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Latest News in Allergy Testing: False Positives?

Food allergies and allergy testing has gotten a lot of media attention as of late. Several articles have stated that common allergy tests could yield false positive results.

This statement has led others to question the prevalence of food allergies and life threatening food allergies in particular.

Allergy bloggers have responded in a frenzy worried that this media attention will undo what many have worked on for years--to educate and inform. That the every day non allergic person will not take food allergies seriously. (Not that many take it very seriously now.) However, it is a blow to the allergy community.

Regardless of the potential harm it may do to the food allergy community, the question is whether it's true.

Unfortunately, the answer is sort of yes. No one can say for sure whether the studies showing an increase in food allergy diagnosis is due to an actual real increase, increased awareness, or increased testing. What is known is that food allergy testing is not 100% accurate and not all allergists are testing correctly.

The bottom line is that positive allergy testing--without a reaction or history of a reaction to the food being tested--does not mean an individual is allergic. And in fact can mean that the individual gets a false positive diagnosis.

The kicker is that if an individual is predisposed to allergies. Suddenly avoiding a food you are NOT allergic to can potentially cause an allergy.

The lesson going forward is this: discuss what you know and advocate with your allergist. Consider allergy testing only for foods you know you or your child has reacted to. If you can't determine the one food due to a reaction to a meal--consider a food challenge for those foods that come up positive that you've eaten reaction free before.

The allergy world is changing. New information becomes available as technology grows. While is is frustrating for those of us who have children that were diagnosed 5+ years ago, it is exciting for those now who are just starting their food allergy journey. Knowledge is definitely power.

By B3K on Wed, 05-19-10, 22:42

This is very interesting and made me think of something.... I have one son PA /TA and 2 sons who have no food allergies, we have a nut free home and none of us eat nuts or PB so does that mean that one of my other children or my huband or I could develope a peanut allergy BECAUSE we are avoiding nuts for so long?

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By BestAllergySites on Thu, 05-20-10, 02:50

B3K--this is a great question and one that my own spouse recently asked me as we also avoid peanuts and tree nuts in our home.

Per an allergist that I know and asked--the answer is "yes-possibly".

If any individual has a "predisposition" to allergies/food allergies then avoiding a food for a period of time could "potentially" cause a food allergy.

We also have a non food allergic child and we try to feed him peanuts/tree nuts outside of our home once a week or once every two weeks to keep up his tolerance.

More and more adults are also now developing peanut allergy--which leads me (and the allergist I mentioned) to believe that adults who avoid an allergen for a period of time may also potentially end up with a food allergy.

Unfortunately there is really no way to tell either way what or if it will happen.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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By B3K on Thu, 05-20-10, 13:38

Thanks for your reply, I am going to talk with my husband, I would like to take our non PA son occasionally to get something with PB or nuts, and us as well, but my husband has developed a major anxiety issue about nuts ( understandably so) I work 12 hrs on saturdays and once a month iI have a client who brings me brownies with walnuts, I never take them home I eat one and give the rest away, this really upsets my husband and he acts like i am risking our sons life even though it is ususlly 8 hrs before I am home and then he is in bed and i have eated several other things and brushed my teeth! But we look @ things differently, i would rather teach our PA son how to handle gatherings and social events such as asking questions/ reading ingredients now so that when we are not with him he knows how to do it ( he is very social and I know when he is not under our roof anymore he will not stay in a bubble ) but my husband has so much anxiety it amakes it hard for all of us and it makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing.

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By BestAllergySites on Thu, 05-20-10, 19:09


I understand how difficult it is especially when a spouse has a different opinion or style.

There is so much we don't know about food allergies--I feel I really can't help you in that area.

Strict avoidance is what keeps most children safe--but at what cost?

My son has severe peanut allergies per testing--reactions that we know of have been mild to only traces. So we really don't know how severe the allergy really is.

We do keep peanuts/products out of our home for the most part. At times we might get a single serving dessert that is eaten after the kids go to bed and it is kept in an out of reach separate area.

We do eat and let our other son eat peanut products at restaurants when my son is there. We make sure he is seated in the best position away from the food or ice cream.

My son is now 7 and we just started feeling comfortable doing this within the last year.

