1

votes

Are food allergy symptoms different from environmental allergy symptoms?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Took my 4 year old to the doctor Thursday because she had a wheezing cough and a fever. I have always assumed she had allergies because she is always itching her nose and sneezes several times (last I counted, 14x) in a row when she wakes up. She has had several ear infections as well. The doctors have always given me an antibiotic for the ears and zyrtec for the allergies, which they did again on Thursday. Unfortunately, this time, her breathing got worse and I had to take her to the after hours care for a breathing treatment and a rx for prednisone, which has seemed to help. She is back to normal now.

When I was at the Ped, I asked if she could be tested for allergies. They said that they don't test for allergies unless we have exhausted treatment with Zyrtec. The reason for this is that it is typically an environmental allergy such as grass or trees and there is nothing you can do for that except for use meds. I asked if there was a possibility that the allergies are food related. She said that food related allergies have different symptoms. I would really prefer to figure out what is causing her allergies rather than use meds on a daily basis. Also, the allergies are year round, so I was thinking they might be more likely to be caused by pet dander (we have a cat and dog) or dust. If that's the case, we could do something about it (get rid of pet) or take measures to reduce dust (change filters more frequently or use a air purifier of some sort).

So, after all that background, is it possible that food allergies present differently when the exposure is chronic. For example, if she is allergic to wheat, and eats it daily, is it possible that she wouldn't experience rash or an itchy throat, but might experience coughing, sneezing and runny nose? If this is a possibility, then I'm going to try an elimination diet with her.

If you managed to get through reading all this, thank you! I'd love to hear your advice/experiences.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 24, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Mandy I know that Nancy's yogurt has a very high live, active bacteria count. Besides yogurt, it may be hard to get fermented foods into her but if she will eat what ask her to then go for it!! It's true that some of the good bugs die in packaging etc. but most do live. I only use refrigerated, professional brands. Me, my family and several friends and clients (including children) have had very good luck with both VSL3 and Klaire Labs Thera-Biotic Complete Powder. Both can be easy mixed in with food. Good Luck

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Yes, I could try that, although she loves milk and cheese, unfortunately. She is so darn skinny though too, I hesitate to take the bulk of fat out of her diet.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 10:09 PM

NoBadWaves- that's not a bad idea. I usually have both kids in the appointment..I should bring a notebook. Yes, it is possible to do an elimination diet. I've been thinking of doing the whole 30 again, so maybe I can get the entire family on board. We don't do a lot of processed foods, but there are some that sneak in for sure.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 10:06 PM

My understanding is that it can be kind of traumatic too. I can't imagine it's any more traumatic than having blood drawn at the 1 year appointment though.

F9013a3c7944d40c983e955f3cc83627

(320)

on July 23, 2012
at 05:27 PM

i can totally relate with going to the ped and not remembering anything that was said.. haha... between managing my child (who is not the type to sit still and 2 yr/o) and all the info... I had a hard time. I ask my mother to come with me now.. :) she can entertain him while I listen. and @Jenny, that makes sense. I have heard that they are not terribly reliable tests. @Mandy... is it possible to do a food elimination diet to see if its indeed a food allergy?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on July 23, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Yay air filters! Also, having the heat pump at my parents house makes it this little haven of no allergies that I love.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on July 23, 2012
at 02:35 PM

Not defending the doc, because I think it's stupid to exhaust Zurtec, but some doctors are very hesitant to allergy tests b/c of the false positives/negatives. They'd rather see if something else works first.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Good to know, thank you. She is done with the antibiotic now, but for next time...yogurt for breakfast, medicine a couple hours later.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 23, 2012
at 08:40 AM

Yogurt and kefir can both be helpful while taking antibiotics, the trick is to take antibiotics at least 2 hours away from probiotics or they end up sort of cancelling each other out.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:23 PM

Yes, I wasn't very happy with that response. They said they could eventually do a blood panel, but I was a bit overwhelmed with all the info and med info that I don't remember exactly what was said. They try to avoid the scratch test (not sure exact name, but where they do 50 pokes on the back) on kids who are so young. I think I'm going to switch peds anyway...I can't remember the last time we saw their actual doctor.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Now that you say that, I think I read that at some point too (re: wheat being a grass). I'm going to research cross-reacting foods. Thanks!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:17 PM

