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  #1  
Old 01-29-2010, 08:50 PM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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Are there foods that no one is allergic to?

I know people who are allergic to all manner of foods and things. Peanuts, wheat, strawberries, bee venom, me.....so on and so forth. Got me to wondering if there wasn't someone, somewhere allergic to anything you could name...like are there people allergic to oatmeal, say, or some other presumably innocuous food.

Are there foods that no one is allergic to?
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:13 PM
Savannah Savannah is offline
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I'm going to guess human breast milk.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:19 PM
Sarabellum1976 Sarabellum1976 is offline
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Human breast milk wouldn't be a bad guess - but - what if the mom consumes peanuts, strawberries, elucidator, etc, and baby is allergic to those things?
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:38 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Sarabellum1976 View Post
Human breast milk wouldn't be a bad guess - but - what if the mom consumes peanuts, strawberries, elucidator, etc, and baby is allergic to those things?
Then the baby is allergic to those things that happen to be dissolved in something else. That doesn't make the something else itself allergenic.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:45 PM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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Babies can be sensitive to food in their mother's diet. I think there was an episode of The Learning Channel's "Mystery Diagnosis" where a baby was unable to digest or breakdown breast milk.
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:50 PM
panamajack panamajack is offline
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I would assume some simple foods like water, sugar, or salt don't cause an allergic reaction.

If you expand the definition of 'allergic', you'd have to rule out breast milk. An awful lot of adults couldn't drink human breast milk without problems.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2010, 10:16 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by panamajack View Post
I would assume some simple foods like water, sugar, or salt don't cause an allergic reaction.

If you expand the definition of 'allergic', you'd have to rule out breast milk. An awful lot of adults couldn't drink human breast milk without problems.
You're probably thinking of lactose intolerance, which isn't an allergy under any definition.

People seem to stretch the meaning of allergy out to any reaction. They shouldn't. Technically a food allergy is a reaction of the IgE immune system to foreign proteins. There are other antibody systems, like IgG, that can produce some symptoms that might overlap and are triggered by other foods or even metals. These are more properly called hypersensitivities than allergies, but people, even doctors, sometimes lump them together.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2010, 10:28 PM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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So, then, if a food has no proteins, it cannot provoke an allegic reaction?
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2010, 10:50 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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I once heard, many years ago, that if you are suspected of having a food allergy, but it is not clear to which food you are allergic, you may, for a few days, be put on a diet consisting only of lamb and pears (and water). Apparently it is very rare (not impossible but very uncommon) for anyone to be allergic to either lamb meat or pears. The point of the diet is to clear any allergens from what you have previously eaten out of your system. After a few days of the lamb and pears diet you then reintroduce small amounts of other foods to your diet one by one, until the allergic reaction recurs. Then you know what you are allergic to and can avoid it in the future.

This came back to me when I saw this thread, and it seemed so weird (lamb and pears!) that I thought I must have misremembered it, but a quick look on Google confirms it.
See: http://www.streetdirectory.com/food_...d_allergy.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pear

The BBC says rice and sweet potatoes also have similar properties:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditio...ons_food.shtml

Last edited by njtt; 01-29-2010 at 10:51 PM..
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2010, 07:06 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
The BBC says rice and sweet potatoes also have similar properties:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditio...ons_food.shtml
However, I know someone whose child is allergic to rice, which is really tough in Japan.
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2010, 07:44 AM
Waffle Decider Waffle Decider is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
Babies can be sensitive to food in their mother's diet. I think there was an episode of The Learning Channel's "Mystery Diagnosis" where a baby was unable to digest or breakdown breast milk.
My mum said they had to feed me formula because I would get the run with her milk.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2010, 09:28 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Savannah View Post
I'm going to guess human breast milk.
No - I heard of a man who had a full blown anaphylactic reaction to his wife's breast milk. Granted, that does make it sound like a FOAF story, but I considered the source reasonably reliable. Wish I could come up with a solid cite on that one, though.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2010, 10:41 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by elucidator View Post
So, then, if a food has no proteins, it cannot provoke an allergic reaction?
Technically, yes. However, in the real world anaphylactic reactions can be triggered by nanograms of protein. Except for pure grade medicinal products there is always a chance that a food could be contaminated by an otherwise invisible amount of protein.

