Goodbye Dogs, Hello NutsPosted: January 19, 2013
We went back to the allergist this week to discuss our son’s blood test results. Overall, we were very happy with the news. No major changes to the way we eat or shop for now, but we’re making some slight modifications. Hopefully we can make some major changes later this year.
Test results in the United States had confirmed our son’s milk allergy and indicated an egg allergy. As a result, our allergist advised us to avoid peanuts, tree nuts and sesame. To be on the safe side, we assumed our son was allergic to these foods until more testing could be done. Now that we have results from both a skin and blood test here in Switzerland, here’s what we know:
|Food||Skin test||Blood test||Recommended next steps|
|Peanuts||No reaction||Negative||Introduce products that “may contain traces” of peanuts, sesame and tree nuts, except almonds. If all goes well during the coming weeks and months, then we can start introducing these foods as actual ingredients (i.e., cookies with hazelnuts).|
|Tree nuts||No reaction, except almonds||Negative (the test did not include almonds)|
|Eggs||Moderate reaction||Positive for one egg protein; negative for another||Schedule a food challenge for baked egg at a nearby children’s hospital in the coming months.|
|Milk||Major reaction||Positive for both milk proteins, but the result was lower than we expected||Schedule a food challenge for milk at a nearby children’s hospital in six months, when our son is 2 years old.|
In addition to getting more detailed information about food allergens, we learned that our son is very allergic to dogs. The blood test results for dogs indicates a level nearly three times that of his milk or egg allergy. Our allergist in the United States had already told us before that we shouldn’t own a dog or other pets because of the connection between food allergies and asthma.
Now that we know about his allergy to dogs, our Swiss allergist said that if we owned a dog, there’s a good chance he would develop asthma. Honestly, this diagnosis has helped determine the cause for a few of the mysterious hives he’s had. One outbreak happened after returning from a friend’s house where the boys played with a dog. I had no idea what could have caused the hives, since we hadn’t eaten anything for hours, so it must have been the dog.
Despite the bad news about the dog allergy, I feel overwhelmingly relieved about these results. I keep reading about the severity of peanut allergies in the United States and terrifying stories about families affected by these allergies. My son may have an almond allergy, but he doesn’t have—and hopefully will never develop—anaphylaxis to peanuts. Plus, we received encouraging news about his milk and egg allergies that indicate their severity may be lessening (i.e., he’s growing out of them).
Reintroducing “Traces of” Products
For our first products with the “may contain traces” label for sesame, I went to Coop and bought a baguette and some corn-based crackers. My son ate the bread for his snack today without any reaction, so we’ll continue to do these very low-risk food experiments at home for the coming weeks and months. Hopefully, this trend will continue—as the test results indicate it should—so I can start cooking with peanuts, tree nuts and sesame again. In the meantime, I just tried the “gaufres au maïs” or corn waffles, and they taste like rice crackers made with popcorn. I may need to add these to my updated Swiss snack list…
Bon week-end! Hope you’re having a great weekend. More recipes and news next week…