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Cupcake challenge tests child's milk allergy severity

Friday, July 19, 2013

Houston is often called the allergy capitol of the country because we have such a long growing season. But what happens when you have a lot of allergies to food? An allergy to things like milk or eggs really reduces what you can eat.

"It's been kinda hard," Joseph Weaver said.

As an allergy skin test attests, Weaver has some serious food allergies. In fact, he can't even eat popcorn at the movies.

"They sometimes put butter in it that contains milk, and if I eat it then off to the ER," he said.

He's also allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, berries, fish and shellfish.

But he recently underwent a bizarre medical test called the cupcake challenge. Carefully, doctors weighed cupcakes made with milk. Remember, he's allergic to milk. So he ate a tiny bite of cupcake crumbs then waited 15 minutes. When he did OK, he got two bites of cupcake with milk.

As children get older, they can outgrow their allergies.

"As a child outgrows their milk and egg allergies, they're able to tolerate the baked good products," Dr. Carla Davis said.

The goal was for Weaver is to eat more than six cupcakes without having an allergic reaction, and if he could do that, cupcakes are back in his life.

Weaver ate and ate and ate. No hives, no breathing problems. So now he can have cupcakes, and more importantly, milk if it's baked into a food.

Dr. Davis says only a few foods cause 90 percent of food allergies: milk, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts and seafood.

Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at @ChristiMyers13

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