We Wish We Knew

the true dangers of Emily’s food allergy

Emily was diagnosed with her life threatening peanut allergy in 1995. She was part of the first wave of kids with food allergies. At the doctor’s office, we were not given any information other than a prescription for an Epipen and we were told to avoid peanuts. (Huh? Peanuts are everywhere!) We did not know there was a local food allergy support group in Cincinnati, FAAST. We wish we knew how just a trace amount of peanut could cause anaphylaxis.

Recommendation: Do not rely solely on your allergist for information. Research on-line, read books, join a local or national support group, and get involved. The website Kids with Food AllergiesAllergykids,  and Allergy Moms are several of the best sites I have seen to support the family of an allergic child.

Emily knew she was allergic to peanuts. She was 13 years old and would never take any risks. At school they would have bake sales, and Emily would not buy anything since she did not know how the food was prepared. She made sure waitresses knew about her allergy. She read labels and did NOT take risks. But no matter how vigilant you think you and your child are, YOU MUST ALWAYS be prepared for the worse.

Recommendation: NEVER leave home without an Epipen and prepare an emergency plan and review it regularly.

 that anaphylaxis can look like asthma

Emily had eczema at birth, food allergies at two, ADHD at eight or nine, and asthma at ten or eleven. Many kids with food allergies have the triple threat of eczema, food allergies, and asthma. The day Emily died the anaphylaxis looked and felt like asthma. Just like Sabrina Shannon, Emily was confused and thought she was having an asthma attack. Emily was alone in the bathroom when the reaction was at it’s height… so Emily would have had to recognize this was NOT asthma. Read more about When Anaphylaxis Looks Like Asthma.

Recommendation: If your child has asthma and food allergies be sure you teach your child that anaphylaxis can feel and look like asthma. If shortly after eating, they begin to have difficulty breathing — use the Epi — do not use the inhaler.

 that children with peanut allergies and asthma should avoid soy

Emily had a severe peanut allergy and asthma. We were never told by our allergist to avoid soy. We were never told of the dangers of cross reactivity. We have friends with kids with the same allergies and asthma as Emily and their allergist has told them to strictly avoid soy. There are documented cases where children like Emily have died after eating soy, not peanuts.  Even the Mayo Clinic warns of the dangers of soy for severe peanut allergic people with asthma.

 

After Emily died, we were contacted by Anne Munoz-Furlong the head of the largest food allergy non-profit FAAN. Her questions were: Was she allergic to soy? Did she eat soy products? If so, any problems with it? Was Emily avoiding soy? Did she ever have a reaction to soy? No questions about her peanut allergy… I always thought it interesting. Why such an interest in Emily’s history with Soy. Here is what FAAN says about avoiding soy for peanut allergic children “Unnecessarily restricting foods can put an individual at risk for dietary deficiencies, and also carries social and emotional consequences.” Why do they conflict with the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Kayla Daniel? Soy has little nutritional value (there is conflicting camps on soy’s nutritional value, but I tend to believe Dr. Daniel)… what deficiency would avoiding soy cause?

Recommendation: If your child has peanut allergies and asthma, remove all soy from their diet. Read The Whole Soy Story by Dr. Kayla Daniel… warning, it will make you sick and mad. Remove processed foods from your diet.

the teenage years are the MOST dangerous years

Emily was a teenager and knew she was dangerously allergic to peanuts. She read labels, alerted waiters and waitresses; refused to take chances with food she was not familiar with, etc. But she had entered her most dangerous years. It defies logic, because you think since your child is old enough to read labels and understands their situation; they are safer than when they were a toddler. Teenagers start experiencing more of life away from home… and have more opportunities to get into trouble. Several examples of this dangerous time is the story about Brenton Schivley (16), Carley Kohnen (13), Gina Hunt (14), Sabrina Shannon (13), Jane McVeigh (17), Kareen Bacchus (17), andMichelle Bray (21).  None of these children should have died.There is a long list of people that have lost their lives from their food allergy, read it here.

Recommendation: When your child becomes a teenager, do not rest or get into a comfort zone. You and your child need to be extra vigilant at this time. Their friends need to be taught the signs of anaphylaxis and how to administer the Epi.

   that Cross-Contamination dangers are everywhere

There are no specific laws requiring restaurants to have cross contamination training, preventive measures, testing, etc. You are taking a huge risk every time you eat away from home or eat food that you did not specifically prepare yourself. Recently, I visited a Panera Bread and Bruegger’s Bagels and both had a jar of peanut butter with a spoon or knife in close proximity of where they were preparing meals. Look around and study the restaurant that Emily ate at has peanut butter cookies — we would NOT have eaten there if we had studied that closer.

