Celebrating Food Allergy Awareness Week with Peanut Allergy Testing

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Not every patient trusts the results of blood and skin allergy testing.  But from the time my child was one year old, we’ve known he had egg and peanut allergies…we’d seen the reactions.

Before he was diagnosed and my husband and I knew what food allergies were, I once saw my son’s breathing become labored and difficult with vomiting…what I now know to be signs of anaphylactic shock.  Also before he was diagnosed, I once saw his eye swell shut and out to the size of small lemon.

Make no mistake about it.  We’ve seen the physical evidence of egg and peanut allergies and how they affect my son.

Blessedly, he has outgrown his egg allergy now seven years later.  However, his IgE numbers climb every year right along with the class level of his peanut allergies.  Currently his peanut allergies are in the highest class according to both skin and blood testing.  That’s a truly scary thing…something I don’t have to tell most of you.  I’m know preaching to the choir on this one.

Almost a year ago, my allergist mentioned an up and coming allergy blood test that could measure a patient’s physical reaction to the ingestion of a peanut.  At the time, the test cost around $500 which put it exorbitantly out of reach from food allergy families on a budget…like ours.  It sounded like a dream to have that peace of mind, but it wasn’t within our reach.

As the test gains popularity with more allergists, the price of the procedure has decreased to approximately $300…still expensive.  I suppose you can’t really put a price on peace of mind, but it tends to look that way when you have to choose between peace of mind and the day to day cost of supporting your family.

Last week, my allergist called to let me know the test (called U Know Peanut…www.uKnowPeanut.com) would be offered for about half the normal price for a limited time only.  In some cases patients’ insurance companies would pay for half of that cost.

I was finally beginning to see peace of mind within my reach; the ability to know how my son would react if he were to do the unthinkable and ingest a peanut.

To kick off Food Allergy Awareness Week, my son had the blood test done today.  We are both a little breathless with anticipation of the test results but will have to wait a week or so to hear them.  I will post more information about the test and our experience with it as it becomes available.

To learn more, visit www.uKnowPeanut.com and speak with your allergist about this test to decide if it’s right for you.

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