Monday, June 18, 2012

Egg allergy?

We eat eggs almost every morning for breakfast, and I've been assuming that our baby would eventually eat eggs for breakfast right along with us. Looks like I'm going to have to re-think her early morning menu (at least for a while) because I think she is allergic to eggs! Total bummer.

Though I had given her small pieces of boiled egg yolk on a few other occasions, last Thursday was the first time she experienced anything to indicate an allergy. Here's what happened: Around 9am, she ate an entire scrambled egg yolk (I threw the egg white away). She went down for a nap around 9:30am, and when she woke up a half hour later she was whimpering and looking at me with sad eyes. I picked her up and cuddled her (assuming she was just lonely and tired of being in her crib), but  a few minutes later she vomited.

She threw up all over me, all over herself, all over the bed. At that point it was obvious that she didn't feel well, and she actually threw up six more times over the course of an hour. Then, all of a sudden, she was laughing and playing and feeling 100% better. As if nothing had happened! Strange ... but what a relief (I'm so glad she wasn't sick sick).

The advice nurse at our pediatrician's office thought it was a virus, but that assessment doesn't add up for us. Vomiting, cramps and nausea are classic signs of an egg allergy, and she had no other symptoms. Plus, it was over almost as fast as it started. It was also her third or fourth exposure to egg yolks, and it is my understanding that this is when some food allergies/sensitivities reveal themselves.

Anyway, I still took the nurse's advice and eliminated solid foods for the rest of the day. I also watched closely for dehydration (signs of dehydration include lack of wet diapers and no tears when crying) and gave her a little extra water (a couple of week ago she wasn't into water, but she loves it now!). No worries, though! She was totally fine.

And while we are pretty convinced that the egg is the culprit, we are open to the possibility that it it was this particular egg (not eggs in general) that made her sick. We were out of farm eggs; this egg came from the store. Perhaps that had something to do with it? Or, maybe it was the fact that she ate soooo much? Or, maybe it was the method of preparation (scrambled vs. boiled)? Or, what if I left some residual egg white behind and it is actually the white that gave her trouble? I guess I can't really be sure until she eats another egg yolk. I will eventually re-introduce her to my favorite breakfast food, but probably not until she turns one in October. For now she's going to be egg-free.

Does your child have any food allergies/sensitives? How did you discover it?


12 comments:

  1. There's a series of gradual tests you can do to check for a food allergy--starting with brushing the offending food on the baby's skin to check from reactions, and moving from there to eventual ingestion (with several steps between).

    Are you breastfeeding still? Does she appear to react poorly to your breastmilk? If she has an egg allergy and is breastfeeding, it's likely she would react to your milk with the same response (though possibly less intensively since it would be diluted).

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    1. Hi Sally -- Thanks for the tip! Yes, I am still breastfeeding. Do you mean she would react the same way to breast milk when I eat eggs? She definitely does not react negatively to my milk at all. Hmmmm. I'll keep this in mind for sure. Still nervous to re-introduce eggs, though. :-)

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  2. We have always gone with the assumption that because neither J nor I have any food allergies, our kid wouldn't either, and so we have introduced solids with complete (negligent? lol) abandon - three, four, five foods at a time... anything Paleo goes (with the sole exception of honey). We do try to give organics where possible, as some pesticides (particularly those used on strawberries, grapes and melons) are prone to causing allergy symptoms. So far, we've been fortunate to have no problems, even with shellfish, nut flour/butter and dairy fat.

    So, what would I do in this scenario? Eggs are a huge part of our diet too, so I'd want to know ASAP whether or not there was an allergy. I'd try again a week or so later, since the science doesn't support there being a different outcome at one year of age. Egg allergies, if outgrown, are not usually outgrown until 4-6 years of age. I would make a point of trying the suspected allergen on a weekday morning, so a doctor's visit could be easily arranged if there were any further indications of allergy.

    All that said, I wasn't the one that had to endure the terrifying experience of my infant throwing up seven times in one hour. I can totally empathize with your nervousness about trying again. And a mother's instinct is often right, even when the evidence might indicate otherwise, so you have to trust your gut :)

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  3. Oh no. I hope your baby can become immune to eggs.. I have an egg allergy too. And I'd give anything just so I can eat it everyday, but I can't. I can only eat eggs once a week at most. If I eat more than that I'll have a lot of skin rashes.

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  4. Our baby threw up after egg yolks, too! Twice! I came across several comments in the mothering threads that indicate others have had similar experiences. I felt so bad when it happened the second time!

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  5. This happened with my baby as well. I spoke to the pediatrician, and now believe it was because the yolk is so rich, it can be too much for them, or that the yolk was not cooked all the way and had some harmful bacteria. I now feed her scrambled egg (the whole egg) all the time without any problem.

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  6. i think this is a common occurrence and nothing to worry about. this also happened twice to my 9 month old after one small spoonful of gently cooked egg yolk. the first time, i had no idea the egg was the culprit until it happened again. he's since had small bites of "paleo pancakes" with no problems. My thoughts are that egg yolks are inherently hard to digest for little babies, despite the claim that they are the perfect food for new eaters. any updates on your end?

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  7. I don't have children, and I'm new to paleo, so maybe it's just my ignorance...What's the deal with throwing out the egg white and just feeding her the egg yolk? Is there something in whites that's bad for babies?

    I have a friend who's just allergic to egg yolks, but not the whites, so that might be the case with your munchkin too... just a thought.

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    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delayed reply. Egg whites are a common allergen, so doctors tend to recommend starting with yolks only. Although, who knows ... I know plenty of babies who eat whole eggs with no problem.

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  8. Just found your site while googling paleo pregnacy :) After two healthy pregnancies and births and one recent miscarriage we're trying for our fourth baby (third live). I've been off grains for some time and was wondering if it was healthy. Anyway... long story short, read this post and wanted to say (perhaps you've already discovered if it's a true egg allergy or not seeing as you posted this months ago) that's exactly how we found out about my son's egg allergy! The first time I thought it was a virus, but when he was better within two hours of being sick I thought "this is so weird". Then I too thought it was the egg, we were visiting my parents and normally buy eggs from the farm but had to purchase organic eggs from the store. So when we went home, a week later, I gave him another egg yolk. Same reaction. Waited two more weeks, same thing. I've tried giving him them in a baked good but he gets the runs. Pretty gross. I took him to a naturopath who tested him using acupuncture points and sure enough it came up as sensitive to eggs. Not sure how accurate it was but after his reactions, I was pretty convinced. Nevertheless, he hasn't had any eggs or egg products since.

    Excited to poke around and found out more about your paleo pregnancy!

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  9. My son, who at 1 year turned out to be very allergic to eggs and needed an epi pen for the allergy. HIs reaction to eggs was similar, he would act as though he didn't feel well and then vomit...everywhere. The first time it was just vomit but by the third time he had eggs he would turn pale, get clammy and then vomit. All signs that the allergy was progressing in it's severity, which I guess is common

    We eliminated eggs entirely from his diet for over a year and he out grew the allergy. Now he eats eggs in baked goods and gobbles up scrambled eggs on a regular basis.

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  10. The same thing just happened to me. Did your baby ever end up tolerating eggs in the future?

    Thanks!

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