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My 4yo daughter woke up with a horrible rash all over her body. I took her to the dr and she said that unless Boo was rolling around in the weeds naked, it was most likely a food allergy.

I've never had to deal with food allergies before, aside from the students in my class. The Dr said we should try the exclusion diet first, before even bothering with going to an allergist.

I guess what I'm wondering is, is there any way of telling what her allergy might likely be just from her symptoms? Or do all allergies effect people differently? She was covered in an itchy, blotchy rash, but otherwise felt just fine. No noticeable fever, no swelling in her throat or anything like that. She was still her happy, bouncy, hyper self.

Any tips on an allergy exclusion diet? I have a family of 6- how can I make this as easy as possible on Boo without either making the other kids suffer, or her feel left out? School is NO problem. She has a cute little preschool crush on a boy with severe allergy problems. So, she will be happy that she gets to have special lunches just like him. But what about at home?
 

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Keep track of what she is eating.

Give her the same foods. See how she does. Add some thing new. Like Wheat no dairy. For instance I'm allergic to soy, wheat, dairy, potatoes, tomatoes, peanuts, beef and pork. So if she avoids these and then adds 1 in a few days see how she does. It might be a combo of things. That sets her off. Grass, dogs, cats, horses, mold and plantian are others. Got rid of the wood stove. Lots of inhalants bother me.

My DG its red dye with other things.

Having her tested is the fastest way.

I take shots. The doctor told me that if I can keep the other things under control foods I could handle better. Good Luck. It's no fun but you can work with it.
 

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You do not need to go to an allergist.

If I were you (I've had 2 with severe food allergies) I would call your doctor back and have him order a blood test for her.

They can test for just about all types of food allergies. The test is called IgE antibody test. Normally they test for milk, wheat, peanuts, soy and eggs.
She could also have the RAST test but that is lots more involved. Scratching their backs and then watching for hives to appear.

Here is the community that my allergist recommends joining: The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

It sounds like Boo has eczema. Our allergist, Dr.Timothy Foote recommends after any baths to cover the area in Eucerin or Aquaphor within 10 minutes and then put a layer of clothing over it. That will help the eczema go away slowly. You have to minimize any skin contact with water and detergents. Bathing once a week is enough most of the time.

Many people think that you could just have anaphylaxis, or hives with food allergies. There are other symptoms, asthma, eczema, vomiting, and diarrhea. Hyperactivity is also a great indicator. You never know. She may be hyper because she is itching. :)

Tomorrow if you haven't already, rid your house of all laundry detergent and fabric softeners (All Free and Clear is okay), and stop using any soaps with her.

Okay, I realized this is too much information. Pm me if you need additional information. Good Luck!! You can do this!
 

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Oh, just for my research, do you have red heads in the family?
 

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We have food allergies, too. My dd had the eczema symptom just a few weeks after being born and I had to go on a strict elimination diet to make sure nothing was being passed through my breastmilk.

I nursed my dd for a long time (I won't say on here people already think I'm too much of a tree-hugger :) ) and breastfeeding her helped her body to adjust and now at 5, she really has no major allergies anymore. She still has sensitivities, but nothing that produces major physical symptoms like rashes. Mostly I notice behaviorally she is more easily distracted.

We have her on the Feingold diet. You can google for information for that.

I'd have the blood test or the Rast test done. We had both in the past. These tests can test for environmental allergies, too. The problem with an elimination diet process is that it is a really long process. It could be weeks or months before you find the culprit. A test will give you immediate results and confirm a food allergy.

One other thing I'd mention... my dd had a rash that sounds just like you are describing and we knew she had not eaten anything that was a trigger. We we not sure it was allergic reaction. The nurse practitioner said that it was allergies. We asked for the doc to give us a second opinion. It turned out to be one of those a childhood viral disease called Roseola.
 

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I have three children with varying degrees of allergies. Personally, I would write down EVERYTHING she ate the 24 hours before she brkoe out, and write a log of where she went (i.e. a.m. she was at home, road work outside.) List anything ingested bu mouth or any unusual chemicals she may have been exposed to. Put the list somewhere where you will remember it and forget it. IF she ever gets another rash, you can make a second list and compare. I have known several children to get a rash like this and never get it again. I got one when I was little, mom thought it must be strawberries & I couldn't have strawberries for years. Never did have another rash. My youngest sister had two or three, they never did figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, thanks for all the replies! I haven't had my morning coffee yet, so I'll have to go back through and read them all again when I can think clearly. :)

From what y'all are saying, it sounds to me like I need to go back to the Dr's office and get more information. Her normal pediatrician was out of town, so I went to someone else at another office.

