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Can A Gluten Free Diet Result In Worse Allergies?

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I went gluten free in November last year - this was after getting information that as a type 1 diabetic I would test positive genetically for celiac (or at minimum gluten sensitivity) and also that gluten sensitivity could be causing many of the physical and emotional problems that I was having. I worked with a dietician who said she suspected I had celiac itself . Two weeks after starting the diet and feeling better I started my children on the diet too and because of links of dairy allergies with type 1 diabetes I also stopped all dairy in all of us.

 

Sometime this year my elder daughter who is 6 got hives - when questioned she had eaten noodles at a friends house and then chocolate. She had never had hives before this even when eating these combinations of foods before stopping gluten. We explained to her that the hives were mostly likely caused by that. My husband later started feeding my children dairy but they remained gluten free and we had no problems.

 

The again my eldest daughter ate a chocolate (again while visiting a friend) that contained wafer (gluten) and naturally dairy and she again came out in hives. We spoke to her again and since then she knows what she can and cannot have and has been good about it though she remains on some dairy (not milk, just some cheese or yoghurt).

 

Today my youngest daughter who has been drinking protein shakes containing whey proteins and other dairy products managed to get hold of a chocolate muffin while being babysat at someone else's house. She took two or three bites of it apparently before someone took it away and when I peeled her clothes off for bath time tonight she was covered in a rash though said it was not itchy. I have out her on an anti histamine, but again that child has never had a rash in her life and before I stopped the gluten she had eaten these things.

 

Has stopping gluten made them more sensitive to its effects? Or what is causing this and how do I find out without putting them at risk of severe itchiness and rashes what exactly it is that is causing this. Is it the combination of gluten and dairy that causes these things or is it just gluten that is allowing absorption of large proteins so that they could be affected by any food when combined with gluten? Is this a celiac reaction or is it just a general allergy and how do I find out these things - I cannot safely put my kids back on gluten it seems even to get proper testing done and I know I would never put myself back on it either. 

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If it is hives, it could be an allergy (IgE mediated) rather than a food sensitivity (IgA or IgG).  Wheat allergies are a possibility although it is more rare than celiac disease.  Perhaps try seeing an allergist to determine if it is actually an allergy (to milkd or wheat) that is causing the problem rather than a gluten or milk (lactose or casein) intolerance.  It sounds like gluten or just wheat is the problem since she is consuming dairy without much problem.

 

Could the problem be celiac disease in the form of dermatitis herpetiformis?  Try googling dh and see if that fits.  If it does, the (area beside the) rash can be biopsied for celiac disease.

 

If you can't find out if it is gluten, wheat, or dairy, you'll probably have to go on the assumption that it is all three and have her go gluten-free and df.  You'll have to be clear to other adults who are supervising her that she has presumed celiac disease or allergies and be very clear on what she can eat - I find that sending snacks along helps a great deal. If the adults around her can't keep her safe, you may need to host the majority of playdates in your children's future.

 

I hope you can find the answer.  Good luck!

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Thanks - my daughter went to a paeditrician a month back because she is so tiny - she weighs 11.5kg at age 3 years 5 months and is not even on the growth curve. It is hard to evaluate since with my type 1 diabetes she was born big and dived on the growth curve after birth just like my older child did, but she still remains very very tiny. He put her on an appetite stimulant and told me to come back in 4 months time to re evaluate and then he might do further tests. He is aware that she is on a gluten free diet at the moment.

 

I am sure she is allergic to dairy in some form - like I did as a child she coughs when given yoghurt or ice cream. But these skin reactions (in both children) seem to only show up when they have both gluten and dairy and the effects are seen about 2-3 hours after eating the food (the coughing is naturally seen immediately). My eldest has had hives, but the youngest had a full body rash that is still present now though getting less evident and it has been 2 days since she ate the gluten. There is no blistering - just a red rash.

 

I always do send snacks and food - unfortunately some of the places they go they set out large tables of food and allow the children to take what they want. There were also too many adults there - the ones who usually watch closely allowed others to see to my daughter where the mistake came. Its hard when there are 30+ children and loads of food and I was working that day - normally I am there and obviously keep a closer eye on my child than others do. I may have to prevent her going to those groups unless I can go too.

 

Will try and see if I can get her back to the paeditrician and possibly on from there to an allergist. Thanks for the help.

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There is something in the allergy world call the "full bucket" theory.  This is where you can have exposure to A and be okay. If you have exposure to A and B you may be okay.  If you are exposed to A and B but a little more B it tips that bucket and they you have issues.

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Thanks - my daughter went to a paeditrician a month back because she is so tiny - she weighs 11.5kg at age 3 years 5 months and is not even on the growth curve. It is hard to evaluate since with my type 1 diabetes she was born big and dived on the growth curve after birth just like my older child did, but she still remains very very tiny. He put her on an appetite stimulant and told me to come back in 4 months time to re evaluate and then he might do further tests. He is aware that she is on a gluten free diet at the moment.

 

I am sure she is allergic to dairy in some form - like I did as a child she coughs when given yoghurt or ice cream. But these skin reactions (in both children) seem to only show up when they have both gluten and dairy and the effects are seen about 2-3 hours after eating the food (the coughing is naturally seen immediately). My eldest has had hives, but the youngest had a full body rash that is still present now though getting less evident and it has been 2 days since she ate the gluten. There is no blistering - just a red rash.

 

I always do send snacks and food - unfortunately some of the places they go they set out large tables of food and allow the children to take what they want. There were also too many adults there - the ones who usually watch closely allowed others to see to my daughter where the mistake came. Its hard when there are 30+ children and loads of food and I was working that day - normally I am there and obviously keep a closer eye on my child than others do. I may have to prevent her going to those groups unless I can go too.

 

Will try and see if I can get her back to the paeditrician and possibly on from there to an allergist. Thanks for the help.

 

(Hugs) It's tough when you are doing everything right but the world seems to be conspiring against you helping your daughter.   :(

 

These are things I looked into for my son, who fell down his growth curve:

 

Did they check her growth hormone?  The best lab for that is the IGF-1 as it shows an average (in a way) of the amount of growth hormone released in a month. She could get her growth hormone tested too but it is released in pulses so it can vary wildly hour to hour - not very accurate.  

 

She could also get a bone Xray to check her bone age; if it is young, that could explain her smaller size.  

 

Also, if her thyroid is slow (hypothyroidism) that could affect her growth as well as it slows the metabolism right down.

 

Best wishes to you.   :)

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