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So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Tue Nov 05, 2013 09:41 PM
Locked by Theresa (28613) on 2014-09-21 22:37:14 Done

So, I think James has a food allergy. Follow me.

A while ago, a mom at the studio that owns a small bakery brings cupcakes in. James and I are both enjoying a cupcake (seperate cupcakes). All the sudden, he's in tears with a stomach ache. I make him stop eating the cupcake and throw it away, the stomach ache eventually subsides. She's brought in cupcakes a couple of times since, and I don't let him eat them.

Monday night he's at my aunt's house, having Chicken Pot Pie and a glass of milk. The chicken pot pie is from a local bakery. My aunt says he's floating right along, eating away, and he gets up and leaves. My aunt, of course, assumes he's gone to the bathroom. He comes back, and he's in tears with a stomach ache (and he reported feeling "extra puffy", but no nausea. And he didn't have to go to the bathroom. So she stops him from eating, the stomach ache eventually subsides. He pulls a little bit of a rally and tries the pumpkin pie from the same bakery. No reported stomach ache in the second case (not to say that there wasn't one, but I wasn't informed of one...)

Tonight at dance, one of the girls brings in cupcakes. Plain Jane, Funfetti cupcake mix, frosted with whipped cream and chocolate chips instead of sprinkles.

He eats about a quarter of the cupcake, and I look down, and he's holding it out to me, with a look that's kind of a mixture of worry and confusion. I ask if the cupcake is starting to make him feel bad again, and he says yes. He later went "Well, I kind of didn't like it...", but since his gut reaction was to tell me it was making him feel bad, I'm kind of inclined to go with it.

So...what do I do here? I'm quite confident this isn't a matter of food safety - the mom that owns the bakery, she and I actually discussed it, and she's got kids that have numerous food allergies, so she's extra careful. The mom that made the Funfetti cupcake, I trust, and I trust the business that made the Chicken Pot Pie (and my aunt to handle it and serve it appropriately). And in each case, there was no reporting of feeling ill either before or after the reported incidents.

And I'd kind of go "Man, stomach ache. That sucks.", if each case weren't so similar. You know? He reports virtually identical symptoms each time, the length of time until the symptoms subside is the same, the foods are all remarkably similar, it's too much the same to just be a coincidence.

So, food allergy patients - what do I do here? I really hate to go to elimination diet without doctor supervision, since he doesn't much to begin with. But is that the next step?

45 Replies to So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?

re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Tishwah Comments: 586, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:30 PM
I was diagnosed with a serious food allergy through a skin scratch test as a toddler (over 30 years ago), that was given following a significant allergic (anaphylactic!) reaction to something I was fed at preschool.

I am trying to think what in the cupcakes or bakery products it could be, any food (any thing at all!) is a potential allergin, it is amazing what people are allergic to. I guess you would know already if it was the obvious ones like milk/lactose, eggs, suger etc, I wonder if it is something in the pastry?
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:31 PM
Has he been tested for celiac disease or gluten intolerances? It seems like all the foods he reacted too are baked goods?

Here is the HUGE problem that I had to deal with. You can't get tested for celiacs disease if you do an elimination diet. You need the gluten to wreck havoc on his system in order for the tests to pick up damage. My doctor said I needed to be eating gluten daily for at least 2 months before actually being tested.

This is going to suck seeing your child suffer. When I eat gluten, my stomach gets super puffy and I get a stomach ache. You need to talk to his doctor to see what he says. I have a feeling that you can't put him on an elimination diet because you need the " bad foods" in order to pick up celiacs.

Has he been tested for food allergies in general? Baked goods also have milk in them so it could be a lactose thing. Doctor is the first step I say, before any type of change in his diet.

Comment #10151862 deleted
Removed by hummingbird (128773) on 2013-11-08 07:50:05 Double post.

re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Tishwah Comments: 586, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:33 PM
I think DDN just ate my reply?