I"ve read that the food elimination is actually more accurate than the blood tests... is that true?

Heidi's Goats- I just googled eczema, and the information it game me was a little vague. I may be PMing you later to pick your brain. Her rash goes away completely within 30min of taking benedryl. Is eczema still a suspect, or does that rule it out?
Oh, and no true redheads here. Although her daddy has a red beard, does that count? :)


booklover- I BFed Boo until she was 2.5 (not as long as some people, but longer than what my parents thought was normal). :) Same question with Roseola as with eczema- the rash goes away with benedryl, so does that rule it out?


Thanks so much everyone! I'll read and reply more after work today.
 

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I would try to remember what she ate the day before the rash. Then eliminate the most likely culprits (milk, eggs, peanuts, kiwi, strawberry, shellfish, etc.) Of course anyone can be allergic to anything. You can't tell what the allergy is by the symptoms. I would take her to a specialist (allergist) before I messed with the elimination diet for too long.
 

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Food elimination diets are very accurate, but much more difficult and time consuming than an afternoon at the allergist's office :) which is why most people choose to have their kids tested.

Personally, unless you're dealing with extreme mood swings, behavioral issues, or intense physical symptoms, I'd do a "mini" exclusion, first, rather than a full elimination diet. Eliminate the "biggies" -- milk, egg, soy, artificial colorings and flavorings, gluten (wheat) and corn. You can always do a full elimination diet later if the results from this are inconclusive.

Does she have redness around her eyes, on the tips of her ears or on her nose? Does she sniffle a lot? Any stomach cramping or digestion issues? Frequent "colds" or ear/throat infections? Bedwetting? These are all signs of food allergy, along with some behavioral issues that can also be manifestations -- but it doesn't sound like this is an issue.

Be aware that there is very little processed food out there that doesn't have either gluten, soy or some corn product in it. Artificial colorings and flavorings, too. If you do go the full elimination diet route, have a look at the Feingold diet -- it's what worked for us.
 

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booklover said:
We have food allergies, too. My dd had the eczema symptom just a few weeks after being born and I had to go on a strict elimination diet to make sure nothing was being passed through my breastmilk.

I nursed my dd for a long time (I won't say on here people already think I'm too much of a tree-hugger :) ) and breastfeeding her helped her body to adjust and now at 5, she really has no major allergies anymore. She still has sensitivities, but nothing that produces major physical symptoms like rashes. Mostly I notice behaviorally she is more easily distracted.

We have her on the Feingold diet. You can google for information for that.

I'd have the blood test or the Rast test done. We had both in the past. These tests can test for environmental allergies, too. The problem with an elimination diet process is that it is a really long process. It could be weeks or months before you find the culprit. A test will give you immediate results and confirm a food allergy.

One other thing I'd mention... my dd had a rash that sounds just like you are describing and we knew she had not eaten anything that was a trigger. We we not sure it was allergic reaction. The nurse practitioner said that it was allergies. We asked for the doc to give us a second opinion. It turned out to be one of those a childhood viral disease called Roseola.

I agree. We have a son with a severe peanut allergy. The skin test confirmed this. It also showed us some other allergies. What a blessing. Took the worry and trial and errors right out of it.

IF your child does have a food allergy it's not the end of the world but it may well feel like it at first. When our son way young this site really helped us. Their are other forum sites out there to. This was my favorite.

www.peanutallergy.com

Good luck. ((hugs))
 

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I have a DGD4 with peanut as well as other food/animal/environmental allergies(2 pages long) or should say HAD......we still keep her away from peanuts(we still carry an epipen) but now she can eat strawberries, have a kitty, wear clothes without scratching, sneeze occaisionally not 100x, no puffy red eyes and rashes/welts/oozing sores. No shots/no blood work/no time consuming elimination diet it's all done with neuromodulation technique. Our doc is in Denver, but google the NMT/feinberg technique and could find a practitioner near you.
 

