Posted by: Belinda | 2008/07/28

Is it worth the cost

Dear Doc

We are an allergic family with Asthma and uticaria coming from generations ago. I am an asthmatic as well. I have 3 sons. Me eldest son (7) definitely has nasal allergies and is on asthma medication. My middle son (5) has constant sinus congestion and ear infections, the baby has had a ' cold'  for the past month now. I have had an allergy test (years ago) and was only allergic to house dust mite. My sons have never been tested. They were all only ever partially breastfed as I had surgery to both breasts as a young girl and had insufficient milk supply as a result. We have all used milk. (As babies on NAN)

Should we all go for Allergy testing to see if it is perhaps our diet? And where do we start. If I exclude milk (to see if that is the culprit) does that mean ALL milk or can we still use lactose free? Does that mean no yoghurt and cheese and for how long do I do this to see if milk is the problem.

Our medical savings are up and I cannot afford to do these expensive tests if they just give some vague indications. If hoewever, they are useful I will make a plan to save te money to go.

Can you please give me your opinion ?

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Belinda
Basically it is worthwhile to have proper allergy tests done for each individual because as you experienced you were allergic to house dust mites, but the children may each be individually allergic to one or more other allergens which may or may not be food-related. It would be counterproductive to for example cut out milk from the diet of growing children if they are allergic to pollen or animal hairs instead. If they are all allergic to milk or some other food then of course you will have to cut out the offending food or foods. If they prove allergic to milk protein then this means a) that they cannot have milk or other dairy products like yoghurt, cottage cheese or all other types of cheese, b) that they must take a calcium supplement for the rest of their lives, but esp during their growing phase (until the age of 21 or older) to grow strong teeth an bones. If you and your family were allergic to the sugar in milk (lactose) then you would probably develop diarrhoea and bloating, not respiratory symptoms. The latter can be associated with allergy to one or more of the proteins in milk, so drinking lactose-free milk would not help. You would need to switch to soy milk (if you are not also allergic to soy), soy yoghurt, ice cream, sorbet, etc.
Best regards

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