Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Update on Aiden's possible food allergies...

If you haven't read/heard about what happened with Aiden's reaction to his birthday cake icing, check THIS out first.

We went to the ENT today to have Aiden tested. While there, we ran into no needles, were instructed on doing some "testing" at home, and learned lot of other information.

First of all, the allergy part. The dr is pretty sure it was the dye, which would be more of a contact dermatitis issue versus an actual food allergy (I'm still not too sure what the difference would be in this situation, and regardless, if this is it, Aiden is to not eat things with dye in them). That kind of test is more expensive and typically not covered by insurance - and an at home test gives you the same (but immediate and cheap) results, so he recommended just that. Ryan picked up some of the dye from the bakery, and Aiden now has a drop of it on his back, covered by a bandaid (fittingly, a Curious George bandaid). We'll see what it shows tomorrow! (We could have found out sooner, but we would need to put the dye on his face or the inside of his elbow - difficult for a baby to keep a bandaid there for a small amount of time without grabbing at it. So, the other option is to have it on his back - where he can't grab at it - and keep it there longer.) If he has a reaction, the culprit is the dye. What to do then?? Avoid dyes for a full year...and then do the same test over to see if he has outgrown it or not. What if there is no reaction? We go back to the doctor for some blood work. (They do not do the skin pricks for babies this young - just skip to the blood work.)

We'll see tomorrow what his skin shows us...

We also got the chance to chat with our doctor for quite a while! He was very thorough and took the time to explain...well, more than we even needed to know (which I happen to like). One thing we learned is that since Aiden's blood type is A, Ryan and I both have OA blood types (they just usually say O). I know I am O+, but Ryan doesn't know what he is (which I have repeatedly insisted he find out...) - according to this doctor, he HAS to be this other type if Aiden is type A. We KNOW Aiden is type A because we had to have him retested when he was born. (The hospital had two different types written in his hospital paperwork - good thing we read through the whole thing! So, we had to test again to find out which it was.) Interesting... Something else about type A people...they have more digestive issues than others. The doctor said they make up about 15% of the population but over 70% of his patients. Did not know.

Then the doctor talked with me a bit about my own possible food allergies...that I keep saying I need to get tested for but haven't. Long story short, I may have a wheat allergy/intolerance. My symptoms are quite different than what you would expect - joint problems. I always expect people to kind of give me a strange look when they hear that; that is not what you would think would happen because of a food allergy. I've been to so many doctors that never considered food when dealing with my joint problems. Over years, the problems spread from my knees to include my wrists - and I've been diagnosed with so many things and forced to wear wrist guards and do all kinds of exercises... When it spread to my ankles, as well, and I was in excruciating pain just sitting (forget trying to drive long distances or type for more than a minute), I knew it had to be something else. My mom (who has lots of food allergies) suggested food...try taking wheat out and see what happens. The pain went AWAY! The rheumatologist I had been seeing tested me for Celiac, which was negative (both types of tests), but he said...maybe we're onto something here. Anyway, back to today - this doctor went right along with me. Never skipped a beat. He said it's very likely that is the type of reaction I have to an allergy. Has to do with the type of allergy I have and...while I understood all he said, I don't remember all the names/acronyms...something settles into the joints, and after they build up...pain. When you stop consuming the food, the pain will go away fairly quickly. And it will take time for it to build up again once you start eating the foods again. This is quite different than other types of reactions that can take years to stop (or to be able to eat the foods - after which one might have an immediate reaction). Ok - maybe that wasn't quite so short... This doctor had a similar type of reaction to other foods, so he said once it builds back up and my pain is back - come in for the testing. :) I went off wheat right before getting pregnant. Since then I've eaten some, but I had a bread aversion during the pregnancy, so I didn't eat much at all! I eat it now and have been for the past year or more. Thing is...recently I've noticed pain in my wrists and knees more often. Hmmm... I'll wait until it's back more than this, though, because he said there needs to be a good amount built up in order for it to show up in the tests. Might be seeing him again sometime in the next year - and not for Aiden.

So, back to Aiden...we have the dye on there now but won't be looking at it until tomorrow evening. He said to keep it on the back for 24 hours. More news then, I suppose. We'll either be avoiding food dyes or going back for more tests.

The doctor did sing my praises for breastfeeding Aiden (and told me to keep doing it as long as possible - love hearing that!!). Breastfeeding helps to prevent possible allergies. He gave me a detailed explanation (that I have actually read about)...briefly, it has to do with how the digestive system matures, which isn't until the child is older (about 3 or so). And then we've been making Aiden's food and giving him whole, organic foods and avoiding processed/artificial foods, all of which help. Throughout the whole time we met, he would keep coming back to how wonderful it was that I breastfed and how we did the foods. Very validating! And it feels great to know that we did what was best for Aiden, especially considering the problems that can (and kind of are) arising and his possible predisposition to many allergy and digestive-type problems (family history, eczema issues, the blood type thing - which I had no idea about..., etc). We've also been told to go easy on the dairy, even though he's had some without problems. The dr suggested rice milk. And even though he's eaten eggs with no problem, we're to do the skin test with egg whites, as well.

We do have an appointment with a pediatric allergist at Duke... We're still debating on whether or not to keep that appointment. We'll see.

We'll post more updates later. Thank you all for your concern, thoughts, prayers - all of it! We really appreciate it.


Becky said...

Can't wait to hear the results.

I'm a little confused by your explanation of your blood types. I thought to be O you had to be OO since O blood type is recessive. To be A blood type you can either be AO or AA (B is BO or B and AB is just AB) If Aiden is A he is AO if you are O, therefore Ryan has to be AA, AO or AB. (The + or - is the Rh factor and added on top of the other blood type, - is recessive)

Daisy and Ryan said...

Now I'm confused... I'm not sure. This is just what the dr said to us. I'll have to look into it. Ryan really doesn't know what he is...but he needs to find out. He can't give blood, which would be an easy way to find out (that's how I found out, I believe). Not sure he's asked his mom. I keep getting onto him about this; it drives me crazy! He has a heart condition - so all the more reason to need to know.

Maybe he was saying Ryan has to be a type with A in it, or else it's impossible for Aiden to be A? I'll have to look into it some more.

Mom4Change said...

I came across your blog by accident, but I would love to share some information with you about food dyes. Regardless of your sons allergic reactions to the dyes, I urge you to steer clear from these harmful food dyes. They are petroleum based and they are very unhealthy for a growing child - contributing to hyper-activity, behavioral problems, etc. .. please see my blog at www.reddyefree.blogspot.com and help to spread the news with others that you care about. Sincerely,

Daisy and Ryan said...

Thanks, Cayla

We actually do try to steer away from as much of the artificial colors/flavors and processed foods in general. I think whole, natural (and organic when we can) foods are the way to go. :) I had actually thought - if it were the dye he was allergic to...maybe a couple of the grandparents would have to stop giving the kids some of the junk food they give (right now it's just with the older one, but I know soon they'll be giving Aiden stuff, too...). At least the older one just eats a little when we're visiting and then tends to forget about it when we get home! ;) Thanks for the link - I'll have to check it out. And thanks for visiting the blog!

Mom4Change said...

You're welcome. I had trouble with family too at first, but after seeing a difference in Kaden's behavior and reading my ongoing blog, they really check their ingredients well before allowing him to eat anything. They finally, "get it" and why it is so important. Feel free to pass my blog along to others who need a little extra convincing. You sound like you are doing an incredible job raising your children! :)