Category: Egg Allergy

Oral immunotherapy

Just thought I’d pass this information along:)


News Tips from the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy Of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
February 28, 2010
Feb. 26-March 2, NEW ORLEANS
-Oral immunotherapy study at Hopkins Children’s shows it works

Children with egg allergies who consume increasingly higher doses of egg protein — the very nutrient they react to — appear to gradually overcome their allergies, tolerating eggs better over time and with milder symptoms, according to research conducted at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and elsewhere.
The findings from a multi-center trial are to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Feb. 26 through March 2.
Previous research at Hopkins Children’s showed that the same approach, known as oral immunotherapy, can be used successfully to treat children with milk allergies. Some of the children in the milk allergy study overcame their condition completely, and many experienced less severe allergic symptoms as a result of the therapy.
Now, researchers are reporting similarly encouraging results in children with egg allergies.
“Just as we saw in our patients with milk allergies before, oral immunotherapy for children with egg allergies works in the same way by slowly retraining the immune system to tolerate the allergens that caused allergic reactions,” says study investigator Robert Wood, M.D., director of Allergy & Immunology at Hopkins Children’s.
Researchers caution that confirming these early results requires long-term monitoring of the current patients and enrolling more children in the ongoing trials. They also caution that oral immunotherapy should be implemented only by a trained pediatric allergist.
In the 11-month study of 45 children ages 5 to 18, researchers gave 40 patients increasingly higher doses of egg whites during multiple food challenges conducted in a clinic and under a doctor’s supervision, while 15 children received placebo, “dummy” food that looks like egg whites but contains no egg protein. All children received higher and higher doses of either placebo or actual egg protein in the course of the 11 months.
At the end of the study, during a final food challenge, more than half of the children who had been consuming eggs (21 out of 40) could tolerate 5 grams of eggs without having an allergic reaction. None of the children who received placebo were able to tolerate eggs during the final food challenge.
When symptoms did occur, investigators say, they were mild to moderate and involved mostly itching and swelling of the mouth and throat.
Children who consumed eggs also had lower blood levels of IgE antibodies — immune markers that rise during an allergic reaction — and a significant drop in the levels of egg-specific basophils, a type of white blood cell that multiplies during an allergic reaction.
Food allergies have been steadily rising in the last decade and are becoming harder to outgrow, research shows. An estimated 2 percent to 3 percent of U.S. children have egg allergies.
Placing small amounts of milk protein under the tongues of children who are allergic to milk can help them overcome their allergies, according to the findings of a small study at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Duke University.
The findings will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The approach, known as SLIT (sublingual immune therapy), involves giving children small but increasingly higher doses of the food they are allergic to until their immune systems “learn” to tolerate the food without triggering an allergic reaction or triggering only mild symptoms. Previous research from Hopkins Children’s showed that a similar approach known as oral immunotherapy can successfully treat children with milk allergies. Unlike SLIT, oral immunotherapy involves consuming milk protein rather than merely placing it under the tongue.
The current study suggests that both approaches could be effective in treating milk allergies in most patients, authors say, but that oral immunotherapy appears to be slightly more effective than SLIT. The investigators caution that the results are preliminary and that the two approaches must be compared in larger groups before their equal efficacy can be confirmed.
While both approaches work by exposing the patient to progressively higher doses of the allergenic food, SLIT is done with lower doses—and therefore with lower risk for a severe allergic reaction. Researchers caution that both therapies can lead to violent allergic reactions in some patients, and should be always done under a doctor’s supervision.
  “We are very excited to see that both approaches can achieve significant improvement in children with milk allergies, but we continue to see slightly better tolerance in children on oral immunotherapy,” says lead investigator Robert Wood, M.D., director of Allergy & Immunology at Hopkins Children’s. “Nonetheless, SLIT emerges as a new, if slightly less powerful, weapon in our arsenal.”
In the study, all 30 children ages 6 to 17 were treated with milk drops under the tongue (SLIT) for several weeks until they built up their tolerance. Once minimum tolerance was achieved, the children were divided into two groups. Ten children continued their SLIT treatment while the other 20 consumed milk powder by mouth (OIT). After three months of treatment with increasingly higher doses of milk protein, all children underwent a food challenge, which involved drinking milk under a doctor’s supervision.
All children in the “by mouth” group were able to drink on average seven times more milk without an allergic reaction or with mild symptoms compared to their baseline milk challenge before the treatment. Nine of the 10 children treated with milk drops under the tongue, were able to do so.
Children in both groups experienced allergic symptoms equally often during the treatment. In the “under the tongue” group, 33 percent of the 3,619 doses of milk administered caused symptoms, compared to 35 percent of the 3,773 doses in the “by mouth” group. Most symptoms were mild, with the most common ones being mouth and throat itching and irritation. Abdominal and respiratory symptoms occurred very infrequently, the researchers report.