That's why you hear stories about parents of kids with allergies who blow up when knives aren't properly washed between uses or at fast food places that don't separate their foods or any of the hundred other ways contamination can occur (even airborne). It's a tiny minority of the tiny minority with allergies who have to be this careful, but the consequences can be deadly. That's why EpiPens or the equivalent - shots of epinephrine - are mandatory take-alongs.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2010, 10:54 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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I did some searchng on anaphylactic reactions to human breast milk and came up with two citations.

Recurrent Postpartum Anaphylaxis With Breast-Feeding
Obstetrics & Gynecology:
August 2009 - Volume 114 - Issue 2, Part 2 - pp 415-416
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181a20721


Case Reports
Recurrent Postpartum Anaphylaxis With Breast-Feeding
Shank, Jessica J. MD; Olney, Stacey C. MD; Lin, Fang L. MD; McNamara, Michael F. DO
Quote:
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis associated with breast-feeding is a rare but potentially life-threatening event.

CASE: This woman reported anaphylaxis with three previous pregnancies while breast-feeding. With her fourth pregnancy she was treated with corticosteroids and antihistamines after delivery. Despite treatment, she developed urticaria, facial edema, and throat tightening, less severe than prior episodes. Her symptoms resolved with epinephrine and antihistamine but recurred with subsequent breast-feeding. On postpartum day 4 she had no symptoms while breast-feeding.

CONCLUSION: Three cases of postpartum breast-feeding anaphylaxis have been reported. Although the pathophysiology is unclear, it may involve the decrease in progesterone and rise of prolactin causing mast cell degranulation. Avoidance of nonsteroidal antiinflammatories and prophylaxis with corticosteroids and antihistamines may offer the best protection
Human milk allergy
Journal Indian Journal of Pediatrics
Publisher Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation, co-published by Springer India
ISSN 0019-5456 (Print) 0973-7693 (Online)
Issue Volume 32, Number 5 / May, 1965


The text is not copyable, but it's the beginning of a report on a five-month old infant.

So it appears to be possible, but exceedingly rare, and the causes are not clear either.
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2010, 06:01 PM
jackelope jackelope is offline
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Originally Posted by panamajack View Post
I would assume some simple foods like water[...].
Apparently, people can be allergic to water, though it's mighty rare:

Wikipedia: Aquagenic pruritus
Google results
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2010, 07:34 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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Manna.

Hard to imagine Gawd Herself screwing that one up.


.
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2010, 09:01 PM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I once heard, many years ago, that if you are suspected of having a food allergy, but it is not clear to which food you are allergic, you may, for a few days, be put on a diet consisting only of lamb and pears (and water). Apparently it is very rare (not impossible but very uncommon) for anyone to be allergic to either lamb meat or pears. The point of the diet is to clear any allergens from what you have previously eaten out of your system. After a few days of the lamb and pears diet you then reintroduce small amounts of other foods to your diet one by one, until the allergic reaction recurs. Then you know what you are allergic to and can avoid it in the future.
This may not apply to humans, but I'd read about lamb and rice as good nonallergic foods for dogs (or maybe cats), and in that context, the assumption used to be that the animal would not be allergic to lamb and rice because it had never been exposed to lamb and rice before. Lamb, rice and pears may all have some sort of natural anti-allergy effect, but it makes sense to me that any degree of nonexposure might make a difference as well.

It is my understanding that today it is far more likely than it used to be that your dog or cat has been exposed to lamb. I'm not sure why that has changed other than because pet food is a majorly luxury market.

I'm not claiming that pets are a luxury, just that many of the options out there for food for pets is marketed 100% at the human buying the food, and some of those options are absurd.
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2010, 11:54 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I've also heard game meat recommended for allergy sufferers, presumably based on the same reason of it being rare in most people's diets.

How about this one? I'll bet nobody in history has ever exhibited an allergic reaction to whole fugu.
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2010, 12:21 AM
njtt njtt is offline
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Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
This may not apply to humans, but I'd read about lamb and rice as good nonallergic foods for dogs (or maybe cats), and in that context, the assumption used to be that the animal would not be allergic to lamb and rice because it had never been exposed to lamb and rice before. Lamb, rice and pears may all have some sort of natural anti-allergy effect, but it makes sense to me that any degree of nonexposure might make a difference as well.

It is my understanding that today it is far more likely than it used to be that your dog or cat has been exposed to lamb. I'm not sure why that has changed other than because pet food is a majorly luxury market.

