15 yr old PA son very depressed

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Hi my 15 yr old son is PA and also allergic to wheat,soy,sesame seed,barley,coconut,almond,corn,pecan,oats. Plus highly allergic to grass and trees.He is so depressed over feeling "sick" all the time from his allergies. His food allergies were discovered 2 years ago through RAST.So he's too afraid to eat anything.He eats almost the same thing everyday, Pizza. Most of his food allergies are mild. The peanut came back as 1.73ku/L or 264% response. The ku is considered moderate but at the same time the 264 is considered a high level.He has been taken to the hospital with severe hives twice and has had mild hives several other times but we don't know why he got the hives because he's exposed to so many allergens on a daily basis.We never let him near peanuts though. But he does eat plain M&Ms very rarely given to him by my husband.My husband is in denial about most of it. He thinks I'm "overreacting" to his allergies. He has 2 epi-pens at home and one at school.Should I treat his food allergies as life threating? Thanks for your help. Sorry so long.

On Apr 4, 2005

I'm sorry to hear he's having a hard time. It's hard enough being a teenager, let alone have to deal with life threatening allergies. I hope others with teens on this board will be able to give you advice. My boys are too young for me to add much value. I know I've seen some teens on this site too...one has a website that might be helpful. Has the RAST also been confirmed with SPT? I ask because I know there can be false-positives.

Personally, we treat PA/TNA as life-threatening. I am less cautious about MA & EA, but I do take them very seriously and practice strict avoidance. We do allow milk & eggs in our house and we don't allow peanuts or tree nuts.

Edited to add: I didn't think plain M&M's were safe...don't they have a warning on them? We don't allow my PA son to eat chocolate yet...too risky for me.

Good luck!

------------------ Mom to: Sean 3.5yrs PA & EA Brian 1.5yr MA

[This message has been edited by Ree (edited April 04, 2005).]

On Apr 4, 2005

I'm sorry your son has to go through all of this. Have you considered counseling? It is so hard for teens to deal with peer pressure and school, let alone trying to handle multiple food allergies.

For me and my family we treat my son's peanut and treenut allergy as life threatening, always. In my opinion no matter what levels blood tests may indicate the possibility of anaphylaxis is always there. M&M's along with most candy are just a risk I am not willing to take. As far as pizza, is it ordinary pizza? From what I dealt with when my son was allergic to wheat (outgrew it thank goodness) most dough and flour contain it. Maybe that could be exaccerbating his symptoms.

Have you tried giving your husband literature on food allergies? Maybe seeing information in writing will help it sink in for him.

Take care and wishing you the best. I truly hope your son feels better.


On Apr 4, 2005

I feel so sad for him. I, too have a ton of allergies and so does my young son (4). Does your son take Zyrtek? That could help some of the misery. You could also have him see a doctor regarding depression. There are quite a few people who fight depression in correlation to allergies. Take care. Remind him that he is not alone. There are SO MANY kids with allergies these days. Maybe a support group? Sorry I am rambling - I just wish I could help.

[This message has been edited by Lisa V (edited April 04, 2005).]

On Apr 4, 2005

My son is 16 and has had life-threatening allergies his entire life. I imagine your son is still reeling from the diagnosis - it would be [b]very[/b] difficult to have foods you like taken away from you. Would he be interested in this website? [url="http://www.fankids.org/FANTeen/index.html"]http://www.fankids.org/FANTeen/index.html[/url] It might help him to see this site designed for people like him.

My son doesn't eat a big variety, either which I'm concerned about, too.

If your doctor has prescribed Epi-pens then you do need to take the allergies seriously - it's my understanding that reactions can vary - just because one reaction was mild, others might need to be treated as medical emergencies.

Do you know if there is a food allergy support group in your area? If you can get your husband involved, he might get a greater understanding of the possible dangers of ignored food allergies.

------------------ Jana


On Apr 4, 2005

Thanks to all of you for all your advice. My son has taken every allergy medicine ever made I think.And NOTHING works anymore.He's on steroids right now because of allergic conjunctivitis and severe runny nose that will not stop and a few hives that keep popping up here and there. I work for my son's Dr(Family Practice)so I get tons of free samples which has helped alot with the cost of allergy meds.He also sees an allergist, but I had to ask for the Epi-Pens from him and he said he didn't think he needed it but I said I don't want to chance it with him being allergic to so many different things. He eats pizza alot because it seems not to bother him even with the wheat allergy. That allergy is very mild.And I panic every time I see my husband give him M&M's. That hasn't happened in a long tome.And since I've showed him this website I don't think it will again. And we are working closely with my son's Dr's and counselors to help with the depression. Thanks so much for the advice. I'm sure I will be back with more questions!

