Over the last few years I noticed my first son had funny reactions to coconut. At first, I chalked it up to coincidence- maybe he already had a pretty bad cold, or was over-reacting to the texture or flavour, because he used to do that all the time when he was younger. And then I noticed that cashews bothered him too. After a lot of researching, I discovered that there are a couple of different types of reactions- allergy and sensitivity. Here and here are a couple of websites to help separate the differences for you. My son's symptoms mostly correlated with allergy, so rather than take more chances with his life, I had our pediatrician set us up with an allergist.
And that brings us up to January. The allergy test was relatively quick and mostly painless. Very, very itchy for my son, though. We now know that he can't eat coconut, pistachios, and cashews. Like me, he inherited allergies to birch pollen and furry animals. We are now the proud owners of a couple of Epipens, and we are getting used to reading labels. I'm not overly worried about actually needing to use one of those pens, but it's nice to know we have it if we need to. He's old enough to not randomly trade food with people, and old enough to understand that he needs to be responsible to know what he's eating before he eats it.
His allergies seem to be a problem only when he ingests the food, so our life hasn't changed dramatically- we still eat cashews and coconut ourselves, and it doesn't bother him at all when we do so. We got off pretty lucky with this diagnosis- I think for the most part these foods are easily avoided. We know that we are very, very lucky that one of his reactions over the last few years didn't become a run to the emergency room, and for that we are very thankful.
How about you? What has your experience been with food allergies and sensitivities? Have you had to dramatically alter your lifestyle?
I look forward to hearing from you! Enjoy your day, friends.