I will say that I do worry when my husband has a peanut containing item at work. More about him spilling food on himself or getting traces on his clothing--not the actual ingestion lingering in the mouth part of it.

For me I think it's because I am not there. I'm pretty extreme type A. That might be the case for your husband. Or maybe not.

I know that I feel okay if I am there and can watch the situation but am not wild about my husband taking the kids out alone and eating or letting our non allergic son eat peanut type foods.

Does that make sense?

You have to do what is right for your family.

We ALL avoided for so long but then realized we weren't doing anyone any good. My youngest is not allergic and should be able to eat peanuts. He shouldn't have to live his brothers life. My allergic son needs to learn to live in a world with peanuts.

We continue to keep it out of our home for the simple safety aspect of it and probably always will. Home is different than being out in the world. Here we eat everywhere--so the potential for cross contamination etc. is higher.

Hope that helps--good luck!

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By vermontmom on Wed, 06-09-10, 16:40

How do you all feel about the findings that 30% of the population believes they have a food allergy when only 3-5% actually do?

Do you think it will inspire more reliable testing, like food challenges, before nut bans are put into place?

Although it's hard to have your child's allergy doubted, ultimately I think it's a good thing for the PA community if the misdiagnosed are taken out of the equation.

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By Mach5AR on Tue, 06-15-10, 02:24

I think it hurts the reality of the severity of anaphylactic food allergy reactions.

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By BestAllergySites on Tue, 06-15-10, 23:37

Unfortunately I think like Mark said--it somewhat hurts our community at least in the public eye. But in the medical and scientific community--I think it could be helpful.

There are new tests out that are not FDA approved and therefore rarely available in the US which actually (supposedly) are better than the tests being used today. But since they are not FDA approved it leaves us as a community without access.

Although as an FYI--that 30% number (to my knowledge) is not a backed up with proof or a study number but a number that the particular journalist ran with.

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By jordnoedder on Mon, 06-14-10, 20:53

We already experienced this as friends of ours brought up that most parents confuses their children's food allergies with sensitivities. I was so annoyed because I felt they basically told the other parents that our children are not allergic making the other parents doubt if they really have to be careful.

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By vermontmom on Tue, 06-15-10, 11:37

Well, of course it's going to make some people wonder whether your child is in the 3-5% of people who actually have a food allergy or the 25-27% who just think they do. But it's true, isn't it? Haven't you talked about your kid's allergy only to have someone say that their kid is allergic to tomatoes because she got a rash around her mouth when she was a baby? And then, because you are worried about peanuts in the school, they wonder if they should worry about tomatoes? It makes sense that the other parents would eventually get burned out by making accomodations. I wonder if maybe we'd all be better off if you had to have a doctor-administered food challenge or confirmed anaphylactic reaction before you could ask for accomodations from your child's school or daycare.

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By jordnoedder on Tue, 06-15-10, 14:52


I am very puzzled by your comments. To me it seems like you doubt the allergies.

Your points don't make sense in my eyes. Our pedicatric allergy doctor and all the ones we had seen for second opinions or when moving, all said that they wouldn't do a food challenge on our kids when they were still in preschool. It was enough that the testing continues to come up as allergic and that they have had several anaphylactic incidences. The doctors think it is too dangerous to perform a food challenge on a little child and it may trigger other allergic reactions due to the hardship on their immune system and bodies, which are still not fully developed.

Further, I do question the study for 2 reasons:

1. I had several anaphylactic incidences with peanuts, didn't know it was the peanuts so continued being exposed. Then my husband (who is a doctor) said he thought it may be the peanuts. I got tested (skin test) and was negative. Then I was exposed to a food challenge which came up positive - second skin test was positive. So how about all the false negatives? They say they don't happen but I guess I was the greatest proof of that you can't go by a negative either.

2. How did they screen who they asked? In my children's class rooms then 25-30% of children have peanut and nut allergies. All of them have been tested by doctors. So you are to say that the doctors are wrong? Perhaps the numbers would be higher if more children got tested - my friend's husband was ignorantly bliss about his peanut allergies and consumed them daily until he had a severe incidence. When tested they also found that 2 of their 4 children was allergic, which explained frequent severe vomiting. Although both physicians they just never thought their family would have peanut allergies as it previously seemed to be the main food source in their family.

