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Food Allergies/out growing food allergies

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Question
My 14 month old son has been diagnosed with allergies to dairy and garlic. Our doctor has advised us to wait a year from the diagnosis to have him tested for those allergies again, avoiding dairy products and garlic in the meantime. We have been doing so, but how obsessive should I be? His reactions are gastro-intestinal upset and a rash, so it is not life threatening, but very uncomfortable for him. But if he is accidentally exposed to either allergen, will that affect his chances of out-growing these allergies? Thanks.

Answer
I agree with your doctor, at least in part. 75% of children with allergy in the first few months of life have grown out of it by age 1. 75% of those who still have it at 12 months have grown out of it by age 7. And a high percentage of those left then lose their food allergies before puberty. In other words, the great majority of small children are going to grow out of it before they grow up, with or without medical intervention.

I am very worried about advising avoidance of milk without evidence of some kind of reaction to milk. Mainly because most milk allergy is also transient. And, milk is an essential nutrient providing calcium, vitamins etc. If avoiding milk, if they are not fed an adequate milk substitute, then they may need calcium and other supplements. But I presume your doctor will have advised you about your son's nutrition.

I know of no evidence that accidental exposure at this time will make any difference in the long term. It is usual to do skin tests at age 7 rather than earlier because so many have grown out of their food allergies by then.

Don't worry about transient rashes. A lot of children with allergic rashes look terrible, but actually the baby is very happy and the main upset to the mother is the absence of a perfect looking-child. So less worry and just treating the degree of actual distress, is the balanced strategy.

If you are still concerned, get back to me.

Food Allergies

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David Pearson

Expertise

Any in the field I believe. Only experience of questions that get asked will tell.

Experience

I am a retired medical academic from the UK. I have done major research on Food Allergy and have been a government adviser in the area. 30 years experience running an allergy clinic. And undergraduate and post-graduate teaching.

Organizations
Well, apart from the FRCP, I'm no longer active in the area. I'm too busy writing books. And I no longer have the cash to go to international meetings. But was active in many.

Publications
Will 120 scientific papers help? Chapters in books. Patient advisory materials. Magazine articles. TV appearances. Live and recorded. National and international invited lectures, etc. It was my job for 40 years. Do you think I count!

Education/Credentials
MD, PhD, Postgraduate Diplomas etc. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. etc. But I don't want that put out on the net! Just to let you know!

Awards and Honors
irrelevant.

Past/Present Clients
Too many to count, patients of course and a large number of all sorts of corporate consultancies and considerable work as an expert witness in the Courts. I'm volunteering because your Greek expert has been so helpful, I thought I'd offer something back.

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