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Specific Food Allergies > Egg Allergy

Child with a LTFA to egg developing an allergy to chicken?

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Hi there. I used to post quite a bit as eggallergymom (couldn't get that sign-on to work!), but my daughter's LTFA has taken a backseat to some medical issues with my son the last few years. Fortunately, things have been quiet on the food allergy front, for the most part (aside from some school silliness). But she now appears to have developed a sensitivity to chicken, at least if a consistently rising RAST result to chicken is to be believed. Her allergist is now recommending we feed her chicken at least twice a week to try to keep that sensitivity in check, and keep it from blooming into a true allergy. But that's a hard sell for my daughter, who's been a vegetarian for the past four years (she's now almost 12). Have any of you experienced this, or been given this advice?

Is the sensitivity just showing up in allergy testing or is she showing other symptoms like hives or GI issues? My daughter was first diagnosed with egg allergy at 9 months of age and has eaten chicken without issue.

She had some tongue tingling, cramping and diarrhea several years ago (before she became a vegetarian) after eating a rice dish that I'd prepared with chicken broth (that I'd made myself at home). I knew there was no egg in the food and the reaction didn't progress to anaphylaxis. That's when the allergist started testing for a RAST response to chicken, though he said a true chicken allergy is uncommon, apparently. Her first number was 1.23, which was pretty negligible (particularly compared to her egg white/yolk RASTs, which have climbed steadily since a biphasic anaphylaxis episode in 2010, and are now 85/70).
But her chicken RAST has been rising steadily since then; her most recent RAST for chicken was 4.0, which is a pretty respectable number, right? Again--her egg numbers are really high, but I think a 4.0 is not a number to ignore, given her history. That seems to be the allergist's perspective as well. Because she's a vegetarian, she doesn't eat chicken and I don't prepare any food for her that involves chicken broth or chicken protein anymore. I would hate to see her develop another significant allergy, though. But the idea of eating chicken is a really hard sell.

I've experienced much of this!

My son became a vegetarian at 7 (DH and I are not but are functional vegetarians most of the time--don't cook meat in the house but once or twice a year when DS is gone).

He was only allergic to peanuts (and celery), having outgrown tree nut allergies. Until shrimp was included on a blood test panel. Our allergist does SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy) and for some resin included it in the semi-annual testing.  We thought nothing of it. First of all, he won't blatantly consume it, and I am allergic to shellfish and avoid cross contact in restaurants--so he knows how to avoid it.

He decided at first not to include shrimp in his daily sublingual drops.  He did not want to ingest shrimp protein.  We were fine with that decision, though we really don't want him to have a reaction from XC. But we respected his decision to be vegetarian at whatever level he was comfortable with.

Every six months his blood work showed a shrimp allergy.

A year or two passed, and he said at one appointment that he did want shrimp in his drops. That was HUGE. So he has a little shrimp every day.

I was proud he made the decision, but it was HIS DECISION.

I'd let your DD guide you --her conscience is worth something.

It's great to see you!

PS  DS is now 17. He decided a year ago to do the shrimp drops.

Thanks, Macabre! That does sound like a very similar scenario!
At this point, DD is vetoing the chicken. While I respect her right to do so and will certainly not force her to eat meat, I do wonder about the long-term consequences of developing a full-blown allergy to chicken. We've got few restaurants that we trust as it is (other than the one vegan place where we live). A chicken allergy would certainly take Chipotle out of the mix, and that's our go-to fast food place. I'd have to think a chicken allergy would up the ante in terms of cross-contamination, too. It's challenging enough to find foods that are produced in egg-free places; adding in chicken-free will be interesting.
But we can give this some time and see what happens!


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