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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
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I've read that if you are a parent to a food allergic child, there is a greater liklihood that you will have other children with food allergies (over the general population). I was wondering if parents would share how many of their children have food allergies (and if they are the same allergies or different). If you have food allergies yourself, do you also have siblings who have food allergies? I know there is no sure way to predict when or if food allergies will develop in siblings, but as someone who hopes to eventually have another child, it's something that I definitely think about...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 688
Location: Cobourg, ON
When my daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies at 14 months we had never considered our family history. Initially we thought her allergies were not passed on through the family. With a better understanding now of what "allergic conditions" are (ezcema, asthma, seasonal allergies and food allergies) we realize that her allergies could definitely be genetic.

Here is our family history:

My dad has bad seasonal allergies, my mom has difficulty tolerating milk, one brother has seasonal allergies, another has asthma and another has severe eczema. I have seasonal allergies and cannot tolerate much milk.

My husband has severe eczema and seasonal allergies. His mother has seasonal allergies and his dad has a hazelnut allergy and allergies to fresh fruit. His sister has asthma. My poor daughter didn't have a chance!!! She has multiple allergies (milk, egg and peanut). She also has eczema and asthma.

Now we have a son also who is younger than my daugher. He has shown no sign of allergy so far. No eczema and has tested negative for milk, egg and peanut. He has eaten all of these with no problem (under allergist supervision the first time for peanut).

We could make an interesting case study because my brother (who has eczema) married my sister in law (has asthma). They do not have children yet but I would be surprised if any future children didn't have some form of allergy.

I also read that allergies are more severe in successive generations. I think it was in the book, How To Live With A Nut Allergy. This has certainly been the case in our family.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
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Location: Cobourg, ON
I just wanted to add that when we decided to have another child we didn't worry too much about the allergy situation. We didn't let it hold us back on having the family we wanted. Whenever you get pregnant there is always a chance that your child might have some health issue (allergy or other). I strictly avoided any nuts during my second pregancy however. Doctors are split on whether this helps. I figured that it couldn't hurt the baby. Our second child does not have a peanut allergy but I don't know if it is as a result of my diet.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Funny you should start this topic now. My husband had a "vasectomy consult" the other day, but we decided to hold off a few years.

I always wanted a large family, but now with 2 kids with allergies, I am quite concerned that a third could add to our already limited diet. My almost 5 year old allergic to peanuts/nuts, my almost 3 year old to milk/eggs/chicken. I am quite afraid of having one allergic to soy or wheat since that would further limit our food choices. There are allergies everywhere in our family, however my husband is one of three brothers and the other two do not have any allergies. My husband has one cousin with allergies and her siblings are allergy free.

How many kids do you have ethansmom? What are your allergies? I think that if our family *only* had peanut/nut allergies i'd have a third no question, but with the milk/egg/chicken I feel I can not risk adding more limitations. We are holding off on the vasectomy...if my daughter outgrows even the milk...I might want another.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
katec wrote:
I also read that allergies are more severe in successive generations. I think it was in the book, How To Live With A Nut Allergy.

I didn't know that! but that makes sense in terms of my family history.

Maternal grandmother - anaphylactic to bee stings; recently developed oral allergy syndrome (in her 80s). she must have pollen allergies although I've never heard her complain about it

Maternal grandfather - major environmental allergies. i don't think he has ever been tested, but he needs to make frequent use of his handkerchief

my mom: *very* allergic to pollens, dust, dogs, and probably to mould. after she got married and my parents bought a house, she was having a *terrible* time with her allergies. The doctor's hypothesis: maybe she was allergic to my father. :o (Can that even happen?) So she was was quite relieved to find that she has a severe ragweed allergy---at that point, the lot next to them was an empty field. She has always had "oral allergy syndrome." In recent years, she has said that peanuts make her throat itchy.

uncle #1 - seasonal allergies

my mom's sister: seasonal allergies, asthma (which is probably because she is majorly allergic to her dogs which have the run of the house)

uncle #2 - anaphylactic to peanuts and some tree nuts. very bad seasonal allergies. allergy to mould. he isn't allergic to dogs, though!