Recommendation: Do not eat away from home if you can help it. Pack a separate meal for your allergic child. NEVER EAT AT A FOOD COURT or BUFFET. Look at the help behind the counter or in the kitchen, if you would not trust them with your child’s life, do NOT eat there. Print up cards explaining all your child’s allergies and hand the card to your waiter or waitress to take to the head chef. Do NOT take any chances. Do NOT assume just because you ate at that restaurant without incident in the past that you will not experience in issue on your next visit. Never eat away from home without your Epipen. Stay VIGILANT !

   that the number of Vaccinations doubled since 1991

Emily was born in 1992. It is frightening to learn now that in 1991 the federal government, with seemingly good intentions, started a new series of immunizations, for hepatitis-B, to begin on a child’sday of birth!! A year later, the governement added 3 new shots for a potent form of menignitis! After these recommendations, the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry began to increase the use of multiple vaccinations in single injections to save time and money. In addition the government recommended annual flu shots containing mercury to all children who were six months or older, and to pregnant women! All of these changes, doubled the number of vaccines from 11 to 22, all crammed into a child’s first 18 months of life. This also crammed them closer together, increasing the vaccination’s toxic burden.

These extra vaccinations gave kids too much mercury. Even just the three vaccinations given to two-month-old infants contained 99 times more mercury than the  EPA regards as safe. The amount of mercury given to newborns on their first day of life was 36 times too much. This has contributed to the many of the epidemics in our children: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. Could this also be causing the Gardasil mess affecting thousands of teenage girls??

Recommendation: Read the book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics of Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies by Dr. Kenneth Bock. Read and educate yourself on vaccinations before you allow your child to receive them. Click here for another website to reference. Emily was born with eczema on most of her body, indicating that her immune system was already HYPER-sensitive. She should not have received the barage of vaccines on the normal “one size fits all” schedule. She was already TH2 imbalanced — that should have been brought back into balance before the vaccines were given — pushing her immune system into overload! Read this article about anecdotal information about vaccines role in the many new childhood epidemics, including food allergies.

Emily’s mom had cervical cancer, therefore our younger daughter may be in a danger class for cervical cancer, but we have commited that we WILL NOT give her the HPV vaccine (Gardasil). Just Google Gardasil and read the horrific stories.

  that we have been eating unlabeled genetically modified foods

Emily was a very fussy baby. Our pediatrician recommended lactose free soy milk for Emily when she was a baby. The purple labeled can. Little did I know, but our food producers have been putting genetically modified soy, corn, and other foods in baby food, baby milk, and many processed foods. I was asleep in September 2000 when the Starlink Corn incident occurred. Hundreds of people had reactions to this corn that was destined for animal feed, but found it’s way into the food supply. The reactions of the people consuming this corn were consistent with allergic reactions. Here’s another report on the incident. Could these new genetically modified foods, which are introducing new toxins into a new baby’s delicate digestive system, be the cause of the huge spike in food allergies? In addition, these toxins could be changing the gut flora of adults, therefore causing the spike in adult food allergies. I have learned of 10 adults that ate peanut butter their whole lives and just recently became deathly allergic to peanuts. These new toxins can be killing the good bacteria in our gut causing an imbalance. Check out this explanation of thegenetic modification process.

Recommendation: Read books, web articles, and another report on geneticallly modified foods. Borrow and watch the movie The Future of Food from your library. Check out these resources. Change your diet to as much natural and organic foods as possible. Eliminate as much processed food from your diet. Remember that genetically modified foods are NOT labeled. Watch the movie King Corn. Pray that the Truth about our food comes into the mainstream soon so that we can reverse all the new epidemics introduced from these UNTESTED foods.

   that KRAFT foods was owned by Phillip Morris until Jan 2007

Kraft foods is one of the largest producers of processed foods that contain genetically modified foods. They were owned by Phillip Morris… we know we can trust them (?). In Jan 2007, Altria Group, the new parent company of Phillip Morris (I like how they change names to hide the past atrocities) spun off Kraft foods. Kraft foods is also a large funder of the largest food allergy non-profit. Isn’t there a conflict here?

Recommendation: Eliminate Kraft foods from your grocery list. We need to let them know we don’t want their unlabeled GMO processed foods in our children’s bodies any more. Eat organic foods as much as possible. Rid your bodies of the toxins that have been introduced in these processed foods. Commit to a healthy lifestyle here.

   why a cheap generic version of the Epipen is NOT available

Dey Pharmaceuticals, the maker of EpiPens, somehow has been able to bypass the patent laws or something with the Epipen. Why aren’t there cheaper generic brands of the epipen available to families and those with food allergies? If a family does not have medical insurance, an epipen can cost over $100. With one allergy kid you need many epi’s for school, personal, parent, grandparent, etc. Epipen’s expire in about 12 months, so it is a continuous expense. If you don’t regulate the temperature, you can reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of the epipen. I recently received an e-mail from a mother that does not have insurance; she wanted to know how to get an epi for her son and wondered how much it cost. It breaks my heart to think she will need to fork out several hundred dollars to protect her child. I wonder how many low income families do without the epi?

Recommendation: Ask your allergest and lawyer friends the details behind what is going on here. I do not know much about patent laws, but Epi’s have been around for 30+ years and there is still pretty much one player in the market. We need some competition to lower the price for the explosion of families needing multiple epi’s. Please write to me if you know law and patent law to explain this situation with Dey.