Trying again, my serious food allergy was diagnosed after a skin scratch test when I was a toddler after I had a significant (anaphylactic) reaction to something I ate at preschool.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:37 PM
If you hit " reply" you can see all the posts that were being eaten. Here's the only way I see ours, I'm just posting to see if this actually fixes anything.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By CaffeinePremium member Comments: 3194, member since Wed Aug 08, 2007
On Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:38 PM
Edited by Caffeine (183827) on 2013-11-05 23:46:22
I had a reply typed up, but the browser crashed :(

The following is stuff I gleaned from N, when his family were trying to find the source of his food allergies when he was a kid (don't know yet if M has inherited his allergies or not) - others may have better info for you:

~Keep a food diary, listing everything he eats, what symptoms he has and how long they last. (might be tricky given his diet/fat issues from a while back, but stress its to find out what makes him feel bad, and thats it). If he has a reaction, keep the packaging, or get a full list of ingredients (from the bakery/bakerymom)so you can try and pinpoint the culprit. From what you said, it sort of sounds like wheat/gluten, but it could realistically be anything...

~ Do see your doctor (James's pediatrician? Nutritionist? Allergist for a skin test? All of the above?) They'll help you manage an elimination diet so James can still eat something, and work with you to determine whether its a true allergy or a food intolerance. You mentioned a while back that James had hayfever-type allergies - from what N told me with his, sometimes some grass/pollen allergies can trigger or be related to food allergies.

Poor kid. He really can't take a trick when it comes to food issues, can he? :(
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Odessamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11250, member since Tue Feb 26, 2002
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 02:01 AM
Go to the doctor for allergy testing. It could be a gluten intolerance.

Erin.
::righteous babe::
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Tishwah Comments: 586, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 04:16 AM
Trying again!

I got an official diagnosis of my serious food allergy via a skin scratch test after having a significant allergic reaction (anaphylactic!) to something I was fed at preschool (over 30 years ago). Never had an elimination diet.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 05:29 AM
They can do a blood test to test food allergies. The upside is that it is much quicker and doesn't hurt as much as the skin scratch tests. The bad thing is that most insurances don't cover it, its expensive, and the tests don't come back for a couple weeks. I've had a lot of clients that were really happy with their results and eliminating certain foods helped their digestion a lot!
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By majahayes Comments: 92, member since Mon Dec 01, 2008
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 06:26 AM
I'd be inclined to think its more of an intolerance, than allergy. Allergies generally include hives and swelling, intolerances generally fall under stomach aches and bloating. But in either case an allergy test should find out the cause. Good Luck, I hope he feels better soon.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11321, member since Sun Nov 23, 2003
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 06:31 AM
Well, first stop would be pediatrician. An allergist isn't going to be helpful if he has celiac disease. I would recommend a pediatric GI doc over an allergist, because it really does sound like gluten intolerance.

Does he react to any of the things in baked goods by itself? Eggs, milk, butter? If not, yep, gluten is your best bet. And like YYD said, don't put him on an elimination diet if you want answers.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 06:38 AM
Poor kid. He really can't take a trick when it comes to food issues, can he?


He really can't, can he?!

We'd seen the allergist at one point, and the allergist, without even touching him, went "Oh yeah, this is a kid with allergies!" but we didn't delve too much in to food allergies. Because he was so small at the time (he was 4 - and most allergists will tell you kids don't mature in to allergies until they're between 5 and 6), they didn't test for things, unless I said I'd noticed a funny reaction to them. He broke out in hives from eating Froot Loops once, so they tested him for all the dyes, for example. And, perhaps tellingly, he's not eaten Froot Loops since that incident either.

I'm hesitant to keep a journal if I don't have to. Traditionally, he's not handled that well. Plus, now he's at school, and I work a couple of nights a week so he's not always with me. He doesn't take it well, and my pipeline to his comings and goings ain't quite what it used to be.

Thanks everybody. I wanted to try to get out in front of the doctor on this one, but if it is gluten, it almost sounds like it's best to not.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 08:14 AM
It may just be easier to take him to an allergist and have him tested. I'm not a master chef, so I'm not sure of any possible similarities of ingredients in cupcakes and chicken pot pie. I have a few allergies that are really peculiar, but thank fully none are food allergies, therefore making elimination much easier for me. But since he's so picky, I'd take him to a doctor.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 08:38 AM
Another thing to watch out for is his emotional well being after gluten.