There is a difference between being allergic and parents stating something like you mention with the tomatoes and I think you see that with a lot of people - and always have. To me it seems to be the trend today with dairy and eggs and celiac disease. But again I don't think I have a right to question these parents because they do what they judge best for their children's health.

I think the society is very hypocritic in general - somehow it is ok to not eat beef or pork or something for religious reasons or being a vegetarian for the sake of it or for animal rights and that is being respected above and beyond (please don't misunderstand me I was a vegetarian myself for 15+ years). But having a child with a food allergy then you are being questioned as being "nuts" or 'alternative" or being a hysterical parent. I guess these doubters wouldn't doubt if they had a child themselves vomitting and wheezing when someone next to them ate peanuts.

Since nuts is not a required food group for everyone to stay healthy then I don't agree that a dangerous food challenge should be required for a school to make accomodations. First of all the schools make (and by law have to) accomodations to food preferences that are for religious reasons. Secondly the nut allergies are much more prevalent than the study you suggested - according to several studies with AAP it is 5-8% of children (and still growing) - but many outgrow it by age 10. (eg. http://pedsinreview.aappublications.org/cgi/content/extract/29/4/e23)
Further, the AAP do recommend that NO children under age 3 be exposed to any tree nuts, as this exposure may trigger an allergy due to the immature immune system. And for choking hazard they actually say age 4. So why fight for the nuts in daycares when it is best for ALL little children not to be exposed? Children with allergies in the family should not be exposed until age 10 according to AAP - so I see it as very simple it is for the best of ALL children to simply ban nuts in schools and daycares.

Lastly, why take a chance? I think experiencing a anaphylactic shock in another child may cause a lot of trauma to the children who are not allergic. Certainly when my then 4 year old had an incidence in school (as someone by accident had brought in pretzels with sesame seeds) it affected another little girl to the extend that her mom called us in the evening. The girl felt so guilty and bad because she felt she should have protected my child and she had not been able to go to sleep out of worry for our son.

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By barbfeick on Tue, 06-15-10, 19:04

The purpose of the "study" that says children are being overdiagnosed with peanut allergy is to downgrade the severity of the peanut allergy problem. The statistics lie... the problem isn't as severe... we can continue to ignore it as a serious problem... we don't have to look for a cause.... vaccines are innocent...

Parents do not take their children in for allergy testing just for fun. There is already a problem or the child would not be subjected to the tests. The tests may not be as reliable as we would wish but there already was a known allergy problem before the child even got tested. The study ignores that.

It is the same with autism. "Parents don't really see what happened before their eyes." "Vaccines are innocent." "It is being overdiagnosed." "It's genetic."

The purpose of that article saying that peanut allergy is being overdiagnosed is simple. It is to tell people to ignore it as a problem and not look for a cause. Parents should put blinders on and continue getting their children vaccinated.

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By BestAllergySites on Wed, 06-16-10, 00:11

I think the problem is we swing the pendulum to far from one side to the other.

Of course food challenges should not be mandatory. And of course there are always going to be people who say or think they have allergies when in reality that have an intolerance.

The bigger issue here (in my opinion) is not a cure, not even the cause at this point (though it would be nice to know at some point for prevention purposes) but proper and reliable diagnostic procedures.

If you've had an anaphylactic reaction to a food and know it's that food--common sense says you are allergic to the food.

The issue with the recent studies and media coverage is that many individuals get an allergy diagnosis based on testing alone.

Example: Child has an allergic reaction to crab cakes. Crab cakes are made with crab, egg, bread crumbs (which could have sesame) and are all common allergens.

Allergist tests for crab/shellfish, sesame and egg. Results are positive to sesame and egg but negative to crab/shellfish. Allergist tells family to avoid sesame and egg.

Maybe the child is only allergic to egg but is now avoiding sesame based on testing that is only about 50% accurate.

That is where the real issue lies. And now allergists and studies are showing this might not be the best method with our current technology.

While this whole concept might hurt those of us with real and true food allergies (my child included) I think it's important that we get the best diagnostic criteria/testing we can.

I also think it's time that allergists educate themselves and their patients more regarding the differences between allergies and intolerances.

