Monday, April 20, 2009

Red dye #40 looks just about the same before or after comsumption...OR why I need several extra sets of sheets these days.

Oh dear Lord. No one in my family ever has any allergies to foods. How did I end up with a kid who can't handle too much milk and has a zero tolerance for liquid forms of red dye 40?

To backtrack a little, when Lola was a baby she had a random issue with projectile vomiting after taking her bottle. It wasn't frequent enough to identify a milk allergy, and the soy formula made it worse. Once she switched to traditional milk, we noticed that a cup of milk could make her violently ill several hours later. It wasn't immediate, but based on the 'evidence', you could see that she had not digested anything properly since she'd had the cup of milk. We eliminated milk from her diet without a problem, per Dr. Castleberry's approval. Dr. Castleberry was also somewhat happy to see parents that weren't worried about keeping milk on her menu. We make sure she gets plenty of juice or water and she is just fine. Healthy as can be! To quote my brother-in-law John, she might be nuttier than a squirrel's turd sometimes, but she's healthy.

The nutty one is on the right.

Other forms of dairy don't bother her. She can even eat a bowl of cereal in milk without issue. She loves string cheese, too! But give her a cup of straight milk and you can bet that you'll be in there changing the sheets on her bed and giving her a bath at 1:00 am.

Fast forward to 2009 and we noticed a bizarre reaction to Hawaiian Punch and such. It was very easy to pinpoint because we rarely, rarely buy HP. However, both times that I did buy it, she puked red everywhere within minutes! We made it a point to tell everyone to please make sure that she was not drinking any artificial red drinks. We noticed it is other brands, too, as long as it is the thick red color.

The other night, we took the kids to play at the mall's play area and let them get an Icee. It never crossed my mind as I ordered both girls a cherry Icee. Big mistake. We were barely home when she said she didn't feel good, belched tremendously for a three year old and then let that Icee fly. Last week, she reacted similarly after eating a hot dog at a cookout. I am assuming it may have been one of those hot dogs that is intentionally more red than regular old hot dogs, but I can't be sure.

The point is, there is clearly a common thing making her sick...and it is red dye #40. She doesn't have the behavioral issues that I've seen on some sites but the upset stomach is just too predictable to deny the connection. She has her little three year check up in May, and we have to remember to tell Dr. C all about this!

An interesting thing, though, is that she is perfectly fine (with exception to the hot dog that one time) with the dye in food products. She has no reaction to fruit snacks, chips, etc., that contain the dye.

Back around to the point, how in the world did I end up with a child who has an allergy to dye that most people don't have? A picky eater, I would have expected. I'm about as picky as a person can be, and I would have to admit that she gets it honest! But an allergic child? Never dreamed it was possible.

Please pray that baby Lo doesn't accidentally ingest anymore liquid red dye #40!


Jamie said...

My oldest had the milk allergy thing going on when she was a baby. The projectile vomiting was awful. We switched her to different types of formula and settled on soy. Until she was 11 months old and that suddenly stopped working. I bought lactaid drops (which were insanely expensive way back when) and put them in whole cows milk. That worked until she was 2 and I decided to see if she had grown out of the allergy. She had! But I still have it and have had it since I was prego with her. Cows milk, cheese, sour cream, ice cream and anything dairy still makes me ill.

Hopefully she will grow out of her allergies. I'll cross my fingers for her.

Kate Andrews said...

I know someone with a kid with this allergy and he doesn't vomit, but he does get EXTREMELY hyper, almost to the point that he is uncontrollable!!

Leisa Hammett said...

You MAY want to look into the Feingold diet. Don't let it freak you. But the deal is red dye is just one trigger in our contemporary artifical diets and you have the option of going whole foods and avoiding most all such problems. Just an idea from someone who took all these types of food out of her diet 20 years ago and resolved a lot of problems and also prevented some of them w/ child who has a disAbility. Not passing judgement or going all preachy granola on ya!

Dusty Brown said...

Thanks! I'll look into that~!