Thanks, Luckie. She seems to be doing well with the prednisone. Can you recommend some fermented foods that a child would eat? I'm going to do some research on all of this, but of course it's always nice to have personal suggestions. The only thing I know re: probiotics is yogurt. She loves yogurt. I buy the plain, whole fat and add honey or homemade jam. Honestly not sure how helpful yogurt is while on antibiotics?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:14 PM

Thanks, Crowlover for your kind response. I'm not sure if they can know definitively if the infection is bacterial. She has been on antibiotics at least 3x a year for the past couple of years...my other daughter has too. I breastfed them both for more than two years, go figure. I will look into the allergy protectors/air purifiers. Thanks. Any more info on probiotics would be very appreciated (from anyone). I don't know much about them or about fermented foods.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 22, 2012
at 08:01 AM

I second the probiotics for sure, and I would recommend fermented foods rather than the pills, if you can get the child to eat them. Many of the probiotic pills contain dead bacteria, which does no good whatsoever. Prednisone can be rough for adults (I can't take it myself, that stuff makes me go off the deep end) so I can't imagine the effects it could have on a child.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 21, 2012
at 04:53 PM

Thanks for responding. That makes sense. Come to think of it, I've often heard of people getting congested from drinking beer....that's less severe than having your throat close up or one of the more expected signs of a food allergy. I think I'm going to try elimination....

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6 Answers

3
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on July 21, 2012
at 08:18 PM

Mandy are the ear infections bacterial? I sure hope so with all the courses of antibiotics. Several courses in a four year old will not be good for her immune system. Please give her hefty doses of probiotics for a while (I personally would give her highish doses for 4 weeks and then taper to a lower dose for months, given her several courses of antibiotics)

Is there is dust mite/allergy protector on her mattress? That is very helpful. Pillows too.

Austin Air makes top notch filters for houses and bedrooms (the junior size) They are very helpful for asthma and allergies. Look into it if you can.

http://austinair.com/

Take good care.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 22, 2012
at 08:01 AM

I second the probiotics for sure, and I would recommend fermented foods rather than the pills, if you can get the child to eat them. Many of the probiotic pills contain dead bacteria, which does no good whatsoever. Prednisone can be rough for adults (I can't take it myself, that stuff makes me go off the deep end) so I can't imagine the effects it could have on a child.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:17 PM

Thanks, Luckie. She seems to be doing well with the prednisone. Can you recommend some fermented foods that a child would eat? I'm going to do some research on all of this, but of course it's always nice to have personal suggestions. The only thing I know re: probiotics is yogurt. She loves yogurt. I buy the plain, whole fat and add honey or homemade jam. Honestly not sure how helpful yogurt is while on antibiotics?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:14 PM

Thanks, Crowlover for your kind response. I'm not sure if they can know definitively if the infection is bacterial. She has been on antibiotics at least 3x a year for the past couple of years...my other daughter has too. I breastfed them both for more than two years, go figure. I will look into the allergy protectors/air purifiers. Thanks. Any more info on probiotics would be very appreciated (from anyone). I don't know much about them or about fermented foods.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 23, 2012
at 08:40 AM

Yogurt and kefir can both be helpful while taking antibiotics, the trick is to take antibiotics at least 2 hours away from probiotics or they end up sort of cancelling each other out.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Good to know, thank you. She is done with the antibiotic now, but for next time...yogurt for breakfast, medicine a couple hours later.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 24, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Mandy I know that Nancy's yogurt has a very high live, active bacteria count. Besides yogurt, it may be hard to get fermented foods into her but if she will eat what ask her to then go for it!! It's true that some of the good bugs die in packaging etc. but most do live. I only use refrigerated, professional brands. Me, my family and several friends and clients (including children) have had very good luck with both VSL3 and Klaire Labs Thera-Biotic Complete Powder. Both can be easy mixed in with food. Good Luck

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 23, 2012
at 08:45 AM

My environmental allergies are far worse when I'm off plan and have been eating wheat for a few weeks. That is one of the things that keeps bringing me back, I hate having a stuffy nose.

