Oral Food Challenge for Milk: Passed (My Final Blog Post)

Milk food challenge
Last month, Swissinfo.ch published an op-ed I wrote about living with food allergies. Here’s an update to that piece and my final post on this blog:

I have good news! My 3-year old son recently had his seventh oral food challenge—this time for cold cow’s milk. According to his pediatric allergist, he “passed” the test. Going forward, he must consume no more than 150 ml of milk every day for the next 3 months.


Evaluating the Results

Similar to the results for my son’s food challenge for raw egg, the little guy broke out in hives around his mouth almost immediately after the first dose of cold milk. After each subsequent dose (five in all), I made sure to wash his face with cold water. Thankfully, the hives lessened, but midway through the test, my son’s demeanor seemed to change a bit. He started to look tired, laying down on the bed. I was sure the test would be a failure.

Then another food allergy parent, who was also at the hospital monitoring a food challenge, pulled out an iPad. My little guy perked up, and we seemed to be back on track. All other symptoms seemed normal—blood pressure, heart rate, etc. We continued with the test.

For the last dose, the nurse kindly mixed the milk with Caotina (a popular Swiss chocolate powder for making hot cocoa). My son used a straw and slurped it up in record time. He was happy and back to his normal rambunctious self.

When it was all over, my son’s pediatric allergist declared the test a success, describing his current condition as atopic dermatitis (i.e., eczema) with a contact reaction to milk. Apparently, he no longer has a true food allergy to milk. Even though he can safely consume milk (at least in small doses, to start), his skin can still react when it comes into contact with milk.


Next steps…

At this point, my son doesn’t have any food allergies. The allergist told me it’s no longer necessary to carry along two epinephrine auto-injectors, everywhere we go. He needs to maintain his daily dose of milk, to avoid recurrence of the allergy. It’s what we’ve been waiting and hoping for since we first learned of his milk allergy in 2012. I still can hardly believe it.

Given these latest developments, I will no longer maintain this blog. Our son’s food allergy journey has ended (fingers crossed!), but I know it continues for so many others. If you ever have questions about living with food allergies, please don’t hesitate to send me an email. I’m happy to try and help.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been reading Dairy-Free Switzerland and sharing your advice and kind words. I started this blog as a virtual support group because I didn’t know anyone with food allergies in Switzerland when we moved here nearly 3 years ago.

It’s been such a pleasure connecting with you all and learning from your experiences. I’ve heard from so many wonderful people living with food allergies both here in Switzerland and around the world. Also, I have to mention all the other food allergy bloggers out there who’ve helped me along the way. Your support has been invaluable.

As always, I hope you get some good news about food allergies too—whether it be outgrowing them, participating in a clinical trial or hopefully, one day there will be a cure!

Finally, if you’re looking to reach out to others living with food allergies in Switzerland, please contact the aha! Swiss Allergy Center or check out my recent blog post on Swiss support groups.

Many thanks, and best wishes to you all!

-Heddi

P.S. I will still be running the Royal Parks Foundation Half-Marathon in London this fall to raise money for Allergy UK. For more information and to make an online donation, please check out my JustGiving page. Thank you so much!

P.P.S. If you’re interested in continuing to follow my cooking and baking adventures in Switzerland, I’ve started a new Swiss food blog: Cuisine Helvetica.

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19 thoughts on “Oral Food Challenge for Milk: Passed (My Final Blog Post)

  1. lucylox says:

    What fantastic news for you. So much worry and stress must have been lifted from your shoulders. I will miss your blog and will definitely follow the new one x

    • Heddi says:

      Lucy, Thank you so much for your kind message. I’m constantly impressed by your blog and your amazing recipes. Such incredible work you’re doing, and helpful to so many people. I will continue to follow your work, and thank you so much for your support. I wish you all the best and hope your kids will have a similar outcome some day soon! Take care, Heddi

      • lucylox says:

        Aww thank you Heddi, what lovely words. You made my day 🙂
        Looking forward to reading you Swiss food blog – I like most know little other than various cheese based dishes!!! Xx

    • Heddi says:

      Thanks so much, Homa! You have been very supportive and helpful. I really appreciate it. Glad we’re going to keep in touch. 🙂 All the best, Heddi

  2. Pat says:

    Wonderful news Heddi! Thank you for the advice on eating in Switzerland with food allergies for our trip last year.
    Pat

  3. The Intolerant Gourmand says:

    Never have I been happier when reading a blog post!! What wonderful news for you all, I am so so pleased you have reached the end of the allergy journey! You’ve remained upbeat throughout, and a help to so many, myself included, you are a special super mum! Big hugs Hun, and yay!!!!!! 🙂 xx

    • Heddi says:

      Hi Nathalie! Such a lovely comment. You are very kind. Thanks so much for your support. I really appreciate it! Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your blog and will continue to follow your adventures. And, maybe I’ll see you in London this fall when I run the half-marathon with Allergy UK!? 🙂 All the best to you and your family. Take care, Heddi

  4. Emma says:

    I’ve only just seen this post. Congratulations! What brilliant news.I hope your son continues to thrive and enjoys all his new milky treats. Best wishes for the future x

    • Heddi says:

      Hi Emma, Thanks for the note. I’ve been meaning to write you for a long time now! You have been such a great resource for recipes and info, and I appreciate all your hard work. Will be thinking about you during the final weeks of your pregnancy and will continue to follow your adventures via your blog. All the best, and many thanks! -Heddi

  5. gratefulfoodie says:

    I can’t believe I never commented on this important post! So….this is amazing news!!!!! Bravo and I am sure life is very different now. When Cyrus out grew his allergens, so many things changed for the better.

    Enjoy!

    • Heddi says:

      Thanks so much, Caroline! I’ve really appreciated your support over the years. Yes, we feel very lucky, and I’m so happy for my son. He started school this year, and it was such a huge relief not to have to think about any food restrictions for him in this new environment. Very grateful. Best wishes to you and your family. Many thanks, and keep up the good work! 🙂

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