Egg Substitutes for those with egg allergy

When my son had an egg allergy, I used the following substitutes to replace eggs in baking:

– Use applesauce instead of eggs (approx. 1/4 c = 1 egg) Note: You may need to add 1/2 tsp. baking powder as a rising agent when using applesauce.
– Use EnerG Egg replacer (found in most health food stores)
– 1 T water + 1T soy flour = 1 egg
– 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin (like Knox blox) = 1 egg (to make 1 egg, combine 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin with 3 T cold water. Stir until dissolved. Add 2 T plus 1 tsp. of hot water and stir. When using your own recipes, decrease the liquid called for in your recipe by about 1/4 c to compensate for the water added from the “egg.”)

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:)

Interview with the Journal:)

I’m being interviewed for the Journal regarding my childrens’ milk allergies and the release of my new Companion guide and Cookbook.  Here are some of the questions and my complete answers:  (I’ll let everyone know when it gets published:))

1. How did you cope with the news your first child was allergic/intolerant?

When we gave our oldest son his first bite of yogurt, he went into anaphylaxis and we had to rush him to Urgent Care. Within minutes his body was covered in hives, his eyelids swelled shut, and his arms and legs swelled up. It was terrifying. When we finally saw an allergist who diagnosed his Milk and Egg allergy, we had no idea where to turn or what to do. We made numerous mistakes which resulted in trips to the Emergency Room and many doses of Benadryl. It took years to finally understand the magnitude of his allergy and how to deal with it.

2. How did you discover what to feed him?

A lot of what I fed him at first was trial and error, often resulting in hives, vomiting, and trips to the Emergency Room. Eventually I did a lot of research on the internet and found comprehensive lists of what products contain the milk protein and what to avoid. I learned quickly to read every label, even if “dairy-free” is written on the front, as many products still contained caseinate (derived from milk) resulting in rashes on my son.

3. Is it odd that so many of your kids have this, or is that rather common?

I find it very odd that so many of my children have problems with dairy as both my husband and I have no problem with dairy products. I spent the first years in denial, hoping it would go away. Now, it is just a part of our daily living as I’ve learned to deal with it and adapt meals for the entire family.

4. Do you know actual statistics for kids who are allergic?

US News reported that 4% of children and teens in the US are affected by a food allergy. This has increased 18% over the last decade.

5. What made you decide to undertake the cookbook?

I found my inspiration for writing my cookbook 2 1/2 years ago when I started nursing my youngest daughter and had to go off of all dairy products myself due to her colic-type symptoms. As soon as I went off all dairy products, her symptoms went away. While I have always been sympathetic to my children, I was amazed at how bland the dairy-free food was that I had been preparing for them. I found myself craving savory meals and creamy sauces. I decided then and there that I would start cooking better not only for myself, but for my children. I wanted to share my findings with others who were going through a similar situation, thus starting my quest to find and create savory dishes that the entire family could enjoy.

