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RAST scores

5 replies [Last post]
By Concerned about Allergy on Tue, 09-11-01, 02:19

When my daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy the allergist just said "yep she's allergic to peanuts, eggs, milk and soy" "Definately keep her away from all peanuts" Now at that point I didn't know much about the allergy, just that it was deadly. When we went back to her regular pediatrician I knew a little more about the allergy and asked him what she scored on the RAST test. He told me that it was irrelevant and that I should just keep her away from all nuts. So I never did find out what she scored on this test, he was not interested in telling me either.... Does every person receive a number? I kind of just left it at that and never pursued it. Now I'm curious... How important are the numbers? Are they really irrelevant like this doctor said? I feel kinda stupid, a year later, asking this question but I've been reading a lot of things about scores in here and it's got me thinking? Thanks

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By Chicago on Tue, 09-11-01, 18:00

Yes, every RAST test gets a number and that number rates the severity of the allergy (although the severity does not necessarily coordinate with the reaction). Ofen Peanut allergic people are directed to keep away from all nuts as many bakeries subsitute / mix peanuts for more expensive tree nuts etc...

If your child truely scored allergic (usually considered to be a RAST score above a 2 per my allergist), you need a Epi Pen perscription (you didn't mention that in your post) and some better guidance. While their is some debate about the total accuracy of RAST scores you would hate to have your lack of or misinformation hurt your child.

BTW, my ped just told me when I informed him of my childs first peanut reaction, "Well, you don't grow out of that allergy so there is nothing we can do" No Epi, no label reading advice, nothing. Alot of meds currently feel that allergies are over diagnosed and I think that contributes to their attitude.

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By Concerned about Allergy on Wed, 09-12-01, 02:33

Not to worry, I am very informed about this allergy. I take all of the necessary precautions(and then some), carry with me at all times an epi-pen and even have my three year old pretending to read labels along with me looking for the ever so deadly peanut word.... I just am not sure what her rating on the RAST test was because her pediatrician dodged the question. I feel that I should know what she scored so I think that I will demand a number from him and if he fails to offer it up I will go back to the allergist and ask him. Basically I just wanted to know a little more about the relevance of this score? Because I was made to feel like a "bad mother" for initially asking, I would hate to go back and ask again if it really is insignificant!! Thanks for your response..

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By TJMOM5 on Sat, 10-06-01, 04:59

My son's Rast for peanuts was a 4. I hear a 6 is the highest. He scores a 1 for watermelon and stawberries. Yet, the watermelon reaction is like a peanut reaction for him. And the strawberry just results in a rash around his mouth.
I hear the test is difficult and unreliable for fruits and vegetables but should be reasonably accurate for proteins. But hey, just like everything else, there are false positives and false negatives. You just have to consider how your child reacts to a certain food and couple it with a positive test, no matter how low the Rast score is. Take precautions if your child reacts, no matter what the tests say.

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By kaseeellen on Sat, 10-06-01, 14:43

I think one of the challenging things even now is educating myself by asking questions. That urge not to ask, because it's been a year or even longer, has to just be swallowed. Every time my 4 year old has a check up I bring up his allergy. Don't let anything intimidate you from learning more. If your dr isn't helpful (and we all know dr's like that are out there...) find one that is. It is crutial to educate yourself and in turn be able to educate the others around you. My ped will do a blood test again on my son before he starts school next year. My son's allergy is airborn, even if he smells it he'll have a reaction. (was a 6 on the RAST) It's important to know these things if, for example, we're in an area where nuts are being roasted. For us, it's not enough to keep him from eating it.

Talk to your dr, explain your concerns, and we're always here for help and advice too.


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By DRobbins on Sat, 10-06-01, 18:08

Regarding RAST tests, first a caution: as other people have written, the score on the test isn't really a terrific indicator of either the sensitivity of a person to the allergen or of how severe their reaction will be when they are exposed to the allergen. That said, I'd rather be a category 2 than a category 6 [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

The next thing is scores on a RAST test. I think there are actually two numbers, or at least there were for the RAST tests my son has had. The first number is the actual measurement. For example, if I recall correctly, my son's was .71 to peanut. The second number is the category that score falls into. My son's .71 translated into a category 3.

The last thing I'd like to mention is that I'm pretty sure that by law your (or your child's) medical records "belong" to you, not to your doctor. Your doctor could try to pursuade you that you don't need to know the actual numbers, but when push comes to shove, Im pretty sure it is your right to obtain the actual medical test results. Your doctor's office could charge you a modest copying charge for paper copies of the test results, but you have the right to be told those numbers. (Assuming you live in the US, that is.)


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