Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Food We Eat - Peanut Butter is no good!

Now don't go getting up in arms thinking I'm telling ya'll how to eat! By 'peanut butter is no good' I mean, for OUR family. Many of you know that Adam and Reagan have food sensitivities which have affected their skin, behavior, tummies, and health in general. And although we have worked hard to avoid certain items, we have been blessed that MOST of these sensitivities are not a true food 'allergy' or "first response" allergy in which, the body reacts negatively, strongly and directly to a certain food.
However, it seems that Adam does have a direct allergy to PEANUTS. We discovered this 2 years ago when we gave him his first pb&j. He ate 1/2 of a quarter before we noticed him start to look like he had an instant cold. Since he was already (18m) sick much of the time, I wouldn't have thought it was the food except that this is the same time period that we were getting him tested for food allergies. When his tests came back negative for an immune response to PB we were very surprised and decided to completely avoid it anyway.

And he hasn't had a lick in the 18 months since then.

Until this past week, when I stupidly took this allergy lightly and figured that maybe his gut had healed enough or that he may have grown out of it. I had him help make my favorite Christmas cookies (almond bark candies) involving melted white chocolate, peanut butter, rice crispies, M&M's, and marshmallows. He loved helping and of course, I thought I must reward my cute and happy little helper (see the lovely 'before' photo) with a tiny (and I doooo mean tiny) half of a finished cookie.
No more that 5 minutes later I noticed red on his chin as I wiped his nose ("Hmmmm", I thought "Why is his nose running?") and thought at first it was just chapped from playing the snow that morning. But as I looked closer, I noticed that they were red WELTS all around the area that his saliva had been!

All I could think was "Bad Mommy! What were you thinking??" and "Crud! Where'd I put the Benedryl?"

Thankfully, he didn't seem too disturbed by the itchiness (as seen by the smile in the lovely 'after' photo) and was all too happy to take the nice, sweet medicine (which, b.t.w was red - why does medicine have to have red dye in it??? Grrrr.....). Thankfully, it was soon time for his nap. But after his nap he was terribly, terribly fussy all evening long. I was reminded that this is how he used to behave an entire year ago, BEFORE we took out from his diet the foods to which he is sensitive. It reminded me to be grateful of how far God has brought us with his nutrition, speech, and behavior! Now, whether his behavior in this case had to do with the small amount of PB that he ingested or the Benedryl itself, I do not know.
But what I DO know is that in this house - peanut butter is NO good!


sbharnish said...

have you found him to be sensitive to foods that are "manufactured in the same factories" as peanuts? Several of my mommy friends have peanut sensitive kids and they say that THAT is the one to watch out for because you don't expect it.

Teacher/Mom said...

I think, that if my kids were allergic to things like PB, chocolate, sugar, etc., that I would be a whole heck of a lot skinnier! I am blessed that they don't appear to have any allergies such as you describe. It is wholly possible that they exhibit some of the behavioral symptoms. We even tried the Feingold Diet years ago but DH will not eat that way. So it is kind of a moot point. Can't afford to buy separate foods. It's good that you found this out when he was at home where you could monitor him, rather than out somewhere where it could be potentially life threatening. Blessings.

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

I have heard that if someone develops hives on the face and neck to something, generally the next time they're exposed it can (and is likely to be) an anaphylactic reaction (closing of the breathing tube). Yikes!

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

So sorry he hasn't outgrown the allergy, but so glad it was in an environment where someone knew to how to take care of him. Good job, mom! :)

It has been forever since we've been in touch, but I have thought of you from time to time. I'll have to read your most recent posts to catch up on the latest happenings! :) (sorry this one wasn't so great)

I'm glad, too, for you guys that the diet and nutrition is helping in many areas. (Maybe my 6 year old would have an attitude adjustment if I changed his diet! LOL!)

I don't know what other foods you've removed from their diets, but I personally think that sunflower seed butter (Sunbutter) tastes most like peanut butter. It does have a sunflower seed aftertaste, but initially the tastes are pretty similar. Almond butter is pretty good, too. Just a thought.

Hope y'all have a merry Christmas a wonderful holiday season! Great to be in touch again!