6. What was the process…how did you get recipes, test, get it published, etc.

This first thing I did in preparing to write my cookbook was collect all of my favorite recipes that I’ve adapted, created, and modified over the years and put them all into one place. I then sent out e-mails to friends and family and asked them to submit recipes that they enjoyed that might be dairy-free. This was a long and tedious process as many people had no idea what meals may or may not be dairy-free. I spent hours sifting through recipes and even found some hand written ones from grandparents. Those were treasures. I then branched out and joined an allergy support group. This was very helpful not only for recipes but also for moral support to know that I was not alone in my struggles with the allergies of my children. In addition to this I started a blog documenting my experiences with my childrens’ milk allergies and started up a website  As recipes came in, I organized them and screened them for appropriateness in my cookbook. After I organized everything, I knew that I needed to test and photograph each recipe, as I only wanted to use the best in my cookbook. I once again sent out e-mails asking for volunteer test kitchens. Many family members and friends helped out in this process. I asked them to rate the recipes, tell if they would change anything, and asked if their family enjoyed the recipe. We also tested every recipe in our own kitchen and I had my children and husband rate them. This process took a very long time. In addition to test kitchens, we had food parties. One favorite one was the bread and soup cookoff. Everyone made one of the soup dishes that I was testing or one of the bread dishes. We then all came together and sampled all of the food. I had little anonymous cups for people to rate each dish from 1 to 5. It was a lot of fun and a great way to help choose the best recipes possible. We also did this with multiple pancake recipes, cookie recipes, and the like. I was surprised to find that some of my favorites were no longer my favorites. It was a lot of fun trying new things. After I had all the recipes tested and photographed, I started the long process of compiling them into a format ready for printing. I love scrapbooking and found it a lot of fun to showcase the photos and to play with the fonts. After the book was completed and edited, I finally met with a self-publishing company, BookSurge, and a few weeks later, my book was ready to print and is now available for sale through my website, Amazon, and other on-line book stores. It was a very gratifying experience to finally finish something that I had started.

7. How long did it take start to finish?

It took me 2 1/2 years start to finish to collect, test, photograph, and compile my cookbook. It was a happy day when it was finally published!

8. What are some of the features?

In The Milk Allergy Companion & Cookbook, there are over 175 tested recipes, amazingly all dairy-free, a shopping and eating out guide, a list of hidden sources of dairy, ideas for nursing moms who have to go off of all dairy, ideas for birthday parties, school, and other special occasions, quick meal ideas and a list of dairy-free snacks, and tips and tricks for cooking dairy-free (as well as a few tips on how to adapt for an egg allergy).

On the website,, I have put together links to other helpful milk allergy sites, a blog detailing my own experiences, free dairy-free recipes monthly, an eating out guide, and more in-depth information about the cookbook.

9. What do you hope to accomplish with the book and companion web site?

If I can help one person out there who is struggling with a milk allergy, then I have succeeded. I hope that through my book and website I can help those individuals who have been newly diagnosed with a milk allergy avoid some of the pitfalls and trips to the emergency room that we had to go through. I hope to provide recipes that use normal ingredients that the entire family can enjoy, with or without a milk allergy. I also want to inspire others to recognize that there is hope and that one can embrace and savor life in spite of their milk allergy.

Red Robin Restaurant makes accomodation for allergies

We went to Red Robin Restaurant the other day and they were SO accommodating for our allergies. They gave me an allergy “menu” that listed which items they recommended that are dairy-free. It also included menu options for peanut allergy, egg allergy, tree nut allergy, soy allergy, and fish allergy. The food was great and my kids loved it! You can have them e-mail you a copy of their allergy menu at You have to sent them a query and let them know what your allergy is. It was very kid friendly and overall a great experience for us! The floor manager even came out to talk to us and make sure that everything went okay:) I’m glad that so many restaurants are taking our food allergies seriously.

Quick list of menu ideas for nursing moms or new allergy families who can’t have dairy products

I just wanted to write out a quick list of dinner ideas that are easy to make that are dairy-free. I know that when I first had to cook without dairy, I was stumped as to what I could make. The more I’ve done it, the easier it became:)

Here goes:

