Allergy Testing for \"Other\" Nuts

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 3:17am
McKenziesMom's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

Hi, I'm sort of new to this board and never really introduced myself, although I've responded to a couple of threads. GREAT website, offering much comfort.

I have one child, an 11 year old girl (in July) who is allergic to peanuts. We live in Ontario, Canada a couple hours north of Toronto.

She had two minor reaction under age 2(before we clued-in) and was tested positively at age 5. After age 5 she had one severe reaction from accidental exposure, but has been incident free ever since.

Since her two early reactions, we have completely avoided ALL nuts as well as peanuts, but I'm wondering if this is an extreme and unnecessary restriction. We've also never allowed her to try chickpeas(garbanzo)or kidney beans. She seems to react mildly to peas, but not to green or yellow string beans. She probably has never been exposed to any tree nuts, since our ban began so early.

I have requested a follow-up visit to an allergist, which is coming up in 3 weeks. My questions are:

Do I allow her to be tested for peanuts again?

Do I have any comfort level if she tests negative to other nut products?

I'd particularly appreciate responses from any Ontario members, since we share a common medical system.Thanks for any and all responses.

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 5:22am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi McKenziesMom and a belated welcome!
Who knows? We might be neighbours - I live about 1 1/2 hours north of Toronto. You are welcome to contact me off the boards if you want to know exactly where I'm located. We may even be using the same allergist!
My "comfort level" with tree nuts is nil also, although Cayley has never reacted to them. There is no known correlation between peanuts and tree-nuts, except that a person with a tendency to food allergy may eventually develop an allergy to another food. There is a difference in our daughters' ages though - Cayley is almost 4 - and I intend to keep her away from allergens which tend to develop into lifelong allergies (like tree nuts and shellfish) until at least age 5, which is recommended by some doctors and allergists. If Cayley hasn't reacted to, or eaten, tree nuts by age 11, I would get her tested, and if negative, I'd probably let her eat them. That's just me - not saying you should do this! [img][/img]
Has your daughter reacted recently to peas? Were they fresh peas or dried? The fact that she seems to be showing signs of cross-reaction to other items in the legume family besides peanuts, would inspire me to ask the allergist for a detailed skin testing for all legumes that they would normally test for.
I am looking at Cayley's allergy test results, and I cannot see any tree-nuts listed as a testing serum, so this may be an item you have to request in advance. The allergist's office often doesn't have all testing serums in the office - they have to order it in sometimes, so call before you go and detail exactly what you would like to get your daughter tested for.
Finally - testing for peanuts. That's a tough question, it really is. Talk to your allergist about it, is my best advice. I might lean toward retesting Cayley if she had been reaction free for as long as your daughter - hoping against hope that she had outgrown it. Ask about different skin-testing methods like: Do they actually have to scratch the skin with the diluted peanut serum, or can they just place it on a spot like, say, the inner wrist, for example. I'm not basing this on any scientific fact, it's just my opinion that it would seem to be a safer way to test for PA if the skin is not scratched. I'm sure your allergist can give you more information on this at the actual appointment, but you may want to call him ahead of time.
Finally, if you want to contact me off the boards, just click on my profile (the envelope above the post with the ? mark on it) to get my e-mail address. Good luck, whatever you decide! Keep us posted on how things go! Carolyn

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 10:18am
Mike and Missy's picture
Joined: 04/26/2001 - 09:00

Hi there,
It's nice to hear how long your daughter has been reaction free. Congratulation to your daughter and your family. I am from Ontario, approximately 21/2 hours north of Toronto as well.
We did have our son retested for peanuts and it was positive. We have also had him tested for numerous foods. He is also allergic to tree nuts, seafood including non-shellfish, soy, etc..
The severe allergies are PA/TA and seafood.
I would have her retested if you and your daughter have a desire to know. I would also test for tree nuts. I'm sure you will always avoid them due to cross contamination problems, but it might give peace of mind.
Good luck,

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 11:35pm
torontosue's picture
Joined: 06/08/2001 - 09:00

Hi and welcome to the boards. I'm in Ontario as well, and right in Toronto.
Taran was diagnosed at 11 months old, and we kept him away from all nuts. When he was 2, we had him tested for other nuts and foods as well. He is tree nut allergic, but only to walnuts, almonds and pecans. Does that mean I'd let him eat a cashew? Not on your life, however it does mean I know I don't have to get myself in a panic if he accidentally were to be exposed to one. Taran is 7, and still knows he is "tree nut" allergic, but doesn't know which ones and just keeps away from them all, that to me seems safest way and as he gets older it will be up to him to decide what he wants to do.