Something really bizarre happens to me after eating gluten. I feel like only 50% of my brain works, I have melt downs, get super exhausted and I almost feel like I am in a trance or stuck in fog. I am not sure if I am explaining myself, but I almost feel like everything is slowed down, people tell me I slur a bit, and my personality is just not there. It starts a couple of hours after eating gluten, and it lasts a couple of days for me.

So I would also watch for GI problems AND a " change" in his personality.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 08:59 AM
Take him to an allergist and have him tested.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 09:15 AM
Sounds a lot like gluten intolerance. His pediatrician will be able to order testing. Even if the test for celiac disease is negative, he could still be gluten intolerant. I know several people who tested negative for celiac but can't tolerate gluten in their diets. Most likely if it was true celiac disease he'd be reacting to a lot more than chicken pot pie and cupcakes. Poor kid. I hope you can get answers soon.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By majahayes Comments: 92, member since Mon Dec 01, 2008
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 09:33 AM
I think it would be more of an intolerance than an allergy. Allergies generally involve things like hives and rashes and swelling. Intolerances generally involve upset stomach, and bloating. Regardless of which an allergy test should tell you what is it is.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:14 AM
Something really bizarre happens to me after eating gluten. I feel like only 50% of my brain works, I have melt downs, get super exhausted and I almost feel like I am in a trance or stuck in fog. I am not sure if I am explaining myself, but I almost feel like everything is slowed down, people tell me I slur a bit, and my personality is just not there. It starts a couple of hours after eating gluten, and it lasts a couple of days for me.


That's SO FUNNY you mention that. One of the first things that got us on the trail of checking him for allergies was a reaction to a Nutrigrain bar. He was 3, maybe 4 at the most, and he ate a Nutrigrain bar for breakfast. And I swear, it was like someone put the kid in slow motion. It was BIZARRE. So that's when I started chatting allergies with his doctor. He's on allegra and singulair right now, but if he's got food issues, they probably wouldn't take care of that.

And really? I've talked a lot about James' issues with food on here - wouldn't some sort of allergy/intolerance issue make SO MUCH of his issues with food make so much more sense?! It doesn't account for the body image issues, sure, but food giving him stomach aches would explain so much...
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do? (karma: 1)
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:36 AM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2013-11-06 11:44:35
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2013-11-06 12:03:32
I am not a doctor, but James seems to have similar issues that I do to gluten. With the stomach pains plus the weird personality shift, I would say time to take him to a doctor. Don't cut his gluten yet, because they would probably need him to keep eating it to check for the celiacs.

It would really explain why he is scared of eating. Having a gluten intolerance can be best explained by the cramps dealing with " the runs" and cramps during your period. You know that kneeling over pain you get? THAT'S what it feels like for me. Putting body issues aside, it can explain why James is super picky with food. I venture to guess that he isn't quite afraid of becoming fat( like you mentioned in the past) but maybe he didn't have a better way of explaining why he didnt feel well? I know you were on a diet for a while, and maybe he correlated himself feeling bad because of the gluten, to the fear of being fat, because of it being " bad" based on Jillian Michaels tapes etc.

Heck , if you felt like PMS cramps each time you ate gluten( and the kid himself don't know which foods gluten is in) I would be afraid to eat ANYTHING.
I hope you can get answers for James. It isn't just physical stomach pains but also the mental ones that make gluten intolerances so bad.

The mental aspect feels like a combination of eating too much turkey and being tipsy. Not quite drunk, but enough of a tipsy to know you probably shouldn't be taking any midterms.
Has his teacher complained about him losing focus certain days? See if maybe that correlates to what you packed him for lunch.