Spaghetti and marinara sauce
Lemon Pepper Chicken with rice and steamed veggies
Teriyaki Chicken
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken ‘n rice soup
Vegetable soup
(Multiple soups and rolls/breadsticks)
BBQ chicken or pork
Grilled salmon
Many varieties of salads with vinaigrette dressing (minus the parmesan or romano cheese — READ LABELS!)
Shepherd’s Pie
Multiple stir-fry dishes
Fresh fruit
Fresh vegetables, raw, steamed, or cooked
Desserts made with dairy-free margarine and soymilk
Baked potatoes topped with chili, salsa, broccoli, vegetable soup, etc.
Steak or roast with vegetables
Hawaiian Haystacks (using cornstarch and chicken broth as base)
Taco Salad (you may have to make your own taco seasoning mix (see recipe below) as many mixes have dairy in them)
Pancakes and muffins made from scratch with soymilk or rice milk
Grilled meat and veggies
Tabbouleh (A yummy Lebanese salad made with cracked wheat or couscous)
Chicken Fajitas or Chicken Tacos (using Italian dressing as marinade, minus the cheese and sour cream)

Snack ideas without milk (ALWAYS double check the label):

Wheat Thins
air-popped or oil popped popcorn (most microwave contains dairy)
fruit & veggies (can use Russian or Catalina dressing to dip veggies in)
Nutter Butters
Teddy Grahams
Tortilla Chips & Salsa or Refried Beans
Cold cereal with Rice or Soymilk (Like Cheerios, Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Krispies, Crispex, Corn Pops, etc.)
Moonpie Cookies
Skittles, Starburst, Gummy Candy, etc.
Earth Balance dairy-free margarine (sold at Weis and health food stores in my area…this is BY FAR the best dairy-free margarine I’ve tried yet)
Prego Spaghetti Sauces (check label)
Graham Crackers (check labels)
Kaiser rolls and hoagie rolls
Frozen fries
Regular Potato Chips
Pretzels (check label)
Tyson’s chicken nuggets (check label)

***When I had to do egg-free baking, I liked using EnerG Egg Replacer sold at most health food stores***


In a blender, mix together:

1/4 cup dried minced onion flakes
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons salt
4 Tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin
1-1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 teaspoons dried minced garlic
3 teaspoons hot crushed red pepper

Blend all ingredients together until spices well mixed and ground up. Store taco seasoning mix in tight container. 2 Tablespoons equals one commercial package. Use as directed in recipes. To add to hamburger meat, brown one pound ground beef, add 1 Tablespoons taco mix, 1 cup water. Simmer 5 minutes.

Welcome to the Milk Allergy Companion Blog

Hi! I’m a mom of five precious cherubs who all have one thing in common. Me. Just kidding:) Actually, 4 out of 5 have all suffered in one way or another from a milk allergy. I am writing this blog because ten years ago, when it all began, I had no clue where to go or what to do to help my oldest son. If I had known what I know now, life would have definitely been easier and we would have had fewer trips to the emergency room. I hope that by posting this blog it will in some way help someone else who suffers from the same thing.

Let me start out by saying that I am NOT a doctor. Although I’ve dealt with this for ten years, I cannot be responsible for the advice given, and I encourage you to go to the appropriate source to get help for you or your child. That said, I do have a few lessons learned and “not-so-funny” stories that I’ve gone through. As I’m new to blogging, I hope that you bear with me and enjoy reading:)

In the beginning there were two college students desperately in love and willing to take the plunge into marriage. I was nineteen and he was almost 24. One month later, I was vomiting 5-20 times per day off and on for the next five months. 4 months later our oldest son was born. All seemed well until this rash appeared on his chest. He would itch it until it bled. We went to countless doctors and specialists. None of them checked for a milk allergy. We used multiple steroid creams to no avail. When he was 8-9 months old, I tried formula (I had nursed him up until that point except for one bottle in the hospital.) He immediately vomited the formula, which I thought was odd, so I continued nursing him. The rash was still present.

A few weeks later I tried yogurt. After one bite of yogurt, he went into antiphylaxis and we rushed him to the urgent care. His eyelids swelled shut, and his entire body swelled up. It was surreal. I became prenant with our second son and was still nursing, as I didn’t want to try formula again. Of course I got sick with my second pregnancy as well. My oldest son started losing weight, so naively I decided to give him a bottle of straight cow’s milk. This time his eyes rolled back and he had labored breathing. Finally we found an allergist who told us that he was allergic to milk and eggs.

And so our journey began…