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2-yr old son diagnosed with level 2 PA....questions?

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By blueorchid on Sat, 06-11-05, 03:57

My almost 2-yr old son was diagnosed yesterday with Level 2 peanut allergies. We had a blood test done for a runny nose and a cough that he has had off and on for at least a year. I assumed it was from dust or pets. However, the PA is the only thing that came back positive on the test. BTW, he has never eaten any peanut butter or peanuts before.

I have been reading up on this tonight and have gotten so much more info than the doctors told me. The Dr took it lightly saying it was just a moderate allergy and not to let him have PB for one more year and test again. My questions are:

Should I get rid of everything in the house that contains peanuts (including ice cream) even if he won't be eating it?

Is it impolite to ask playgroups & friends to not have peanut products out when at their home?

Is there anyone whose child had started with just a runny nose and turned into something much worse? Or just Level 2?

And, lastly we are vegetarians and eat a lot of soy products and I have read a lot of mixed results on whether to feed soy. Any input?

Thanks in advance for any helpful information and sharing your stories.

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By mommyofmatt on Sat, 06-11-05, 13:54

Hi Blueorchid,

Welcome, and I'm glad you're finding lots of useful information from this site [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I'll take a crack at answering your questions. You may find that you might get some different opinions, and from those you can figure out what you're comfortable with.

Since your son has had a runny nose and cough, yes, I would try to eliminate everything peanut in the house. Residue from peanut products can be tricky, and it could be possible that is behind the symptoms.

And, by eliminating peanut products, you would definitely decrease the chances for an accidental ingestion at home.

A serious reaction can occur from touching a plate with residue, and then rubbing eyes or putting fingers in the mouth...all the more reason to just clear them out. sorry, I know it's a pain...

For our playgroup, we have asked them to refrain from peanut, milk, and egg products during our visits since those are my ds' allergies. I bring something that I bake to offer something yummy. We've had a few bumps but it's worked out.

I initially only asked them to eliminate peanuts, but we had 2 accidental ingestions with milk and egg products so we cut it all out. Those kids are soooo quick and are apt to try to share food at 2. So if I were you, yep I'd ask them to leave the peanuts home.

As far as the test results go...here's my understanding. The level refers to the likelihood of a reaction, not the severity. Anyone allergic to peanuts might have an anaphylactic (life threatening) reaction.

My ds happens to be a level 5, and has never ingested peanuts either. He did have a bad hive reaction from Bath & Body Works shampoo residue in the tub, which I believe contained traces of peanuts. I carry epipens everywhere we go.

IMHO, you should have a prescription for epipens, to treat him in case he accidentally ingests peanuts and has a severe reaction. Hopefully, I'm not scaring you too much right now...

About the soy, I've read so many conflicting things too. Because my ds' diet is so limiting with his other allergies too, he eats alot of soy. So far so good. (cross fingers). With a vegetarian diet, I'd imagine it would be pretty tough to eliminate peanut and soy and still get enough protein right? Maybe talk to a nutritionist?

It can feel overwhelming at first. But managing the allergy gets very doable. I hope my answers were helpful to you.


Meg, mom to:
Matt 3 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 3 yrs. NKA

[This message has been edited by mommyofmatt (edited June 11, 2005).]

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By multiallergymom on Sat, 06-11-05, 18:36

Welcome to the boards, but sorry you have to be here. I've been reading these boards for a year, but never posted. I agree with Mommyofmatt (she has lots of experience and gives great advice), but also wanted to add the following:

My dd is PA, egg allergic and now milk allergic. We have always given her lots of soy because she had a milk intolerance. Her RAST results went from a level 2 (with no soy) to a level 5 with soy. There is nothing to say that the cause of the increase was soy, but like you, I struggled with the decision to give soy to DD. My DH and I have decided to remove soy from her diet. Peas and beans always made her cheeks turn red, so she doesn't have these either. This is a very personal decision, especially since you are also vegetarian. Do you eat eggs? You could always take this route for protien.

One other thing I would like to offer. I have a friend who is veg. and is always telling me about great products to offer my daughter (salad snacks, spectrum shortening, etc), unfortunately, when we call, they are nearly always produced on shared lines with nuts. I encourage you to call the manufacturers and get an EpiPen if you don't already have one.

This is overwhelming, but it gets better with education. I wish you all the best and hope you get better RAST results next time.

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By blueorchid on Sun, 06-12-05, 21:42

Thank you both for the great information. I did get an epi-pen and will keep it with me at all times. Also, I had completely forgotten about eggs as protein. That is something we never eat, but will try to get our kids to start eating it.

Also, do either of you know what the time span is on someone eating peanut butter and then being around my son? My husband hates eggs so I wanted to know if it would be safe for him to have PB at work for lunch and whether enough time would have passed by the time he gets home that my son wouldn't havw any type of reaction.

Thanks again for the info. I am glad I found this website and I have just ordered two books on the subject.

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By gibsmom on Mon, 06-13-05, 11:48

Dear Blueorchid,
You pose an interesting question -- regarding the timespan between eating a pb sandwich and being around your son. You know, I think a lot of it depends upon your comfort level. I am a vegetarian, and I still eat peanut butter sandwiches. The knife goes directly into the dishwasher and the counter gets immediately wiped off. I don't share any drink glasses with my PA son, I don't share chapstick with him, etc. I think the reason for my particular comfort level is that we just found out when he was 4 that he is PA. Of course, I'd been eating pb around him since the day he was born. The only two pa reactions he's had have been when he actually ingested something with pb. In Oct. 04 he threw up after tasting a bite of a pb cookie, so we immediately took him to an allergist for testing. Prior to that day, he would never put anything with pb anywhere near his mouth. If he smelled pb in something, he wouldn't taste it. It's like his little body already knew that he couldn't eat it. Since we discovered his pa after so much time had past, we've continued to eat as we normally would, but we take extra precautions as far as putting the knife away as soon as possible and not sharing things off my plate, not sharing drinks, etc.

However, since you've learned at an early point in your son's life, you've got more decisions to make about your lifestyle. I would ask your child's allergist about your husband eating PB sandwiches for lunch. My hunch is that the doc would say that was fine. I know a family with a peanut free house, but when they get a sitter, they go to DQ for peanut buster parfaits because they miss peanuts so much!

Don't ever feel guilty for wanting to eat PB.

I am sorry that you are facing this allergy with the rest of us. It is scary at times, and there is just so much that even the doctors don't seem to know or understand. Never hesitate to call your allergist and ask him/her these questions.

It sounds scary, but you'll have to discover your own comfort level over time. Especially since your son has never eaten any PB, you have no clue what his reaction would be.

Since your son is 2 and too little to understand to avoid PB, you may want to make your home peanut free until he is older. Our 4 1/2 year old never eats anything new without asking if there's PB in it!

Hang in there. These answers will come with time.

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