------------------ Rene

On Apr 5, 2005

Why don't you practice strict avoidance on all the foods? I know you say he's not that bothered by wheat, but maybe that's what's causing all these minor problems that's sending him into depression. Even avoiding it for 2 weeks and see what happens...

On Apr 5, 2005

I agree with Ree. Eliminate everything he is allergic to and see how he feels. He might be drastically improved.

My son is 20 and has many food allergies too. His diet is pretty restricted but most of that is his choice and pickiness. I leave him alone, he's grown and fine.

15 is a tough age and FA just adds to it.

Good luck Peggy

On Apr 5, 2005

I hope I'm not meddling too much. But when you mentioned you had to ask the allergist to prescribe you epi, that kinda bothered me. He should know any allergy to nuts can result in anaphylaxis. Anyway, that aside, have you thought of going to another allergist for a second opinion? Maybe consulting a new doctor will give you a different insight or approach on how to handle this. Sometimes the results between 2 doctors can be amazing. Hope this helps.

Take care,


On Apr 5, 2005

Hello again, The strict avoidance that you talk about is a great idea. Getting him to do it will be hard but we will give it a try. He is a picky eater. It's just that he's allergic to so many foods, there were a couple more I forgot about like rice and something else I can't think of right now. I don't have any idea what I can feed him! I did see some links to recipes somewhere though. And yes it bothered me alot when I had to ask for the Epi-Pens. And the couple times we have been back to the allergist he just acted like his allergies were no big deal. So I am actively looking for a new allergist. Thanks for the advice. Talk to you soon.

------------------ Rene

On May 30, 2005

my son is 15 and PA - your son can email him at [email]truebluesoccer27@aol.com[/email]

On Jun 5, 2005

Flowerchild -

Sorry for being so nosey, but could you give a little more background? You said these allergies were discovered through RAST testing. Did you test because he was having symptoms? Sometimes you can have a positive allergy test, but still be able to eat the food without symptoms (ie - my son tests positive to soy, but has never had a problem with it so his allergist said to ignore the positive result). It seems a shame to take away foods that in reality may not be a problem.

On the other hand, it's also possible to test negative but still have symptoms (ie - when he was little my son tested negative to milk, but had obvious symptoms from it. His allergist told us to consider him milk allergic and strictly avoid it.)

Perhaps another MD could get you guys on a systematic elimination diet to help you figure out exactly what's going on?

I really feel for your son. Please let us know how he is doing.


On Jun 17, 2005

Wondering here if he may have Celiac Disease? Celiac is a gluten intolerance (wheat being one of these) and depression is part of it. It can be detected by blood work up. It also predisposes a person to food allergies. Just wondering. May be worth a blood test.

On Sep 8, 2005

Get him to checkout this for some support!


On Sep 26, 2005

I would suggest the blood test as the scratch test can come back with a false positive.

Plain M & M's are not safe for a peanut allergy. They are run on the same line as peanut m & m's. The only chocolate that I have found to be safe if the regular Hershey's bars. You have to read everything even if it was safe a month ago.

I would also suggest pulling him off everything that he is allergic to. See how he feels and then add them back in to see what type of reaction you get. Some allergies are actually food intolerances and create stomach issues instead of an allergic reaction.

On Sep 26, 2005

Yes, have him tested for celiac disease while he's still eating wheat. There are several blood tests, which are frequently followed by an endoscopy and biopsy of several points in the small intestine.

For the record, my doctor told me I could rotate wheat since my reaction wasn't noticeable. Within a few years, the allergy was life-threatening. Now my doctor thinks I actually have celiac disease, too, due to other symptoms that ended when I cut out all gluten grains.

We think my food allergies developed because of undiagnosed celiac disease. I'm hoping I don't develop any more.

I've had false negatives to SPT. My husband has had false positives.


On Nov 15, 2005

Hello...My extended family always forgets my sons PA.hmmmm.. It is frustrating. A food allergy diet is challenging but the results are so worth it..I think too that an elimination diet is key to your success...Good luck.