In the past few years, we have been on a long journey to discover the source of Baby Bee's problem, receive a diagnosis, and work toward healing. We have learned so much along the way and are still uncovering new information. This is our journey into the world of food allergies.
Here are some FAQ's about our Hive: Here are some frequently asked questions. The more detailed answers are contained in blog posts that I have written over the years. The short answers and the links to the blog posts are included.
What were Bee's first symptoms?
Bee's symptoms began with cradle cap, then eczema, then excessive crying, then refusal to eat, then weight loss, then multiple skin infections.
What are some of the symptoms of food allergies?
The symptoms can range from stomach issues and GI issues to skin problems to behavior problems to anaphylactic shock. The number of various reactions to foods is amazing.
Allergies or Autism
How did we know she had food allergies?
I suspected the food allergies and began an elimination diet to prove my theory. She did make improvements and I felt our theory was confirmed.
How were our suspicions confirmed?
We finally received a positive allergy RAST test from a pediatric allergist.
Multiple Doctors and the Journey to Diagnosis
What testing have we done?
We have done both RAST blood tests as well as skin prick tests.
RAST Test in 2011
Is the testing always accurate?
The short answer is no, not in our experience.
RAST Test in 2010
What type of doctor do we see currently?
We see an Allergist/Immunologist and a Dietician. We also meet with a Respiratory Therapist on some visits.
Our Visit with the Immunologist
Immunologist and Dietician
Why did this happen and do we have food allergies in our family?
We do not have a family history of food allergies but do have a family history of asthma and eczema.
Do all the kids have food allergies?
So far, only Bee and Curly have been diagnosed with allergies.
Ladybug and Her RAST Test
Curly and Fire Ant Allergy
Tiger and Asthma
How long does it take to see results after beginning a new diet?
It can take quite some time to see positive results. Even with persistence, set backs can still happen.
Healing Food Allergies
How far have we come?
Bee has made great progress with her allergies and especially with her eczema in the past few years.
A Review of 2010
A 2011 Birthday Update
Then and Now
Bee is 4!
What is life like with a food allergic child?
Hard. Food allergies are a daily battle. The diagnosis was debilitating and overwhelming.
The 7 Stages of Grief
How Donuts Ruined My Day
How do we work together to keep Bee safe?
It takes the joint efforts of everyone in our family to keep Bee safe. We have a routine that we've established to protect Bee.
What do we use for Bee's eczema?
Bee's eczema is managed without daily medication and we use a variety of methods to help calm her rashes, especially in the summer heat.
Cool Tub Soaks
Is it difficult to cook and bake allergen free?
The baking and cooking was difficult at first, but once we started experimenting with allergy free baking, we've had quite a bit of success.
Recipes That Didn't Make the Cut
Can a food allergic person have a small amount of their allergens?
No, strict avoidance is necessary for safety.
No Means No
How do you handle holidays with the multiple food allergies?
Holiday get togethers and functions require advance planning and some traditions have to be changed.
Can you vacation with food allergies?
Yes, with calling ahead, bringing safe foods and meds, and planning ahead.
Has Bee outgrown any allergies yet?
Yes! We are so thankful for any progress she makes!
Will Bee outgrow all of her allergies?
The immunologist believes that some allergies will be life-long for Bee due to their severity.
Do we know the cause of every allergic reaction?
No, and some we might not ever discover.
Some Are Unexplained
Church and Allergies
Does Bee take daily meds for her allergies and eczema?
Bee does not take daily maintenance medications; we only use medication during an allergic reaction or when she is unusually itchy.
No Meds For Us
Is Bee anaphylactic?
Yes, some of Bee's allergens cause anaphylactic reaction, but not all of them do.
Does Bee also have asthma?
She has not been formally diagnosed but we know she is at a high risk for asthma. We watch her closely and will have her tested as she gets older.
Weather Changes and Asthma
What is in our Allergy Kit?
As allergy parents, we must always be prepared with medications for emergencies.
Allergy Kit Contents
Our Allergy Kit
Is it possible to eliminate all the allergens from your diet and eat that way daily?
Yes, despite what some might tell you, it is possible to eat completely allergy free.
Our Food Allergy Diet
How do we explain the food allergy to others?
One of our most difficult jobs is educating others about the allergies and helping them understand the severity of Bee's condition.
Please Don't Bring Food
Food Allergies as a Disability
How do we handle the fear of living with food allergies?
This is tough. I battle fear and worry daily. It's a balance to find ways to be as normal as possible while keeping Bee safe.
Food Allergies and Fear
And what about little Punkin? She has severe eczema so we are working to heal her skin.
What's our first stop?
Our first thought is food allergies so we see our immunologist first.
A Referral to our Immunologist
What is our current allergy list?
Dogs and More Dogs