Not sure what the doctor is going to say, but it is possible they may put him on an elimination diet without testing. My friend has a kid who lost so much weight, that they couldn't get her to eat anything because of the fear of stomach aches. At that point, they didn't want her eating the gluten to test for it, because she was already so thin they couldn't afford for her to not eat for 2 months due to the fear.
Gluten is in things that you wouldn't even think to look for it. If gluten is indeed the case, you will have to cook from scratch a lot and not get pre packed foods. A lot of foods sneak in flour as a thickener, even in candies. It is a tough change for sure, but I can give you recipes to help out if you want. You may even need to make your own bread because even the gluten free ones sometimes contain traces of gluten, and if it is celiacs, even a tiny bit can trigger.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11321, member since Sun Nov 23, 2003
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 01:40 PM
Gluten sucks, and almost everyone's reaction to it can be different. Husband feels "fuzzy" but also gets a splitting headache immdefiately after eating foods with gluten in it--even little bits. And then there's all the fun intestinal/stomach problems he gets as well. It really runs down your immune system--which may be contributing to some of his hay fever-like symptoms.

Gluten is insiduous--it really is in everything. And you're gonna have to be very vigilant, if gluten is upsetting his poor tummy. For example, potatoes & oil are gluten free, but if that fryer has been used to fry ANYTHING else besides fries, there's traces of gluten and my husband will get sick eating in any place that doesn't have a dedicated fryer. Most freaking SOY SAUCES have gluten in them. Lots of salad dressings have gluten. Twizzlers have gluten! If this is indeed his problem, it's gonna drive you crazy at first but if you need any help, I'm a FB message away.

I'm not gluten-intolerant like the hubs, but I've gone paleo for thyroid health...it's been kind of a mixed blessing, and is heavy on the pocketbook, but in general I have felt so much better physically. Your life is not over without gluten, I promise!
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 02:10 PM
Edited by saaammie (221634) on 2013-11-06 14:11:21
It definitely sounds like an allergy of some sort.

However, (I'm just throwing this out there)
Could his body image issues be affecting him? He eats a cupcake, feels anxious, gets a stomach ache?
Or he might unconciously be using a stomach ache to not have to eat? I don't know if such young children are capable of that kind of behavior but it's just a thought.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 25878, member since Tue Jul 16, 2002
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 02:21 PM
It definitely sounds like a gluten issue to me. I cook enough to know that pot pie and cupcakes share a lot of ingredients. See if his pediatrician can recommend him to a GI who works with kids?

My cousin, aunt, & grandfather (on my mother's side) all have celiac. My cousin wasn't diagnosed until he was well into his 20s. His symptoms were exhaustion, bloating, mood swings, and cognitive imparment. He couldn't focus to save his life after eating a lot of gluten. His doctor told him to try 30 days gluten free. After less than 2 weeks, he was a different person. He lost a ton of weight, his moods were much more stable, and he generally felt like a much happier person. Once I pass the 6 month mark of not having seizures and have access to my own kitchen, I'm going to try it myself (and with my neurologist's approval). I also discovered there are levels of gluten intolerance and James' might be more severe.
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By slice Comments: 1247, member since Fri Oct 15, 2004
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 02:26 PM
YumYumDoughnut wrote:

Gluten is in things that you wouldn't even think to look for it. If gluten is indeed the case, you will have to cook from scratch a lot and not get pre packed foods. A lot of foods sneak in flour as a thickener, even in candies. It is a tough change for sure, but I can give you recipes to help out if you want. You may even need to make your own bread because even the gluten free ones sometimes contain traces of gluten, and if it is celiacs, even a tiny bit can trigger.


Yeah, and the sucky thing is now that it's a bit of a diet trend right now, a lot of companies and restaurants are trying to push out "gluten free" versions of their products to make money. Which you'd think would be a good thing, but since these companies attribute aversion to gluten to the fad versus people who actually have food intolerances, they don't see a problem with having trace (or even more than what you'd consider "trace") amounts of gluten in what they sell. So, yeah that's great for people on diets or with very mild reactions to gluten, but for people with actual allergies it's almost harder to find foods to eat since there's no way of delineating between gluten-free and "gluten-free".
re: So...I think James has a food allergy. What do I do?
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Wed Nov 06, 2013 03:03 PM
Everyone wants to peg this on Celiac, but other than three foods you've mentioned, has he had any other strange reactions to food with gluten in it? Gluten, as mentioned, is in pretty much everything these days. Especially kid friendly foods. I would venture a guess that if it was Celiac, he'd be in a world of hurt far more often. Of course, that's just a guess and assumption.
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