Got a Question About Food Allergies? Ask Dr. Lucy on Facebook-Giveaway

If your family has concerns about food allergies, even simple things can become more complicated. While many companies have followed a trend of offering peanut-free products for school lunches, what about the child that is allergic to something other than peanuts? My almost five-year-old niece is allergic to wheat and cashews and I’m sure that she’ll have some challenges when she starts kindergarten this fall because of that.

lucy's cookies assortmentLast year I had the chance to try the scrumptious crunchy cookies from Lucy’s Cookies. These tasty gluten free cookies come in seven delicious flavours and are vegan, all natural and contain no peanut or tree nuts, making them the perfect snack for school lunches or for families with a history of food allergies. And if you want to learn more, Dr. Lucy wants to help!

On May 23, 2012 at 11am EST, the creator of Dr. Lucy’s Cookies, MD Dr. Lucy, will be holding a Facebook Q&A session and fans can ask any questions they have about the cookies, the company, food allergies, gluten-free diets, food trends or anything else that they want to know about! So whether you’ve been wondering what inspired Dr. Lucy to create these delicious cookies or you’re wondering exactly what “allergen free” means, MD Dr. Lucy will be standing by to offer her expertise!

dr. lucy gibneyAnd so that you can see how tasty gluten free, allergen free treats can be, Dr. Lucy’s Cookies is offering one lucky Mommy Kat and Kids reader a prize pack containing five boxes of Lucy’s Cookies, a $30 value! To enter to win, just leave a blog comment about a question you’d like to ask MD Dr. Lucy!

Food allergies add extra challenges to meal and snack preparation but great products like Dr. Lucy’s Cookies can help to make snack time easier for kids and adults alike. Why not give them a try and if you have any questions about the cookies or food allergies in general, don’t forget to visit the Lucy’s Cookies Facebook page May 23 at 11am EST to get an answer from Dr. Lucy herself!
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86 thoughts on “Got a Question About Food Allergies? Ask Dr. Lucy on Facebook-Giveaway”

  1. Is it possible that what we’ve been eating (processed) and putting into products (items such as aspartame) has confused our bodies as to what are nutients and has increased our intolerances?

  2. Hello there, I was recently diagnosed with milk, egg, almond, peanut and corn allergies, among others, as well as a gluten intolerance. My entire childhood I can recall being itchy and irritable, but somehow neither my parents nor doctors diagnosed me with these allergies, up until a year ago (I’m 17.) All of the symptoms disappeared as soon as I stopped eating the allergen foods. My main question here is, is it possible that I was born with these allergies, and I’ll have them my entire life? Thanks!

  3. What predisposes someone to developing a food allergy? ie. is it herditary, is there something in one’s body chemistry that makes them more likely to develop allergies compared to someone else?

  4. Is it possible that allergy appears as a result of stress. My Mom-in-Law had a very stressful job and developed allergy for that time. Since she left, her health became much better and the allergy gone after a while.

    teddyoutready2(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Hi Fan, interesting question. Our thoughts and actions always impact our bodies. Stressful situations are part of that. It’s hard to say if body changes that look and feel like allergy are really in response to an allergen or if the body chemistry is different for some other reason. More research would be needed to know for sure. Allergen or not, I like the idea that your Mom-in-law feels better in her new situation.

  5. Jeannette Laframboise

    I would like to ask how someone can develop a severe allergy to something that did not bother them for the first 21 years of their life…that would be me. At the age of 21, I developed an allergy to turkey of all things! I had eaten it for years and all of a sudden, I became so allergic that it was anaphylactic.

    I truly miss eating turkey as I have not had even a small mouthful in 25 years. How could that happen? I had always thought that it was possible to sort of `grow out“ or become less sensitive to an allergy but not to develop it years later. I just really want to know how this happened at that point in my life and if I will ever be able to eat it again…frankly, I am scared to death (no pun intended) to eat it but I dream about delicious turkey and gravy and stuffing…oh my. :-)

    1. Hi Jeannette, and thanks for sharing your turkey story! You’re helping to make the points that any food protein can be an allergen, and food allergy can start at any point in life. About 90% of people with food allergy are allergic to one of the following “most common” allergens: milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Among those, milk, eggs, soy, wheat and peanut at the most common childhood food allergies and about 80% of kids will outgrow these allergies by the end of their teen years. Fish and shellfish allergies usually start later in life and get worse over time. Though turkey allergy is not “common”, it can happen and your story seems to fit the fish and shellfish pattern. All food allergy is an antigen (turkey) and antibody reaction that happens when the immune system sees a food protein as a harmful invader. An Allergist could measure the level of turkey antibodies in your blood and recheck over time to see if you trend toward possibly “outgrowing” your allergy. The true test would be to eat increasing amounts of turkey in your Allergist’s office during a “food challenge” to see if you have become “tolerant”. Most importantly, this should NOT be done at home. Medical supervision is critically important to be sure you have proper care in case a reaction occurs. Lastly, please be sure your doctor prescribes and epi injector for you to use in case of an emergency and carry it with you always!

