Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Allergy Awareness Week...Ashlea's story

Picture a happy & healthy, fun loving seven month old baby.... then all of a sudden, without warning this beautiful baby suffers from (seemingly) random attacks of vomiting over a one month period. Lasting only a few minutes and then nothing for days.
The last attack however is so violent that the baby is finding it hard to breathe between bouts and so is taken to the A & E.

The attack is subsiding by the time we are seen by the doctor who then dismisses it as an over reacting mother. In the reception, while settling the bill, the attack begins again - and finally we are taken seriously!!!

From there we are sent to Starship children's hospital for treatment. Drip feeding hydration fluid in 2ml amounts every 5 minutes - only to find them being thrown back up.

A terrifying experience for mother, baby & 2 year old sibling who is witness to it all.

We remained in the hospital for a full week, watching our poor baby drop from a healthy 8 month weight down to that of a 5 month old.

Multiple tests and no answers!
Because of her happy nature - even while in hospital - many of the doctors felt that this had been some sort of bug. Though none could explain, how it had been over a month long period and only affected random days.

The only connection I could make, was wheat. Ashlea had started solids at 5 months, but only just begun using the teething bars and other bread based products. Her attacks were all on days were she had ingested an amount of wheat. The last and most violent was after 2 fingers of toast with marmite...both of which are high in wheat.

We were recommended to drop this from her diet to see what happens & sure enough her weight slowly crept up and no more vomiting.
The doctors, despite the evidence, were unwilling to accept this as the cause unless we reintroduced the wheat and saw the same violent reactions.
There was no way I was going to put my poor darling through any such thing - just to prove what had already been proven!
Instead, I retained the wheat free diet and then visited a natropath for an allergy hair test.
No surprises what came back with an off the chart for my little darling...that's right...WHEAT! There were also another 10 items to be avoided, including dairy and soy.
Ashlea is now nearly 2 1/2yrs and on the 75th percentile for both height & weight.
This is the story of my youngest daughter Ashlea, and the horrible experience we faced when she was so young.
Allergy awareness is on the rise, and this week is a tribute to allergy sufferers and their families. To those who don't face this in their day to day life, it is hard to truely imagine the impact it can have.
It is truely life changing.


  1. Our youngest has been GF since she was 6mths old and went 3 days with drinking - and she was a bottle baby so we knew how little she was drinking. We took it out of her diet and she was back to normal in days, we then put it back in again and sure enough it happened again. With plunket support we kept her GF ever since and will leave it up to her to get further testing if she wants to done for cealiacs when she's older.

  2. Have you considered seeing a paediatric immunologist and having some RAST blood tests done? We see Rohan Ameratunga in Auckland and he is just awesome. My first son (now 6) had multiple food allergies.

  3. Amanda - it is amazing how many little ones are out there with the same issues. It is so horrible seeing them like that at such a young age, and I am just greatful we worked it all out.

    Cath - thanks for your suggestion lol. We have been to immunology and seen Rohan too - the RAST test and skin prick tests all came back inconclusive, even to things which have a proven reaction. They said if she has had little exposure then this can happen, and as we took her off those foods almost as soon as she went on them that we could get faulse negatives. She is thriving without them and suffers whenever she has the smallest amount, so we are sticking to the diet we have for now ;0)


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