HEPA air filters have made a huge difference for my family. My hubby loves cats, but is somewhat allergic to them, and the filter makes it possible for him to live pretty comfortably with our cat. We have one in our bedroom and one in our living room. We can tell when the one in our room accidentally gets turned off because everyone wakes up stuffy.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on July 23, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Yay air filters! Also, having the heat pump at my parents house makes it this little haven of no allergies that I love.

1
4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

on July 23, 2012
at 02:11 AM

I have food allergies and they manifest as full/plugged ears, sinus drainage and, sometimes, itchy eyes. Fortunately, none of mine are life-threatening food allergies. I also get a tight chest/wheezing from wheat - the sinuses and full ears are sometimes from gluten, but mostly from dairy. Have you tried removing all gluten and dairy from your daughter's diet?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Yes, I could try that, although she loves milk and cheese, unfortunately. She is so darn skinny though too, I hesitate to take the bulk of fat out of her diet.

1
F9013a3c7944d40c983e955f3cc83627

on July 22, 2012
at 11:45 AM

find a different doctor.

"they said that they don't test for allergies unless we have exhausted treatment with Zyrtec"

bc giving someone a pill is so much easier than actually finding out the root issues.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:23 PM

Yes, I wasn't very happy with that response. They said they could eventually do a blood panel, but I was a bit overwhelmed with all the info and med info that I don't remember exactly what was said. They try to avoid the scratch test (not sure exact name, but where they do 50 pokes on the back) on kids who are so young. I think I'm going to switch peds anyway...I can't remember the last time we saw their actual doctor.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on July 23, 2012
at 02:35 PM

Not defending the doc, because I think it's stupid to exhaust Zurtec, but some doctors are very hesitant to allergy tests b/c of the false positives/negatives. They'd rather see if something else works first.

F9013a3c7944d40c983e955f3cc83627

(320)

on July 23, 2012
at 05:27 PM

i can totally relate with going to the ped and not remembering anything that was said.. haha... between managing my child (who is not the type to sit still and 2 yr/o) and all the info... I had a hard time. I ask my mother to come with me now.. :) she can entertain him while I listen. and @Jenny, that makes sense. I have heard that they are not terribly reliable tests. @Mandy... is it possible to do a food elimination diet to see if its indeed a food allergy?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 10:06 PM

My understanding is that it can be kind of traumatic too. I can't imagine it's any more traumatic than having blood drawn at the 1 year appointment though.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 23, 2012
at 10:09 PM

NoBadWaves- that's not a bad idea. I usually have both kids in the appointment..I should bring a notebook. Yes, it is possible to do an elimination diet. I've been thinking of doing the whole 30 again, so maybe I can get the entire family on board. We don't do a lot of processed foods, but there are some that sneak in for sure.

1
Ca8111fb6e3bac177373a82f5d33910d

(135)

on July 22, 2012
at 05:16 AM

Wheat exacerbates my allergy symptoms - someone pointed out once that wheat is a grass, and I am allergic to most grasses. I get the same or worse symptoms fom corn. Milk causes chest congestion fot me.
Also, research cross-reacting foods (I wish I had a picture of the poster that hangs at the allergy clinic I used to go to - it listed a lot of not-so-well-known cross-reactors, including a lot of fruits).

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 22, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Now that you say that, I think I read that at some point too (re: wheat being a grass). I'm going to research cross-reacting foods. Thanks!

1
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on July 21, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Yes, it's a possibility. An allergic reaction is an allergic reaction. Sensitivities are a little harder to identify, but either way, eliminating foods that may be problematic can't hurt. Personally, I have several food allergies and sometimes the first obvious sign is a sore throat and stomach ache from sinus drainage. There are other allergic reactions going on in my body before this, of course. I am just less aware of them.

It's sad that you'd be told to let a little one suffer through so many bouts of this.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on July 21, 2012
at 04:53 PM

Thanks for responding. That makes sense. Come to think of it, I've often heard of people getting congested from drinking beer....that's less severe than having your throat close up or one of the more expected signs of a food allergy. I think I'm going to try elimination....

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