The Charlotte Chronicles on Coloring

Charlotte, my littlest, has a rip roaring batch of allergies that have rocked our world and changed our lives.  For starters, she was lactose intolerant.  We didn't know this for a very long 1.5 years.  Want to know why?  Because "intolerances" were totally blown off by the pediatric doctors we happened to visit.  (In hindsight, I should have insisted on Elise's primary.)  Nevermind that we are discussing poltergeist-like vomiting, reflux, horrible stomach pains, colic, and diaper-rashes from HELL.  For the record, just because your body does not have an IgE reaction to a substance does not mean that it does not hurt or damage the body.  All it really means is that you won't probably have an anaphalaxis reaction that will kill you.

Enter allergies.  Charlotte currently has had allergic reactions to the following.  Officially.  Diagnosed and confirmed by an allergist.  Who was so disconcerted by her reactions that we now have an epi-pen and have been told to keep it on us, "EVERYWHERE".

1. Red #40, 3, 33
     a.  We've been told to avoid and assume she's allergic to amaranth as it has been used to make artificial red dyes.
     b.  We are watchful of Annatto, it appears safe, but I try to limit it anyway.
     c.  Red #33 is in shampoo and medicines.  Fantastic.
2.  Blue #1, 2 (this is annoying, because it is in a lot of things to make the color "crisp", like white marshmallows.
3.  Yellow #5, 6

4.  Sodium Benzoate.  This is (so far) our only confirmed preservative, but both the allergist and myself are suspicious of other preservatives as well.  This is made particularly difficult as, apparently, the FDA does not require the disclosure of substances that equal to less than 2% of the product.  (Certain colors can fall under this as well, the only requirement is that it be labeled "artificial colors/flavors".)

5. Vanillin is also on our watch list.  I am afraid it will be added officially, soon.

Charlotte allergy posts:
Our baptism by fire

Also, dyes in particular (and vanillin by suspicion) affect her temper and emotional well-being.  Not only do we have hives, eczema, and rashes, but she will be almost impossible to live with for 24-48 hours after eating one of her no-no's.  Benedryll will fix the physical reactions, but does nothing for her psyche.  While this factoid will make Disney and going out tricky, it does explain a few things and help us help her. 

I LOVE this introduction by a bloggy friend who has been dealing with some of the same issues and has started a separate blog to chronicle her son's path.  These thoughts actually mirror many of my own.
Coal Mine Canaries

This has been an amazing resource!! 
Die, Food Dye
Her blog roll in her side bar has also been fantastic.

This packet has been ordered.  I will let you know how it goes.  I am currently reading flippin' everything, everywhere.  This association does much of the homework for you, and requires the companies included to disclose the 2% as well.  So, can you do it on your own?  For free?  Absolutely.  Is it worth it to me to save a little time sanity?  Um, yes.  I need it for going out and quickie cooking.
The Feingold Diet

I will post up more as I find it.  But as I have another few friends that are coming up behind me, I thought I'd compile all of our issues to one place.

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