-------------------------------------------------------------------
paternal grandmother - no allergies that I am aware of

paternal grandfather - I'm pretty sure he had undiagnosed asthma

uncle #1 -really I have no idea whether he has allergies or not.

my father: he gets asked about allergies a lot because of us, and he has been heard to say "I'm allergic to all food. It makes my stomach swell." :) (He has a hard time keeping the weight off. He has a theory that he can gain weight just by smelling chocolate.) But seriously, he has undiagnosed asthma. he had a lot of trouble breathing as a child. now he only has an attack when exercising in the cold or when exposed to sawdust. I would guess that he has year round allergic rhinitis, but he has never been to an allergist or respirologist or anything. He has seasonal allergies. Within the past 2-3 years, he has developed an allergy to some sort of tree nut. This worries me because my father is *completely* unconcerned about it since Benadryl gets it under control. He has had two reactions, both at work around the holiday season. I've lectured him, but to no avail.

uncle #2---I don't know the full situation here, but I do know that he has allergic rhinitis and takes a nasal spray

aunt -- sensitivity to MSG, some environmental allergies

--------------------------
As all of you will have gathered from reading my posts, my two sisters and I all have anaphylaxis (various foods), multiple food allergies, lots of environmental allergies, oral allergy syndrome. One sister has an allergy to a drug. Both sisters have asthma. I had severe childhood asthma and now have some sort of respiratory issue (vocal chord dysfunction, according to my respirologist--but I don't know if it is a firm diagnosis.) One of my sisters had severe eczema as a child and now has flareups from time to time. My other sister occasionally gets a bit of eczema. Years ago, I used to get eczema on my hands.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
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saskmommyof2 wrote:
How many kids do you have ethansmom? What are your allergies?

I have one child, Ethan (how'd you guess??) who is 3 years old. His only confirmed food allergy is to peanut (doctor wants to wait until he's older to skin test him for tree nuts - we're staying away from all nuts anyway, because of the cross contamination issue and the increased possibility of allergy to them). He also had mild eczema as a baby (no longer an issue for him unless his skin gets really dry). He has asthmatic responses when he is around environmental allergens like cats, dogs, dust, and when he gets sick (due to upper respiratory infections) but doesn't suffer with it on a day-to-day basis. There isn't a history of food allergy on either my husband's or my side of the family that we are aware of but there are other allergies. My paternal grandmother suffers from multiple seasonal and environmental allergies. My mother suffers from eczema, hayfever, and undiagnosed asthma. My brother had eczema as a young boy. I have seasonal allergies and environmental allergies (animals, dust, etc.) that developed in my teens. I'm very sensitive to fragrance (strong frangrances/perfumes can make me feel ill). My husband's mother has a severe allergy to cats, and hayfever. His sister outgrew childhood asthma. My husband has multiple seasonal and environmental allergies.

Ethan's peanut allergy isn't going to stop us from planning for another child, but I must say that when I read posts from others like yourself saskmommyof2, I am grateful that it's only peanut and think about what I would do if I had to eliminate other foods that we depend on as staples in our diet (like eggs, dairy, chicken, etc.) **After rereading this post, I wanted to edit it -- my intention with this statement wasn't to alienate those of you who are dealing with multiple food allergies, but to empathize with you. I know how difficult it can be to try to eliminate one food from your diet, let alone many..**

I agree with you katec, when you said that there is always potential for some health related issue when you're pregnant, allergy or otherwise. I know that I can't live my life planning for an infinite number of "what ifs" -- and as stressful and inconvenient as a peanut allergy is, it's something that can be managed. Ethan is an otherwise happy, healthy three-year-old. A healthy dose of perspective reminds me that others aren't so lucky and I'm very grateful for that.