      1. Jeannette Laframboise

        Thanks so much for the reply. I have neverreceived a straight forward answer to my turkey issue until now! :-) I do miss it enough to definitely look into your advice about trying it with medical supervision. It would be so nice to be able to eat turkey again. Thanks again for such a great and informative reply, much appreciated!

  6. On behalf of my newly adult daughter, I would like to ask the calorie count of the different lucy’s cookies varieties. (We don’t have allergies, but my daughter has been vegan for 3 years.)

    1. Hi Kim,

      Thanks for the question! All of Lucy’s seven cookie varieties contain between 120-130 calories per serving depending on the flavor, and a serving size is 3 cookies. Oatmeal, Ginger Snap, and Maple Bliss cookies have 120 calories per serving. Sugar, Cinnamon Thin, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate cookies have 130 calories per serving. Also, Weight Watchers registered dieticians recently calculated that 3 Lucy’s cookies is equal to 3 WW points (http://community.weightwatchers.com/Blogs/ViewPost.aspx?threadID=1563067), so they make a healthy choice for snacking! I hope this is helpful. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Soozle, thanks for the great question. In general, intolerance refers to a situation where the offending food causes unwanted symptoms, but no lasting damage or danger. For “lactose intolerance” the symptoms are usually gas and bloating due to the lack of an enzyme (lactase) needed to digest a sugar (lactose) in milk. A newer term is “non-celiac gluten intolerance” which refers to a situation where someone has unwanted symptoms associated with eating gluten from wheat, barley or rye though they do not have blood test or biopsy changes that indicate a diagnosis of Celiac disease. Symptoms improve when these folks stop eating gluten. Celiac is diagnosed when there are tissue changes in the GI tract or other body systems because of an autoimmune inflammatory process triggered by gluten. Celiac is being diagnosed more these days because more is known about the disease and technology for diagnosing it has improved. The new term “non-celiac gluten intolerance” has come about as part of learning about gluten and related symptoms. No one knows if this new “condition” is a precursor to Celiac. Research is underway to understand it better. Allergy, is different still. True “food allergy” is associated with the risk of anaphylaxis and refers to an antigen-antibody response that causes histamine and other body chemicals to be released. This can cause life-threatening changes in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and death. There are other allergy-like diseases of the GI tract usually associated with inflammation from exposure to milk, soy or other food allergens (Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Symdrome). This is a complex topic, so I hope my comments here are helpful. For more info on these items, try foodallergy.org and celiaccentral.org!

    1. Hi Lori. The short answer to your question is “no”. More commentary, or my “long answer”: When you’re managing allergy, make sure you maintain a healthy diet that replaces any nutrients you’re missing due to your special diet. And, if food allergy is not managed well it can have more lasting effects on skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal tissue. Also, I notice that people sometimes refer to Celiac Disease as an “allergy”. Though Celiac involves the immune system, like a true allergy does, it’s not technically an allergy. Celiac however can be associated with a variety of health concerns affecting the GI tract, thyroid, nervous system and reproductive system. I hope this info is helpful.

  7. Corey Nicholson

    Is it possible for children to grow out of all of there allergies? Oh and these cookies look perfect for my son, he is allergic to dairy and peanuts, so these will be perfect, he misses out on a lot of stuff due to his allergies and for the fact that we have such a limited budget since I am unable to work for medical reasons! He’s a trooper but it sure makes me feel awful when we don’te have the finances to get special things for him.

    1. Hi Corey, good question about outgrowing food allergies. I noted above that many children do outgrow milk allergy, though in recent years this one seems to hold on longer than eggs, wheat or soy allergy. Peanut allergy can be out grown too, but that’s not as likely as outgrowing milk, egg, wheat or soy. Your Allergist can check blood tests to see if your son is trending toward outgrowing his allergies. If the blood tests are encouraging, your Allergist will want to do a “food challenge” in the medical office over a whole day to see if he has truly outgrown the allergy. As for treats on a budget, you might want to sign up on our website for a coupon. Check out drlucys.com. And, watch your store for specials. Several times a year we provide discounted pricing so stores can pass along a SALE!

    1. Hi Amy, great question! The answer is a big YES! That’s important for several reasons, some people’s allergies get better, some get worse and develop new allergies. Also, it’s impossible to reliably predict what a first or subsequent reaction might be like. It’s true that in some people with a history of severe reaction, the next one might be worse, but we don’t know that for sure. The big lesson is that allergy is different in different people, and can change over time. Some related facts are: 80% to 85% of children will allergies to milk, eggs, soy or wheat will outgrow those allergies during their teen years or earlier. It’s thought that at least 20% of first time reactions happen at school. This is why many school districts are writing policies that allow schools to have an undesignated epi injector for first time allergic reaction or other allergic emergencies. And, fish and shellfish allergies tend to start later in life and often get worse over time. I hope this info is helpful! Thanks for asking.

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