Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fresh food allergy testing, going off allergy meds

Last week I took Ellie in to her allergist's office to do fresh food allergy testing. The way this works is a lot like traditional skin prick allergy testing. First the nurse used the food extracts, taking plastic pins that had been submerged in food extracts and then poking them into Ellie's back. With the extracts, Ellie had positive results for parsley and spinach. Because the results were so clear, we did not follow up with the fresh foods for parsley and spinach.

Next, came the fresh food testing. I had brought in a bunch of foods that I suspected for causing problems for Ellie. I focused on foods that cross-react with birch tree pollen since we've been suspecting Oral Allergy Syndrome, but I also threw in random foods my mama instincts told me were suspicious. It was actually very cute because Ellie was not keen on doing a second round of "pokes" but the nurse encouraged Ellie to poke the pins into the fruits and vegetables which really helped settle her down. With the fresh food testing Ellie tested positive for celery, carrots, lemon, grapefruit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making the decision to use allergy medicine

Man we have been through the wringer lately. Ellie has been very ill - up every night for hours on end with tummy aches that we can't seem to fix. We have been keeping her on a very conservative diet and yet she keeps reacting to things that used to be fine. Over the weekend I did more research online about Oral Allergy Syndrome - which her allergist suggested as a possibility on Friday - and I've become convinced that this is an issue for Ellie.

So we were faced with the decision of trying to eliminate all foods from Ellie's diet which can cross-react with environmental allergens like birch tree pollen. This would have included foods like carrots, apples, cucumbers, zucchinis and almonds, which are all critical in her extremely restricted diet. The other option was to try Singulair. Every bone in my body resisted the idea of taking one more food out of Ellie's diet so, yesterday, after a hellish night, I decided to take a leap of faith and try the Singulair. She had a better night last night (up four times, but much much better than hours of screaming). I am feeling very cautiously optimistic.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Uncovering more allergies and Oral Allergy Syndrome

The past few weeks have brought a series of revelations that I'm hopeful will someday soon bring us to a place of healing for Ellie.

How do I sum it all up? The first realization came last month when I realized Ellie was reacting to cinnamon. This opened up a new level of awareness for me that Ellie may have allergies that still have not been identified. I became more observant of symptoms like skin reactions and started to notice some interesting trends.
  • For example, Ellie recently was eating some green beans that had been sauteed in garlic and her hands got red and she started asking us to wipe them off over and over again. I put a split garlic clove on her inner arm and she developed a rash. No more garlic ....?
  • I had taken Ellie off fermented cod liver oil because I had been giving her cinnamon flavored FCLO. The new order of unflavored oil arrived and she started having tummy aches and was complaining the oil made her lips hurt. No more FCLO .... ?
  • A few weekends ago we traveled up to Seattle and in one day Ellie had crab and scallops. That night she was up vomiting for three hours until her poor tummy was completely empty. No more shellfish .... ?
This morning we went back in to Ellie's allergist to see if any of these  problems could be verified by skin prick testing. I came up with a list based on our recent experiences, including the day she got a severe stomach ache from eating a banana, and a random last-minute feeling I had that I should check walnuts.