Allergies

As a family we are quite lucky on the Allergy front. None of us really suffer with any type of allergy. Hayfever may strike every few years for P and myself, and J and K had eczema as babies, but apart from that we do not have any other allergies…..until recently.

On Tuesday, K had an appointment with a lovely lady called Christine who specialises in Vega Testing. Vega Testing is a noninvasive test that uses a specialist machine and electrodes to assess reactions to certain substances.

K has always suffered with problems with her bowels ever since she was about 6-8months old. She used to scream in such terrible pain and scrunch her little body up. We felt so helpless watching her trying to poop and struggling. We took her to the GP many times but as her tummy always felt ‘soft’ upon examination they weren’t really interested. It wasn’t until she was 10 months old and that we decided to video record her and show the GP. She was then prescribed Lactulose, which helped. She was on that for about a year, before she was changed to another medication called Movicol. We were told by the Paediatrician not to wean her off until she was at least 4.

It was after taking her off of the Movicol that we started noticing problems with certain chocolate that she ate. She would become quite sick within 30-60mins after eating it. The reaction would alter depending on which type of chocolate she would have. It could be anything from just having a ‘funny’ tummy, to diarrhoea, to vomiting and the last time she reacted (to a Kinder Egg!) we ended up in A&E after she slept 24hrs, temperature, refusing drink, not urinating, unable to stand, head hurt, lights hurt her eyes and then we had trouble rousing her.

Again, we had seen the Doctors at our local surgery several times. I was practically laughed out the surgery the last time I took her. Because she was not underweight and she was healthy and not ‘failing to thrive’ it seemed that the GP’s were not interested in the reaction she was having to food. So, we decided we’d fork the cost and pay for the testing to be carried out privately.

The test itself was really interesting. Christine tested everyday substances from Fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, to certain substances and also E numbers. The test is all based on electrode readings. Christine advised that anything with a reading over 80 was good and meant that there was no reaction to that substance. To make sure that the machine works, she uses a poison to get a true negative reading (nothing touches the skin at any time except for the electrode and everything remains in their vials). She went through hundreds of substances and E numbers, and the only reaction she got from any of them, was to Cocoa!

To make sure that this was a true reading several chocolate based items were collected and tested. She had a reaction to every single item. The worst reaction was to 100% Cocao…which is PURE COCOA! The reaction to that was so bad that the reading was worse than the poison reading!

Our poor little girl at 5 years old has now been told she is not allowed any chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate milkshake…nothing that contains cocoa incase it makes her poorly. We have eradicated it completely from her diet and will continue to do so for the next 3-6months. We will take her back to Christine to check the levels again against cocoa and see if it has improved. If it has then hopefully we can re-introduce it back in to her diet!

So, with Easter just around the corner….if you guys have any ideas of what I can give her instead of a Chocolate Egg I’d appreciate the ideas!!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Romanianmum (@romanianmum)
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 11:08:14

    Oh hunny.it is bad to have any kind of allergies. I bet is si hard to see her sufferring. Did they say if the fact that she was having problems pooping had anything to do with the chocolate allergy. my daughter is always constipated. we now have her on lactose and the doctor just said is something normal for kids to get constipated?!?

  2. confessionofsahm
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 13:29:04

    I think it is normal for children to suffer with constipation. I think that the medication was concealing her allergy to the cocoa, rather than the cocoa causing the allergy as she became constipated very young and before chocolate was introduced in to her diet.
    Really hope the Lactulose helps your little one. If you find it not working as effectively (as it stops working if used for long periods of time), then ask your doctor for Paediatric Movicol. It really helps xx

  3. I Want My Mummy
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 01:38:47

    The test sounds really interesting. When I was a kid I had a patch test for allergies (basically scratching my skin with a needle coated in various different things) so anything like that amazes me a bit.
    There’s something called carob, it’s basically chocolate without any of the cocoa elements. My friend (also allergic to cocoa) has it and her chocolate raisins are nicer than proper ones! Holland & Barrat used to sell carob stuff, not sure if they still do. I did a quick google and found lots of carob Easter eggs here http://www.danddchocolates.com/acatalog/carob_easter.html
    Can’t have a child without chocolate at Easter!

  4. confessionofsahm
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 17:31:50

    Hi, yes we were recommended Carob but its so hard to find in local food health stores. You can buy online but its so expensive.

    Thank you for the link…I might get her some to try.

    We’re hoping that by cutting it out of her diet for at least 3 months, we may be able to slowly introduce it again. She’s been so good bless her and talling anyone who’ll listen that she’s not allowed chocolate! xx

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