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Do reactions get worse with more exposure to an allergin?

10 replies [Last post]
By on Wed, 06-07-00, 16:36

My heart does not really want the answer to this question because I'm afraid of what it might be. My head needs the answer though.

My daughter's allergist told my husband and I that it was a myth that peanut reactions get worse with each exposure. Lauren has had 3 exposures. The first 2 caused a few hives and swollen shut eyes. The last one caused stomach cramps, vomiting and a secondary reaction 12 hours later which cause severe vomiting and caused her eyes, nose and mouth to swell quite a bit. Obviously, the 3rd reaction (both parts) was worse than the first two.
I would like to know, based on your personal experience, do reactions typically get worse?
Does it take less for the reaction to set in with each exposure to the allergin?

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By mkruby on Wed, 06-07-00, 17:14

I do not know for sure, but I believe the answer to your question is yes. From what I understand, if you have an allergy and have continued exposure it does get worse. Can't say 100% though.

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By on Wed, 06-07-00, 17:30

I am not sure if it is scientifically proven...I just know that it hold true to my son so far. His have continually become worse.

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By latymom on Wed, 06-07-00, 17:40

I think it's like playing russian roulette. You never know what the next reaction will be, whether it's better or worse. So far, I've heard from numerous sources that the more exposure the more chance of severe anaphalaxis. In a way we should be thankful that we found out early with most of our kids, therefore limiting their exposure.

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By Alex's Mom on Wed, 06-07-00, 17:43

For my son, it has gotten worse. His first reactions were to ingestion (vomiting, sleepyness, itchy) These happened between the ages of 3 to 7. During that time he never had a reaction to being around pn. Last November, he had a major reaction to touching peanuts (eye swoll almost shut, hives) and then a few weeks later had a reaction to being in the same room where peanuts were being eaten. (possible contact from table surface).
His allergist said that with each exposure, the reactions can get worse.


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By andy on Wed, 06-07-00, 21:45

I have been told that the reaction does get worse with each exposure, but that has not been the case with me. I think the bottom line is you absolutely never know how you will react to the next exposure. Andy

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By DMB on Wed, 06-07-00, 21:57

Just from our experience, the reactions have gotten worse. My son's first few exposures from ingestion were hives around his eyes and mouth and swollen eyes. The next exposure (a kiss from someone who had eaten a pbj sandwich) was hives in just the area where he had been kissed. Then at 18 months he took one small bite of a piece of candy and it sent him into a full-blown anaphylactic reaction. Knock on wood there haven't been any reactions since then to compare and he just turned 3. Deanna

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By jdickson6 on Wed, 06-07-00, 22:14

As a child mine were the hives and face swelling, as I have gotten older, it is anaphalxis and passing out (probably due to lack of oxygen) the stomach etc came hours later after the epi, I never really knew if it was in reaction to the epi or part of the initial reaction. When I asked my anatomy class this years ago it was worse due to the # of reactions but the professor explained it more to your age, and your state of health that day. college is a miserable time due to the awful nutrition and lack of sleep, and the older blood vessels, also if you are anemic you have the thinner blood vessels, thus easier to for contstruction to shut. Who knows....which "theory" is actual scientific.....I have always tried to follow up on that question though....i can't imagine it getting any worse than it is now......

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By nonuts4us on Wed, 06-07-00, 22:43

[quote]Originally posted by AndreaM:
[B]My heart does not really want the answer to this question because I'm afraid of what it might be. My head needs the answer though. My daughter's allergist told my husband and I that it was a myth that peanut reactions get worse with each exposure.

I was also under the same impression about subsequent reactions becoming worse. I am a writer, and recently interviewed an allergist for an article on food allergies for national food allergy week. She assured me that such is not the case--that it depends on the type of exposure, and the amount of allergen ingested. You definitely DON'T want to take any chances, but on the other hand, you don't want to have to assume the worst. Hope that helps.

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By PeanutKate on Thu, 06-08-00, 00:05

Hi, I asked my allergist about this and got the same response as you, however, when I asked for citations to research articles in medical journals outlining this position, he backed away from his comments. I have since found research materials on both sides of this issue so have decided to go with my personal experience which is that the peanut allergic adults I know tell me that anaphylactic reactions occur more often now than they did as children when hives were more common.

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By melliottt on Wed, 06-14-00, 12:59

Where can I read your story, the media around here did nothing for national food allergy week and I'd like to see the information.


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