Allergies are an immune system response to a food protein and intolerances are a digestive system response.

In our case--for foods we were not 100% sure of and never had a reaction to--I would have preferred a food challenge.

We have foods we avoid based on reactions and foods we avoid based on testing results alone. We've been avoiding for 5+ years now. Since my son is predisposed to allergies--avoiding these foods could have caused him to now be allergic--assuming he was sensitized (exposed) to the allergens in question.

I think this is a common and huge problem for and within our community.

Edited to add: The AAP recently retracted their statement and recommendations regarding avoiding peanuts in young children. I believe there is no statement whatsoever now from the AAP in regards to when peanuts should be introduced. I think the only recommendation is to not start solids in general before 6 months of age.

The reason for the retraction is the rise in peanut allergic children. If people had been following the wait until the child is 3 advice--then we should not have seen such an increase.

Scientists also now believe that early exposure can in fact prevent food allergies. They are finding that those who ingested peanut protein from a young age were less likely to develop peanut allergy--however those who were exposed via skin but did not ingest were more likely to develop peanut allergy.

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By barbfeick on Tue, 06-15-10, 13:51

"Suddenly avoiding a food you are NOT allergic to can potentially cause an allergy."

I'm sorry, but this is totally wrong. You do not develop allergies to things without exposure. You will not develop an allergy to nuts by avoiding them because your child is allergic.

Food Allergies for Dummies:

"A virgin immune system has no reason to launch an all-out attack on a harmless food. It has to be properly sensitized to the food first (through an initial exposure)." [3]

If your child is allergic to peanuts, he was exposed to peanuts in a way that CAUSED an allergy. Either he had a leaky gut, overgrowth of yeast, or he was injected with peanut protein via vaccine/vitamin shot.

And it is a problem for the rest of the world to accommodate the highly allergic. Some people are highly allergic to perfumes which are ingredients in air fresheners, detergents, deodorants, etc. I know of two people who have fatal fish allergies. Others have shellfish allergy. I read about a child with a severe milk allergy - one drop on her skin burns a hole. Most on this list have severe peanut allergies.

So where do we start banning things?

Should we ban peanuts and tell the peanut farmers to grow another crop? Maybe tell them to switch to genetically engineered seeds? Then the fish-allergic child can have a reaction to the genetically engineered peanuts becaused they used fish protein? Ban milk? Ban fish? Ban deodorants and air fresheners?

It is lousy that so many children have a severe peanut allergy. Most of them have not become adults... yet. As they become handicapped adults filing lawsuits to be accommodated in the workplace, then we will have more frustrations to deal with.

This is why I am screaming about the connection between vaccinations and peanut allergy. Prevention is better than trying to accommodate an ever increasing population of food-allergic people. [See the book "The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic" by Heather Fraser]

Our mainstream medical community is NOT looking out for your children. It is NOT looking for the cause of the peanut allergy epidemic. It is ONLY interested in profits. Profits from the vaccines, profits from creating a lifetime of illnesses that need a lifetime of drug treatment.

Where are the studies comparing non-vaccinated children with vaccinated children? Mainstream medicine says we can't do any because the Amish are too inbred and too many children have been vaccinated.

Yet, we have their favorite BS about the cause of allergies:

"The medical community cannot fully explain the phenomenon. But there are theories. Noticing that developing countries have almost no allergy led doctors to suspect that our society is too germ-free…. [Maybe it's the lack of early vaccinations, unavailability of baby formula, and antibiotics that are contaminated with peanuts? - bfg]

"Anne Muñoz-Furlong, head of FAAN, says “Perhaps our homes are too clean — we’ve done too much to take away the job of the immune system. We don’t have parasites, a lot of the childhood diseases you vaccinate and don’t have, so maybe for some people, the immune system is looking for something to do and decides, ‘Aha, I don’t like milk’ or ‘I don’t like peanuts,’” and the body then attacks the food protein as if it were an enemy invader.” "

Anne M-F makes a case for avoiding childhood vaccines and letting your child get the mumps.... But how is it that peanut allergy doubled when combination vaccines were introduced? Guess we suddenly got really clean houses! Maybe we are overusing antibacterial hand cleaner?

