Monday, May 11, 2009

Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month

May is National Asthma and Allergy awareness month ! There's a lot of people asking about Allergies;Food Allergies on Mamapedia and other places. It seems almost everyone has been touched by allergies/asthma somehow-I know when I was a kid I would get pollen induced allergies and if I ran around too much in the spring months I would even get an asthmatic wheeze. Luckily I've pretty much outgrown it. But now our lives have been touched by food allergies-Which isn't that much of a surprise since there's been an 18% increase of food allergies in US kids in the past 10 years.!

Although we didn't know it at the time ever since my son "DJ" was a newborn he showed symptoms of a milk allergy-diarrhea;blood in his stool-after we started using formula(since nursing wasn't going so well). You could imagine our panic and took him to the Dr. It was an interesting experience to collect enough of a stool sample-and keep it in our fridge!! Once we took it in to the Dr. and they couldn't figure anything out. It was only a passing statement by a nurse that he may be allergic that we tried different formula's and finally settled on the Hypo-Allergenic formula Nutramigen. He also had an allergy test at about 18mos. to confirm the diary allergy since then we've found using soy milk-the kind that's vitamin fortified and has calcium--etc. Silk works well for him. It is important to get an allergy test to confirm an allergy and the severity. Although my son's allergy is mild it can be difficult say for instance if we're at a birthday party we may worry is that icing dairy free? and no he can't have the icecream-etc.

So, my heart does go out to those dealing with food allergies! Even though luckily my son has a mild allergy and might even outgrow it; it's still difficult. And I know there are many concerns out there-like Celiac Disease. But, the good news is besides checking food labels, food companies have made increasingly clear allergy labels, and even coming out with more options; recently General Mill's has made their varieties of Chex cereal gluten free,and there are place's like CherryBrook Kitchen that specialize in Allergy-Free food products. There's also plenty of great resources for allergies/asthma 1 -I recommend is the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. And remember Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month!


Lady Mama said...

Thanks for the useful info! It certainly is a worry. Hopefully your son will outgrow the allergy as he gets older. My husband and brother are both asthma sufferers and I'm just crossing my fingers that neither of my boys are too.

Carolee said...

Good info-thanks

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Aw, I'm sorry to hear about your son's dairy allergy. What a good thing you were able to find that out. It took us months to figure out our son is lactose intolerant. Even soy upset him -- but lactose-free milk is the way he goes. I hear he will grow out of it -- do you think so?

Molly said...

Great information! I'm an allergy sufferer myself and I never knew we had our own month! Cool!