Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Coconut Allergy Update

It’s been a little over a month since we confirmed Weston’s severe allergy to coconut. And, man, it’s been a journey. My initial reaction was a mix of guilt and relief. Guilt for all that we had put the guy through and relief to finally have an answer. My next thought was; “this won’t be so bad!”

And, I was kind of right.

Coconut is like a crazy little boy who hides in things and then jumps out to roar at you like a dinosaur.

I don’t know, maybe that analogy didn’t work. What I’m trying to say is that coconut is in more places than I expected – and this is coming from someone who previously proclaimed that coconut oil cures all!

What I thought might be helpful is to update people along the way on what we’ve found.

Skincare products
We think Weston experiences rashes on his skin when he comes in contact with products with coconut if his skin is already irritated – think diaper rash + sitting in a bath tub with soap suds that have coconut oil in them. So, we’ve changed the hand soap we use in the bathroom and his shampoo / body wash. And, while this has helped, we can’t control everything. He still washes his hands at school and is a thumb sucker so we notice irritation around his mouth but this seems minor in the grand scheme of things. The products we are using are included below.

This doesn’t include coconut oil but does smell like black licorice – not ideal. I will let you know when I find a better smelling product. But, for now, it works!

This DOES include coconut oil but we haven’t noticed any major irritation. I usually do an extra rinse cycle when I wash his clothes and so far, so good.

This was hard. I went to my local Co-op and with the help of a VERY nice lady, read the backs of shampoos for a long time. She eventually found this one and while my son smells like a baby hippie (which I love), we don’t notice any skin irritation!

Baby Wipes
I had always used Huggies wipes which I loved but found they had ingredients derived from coconut. So, we switched to Water Wipes which seems to leave his skin less irritated. While the wipes seem much flimsier, we are making it work!

Foods with coconut
This is where we’ve struggled the most. One thing I looked into after learning of Weston's allergy was formula! Weston is no longer on formula but I was curious about options seeing as this was clearly an issue for us. And, I still haven't found one. I will update the blog as I continue to look.

There are obvious places where you find coconut; coconut yogurt, many granola bars, and lots of cereals. But, specifically we have found coconut in the following items;
  • PAM cooking spray
  • Corn Pops
  • Fruit Loops
  • Ranch Veggie Stix
  • Some Progressive soups
  • Chocolate coated ice cream
  • Some animal crackers
  • Swiss Miss hot cocoa
  • Welch's fruit snacks

With food, we've definitely connected Weston's exposure to coconut with breathing issues. He has a specific cough we've identified that signals an allergic reaction and it usually ends with him throwing up. But, all in all he's doing much better and we continue to learn. We're so thankful we've figured this out and just hope there are no additional food allergies.


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