finding ways to get my protein needs met. Although the cookbook that I wrote contains soy in many of the recipes, most are easily adaptable to be both dairy-free and soy-free. I will list the adaptations on my website as soon as I can. One success we had was a Lemon Barbecue Grilled Chicken dish (delicious!!!). I will post the recipe on my website under the “Free Recipes” section.

I did a little bit of research on to find out the nutritional content of various milk substitutes. It looks like almond milk can vary immensely depending upon brand. I included goat’s milk, but since I don’t know if goat’s milk is safe for children with a dairy allergy, I am going to do more research before introducing it into their diet. I don’t want to introduce something that will hurt my anaphylactic son.

Here’s the list:

*Food Item:* Serving Size: Protein (g): Carbohydrate (g): Calories: Fat (g): Dietary Fiber (g):

*Almond Milk (West Soy)* 1 c; 9; 5; 90; 4.5; 4

*Almond Milk (Blue Diamond)* 1 c; 1; 8; 60; 2.5; 1

*Almond Dream* 1 c; 1; 6; 50; 2.5; 0.5

*Hemp Bliss, Manitoba Harvest* 1 c; 5; 7; 110; 7; 1

*Oat Milk, Pacific Foods* 1 c; 4; 24; 130; 2.5; 2

*Goat’s Milk, whole* 1 c; 8.7; 11; 169; 10; 0

*Goat’s Milk, Low-fat* 1 c; 7.4; 9.4; 89; 2.4; 0

*Rice Milk* 1 c; 1; 23; 120; 2.5; 0

Almond milk by West Soy and Low-fat Goat’s Milk seem to have the best nutrients and highest protein sources, however, if they taste bad then it’s back to square one! I do love Rice Milk, just wish it had more protein:) I’ll continue to blog more as I gain more experience with a soy allergy. From what I’ve read so far, there’s a good chance that I can still have Soy Lecithin and Soy Oil, although I still need to do a little bit more research:)

Appointment with Dr. Robert Wood

After many recommendations, I have finally scheduled my children to see Dr. Wood at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.  It is an 8 month waiting list, and a bit of a drive, but he does in office challenge testing and has received the highest of recommendations.  

As a side note, with the upcoming birth of my sixth child, I am preparing myself to once again go completely dairy-free while nursing and I will reintroduce cow’s milk a little bit at a time to see if she has any adverse reactions.