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I had to do the blood test myself; then, later on, after eliminating the foods/chemicals that came up positive, I did a few skin tests for things I wasn't sure about. Also, I do the rotation diet for most foods that I eat; that is, I try not to eat things 2 days in a row (I freeze things -eat later). Now that I've done this for years, I have very few problems. It seems more complicated than it is, at first. Good luck w/ this! ldc
 

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If benedryl helps the eczema go away it is an allergy. Like said try to remember anything she ate or come into contact with that was new in the last day.

Faith would have eczema that would cover her face. It started as soon as she was born. I was breastfeeding her exclusively and found out she was allergic to milk, wheat, peanuts, and eggs. It was not a fun elimination diet...especially since I had to do it. :)

You don't need to go back to the doctor if you don't want to. You can call his nurse to ask for the blood work order. Since he has already seen her it will save you the money/time of another visit. It is quicker than the elimination diet.

My niece just found out she was allergic to the solution they give you to clean new piercings. Her hands were completely covered in eczema/hives. I wish I new she was playing with it because as a teenager I found out I was allergic to topical acne solutions (benzol peroxide).
 

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Our dd had this happen to her when she was about 3 1/2. she had hizes all over her body. We couldn't figure it out...but gave benydril every 6 hour and it was gon ein about three days.
I took her to an allergist who tested for food allergies. She had some that weren't major. We didn't eliminate anything from the diet, and it never happened again. We did do elimination diets later on because of digestive issues. They are the biggest pain! Also--anyhting with "modified food starch"(which is almost anything in a package)....probably has wheat.

I am getting ready to have her and her brother tested for both food and enviromental allergies. They have way too many little problems.
 

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People with multiple allergies usually have runny noses. In your daughter's case, think about what she was eating the day before. My first guess would be strawberries, but think about other things. Chances are she ate something new, or she ate quite a lot of something that she normally has access to. Strawberries, raspberries, kiwi,...
 

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I have at least 2 with food allergies. The whole family went on an elimination diet when I was concerned about 1 child. It was good for all of us, I discovered I was allergic to soy and rapeseed oil, ds was definitely allergic to gluten, DH would get hives from too much sugar. The dd we went on the diet for snuck food so we ended up doing the skin test anyway. Ds did not believe me about the gluten so we skin tested him too. Multiple food allergies for both including wheat and other glutens for ds.

Chocolate is like crack for dd, it gives her a high and makes her so mean and nasty. Corn gives her a spasmadic bladder. How nice at 5 she finally stopped having accidents. We found out what the allergens were by taking them away and then reintroducing the foods one at a time and seeing what happened.

Something interesting, Dh can eat some sugar, and fruit does not seem to cause a problem. But too much caused him to break out in hives. It took a long time to figure that out and most skin tests don't provide a threshold. Some do, but our insurance would not cover it. Now the allergy seems to have changed. Sugar seems to be less of a problem but he cannot consume any coffee, regular or decaf. Our DR said that could happen. Allergies were causing our DS to wet the bed. The DR said that would most likely go away with time, but not necessarily the allergy, it would give a different symptom. Which it did, gluten causes gut aches and a horrid temper for DS although he no longer wets the bed.

The elimination diet is more accurate because the food is real, its not just an isolated protein. But sometimes it is too difficult or a child may not cooperate. The problem is sometimes a food allergy skins teat gives a false negative. If you see a reaction after a food is consumed you don't need a skin test to confirm it.

When I first told my mom about all the allergies the children have she asked "What will you eat?" Ummm not processed foods. Most of their allergies are foods that can be avoided if we avoid foods we shouldn't be eating anyway. That said some of dd's allergies include apples, grapes, broccoli, tomatos. For the healthy foods we do a rotation diet where she has grapes on Monday, apples on Tuesday, Broccoli on Wednesday, etc. Some foods she cannot ever have eg. chocolate Our DR did not test for food dyes at all, because NO ONE should be consuming them in his opinion.

You might want to check out Doris Rapp. She mostly writes about children with allergies and behavior issues. But a lot of information on food allergies and diagnosing.

FYI - No redheads and I nursed DS until 18 months and dd until 3. In that same thought my youngest 2 children are selectively vaccinated (tetanus) and no solids until 11 months old, partially in hopes of eliminating or reducing potential allergies. We'll see.

Good luck in figuring this out.
 
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