We figured out Allergy Bub (bub) had food allergies at about 9 months, when she stared vomiting and coming out in hives after eating certain foods. I actually thought she had caught chicken pox from one of her little pals but a fantastic friend suggested that the rash was in fact hives and that bub may be allergic to something. Boom! Suddenly it all started to make sense; the sleepless nights, the screaming and rubbing of the face in the high chair during meal times and general grouchy behaviour.
One by one, we started eliminating the culprits beginning with dairy, then nuts, followed by egg and finally gluten. At each elimination, bub seemed to improve and now sleeps much better both through the night and during the day and is quite a happy, cheeky little monkey.
We tried hydrolised protein formula milks but the taste of mummy milk had corrupted her! As a result, I breastfed till bub was about 18 months and had to change my diet too. However, now bub drinks hemp milk and is eating ever increasing amounts of food during meal times.
Baby-led weaning, though at times hideously messy, has been quite helpful in that if a food causes an instant reaction, bub will avoid it or throw it like a missle across the kitchen floor!
For a long time I thought I was actually going bonkers and that I was making bub’s allergies up. The negative blood tests on dairy and gluten confirmed this! But she did come up positive for egg, peanut and sesame. Something still wasn’t right – every time she ate dairy, wheat or meat she would sleep badly and have blood in her stool. I felt helpless and that nobody was listening. However, I persevered and armed with a detailed food diary done in Excel by food and reaction I paid the cash and went to see a food allergy specialist at St.Thomas’s in London. He confirmed that but had FPIES (food protein induced entercolitis) basically her gut was unable to digest protein. Once we eliminated the protein and focused on the protein she could digest, she was like the baby I knew at 6 months but cooler! I was angry though that I had to go private and kept feeling guilty about the people who are unable to do so which is partly why I did this blog. Once we had been referred by the specialist, we were able to go back to our GP and access the specialist through the the NHS.
On the advice of the specialist, once bub reached 12months, we were encouraged to try small amounts of cooked egg in baking. This was successful so we were able to introduce quorn into her diet as it contains egg. This was great and another way to get protein into her diet as she was still reacting to meat and fish. At about 2.5 years we were sent on a dairy challenge which was successful. Since then bub has slowly been able to tolerate more types of protein such that now, at the age of 5, she doesn’t have FPIES but is still allergic (conventional IgE) to peanuts and walnuts. We carry Epipens but so far have not needed to use them though we probably should have when she ingested walnut about 6 months ago but managed the situation through anti-histamines. It is scary though especially now that she’s at school but it’s just another worry line on my forehead!