I'm not claiming that pets are a luxury, just that many of the options out there for food for pets is marketed 100% at the human buying the food, and some of those options are absurd.
Well, I heard about the lamb and pears in Britain, where lamb is (or certainly was back then) a much more commonly eaten meat than it seems to be now in America. Indeed, when I was kid (I am not sure about now) I rather think it was cheaper and eaten more often than beef (and perhaps more often than pork or chicken, too).

And of course, rice is probably eaten by more people than any other foodstuff.

I think the low allegenicity (is that a word?) of these foods must be something inherent to them, that perhaps applies to animals as well as humans, and the story about it being due to low rates of exposure to them was just someone's WAG that got told to you as if it were fact.

Last edited by njtt; 01-31-2010 at 12:23 AM..
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2010, 12:28 AM
fuzzypickles fuzzypickles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin View Post
Manna.

Hard to imagine Gawd Herself screwing that one up.
But didn't God also "create" peanuts, etc.?
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  #21  
Old 02-01-2010, 08:00 AM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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Water-based foods like iceberg lettuce and watermelon?

Just a WAG.
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2010, 08:01 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Nope. I've personally known someone allergic to watermelon.

Personally, I think whatever food you name someone somewhere has been allergic to it.
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2010, 08:15 AM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Nope. I've personally known someone allergic to watermelon.

Personally, I think whatever food you name someone somewhere has been allergic to it.
Human flesh? That would be an interesting study.
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2010, 11:39 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Nope. I've personally known someone allergic to watermelon.

Personally, I think whatever food you name someone somewhere has been allergic to it.
And how did this person know they were allergic to watermelon? This is a serious question. Did they have a double blind challenge? Have formal skin prick testing?

Or did they just decide they reacted to watermelon and so they must be allergic?

Self-reporting of food allergies runs as high as 30% in countries where the official tested rate is no more than 4%. Most people who think they have allergies don't. Nor do they have food intolerances or anything that is consistent and testable. They reacted and decided. Not the same thing as an allergy.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:24 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
And how did this person know they were allergic to watermelon? This is a serious question. Did they have a double blind challenge? Have formal skin prick testing?
Had had no other food that day. Was at a picnic, picked up a slice of watermelon, and took a big bite. Mouth, lips, tongue, throat swelled up. Wheezing and difficulty breathing ensued. Paramedics called. Much consternation, administered oxygen, spoke of "shock". Taken to ER and treated. Doctors instructed patient to avoid watermelon in the future and issued an epi-pen.

I don't know - do you really need a "double-blind" challenge or formal skin prick testing after anaphylatic shock?

Said person also told to avoid other melons as a precaution, as cross-reactivity does occur sometimes, but I have no idea if said person had formal testing for, say, cantaloupes. But, definitely, watermelon was a problem.

Testing for bee sting allergy came up negative - apparently the docs did consider the possibility of a bee being on the slice he bit into, but that seems to have been eliminated.

Mind you, I completely agree that allergies are over-reported and testing is valuable. However, not everyone saying "I have an allergy" is lying or mistaken. Myself, I have had formal allergy testing, I do have genuine allergies (I've had two trips to the ER myself from them), and your level of skepticism can, under some circumstances, be really annoying even if I would normally fully support said skepticism.

Last edited by Broomstick; 02-01-2010 at 12:25 PM..
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2010, 01:00 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Yes, I am always skeptical of these claims. I am skeptical when someone claims to have had no food at all in a day. I also note that that the Mayo Clinic discusses the fact that:
Quote:
pollen-food allergy syndrome sometimes called oral allergy syndrome can cause swelling of the throat or even anaphylaxis. This is an example of cross-reactivity. Proteins in fruits and vegetables cause the reaction because they're similar to those allergy-causing proteins found in certain pollens. For example, if you're allergic to ragweed, you may also react to melons;
If ragweed is the primary underlying cause then saying that the person has an allergy to watermelon can leave that person open to a shock even in a watermelon-less future.

Allergy is almost always more complicated than people think it is.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:34 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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Originally Posted by TokyoPlayer View Post
However, I know someone whose child is allergic to rice, which is really tough in Japan.
How does he live? What does he eat?
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2010, 01:42 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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Originally Posted by fuzzypickles View Post
But didn't God also "create" peanuts, etc.?
Well of course She did. She also created avocados, and made the pits too big, so I'm not saying She didn't have an occasional Senior Moment.

