Yesterday we got the results of Delaney's RAST (RadioAllergoSorbent Test). With all of the sicknesses we've been fighting here lately, I failed to mention that Delaney had the test done about two weeks ago after I took her to see an allergist.
Turns out she's mildly allergic to three of the 18 things for which she was tested: egg whites, beef and dogs. There are a few bewildering things about these results, the first of which was that Delaney is not allergic to dairy. Whaaaaaaa? When she eats dairy items, she breaks out in hives around her mouth. The nurse practitioner who delivered the results told me to go ahead and try dairy with her again when we got home to see what the reaction would be. Theoretically, there shouldn't have been any, but guess what? I gave her some yobaby yogurt and within 10 minutes, up popped about 5 or 6 angry-looking hives on her chin. What does that mean? I have NO idea. Maybe I need to try a different yogurt since I gave her the same brand both times (although one was regular whole milk and the other was for babies). Maybe Stonyfield Farm adds something to their yogurt that Delaney is allergic to. But, if that's the case, why has she also reacted to cheese and margarine in the past? What's the common theme between these items? Dairy!
Another perplexing thing is the reported dog allergy. It never surfaces unless our dogs lick her, in which case she gets a hive wherever the dog's tongue touches her. After emailing with Sierra, whose son suffers from a dairy allergy, I was pretty certain that it wasn't the dogs specifically that Delaney was reacting to, but the dairy in their dogfood that was making its way onto her skin via their tongues (hmmm...I'm likely to get some good Google hits from that one). But, if she's not allergic to dairy, that can't be the case. The test said she was allergic to dog dander, but that doesn't seem to bother her. Only the licks do!
Lastly, Delaney was not found to have any allergies to latex. Well then, how do you explain the fact that after she was touched by a latex glove, her arm broke out in hives in the exact spot where the glove had been? We've got no good answers on that one either.
The allergist's orders are to begin introducing new foods to Delaney; those of which she was not found to be allergic such as soy, egg yolk, pork, etc. We're to keep a food and symptoms diary for a few weeks and then go back for another visit to discuss how things are going.
In the meantime, I'm curious for Delaney to try a new brand of yogurt and even some whole milk to see if the hives reappear. Until then, it's all a mystery to me. I thought that RAST was more definitive and reliable than skin testing, but maybe false negatives can occur.
As it turns out, I came out of the appointment with more questions than I had when we went in. My reason for seeing an allergist was to find out if there were any other foods, in addition to dairy, that we needed to be careful of. I'm glad to know about the egg whites and beef, but if the dairy results were wrong (and, I'm not 100% sure that they were), how can I trust that Delaney isn't allergic to the others foods? I guess we're back to trial and error. We'll have to experiment and find out along the way what works for her and what doesn't. It's kind of scary, but there's really no other way.
Updated to add: Milk is a no-go. Delaney took three sips of it tonight and within 15 minutes she had two of the largest hives on her chin that we've seen so far. They were also redder and lasted much longer than any hives previously caused by yogurt and other products containing milk. She's not allergic to dairy? Yeah, right.