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By BestAllergySites on Tue, 06-15-10, 23:52

Barb--you took what I wrote out of context or you clearly don't get it.

In my quote I write "Suddenly avoiding a food you are NOT allergic to can potentially cause an allergy."

This is in fact quite true. You make the assumption (with my quote) that a person who suddenly avoids a food has had no prior exposure. That would be almost impossible except for very young children or uncommon foods.

Most children ARE in fact exposed to peanut protein from their own environment. It does NOT have to be ingestion (or the other things you mentioned like vaccines) but can be exposure through broken skin among other things. There are multiple ways we are exposed to food proteins.

My point in the above comment is: if you are predisposed to allergies/food allergies and have had prior exposure to an allergen (which is almost impossible not to) suddenly avoiding that allergen can "potentially" cause an allergy.

This is true and backed by allergists.

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By barbfeick on Wed, 06-16-10, 13:08

Why are people "predisposed"? Have allergists ever really investigated that? Leaky gut would "predispose" people to food allergies.

I really don't care what allergists say because they are the ones who push the hygiene theory which is pretty stupid.

The body creates antibodies against proteins that get into places in the body where they do not belong. The skin is one of the organs that protects us from the environment. If we eat food, the digestive tract if it isn't "leaking" digests the protein and keeps things where they belong in the body.

Why would the body create antibodies against foods that it is not being exposed to? And why would it create antibodies against foods from normal exposure?

Children in the underdeveloped countries should be getting food allergies but they are not... not until vaccinations start entering the picture. Wild animals do not get food allergies until vaccinations enter the picture.

The so-called allergy experts who are now saying that if you don't eat a food you can cause an allergy is doing the old magician's trick of diverting attention to the hand that is moving the rabbit. Ask your allergy experts why they are not looking into the connection between vaccines, antibiotics, and food allergies...

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By BestAllergySites on Wed, 06-16-10, 13:17


As you know there are many food allergy cause theories.

One being vaccines--which you advocate for.

There is also a genetic component, hygiene hypothesis (our society compared to third world countries is too clean) and then there's our food--GMO's, pesticides etc.

I don't argue with you that vaccines may play a role--I personally don't believe it's the sole cause of food allergy.

I hear you on trusting the medical profession--but I don't think it's as black and white as you like to make it sound.

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By jordnoedder on Wed, 06-16-10, 14:44

I agree so much with Ruth,

I actually tend to believe that it is not growing so much rather there is an issue with that we are becoming more aware eg. I have probably always been allergic but only found out after our children became allergic. I just never thought about asking the doctor if that could be the reason for my sudden vomitting, extreme rashes and struggling to get air. Nobody connected the dots and I recall getting sick like that since teenage years.

Although I do believe in delayed immunizations then I don't believe it is the cause. We delayed our children's immunizations and yet our oldest son had his first violent seizure from peanut exposure before any of his immunizations (I was eating a cake with peanut oil) while nursing.

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By Gus Mommy on Mon, 06-28-10, 00:21

Some of these countries just don't have the same foods. Therefore they are unable to access them. Sweden has no peanut allergies. They don't have peanuts or peanut butter. Peanuts are considered an American food.

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By barbfeick on Mon, 06-28-10, 11:50

Sweden has a major problem with fish allergy. Fish oils are a major product of the country AND they have their own companies that produce vaccinations. The reason they do not have a peanut allergy problem is because their children are not injected with peanut oil.

Peanut allergy is a major problem in the UK.

Sesame allergy is a major problem in Israel. Similar situation to Sweden. They are a major producer of sesame oil. They also have their own companies that produce pharmaceuticals and vaccines. They eat lots of peanuts but peanut oil is not a major product for them.

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By Gus Mommy on Wed, 06-30-10, 01:29

Can I ask where you're getting your information from? I'm Swedish and all my family and friends who still live in Sweden have never heard of anyone with a fish allergy. And you'd think that they'd all know at least one person if it's as you say.

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By barbfeick on Wed, 06-30-10, 13:47

Actually, peanut allergy is becoming a problem in Sweden, too.