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 11:46pm
McKenziesMom's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

Thanks Mike and Missy. We're travelling to the east coast for the first time this summer, so I'm particularly interest in the fish and seafood testing. McKenzie's eaten fish, although she doesn't like it, but never shellfish, because I know it's such a high risk allergen.
She may have eaten almonds and brazil nut (before we knew about the peanut problem) and had no reaction. But it was so long ago, I haven't been willing to try either again.
I intend to get her tested for as many foods as they can safely do. Even though the results may not be entirely accurate, a positive result would just mean that we've been right all along to be so rigourous in avoiding so many different foods.
Thanks for your welcome.

Posted on: Thu, 06/07/2001 - 12:18am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for contacting me Mckenzie's Mom! I was kidding about using the same allergist - that's QUITE a coincidence! Definitely post about how you like your new allergist. The one we originally used was pretty good, but I'd like to go to someone who has more time to answer questions - I felt rushed at Cayley's diagnosis appt. I wouldn't mind travelling to Toronto for an appt. in the future. Small world that our allergist also diagnosed McKenzie years ago! Take care and best of luck at the appt. [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 06/07/2001 - 11:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I recently went to a lecture by Dr.Micheal Young who wrote the new Peanut Allergy Answer Book. He noted statistics indicating that peanut allergic folks are more likely to be sensitive to nuts than to other legumes. The molecular structure of the peanut is apparently more similar to nuts than to other legumes. The exceptions would be things like split pea and other dried legumes that have a higher concentration of the particular protein that is the culprit allergin in the peanut. I may have misinterpretted this, but I don't think so. I can't double check in the book right now, because my Mom was here for a visit and snatched my book! That's good though. I was going to order one for her anyway.
We avoid all nuts, not yet knowing if my son is allergic to regular nuts too. Primarily because the possibility of cross contamination seems so great.
[This message has been edited by kstreeter (edited June 07, 2001).]

Posted on: Sat, 06/09/2001 - 2:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Welcome! First of all it is great to know that you have been successful at keeping your daughter free of reactions for so long. My son is PA and tree nut allergic but was only tested for five of them (positive to three). I would like to have him tested for all of them but will wait until he is older. I did want to comment on one thing. You mentioned your daughter consuming Almonds and Brazil Nuts without a reaction. I would definately test her for those before attempting to let her eat them again. Jacob ate two handfuls of cashews two years ago with absolutely no reaction but last year he ate three small pieces and had an anaphylactic reaction. He also reacts mildly to sesame seeds though he tested negative to them. I avoid them now because each of his reactions tend to be worse though I know not every one will definately be worse. Please be sure to inform us of her results!

Posted on: Sun, 06/10/2001 - 5:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

McKenzie's Mom, welcome! I had Jesse tested this past Fall for allergies (not PA) and although he tested negative for tree nuts, I am still not comfortable with them due to the cross-contamination issue. The same for me with seeds - sunflower and sesame.
However, as far as other legumes, Jesse eats peas and kidney beans. I must say that I have felt nervous about his trying chickpeas, but that's just me, with no basis in anything except I'm uncomfortable.
I remember another member posting a couple of months ago about her daughter not having tried different legumes and if she thought it was okay for her daughter to try them. I wish I could find that thread. I think it was the general consensus that she could try other legumes but perhaps only one at a time so everyone would at least know what specific food she reacted to.
Let me see if I can find it and see if you can get any additional help from that thread as well as from the answers you get here.
Also, it is interesting, isn't it? Cayley's Mom, you, and I, all live in basically the same area!
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 06/11/2001 - 3:40am
McKenziesMom's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

Hi Cindy!
I feel the same as you about chickpeas, I have no idea why - just phychotic, I guess. I love 'em myself.
I saw from other threads that you and I are CLOSE neighbours. Small world!
We have an appointment with a NEW allergist in two weeks for more testing, so I'll see what he recommends about offering legumes.

Posted on: Mon, 06/11/2001 - 4:07am
torontosue's picture
Joined: 06/08/2001 - 09:00

You know it wasn't until I discovered this board that I even realized I needed to fear other legumes. Our allergist had never even told us to stay away from them, just other nuts.
We have never feared legumes and Taran has eaten all of them and while I wouldn't say he loves them, he definitely tolerates them fine.

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