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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is it Allergies?! What is it?!

**This post is me thinking through this info so it may be a bit chaotic**

 Those of you that know me, or "know" me through the internet-blog follower, forum friends, and facebook friends-probably know by now that we've had a lot of problems with Addison and her Eczema in the past. 

There were suggestions-of course- that she possibly had a food allergy.  These comments were made when the Eczema first showed up at 2 months old but we brushed them off because it wasn't a rash that came and went, it was just always there.  It didn't get worse after I ate anything (during the nursing days) or after she ate anything after she started solids.  It was just there.  Always.

Around the time of her first birthday, I started noticing that after she ate she would get a bright red rash around her mouth and scratch like crazy.  I got the inkling at that point that maybe she had some sort of food allergy, but I couldn't figure it out.  It was literally 90% of the time she ate this would happen. 

It's started to get worse more recently to the point that she has started getting rashy all over her stomach and arms after she ate, and would get particularly fussy after eating some foods.  Foods like spaghetti.  One night I made a meatloaf and she got some pieces in her shirt while she ate.  When I took her shirt off after her meal, I noticed bright red whelps where the meat loaf was sitting on her.  I made the meatloaf with ketchup.  This is when I started finally noticing a connection with the tomatoes and the rash and fussiness. 

About three weeks ago I decided to cut tomatoes completely out of her diet and see what happened.  For several days it seemed to be working.  I thought I had figured it all out.  Her rash was going away, she was happier during dinner, and her diaper rashes were going away (oh yeah, she had diaper rashes that were "textbook" allergy).    Shortly after my "celebration" of figuring it out, I started noticing a spot on her chin that she kept scratching and it just wouldn't go away.  I started diligently checking labels for anything I may have missed, being more careful about what is in the food I cook than I ever have before.  Her rashes were still coming back. On her arms, her face, and her knees mostly.  It could  just be dry skin, I guess.  I mean, I've had Eczema all my life and it's seasonal.  I've just got this feeling though that it's not.

Sometime in the last week, I've gotten to the point where I am 100% confident that she has had no tomatoes.  It can't be tomatoes.  So what can it be?

My friend Jess and I were talking yesterday and she mentioned (not for the first time) that maybe Addie has an allergy to something that is commonly served with tomatoes.  Like maybe onions.  Yep.  The same food I had to cut out while nursing because it gave her such bad gas.  Hmmm...there's a thought.  After some discussion and research, I'm realizing just how much food has onions in it.  Yikes.  Even her Goldfish crackers!  One kind we normally get has tomatoes in it, and the other has onions.  Onions would make sense.  Onions are in everything that has made me notice a break-out or scratching.

So...now we are testing onions.  No onions (or garlic since apparently they go together) for Addie and we'll see.  Now, the only problem with this theory is:

She broke out tonight after a dinner of Pork Chops cooked in olive oil, salt, and pepper; Whole Wheat angel hair pasta, and steamed asparagus.  No onions. No garlic. No tomatoes.  Her rash is all over her stomach, sides, and arms.  I just don't know. 

The only thing I can think of is last night she had some onions in dinner, and she did eat her goldfish (the ones with onion powder) before we read the label today.  She was also outside playing almost all day long. She was playing just in the gravel and in the garage though so I mean what could it be?!  Did she really eat that many gold fish? Would it make a difference that she spilled half of them on herself in the car? Is it something outside, too? It wouldn't take that long just from dinner last night, would it??

This is such a confusing, weird, overwhelming issue.  It's finally at the tip of my fingers what could be causing all of these rashes and making my daughter itch, and it's something that can be in my control, but I just can't figure it out and this is just so frustrating. 


  1. Rowan just went through a pretty bad bout of eczema, and I was terrified it was due to a food allergy, possibly even dairy, which would've been devastating considering all three of us eat A LOT of dairy. But our ped took one look at his red, scaly back, sides and diaper area and said it was eczema likely caused by the cooler weather and his sweat. Ro tends to run hot, and he's so active now, that the eczema was really a result of chafing. We were given a prescription strength tube of hydrocortisone, which definitely helped clear it up.

    I realized this comment is probably in no way a help in your situation, but I just wanted to commiserate. I do hope you figure out what's causing her breakouts, because it's certainly no fun for the babies. :(

  2. its most definately wheat or gluten. spaghetti, angel hair pasta, did you put breadcrumbs in the meatloaf? aloooot of ppl and children are allergic to gluten. i am. check it out.

  3. Our pedi said the SAME thing last year. "It's just eczema." I do commiserate because she's had some BAD eczema before, but it's just seeming now to be more of an allergy. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's in my head. Maybe I should see if I can get her tested. So many maybe's..

  4. Have you ever thought about her being allergic to wheat?? I know it's probably the last thing you would think of, but it would explain her breaking out after eating pasta, and meat loaf (depending on what you put in yours). My son suffers from eczema. When he has an allergic reaction to a food, there is a difference between an itchy spot and hives. He is allergic to all dairy, eggs, peanuts, cashews, and wheat. The wheat allergy isn't as severe as his allergy to egg and dairy. When he is exposed to wheat, he gets itchy patches around his mouth, just like what you are describing. It's not severe enough to take him to the ER, such as what happens if he is exposed to dairy. Next time you are at the doctor, ask about an allergy to wheat.

  5. Thanks for all of the imput. We're considering a lot of things, but for now, after the advice of a well trusted friend with lots of allergy experience, I think we're going to cut out tomatoes, onions, and garlic for a month and see what happens. If she clears up cutting those 3 out, we'll re-introduce them 1 by 1 and see what's causing the issue. If she doesn't clear up after a month, we'll do the same thing for wheat/gluten.

    I just have a really strong feeling that it's one of those first 3 things so I want to test those first. They all pretty much suck though since all 4 options are in "everything"!

    I'll be posting an update blog as we progress through this, though. Thanks again!