"Peanut consumption in Sweden (roasted peanuts, not peanut butter which is rare) has only increased by 5% between 1996 and 1999, but the number of specific IgE tests requested for peanut has nearly trebled (young children identified as most affected). This is probably due, at least partly, to increased awareness and ascertainment bias....only 60% of positive results were associated with clinical reactivity, with symptoms more common with higher CAP class results, as expected."


"A [tenth] of all children in Sweden, in total roughly [132 000] children aged between 3 and 15 years, have some problem with [food] allergies."


"Conclusion – Adverse reactions to food and food allergy were similar in Icelandic and Swedish children. At the age of 18 months one can expect to confirm food allergy in approximately one out of 15 children with reported adverse reactions to food."


"For example, shrimp allergy is common in the southern USA while fish allergy is common in Spain and the Scandinavian countries, affecting up to 1:1000 ..."


The parent's guide to food allergies: clear and complete advice ... - Google Books Marianne S. Barber, Maryanne Bartoszek Scott ... - 2001 - Family & Relationships - 356 pages
"Interestingly enough, in Scandinavia, where herring and other fish are a major part of the diet, fish allergy is prevalent, with an estimated 15 percent of ..."

Pediatric allergy, asthma and immunology - Google Books ResultArnaldo Cantani - 2008 - Medical - 1619 pages
Fish allergy seems to be more frequent in European countries with allergy onset in the first 6 months of life in 24% of cases and in the second 6 months in ...

"In the USA we see plenty of Peanut allergy, In Scandinavia we see predominantly fish allergy, in Eastern Europe it's Poppy Seed allergy, Sesame allergy in the Middle East, while in Japan, Rice allergy is a significant problem."


"In Scandinavia, fish allergy is far more common than in the United States. The most common food allergies in American children include milk, eggs, soy, ..."


So... I would guess that the Scandinavian countries are using some of the vaccines manufactured elsewhere or their vaccine manufacturers are starting to use more peanut oil.

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By barbfeick on Wed, 06-16-10, 13:52

Why would there be a "genetic" component? Why would peanut allergy have suddenly doubled in less than 5 years? Why would peanut allergy have been nearly unknown in my youth yet it be genetic that my grandchildren would start getting peanut allergies?

Why do we just accept the "experts" BS when it flies against common sense?

I'm not saying the peanut allergy is only caused by vaccines and the vitamin K injection. It is also caused by antibiotics and other injections.

When women enter the hospital to give birth, what is the procedure? IV? Spinal block? Think about it.

"For reasons we don't yet understand, a gluten allergy can arise after a health trauma, such as an infection or injury, or sometimes, after pregnancy, or after a surgery."

We submit to medical treatments without knowing what we are submitting to. The doctors don't even question what they are injecting into us.

Reading the above - the gluten allergy was not due to a vaccine or vitamin shot, but what medical procedures involving injections could have contained something that caused the gluten allergy? WHY IS NOBODY INVESTIGATING?

The entire Merck Manual is full of names for symptoms with "cause unknown". Is it because the cause cannot be known or because the medical profession is too interested in making money? Treatments make money. Cures are dead ends.

There was a recent story on line about a doctor in Canada who found a drug that looks like a major cure for cancer but the story went on saying that since it is no longer under patent, nobody is interested in paying for a study. Excuse me? The Cancer Society raises how much money every year for cancer research, here is a cheap drug cure for cancer, but no one is interested?

The entire medical profession is like that. It is a money making business and has lost touch with making people well.

Individually, the doctors want to heal. Collectively, they get sued and their licenses revoked if they don't follow the rules. Treat... don't heal.

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By jordnoedder on Wed, 06-30-10, 15:07

This thread is really beginning to bore me. Sorry.

I simply do not buy that vaccines cause food allergies, given todays clinical knowledge and our own experiences. From what I know today it seems unsubstantiated and I am sorry to see all these parents against vaccines first claiming vaccines causing autism and now alleging a link between vaccines food allergies. This only after the link between autism and vaccines has been proven to be false then they attack vulnerable families with food allergies - age of autism had several bloggers inventing stories and is backing Dr. Wakefield who has been ruled in court to be unethical and has been stripped of his license as an md, since it was proven that he twisted the data.

