Monday, January 11, 2010

Food Challenge!

Food Challenge!
Today we spent a good 3 hours at the allergist's office.

Let me just give a quick (I mean quick) recap-
When I weaned our son at around 11 months old we found out he was allergic to dairy. We still gave him a lot of baked goods and things like that- just avoided the main sources of milk. When my son was 18 months old he was given a blood test for his dairy allergies and he scored a 21. After that result we were told by his pediatrician and by his current allergist to take him off of all things dairy, processed or not and even butter and it was even serious enough this time to carry around an epi-pen. The only chance he had of outgrowing it was to stay away from all forms of dairy for at least 2 years. In June we switched allergists and repeated the blood test only to find out that the score went from 21 to 80. Our new allergist (whom we love by the way) was just as surprised as we were, especially since we had done everything we were told to do. He said in no way could we ever do a food challenge with it being in those dangerous levels. He told us to retest him again in 6 months just to see what happens. Those results came back last week and now he scored an 86. I spoke with the allergist over the phone (he's 1 1/2 hours away from us-that's what it took to find a good one!)
He was just as curious as I was to the fact that when we take our kids completely off these foods, we could actually be increasing their allergies, not reducing them. Now that his body has gone so long without these foods- his immune system goes into major attack mode. Even though he told me he would never do a food challenge with those scores, he went on a whim and said to bring him in anyway. If we could get him eating anything with dairy in it we could maybe bring his immune system up to tolerating dairy completely.
Most allergists would never do this, I know. My allergist says, well-the other method isn't working-lets try something else.
So that brings me to today. I packed up a cooler full of baked goods and drove an hour and a half to the appointment. I was scared to death sitting in that lab room! He tells me to break off a piece of bread with milk and give it to him. Nothing happens. Pretty much that's the way it went, waiting about 20 minutes between each test for a full 3 hours. He passed white bread with butter ingredients, wheat bread with whey, blueberry muffin with whey, pancake I made this morning with skim milk, goldfish and get this- even a string cheese!
My allergist has no scientific reasoning for this. It's weird I know. So he basically gave us the okay to give our son all processed dairy foods. It's kind of like giving your baby solids for the first time...you start small and work up to things. I just hope and pray that it will all work out. Then I would be really curious to see if his blood test gets lower over the next year just from exposures to processed milk.
For now that's it, but I do have a really great dairy free bread recipe to share- hopefully this week!

5 comments:

A.J. Dub. said...

I stumbled across your blog via Alyse and Bob's, and was curious to know what in dairy your son is allergic to. Our 8 year old is allergic to something in milk, we think the protein itself, so he uses soy milk for his cereal in the am. He still eats ice cream from time to time, yogurt almost daily and cheese at least weekly. He gets gassy now when he overdoes it, but when he was little it manifested in a rash on his face wherever the milk (or formula) touched, sometimes diarrhea,and he would get congested which led to many, many ear infections. He has grown more tolerant of it obviously, since he is pretty much back to a regular diet, but straight up milk hits him hard.
I am interested to see what happens with your son. We never took ours to an allergist, just took him off milk as per pediatricians advice, and then slowly added it back into his diet as he tolerated it.

Nicole said...

That's so weird. And so frustrating when you have no answers! One reason why we got our son tested was because of how random his allergies were. Before he was 18 months old he could eat breads and goldfish, but if he touched a cheeto he would start to close up. He had anaphylaxis to macoroni and cheese and stuff like that too. My husband is thinking it was casein and whey, but then again tonight he tried several things with whey. My allergist was telling me that every dairy allergy is different and that they don't have many answers for some results. Peanut allergies on the other hand pretty much follow the same suites with each case. Feel free to email me though if you have any questions or anything!

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness, Nicole, what a roller coaster! I can't believe Scott is allowed to eat forms of dairy - it seems so strange. I hope it all goes well. Keep us posted!

Heather said...

Wow, that is crazy! Hopefully this means a "normal" diet someday... now that you've mastered being dairy free :) good luck, hope it goes well!

Holly said...

Wouldn't that be wonderful if he actually could start eating dairy regularly? You have been so amazing with the dairy free and I have no doubt your blog is read by many other moms who need the experience you've gained. But, I'll bet it would be much easier if Scott could eat dairy again. I'll keep my fingers crossed for both of you!