[654] 635: Flavour enhancers and a breastfed baby (September 2008)

Thomas was born a very healthy full term baby. A couple of days later he had little red pimples on his face that after two weeks became quite red and covered a quarter of his cheeks, Clinic nurses noted that it was a bad hormonal rash, but it never went away, it only got worse. Thomas was also an irritable baby needing feeding at least every two hours he didn't sleep for any more than 2 hours at a time.

With two other children and hubby to feed, time was precious, so I started whipping up quick casseroles to feed the family. In the casseroles I would put in meat and fresh veg I had in the fridge, and for the flavour we were used to I would throw in a packet of beef & veg cuppa soup and thicken it with Gravox. Things were going from bad to worse. Thomas was covered all over in a red rash. The doctor diagnosed eczema and gave creams for it but it only got worse and infected.

On one particular occasion I remember vividly, I made the casserole for dinner on Friday night, and while having a cuppa and chat next day noticed that Thomas became quite irritable and his little head came out in beads of sweat, which later became a crusty layer. It suddenly dawned on me that this happened every time I made the casserole, I would eat it about 6 pm and by 12-1 pm the next day (18 hours later) this little time bomb would go off in Thomas. The next day Thomas was a ratty all day, his whole body was red and his scalp crusty.

When Thomas was 4 months old we got into a Dermatologist who listened to our story and nearly laughed at us and explained about Cuppa soup (flavour enhancers) and Gravox (salicylates) his words were ‘it's like a time bomb’. We discovered from that trip that Thomas was allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and probably intolerant to the nasty food colourings, preservatives and additives given his reaction to flavour enhancers and salicylates. Although he had never ingested these foods directly, he had got it all through my breast milk. Thomas was weaned onto Neocate Formula then to soy at 12 months of age. He has since developed allergies to soy, all nuts, potato, gluten, house dust, cats, dogs, horses, many grasses and weed pollen. He also suffers from asthma. He now drinks rice milk and is on a strict egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, potato-free, gluten-free low salicylate diet. Now at six years of age Thomas is a healthy active boy despite all this.- by email.