In my opinion right now the attention should really be on how we handle food allergies and on this site peanut allergies in particular. I am sad to see this forum turning into a crusade against vaccines, with no clinical proofs. I fear this turn will make us parents come across untrustworthy and unserious, where as we are in fact dealing with a very serious situation on a daily basis that we for the safety of our children need people to understand and take serious.

I am not saying that we shouldn't look at causes for food allergies but I am asking for caution in jumping the guns before we have any substantial proof.

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By Gus Mommy on Wed, 06-30-10, 20:09

I completely agree!!

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By BestAllergySites on Wed, 06-30-10, 15:24

Regarding countries and food allergies--there is a common link between commonly consumed foods and food allergies.

For instance in the US we eat a lot of roasted peanuts and have a high rate of peanut allergy. In Japan, rice is a common food allergy and in Asia peanuts are boiled not roasted.

Some people believe it's what you eat, how much of it and how it is prepared. (Preparing alters the proteins.)

We are actually seeing an increase in food allergy in our pets based on their diets as well--and our pets are not vaccinated nearly as much as we are.

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By LMarie on Wed, 07-25-12, 18:16

This article is so timely. My 1 year old was tested for peanuts and soy after I took him to be tested after getting a small patch of hives after eating eggs. The test results show positive for eggs. I was surprised to learn he was positive SPT for peanuts as well. I breastfed the first nearly 4 months of his life and ate peanuts/peanut butter fairly regularly; granted he was getting 25-50% of his intake as breastmilk; supplemented formula the rest of the time. But I never saw him react to the peanut butter I ate while breastfeeding. My husband and I have a strong suspicion he is not allergic to peanuts. This has been somewhat devastating. He cannot enjoy Indian food; he is 1/2 Indian. I am worried that by restricting him when he may not be allergic will cause him to become allergic. I rarely get a straight answer from my allergist. Some days I feel like we are just being led down this path so they can get insurance payments until we do a food challenge. I'm very frustrated. Not certain the blood tests will even tell us any more than the SPT. Not being told when we can anticipate a possible food challenge.

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By holiday on Fri, 07-27-12, 12:00

Hi LMarie,
I totally relate to your post and am in almost the same boat. My son was RAST tested for milk at 10 months old because he had mild to moderate eczema. At that time, the allergist wanted to add in egg and peanut at that point for precautionary reasons. Strangely, the milk came back negative, but the egg white was a 2.1 and the peanut was a 1.5. They equipped me with an epi-pen and said we would have to do a food challenge in a year. I am shaken by this. My husband and I are definitely not sure if there is a true peanut allergy. Neither of us have a family history with food allergy; although, my nephew (on my husband's side) was allergic to eggs for a while but then grew out of it. I feel there is so much conflicting information on the internet, but I am determined to figure this out. How are you moving forward, LMarie? Also, if anyone has any input on my particular situation and would be willing to share their thoughts on how likely it is that we are in fact dealing with a true PA, I would appreciate it!

P.S., My son has never reacted to anything. Although, I have never given him peanuts or peanut butter, I have given him plenty of stuff that was made in a facility where they used peanuts. I have also fed him Honey Nut Cheerios without incidence.

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By LMarie on Fri, 07-27-12, 14:42

I've been trying to figure out what to feed him. it hasn't been easy. i am planning to meet with a dietician soon. we are moving him to cows milk now so i am reluctant to add more new foods until he has made this transition. with all the research i read, there are a large number of false positives; 50-70%. i cannot even get my allergist to tell me when or if they are even willing to do a food challenge. i've also heard the incidence of false positives are high in children with eczema...as in my son as well. the only true test result is a food challenge. for now, we have to follow through just in case it is a true allergy. i would say if you have given him nuts/peanuts without incident it is highly likely he doesn't have an allergy; but at this age, why risk it? a year or two seems like a long time right now given i don't really know how to manage this without freaking out all the time. he puts everything in his mouth right now which only increases his risk of cross contamination. i wish this were easier. i hope he truly doesn't have a peanut allergy. i wish you much luck.

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By galeema on Fri, 08-24-12, 11:23

Is it true that allergies can only be detected in children from the age of 2 years old? So does the whole idea of introducing 1 food at a time cancel out? Could you pls provide me with a source for further reading on this issue. Thanks.

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