My daughter is allergic to ALL Red Dye in foods and drinks unless it is all natural such as natural Carmine coloring, Beet Juice or natural juices.
She has been tested and we also went through a trial and error process for six months in 1998 to 1999 to determine what she was allergic to. It started when she was a year and a half and we introduced her to real foods. She was totally out of control and I felt that there was something wrong with this child. The docters laughed at us,
but a pharmacist took us seriously and helped us for 6 months to find out what she was allergic to. We first thought it was an ingredient in the medicines she was taking. (She had been sick with colds and flu for a period of six months straight) Finally after deleting ever ingredient he figured out it had to be the red dye. We completely illiminated red dye from her food and drink.The change in her was amazing. I literally had people walking up to us and saying, "Whatevery you are doing new at home, keep doing because she is a different kid." All of the reactions dissappeared.
She is 9 today so we have been doing this for 7 years and she is pretty healthy now. She also is real careful what she eats and won't eat anything red, purple or orange unless I say that it is all natural. She doesn't like the way it makes her feel. She went though a period of time around 5 years old when she had to test it and thought that nothing would happen when she ate it.
She got blisters and that was a sure cure that she believes it now.
The reaction to ingesting red dye is that her heart rate increases and it is like her body has this sick feeling and is constantly moving or jittery, she becomes completely, completely out of control, cannot calm down, and has trouble sleeping and sitting still. Like her skin is crawling feeling. During this time she usually gets sick because her immunity is low due to her not being able to sleep at night. Another thing she did was chew on everything, like she had this aggression inside her she couldn't get out. Then within two days of ingesting red dye she has another allergic reaction of a cluster of multiple pimples that appear on one heal of her foot, those turn into big blisters which takes at least a week or more to get rid of by draining them repeatedly. An allergist said it was a form of dermititis. All I know is that it is really gross and painful. Her whole foot is red and swollen and she cannot wear shoes. To me it seems that is where the red dye drains out of her, but that is just a thought, there is not proof of that.
We watch everything she eats or drinks. I check the labels on everything. It will say in the list of ingredients and will look something like: Red #40, F&D Red #43 She cannot have any red dye number, or any red dye period that is not all natural. Basically anything that has any red coloring in it, check it to see if it has red dye, there is a possibility that it is all natural and the manufacturers used carmine coloring or natural beet juice which is safe for her to eat! Watch also any color that is made up of red dye such as orange or purple and some of the purple-blues. We avoid those too. Please check all colors just to be sure. If you are not sure on the red then I don't give it to her. I also have read recently that the red dye may not be listed on the ingredients. The FDA only has to list one color which is totally ridiculous to anyone who has allergies. Who makes up these rules.
RED DYE IS SOMETIMES HIDDEN IN FOODS,
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES I HAVE FOUND:
KOOL-AID: Bad red dye user! No red, pink, purple or orange some blues check the label, very few flavors. she can have. We just stay away from these.
POP: Nothing that is red, orange or purple in color. Check the Rootbeers also some have red dye.
Note: that I have found pop at a organic health food store that is red but its all natural. A couple of the Brand names are: Blue Sky Organic Soda and RWKnudsen Spritzer Soda. This is the only place I have ever seen them at.
RED APPLES: Some have red dye shot in them to make the skins redder
FROSTING: No colored ones, red, pink, purple or orange, even some creams and whites have red dye in them. che check labels.
FRUIT ROLL UPS : No red, pink, purple or orange.
SUCKERS: No red, pink, purple or orange and watch suckers with centers like gum which usually are red or caramel centers which have red in it, the label will say..
Note that I have found some red suckers that are all natural at a Organic Healthfood store. They are called Rhino Pops.
CHOCOLATE: such as puddings Some of the really dark ones have red dye most are okay.
YOGURTS: Look for all natural coloring which is in some of them or no coloring.
HOTDOGS: Watch out for those with really red skins they have dye in them.
ORANGE JUICES: The natural ones are fine but some of the commercial ones are not.
TOMATO SAUCES: Some of the redder cheaper brands
GUM! There are bubble gums that are yellow or blue just hard to find sometimes.
ALL RED, PURPLE & ORANGE CANDY!!!
STRAWBERRY favored MILK, ICE CREAM, or POPSICLES
Basically anything that has obviously has any red coloring in it, check it to see if it has red dye, there is a possibility that it is all natural and the manufacturers used carmine coloring, natural beet juice or fruit juices, which are safe! Watch also any color that is made up of red dye such as orange or purple. We avoid those too. Even some blues that are really dark blue or blue purple have red in them. I check everything she eats just to be sure.
Here are some GOOD BRAND NAMES that usually are safe and ALL NATURAL (PLEASE check the labels still though):
CAPRI SUN: any of the Juice Coolers, drink mixes and fruit snacks are dye free! YEA FOR CAPRISUN!
YOPLAIT “ORIGINAL” YOGURT: This kind only have no dyes in it.
Note: There are different yoplaits so check labels. This one has the red tops.
I called this one and they said it didn't have red in this perticular kind.
All Natural no Color FRUIT SNACKS found some at Target and Organic Healthfood stores.
BLUE BUNNY: Ice-cream, juice popsicles etc.
RHINO POPS: Dye free suckers. Organic Healthfood stores.
DYE FREE POP: Blue Sky Organic Soda & RW Knudsen Spritzer Soda
Organic Healthfood stores
MOTRIN JUNIORS: have no dye and are small white caplets
BENEDRYL CLEAR: is great it has no color either!!!!
TRIAMINIC CHEST CONGESTION: : there isn’t very many cough syrups she can have, this is one only cause it’s the yellow one.
CHILDREN’S MOTRIN COLD: this is the only nasal decongestant that is Dye-free. It seems to work good.
Diabetic Tussin: dye-free, cough syrup, cough suppression, expectorant
NOTE: Diabetic foods and candies watch the ingredients a little better so check that isle for foods/ medicines they can have.
At the beginning of the school year I send a letter stating the above and go down and talk directly to her teachers and lunch people. They have been really helpful and they read the labels to see if there is anything she cannot have and they tell her what that is. If they can switch to another brand they do. Her teachers have been great on watching. She is really good too because she doesn't like how it makes her feel.
If she goes to a birthday party or other event I usually take a cupcake and a drink along for her and explain to the parents about her dye allergy. Then she isn't left out. So many times there are all red stuff. Especially for girls. Valentines day is soooooooooooo hard with all the red stuff.
If you have any comments or suggestions or questions please feel free to contact me.