Last edited by ethansmom on Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
Well Lisa, I guess we didn't stand a chance to be allergy free :lol:

maternal great-grandma: there is a rumor she may have been allergic to milk... she only gave it to others and never backed anything with milk... none of her recipies have milk in them for as long as everyone can remember :?

maternal grandma: extreme eczema when she was young

mom: severe seasonal allergies as well as animals and all, oral allergy syndrom, mild nut allergy.

mom's brothers and sisters: seasonal allergies

paternal grandma: extreme eczema when she was young... until she had my dad ;), allergy to medication and shows signs of milk allergy

(dad's siblings don't have the same dad, so I can't compare, especially because he had severe health problems on his side so I don't know from which side they got what)

dad: no diagnosed allergies, but coughs everytime he eats nuts and can't digest a lot of things :roll:

my sister: anaphylactic to milk when she was young... now has no problem with it. She has seasonal allergies and oral allergy syndrom.

ME: well, I got it all ;) : anaphylaxis, severe to mild allergies to a long list of allergens that has yet to stop growing, asthma, environmental allergies, severe to moderate eczema and if there are other conditions associated with allergies, I probably have them :roll:

My children? They don't stand a chance if I would ever decide to have any... I already have 2 1/2 food groups left in my diet... don't think I'll ever take the chance of having children who could have allergies that are different from mine :(


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
One encouraging thing is that my husbands childhood food allergies were to peanuts and milk which he outgrew around 12 years old, and eggs nuts and fish which he still has but to a lesser degree than in childhood. Since our kids share his allergies (and we do not have soy or others ) maybe it is more likely that any more kids would share in the common allergens of the other family members. Hopefully outgrowing allergies is genetic too because i still have small hope for the kids outgrowing some of theirs.

Allergies are all over the place in both of our families, a lot of them I was unaware of until my kids were diagnosed. I was unaware that both my cousins had severe dairy allergies which they outgrew around the time they started school.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
When I was little I was aware that I had a cousine with a lobster allergy.

As an adult I developed allergies to peanuts and sesame seeds. A few years later I found out one of my older brothers has a *mild* peanut allergy. Then, my sister developed multiple food allergies - soy (her worst allergy) but also peanut, nightshade family and I think some more.

Over the years I have discovered an uncle with a crab allergy.

A cousin with an insect allergy.

A half-nephew with an insect allergy.

***********

All of these relatives are on my father's side - no known allergies on my mother's side.

*************

My kids:

First two we discovered were allergic to penicillin before I developed my allergies. (Their father's father is anaphylactic to penicillin.)

After I developed my food allergies, my kids had allergic reactions to:

Son #1 - mold, latex

Son #2 - sulfa based antibiotics

Son #3 - (born after I developed my allergies) is allergic to insect bites & stings. We will not allow him to have penicillin, we just assume an allergy


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
My mother came from a large family...11 kids. My father is one of 3. My sister and I were the only 'lucky' ones of about 40 cousins that have allergies. My father got adult-onset asthma but no allergies. Both my sister and I have adult-onset asthma as well. Given this lack of family history, I believe that my mother smoking our whole lives and during her pregancies is what caused our allergies. I could be wrong but it's the only explanation that I can come up with.

