Friday, April 5, 2013

The Very Hungry Food-Allergic Caterpillar

My gangly teen caterpillar hatched out of his egg a l-o-n-g time ago. But he's still hungry!

On Monday, he ate through one muffin baked using real milk and butter.

On Tuesday, he ate through yeast coffee cake (butter, milk, yum!).

On Wednesday, he ate some of a Stouffer's spinach souffle.

On Thursday, he actually ate a store-bought Sara Lee pound cake. (Went back for seconds on that one!)

On FRIDAY, he ate...7 1/2 edamame.

OK, everything was not as straightforward as a children's book, but my son has been really pushing the limits of his baked-milk tolerance over the last couple of weeks (especially over spring break) to see just where he's at. The great news is that he's doing AMAZINGLY well tolerating everything we've been giving him.

Today (Friday) was his soybean food challenge, which he passed with flying colors! The grand total after two hours was 7 1/2 soybeans, with nary an itch, cough or stomach hiccup. (He's actually even back in school for his last class of the day.)

Best of all, his doctor agrees with our assessment that he's ready for a lot freer eating, including restaurant food. Since clearance for soy + baked milk = most bakery breads, that means he can have a hamburger or hot dog and French fries at just about any restaurant in town.

We have instructions to do no more soy today, to let him eat as much of the package tomorrow as he likes and then to gradually introduce soy into his diet without restriction. Our doctor also has no concern about doubling up on baked milk and soy, so that opens up a whole WORLD of processed frozen foods.

We talked through (again) the hazelnut issue. The RAST he just had done was a 2.0; the one from the clinical trial was around a 12. She wants to see one more negative SPT before believing it to be a pollen allergy and doing an outright challenge in the office. In the meantime, we're going to try green pea again and repeat scratch testing for milk, hazelnut and the rest of the beans. We're all of one mind at this point: knock off every allergen we can before college!

So...was it the FAHF-2? Hard to say. We know he was well along to outgrowing his soy allergy because his last soy reaction occurred after almost a full bowlful of soy ice cream about three years ago (I bought a look-alike product in soy instead of coconut by accident). He had a pretty serious reaction at that time that did involve trouble breathing, but it took a LOT of soy to generate it. We will be cautious, however, because it's still possible that there's a threshold above which he cannot tolerate soy and we just didn't get there today.

His doctor also indicated that it usually takes about a year of baked milk before they like to do an open challenge. That's not very long at all! I wish we had instituted baked milk about a decade ago, but hey - better late than never, right?

I'll report back as we get rolling on some of these new foods. (Chinese!)

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  1. I have learned more from your blog than I have from my child's allergist. Keep up the great work! Your son is a hero to my daughter for participating in the trials. At 8, she is old enough to understand what the trials require in the way of reactions and challenges but not yet brave enough to try it herself. Tell him thanks!

  2. Amazing!!!! I wish we could do baked milk! son's still very sensitive to milk (but he's 5 so maybe someday long before college!).

  3. Yippee!!! I love reading of your son's successes. They make me hopeful for my little overachievers!

  4. That is wonderful, happy tear news!

  5. That is such wonderful news! Congratulations to you and your son for all your hard work!

  6. Just came across your blog randomly, and I'm so glad to see you and others having success challenging allergy tolerances. I've challenged my tree nut allergies for about 15 years, and I no longer have to worry about the occasional sprinkle of nuts on ice cream. It's not perfect, but it's not a swelling tongue! Congrads to your son.

  7. thanks for share...

  8. I LOVE your blog! Found it while googling teens and allergies and I'm high fiving you as a fellow (female) allergy blogger with attitude! yay! :-)
    Pig x

  9. Can you explain what you mean by "His doctor also indicated that it usually takes about a year of baked milk before they like to do an open challenge" ? What is an "open challenge"? My son failed his baked milk challenge on Friday. Rats. See for details.

  10. I meant a challenge to straight cow's milk - not baked.

    I'm so sorry you guys didn't get good news! Things can radically change over time though, so don't lose hope.


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