But I thought the standard Bible lore is that manna was an emergency survival ration for the people (whoever they were) who would otherwise have starved; realizing you were allergic to it would have been quite a blow to one's self-esteem, and I don't think AG Herself would be that thoughtless.

.
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  #29  
Old 02-01-2010, 04:04 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
If ragweed is the primary underlying cause then saying that the person has an allergy to watermelon can leave that person open to a shock even in a watermelon-less future.
And if the person doesn't have a ragweed allergy they might well be reacting to watermelon in which case he really should avoid it.

I'm not privy to the man's exact medical history. Neither are you. As I said, while I applaud skepticism too much of the sort you exhibit can make my life hell as people earnestly try to convince me I'm not allergic to foods that I have actually been proven to be allergic to.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:51 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin View Post
She also created avocados, and made the pits too big
I see we've been watching the same documentary.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:21 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
And if the person doesn't have a ragweed allergy they might well be reacting to watermelon in which case he really should avoid it.

I'm not privy to the man's exact medical history. Neither are you. As I said, while I applaud skepticism too much of the sort you exhibit can make my life hell as people earnestly try to convince me I'm not allergic to foods that I have actually been proven to be allergic to.
You might notice that I've been arguing that people should know more about their allergies, not less. And that people, including you, shouldn't diagnose others on the basis of no sound medical opinion. And that it isn't about you.
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  #32  
Old 02-01-2010, 07:26 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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The gentleman I mentioned was diagnosed by medical doctors who told him he had an allergy to watermelon and to avoid it in the future. I had and still have no reason to question that. You were the one who cast doubt on a diagnosis by trained medical personnel.
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  #33  
Old 02-01-2010, 07:35 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Almost any "natural" (i.e., not highly processed) foodstuff is going to have some protein in it, including things like like watermelons. Just because they are are largely water does not mean that there are not potential allergens in the part that isn't water. I don't know about watermelons specifically, but I myself am mildly allergic - or in some way sensitive, anyway - to cantaloupe. It causes a nasty and persisting itching sensation in my throat, not unlike what I have also experienced from hay fever. I have confirmed this on numerous occasions, as I like the taste of cantaloupe very much, and can usually get away with one or two pieces before the itching gets too bad; but if I eat much more it gets really quite unpleasant.
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  #34  
Old 02-01-2010, 07:40 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
I see we've been watching the same documentary.
Oh God. I'm busted.


.
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  #35  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:31 AM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
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Originally Posted by Serenata67 View Post
Water-based foods like iceberg lettuce and watermelon?

Just a WAG.

A close friend of mind claims to be now allergic to some salads (I don't know if one of them is lettuce or not).

However,although she does have a variety of severe allergies, and to more and more foodstuff as time pass, her claims are about specific foods are often dubious and variable (she has a mild allergic reaction and decides apparently a bit randomly that it has to be, say, the lettuce).

She hasn't been tested for salad (I don't even know if you can be tested for that), so, take this anecdote with a grain of salt.
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  #36  
Old 02-02-2010, 03:09 AM
Hokkaido Brit Hokkaido Brit is offline
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Originally Posted by TokyoPlayer View Post
However, I know someone whose child is allergic to rice, which is really tough in Japan.
It's a more common allergy than wheat in Japan. For some reason people get allergic to their culture's staples.... Soy bean allergy is also very common here. These two points told me by my son's allergist.

(And my son is mildly allergic to rice and quite allergic to soy. Sigh.)
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  #37  
Old 02-02-2010, 09:07 PM
Bambi Hassenpfeffer Bambi Hassenpfeffer is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
I did some searchng on anaphylactic reactions to human breast milk and came up with two citations.

Recurrent Postpartum Anaphylaxis With Breast-Feeding
Obstetrics & Gynecology:
August 2009 - Volume 114 - Issue 2, Part 2 - pp 415-416
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181a20721


Case Reports
Recurrent Postpartum Anaphylaxis With Breast-Feeding
Shank, Jessica J. MD; Olney, Stacey C. MD; Lin, Fang L. MD; McNamara, Michael F. DO
This first cite seems to be reporting anaphylaxis on the part of the mother, which seems even stranger than an infant being allergic to its mother's milk.
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  #38  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:49 AM
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So, uh.. glucose? Yeah, glucose.
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