Now both of my kids and my sister's children have allergies. Only my daughter has the peanut allergy which I blame for my eating of peanut butter during my pregnancy.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
my only food allergic child is the youngest of 4 boys. He has eggs, shellfish, environmental and peanut allergies. All older children have no significant allergies, other than the oldest with very mild environmental - he will get sniffly for about 2 weeks a year late summer. I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary during my pregnancy - although I did have a higer level of stress, due to some minor complications. He was born with a cystic hygroma which was a large cyst (size of adult fist) on his neck. It was removed surgically at 8 months. I've entertained the thought that the anesthetic during surgery may have caused the allergies (plus it's easier to blame something, not DNA). I am convinced that the fluid in his lungs at birth have caused the athesma. His maternal aunt has shellfish allergies developed in her early 20's, and maternal grandmother had ecsema as a child and oddly develops allergies to various drugs after taking them for some time. (she "developed" allergies to hormone drugs over time, both birth control and supplements after a hysterectomy). So your guess is as good as mine - you just never know what life will challenge you with. :?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:24 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Toronto area
Hi ethansmom,
We have four kids with an age difference of 9 years between eldest to youngest. Three of them were already born before we knew of any allergies/asthma. They are all asthmatic; three are food allergic but the eldest is only environmentally allergic. When we were at family camp one summer and the older three were taking turns having puffers/using the nebulizer machine, someone asked me, "why would you have so many kids if even one was allergic and there were allergies in your family?" When I stopped seeing red, I answered that we already had three when that info became known to us and that I didn't think it was an option to give them back nor would I have been able to decide which ones to choose!!!! You know, when you have one allergic or asthmatic kid, you change your lifestyle, your thought process and often your household routine or set-up... so...what does it matter how many allergic kids you have if you've already made those changes? What I learned from the most allergic of the bunch, son #2, helped the rest of them to stay out of hospital, stay healthier etc. etc. Unfortunately, the first one to show signs of allergy was the most severe and we spent a year learning how to prevent problems. Since it turned out to be necessary for all our kids, it actually helped his self-esteem that it wasn't always because of him that we didn't chose to do things or go certain places or have pets etc. Although you wouldn't wish any child to have difficulties, it makes it seem less of a problem when more than one family member needs to live by the same cautions. Children are such a blessing no matter what comes packaged with them. I drive school bus for developmentally challenged kids, many who are medically challenged, and they all have fantastic parents who deserve medals of honour for what they do to help their kids. When my own kids have complained about their asthma/allergies affecting their lives, I point out to them that life often hands us struggles and that their situation could be much different/worse. My #2 son has been tested three times throughout his life (he's now 20) for cystic fibrosis - a life shortening disease- thankfully, all times were negative- but I have told him that compared to that possibility, asthma is nothing!!! and I'm thankful asthma and allergies are All that he has because we still have him!!! Its all a matter of perspective. You handle what you're given because you have to.
So ethansmom - have more kids if that is what you truly want and enjoy them no matter how they turn out healthwise - you will handle whatever comes and your life will be richer for it. But if it is a big issue for you, there are always many children who need to be adopted so maybe you can satisfy your longing for another child thru that avenue.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:37 am 
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I think this is a natural topic for parents to contemplate when considering having more children (thanks to everyone for sharing their stories...). It isn't something that I've spent a great deal of time worrying about and it certainly isn't something that will stop me from planning for another child. I totally "get" that there are much worse things for children to have to deal with than food allergies and I'm very grateful for our beautiful, smart, (should I go on... :wink: ) son. Perspective is everything.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
I have four children.
2 girls no known allergies.
Son #1 peanut/nut, legumes and sulpha. During pregnancy I did all the same stuff as the first 2.
Son #2 Same allergies as son #1. Avoided all peanuts/nuts etc. and he still has the allergies.

As for allergies in the family:
- My brother has hayfever which he developed when he was about 17.

- My niece on my husbands side had excema and my nephew (her brother) has asthma.
So really I don't know how my boys became so severe.

So do not ever blame yourself. It took me a long time to no longer blame myself for their allergies. I figure God only gives you what you can handle and there must be a reason why he wants me to handle this.

I was so determined to have a fourth that when I discussed it with my husband he said he was stopping at three. I said fine I'll go find someone who will give me my fourth. :wink: He wasn't willing to give me a divorce or custody of the children so he gave in and gave me a fourth. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Oldest child (7): peanut, nut, legumes, egg, chicken (all fowl likely), some fish, potatoes, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, has Oral Allergy Syndrome

Youngest child (5): peant, dairy, egg (all severe); has outgrown wheat, barley, crab; has asthma and eczema

Me: allergic (but not ana) to milk as a child (labelled failure to thrive at 17 months and then they discovered the allergy); had other mild allergies as well; reacted to egg nog at Christmas (hives and itchy palms and feet) and suspect eggs - wondering if it's because I no longer really eat eggs that I'm developing a sensitivity! Should get tested...

Husband: no known food allergies; very allergic to dust mites

Sister-in-law: multiple food allergies
Niece 1 of 4: shellfish allergy
Niece 2 of 4: multiple food allergies, some peanut

(I'm adopted so no idea about my side of the family...)

Wow - doesn't look too good when you write it all down!! I have to admit, one of the two main reasons we stopped at 2 kids is because of the allergies. I was quite afraid of what kid # 3 might be allergic to. (air? water?) I knew enough to know that it could be much worse, and decided to count my blessings and stop at two. :)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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