Outgrowing Almond Allergy!

When my son, Morgan, was a little boy he continued to add more and more food allergies. He started with a peanut allergy reaction – breaking out in hives from touching a peanut butter sandwich at the age of 9 months. Thankfully, he didn’t eat it!

He added an egg allergy after a reaction to the MMR vaccine, and subsequent testing at 18 months old confirmed egg and also confirmed a severe peanut allergy. Our allergist suggested that he not eat tree nuts because of the likelihood of cross contact in the manufacturing process with peanuts.

Then, at the age of 3, he had full body hives and we went back for more testing to determine what food was causing the issue. To our dismay, he added another allergy – shellfish, but he hadn’t eaten shellfish the day of the hives, so we began to suspect sesame as the cause of the hives, but didn’t get that confirmed until a later allergy testing. We had further testing completed a few more times as he got older in the hopes that he would have outgrown a few of these allergies. While he did appear to outgrow egg allergy, it wasn’t until he was in high school that he was willing to go through a food challenge for eggs, which he passed. That was the only food allergy he had outgrown during his childhood.

He wasn’t supposed to be allergic to fish, as per one of the allergy testing results, yet had full blown anaphylaxis to one bite of trout on a camping trip a few years after this testing. That was a shock to say the least! So we added that food to his ever-growing list of food allergies.

He was managing peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, fish and sesame allergies from middle school through college and out into the work world. We basically had given up on him ever outgrowing any of these food allergies.

It has been 13 years since that last food challenge (he’s 28 years old now), and Morgan recently got brave enough to test for almonds, which had come back negative in two previous allergy testing results. A food challenge can be very anxiety producing, and we’ve found that Morgan has to REALLY want to eat the food to make the process worthwhile.

Here is Morgan’s summary of the food challenge as posted on his LinkedIn account:

You can probably imagine how excited we all were with this development! I suppose the moral of the story of food allergies is: never give up on outgrowing a food allergy!

Morgan has begun eating almonds in all kinds of foods (always ensuring that there is no cross contact with any other tree nuts since he still has those allergies), and also drinking almond milk. It has expanded his diet enormously and we are so thrilled!