Asthma and allergies - Peanut Allergy Information

Asthma and allergies

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I took my 4 1/2 year old to the allergist today and asked him about asthma. The allergist said that he is definitely at risk for having asthma because he has environmental type allergies (tree pollen, mold, cats and peanuts) as well as eczema . I'm looking for a connection between peanut allergies and asthma. For those who have asthma, have they always had it? Thanks for your input. :-) Nicole

On Feb 12, 1999


I have never read of any clear connection between peanut allergy and asthma. There is a definite connection between asthma and inhalant allergies. My 4 year old has just begun allergy injections for his inhalant allergies as my allergist wants to protect him as well as he can from "getting" asthma. So far he does not have it and, according to my allergist, continual assualt on the bronchial area due to allergies will trigger the asthma eventually. Christine

On Feb 12, 1999


I've had asthma all my life. I've always had it in 'spells'. I don't have it every single day. I have it several times a year sometimes after colds (not all), usually around Christmas or more stressful times. During these episodes I have to use albuterol inhalers every three hours and sometimes steroids. I am not at all allergic to peanuts. But I am allergic to cats and dogs. But I think my 2 year is allergic to peanuts. He shows no signs of asthma other than a slight rattle in his throat when he has some colds. I read alot on asthma and have never read a connection between peanuts and asthma. I have read though that it is like balancing a scale. I have read that you can handle several allergies fairly well, but one to many (stress,pollen, or food) can tip the scale where you get a full blown attack or asthma attack. I found this true with me. I would be fine handling the pollen etc., but everytime we switched to margarine instead of butter, I would have asthma. One day after switching back I'm fine. I tested this several times. I later read that margarine contains tartrazine (yellow #5). Finally, what I'm trying to say is there are alot of foods that can cause asthma. So if you son every develops it, look at what he is eating. A good list of foods (if you every need the list) are in the 'Asthma:Stop suffering Start Living book' by M.Gershwin.

Hope this helps,

Carol S.

[This message has been edited by Carol S (edited February 12, 1999).]

On Feb 12, 1999

It is my understanding that allergies/asthma/hayfever/eczema are all related. I don't know that the "peanut allergy" would make someone more prone to asthma, but allergies in general might. Not that everyone that experiences one would necessarily experience all, but the tendendacy is greater in allergic people to experience asthma or eczema.

------------------ Colleen

On Feb 12, 1999

You have all given me such great information! Thank you a million!

Nicole :-)

On Feb 15, 1999

Hi Nicole, my son who is peanut anaphylactic also has eczema. At his initial testing of the peanut allergy 4 years ago, his allergist stated then that my son has an 80% chance of developing asthma. At what age does asthma usually begin if they are going to get it? I keep watching my son for any signs but nothing yet and he will be 5 in April. Am I being paranoid? (It seems like these children have enough to worry about without adding asthma to the list)!

On Feb 15, 1999

Hello everyone eczema,asthma ect are inter related, and if it runs in the family the risk of developing asthma is greater then a family with no history. I do not know the ratio of peanut/asthma relation. I have a daughter with seasonal environmental allergies(diagnosed asthmatic at 8 months old) rageed, ect...and a daughter with a severe peanut, and other food allergies who is not asthmatic. I would not worry execsively about what if, when the peanut allergy at present is your main concern. As with heart disease ect.. if it is in the family, the risk is increased, not a definate that one will be aflicted. I hope this has been helpful. Stay safe

On Feb 16, 1999

Hi Nicole,

Most of the kids I know with peanut allergy also have asthma. Not to scare you, but if your child is in a bad asthma episode and there is a peanut ingestion, the reaction will be worse. This is because the airways are already twitchy from the asthma and then can go quite quickly into anaphylactic shock. I know this because this is what happened when our son was 5. We have managed to keep his asthma under control with daily breathing maintenance. He also has eczema. The allergist that you see for the peanut allergy can tell you more about asthma and if your child has it.

------------------ Mary Kay

On Feb 17, 1999

It is my understanding that asthma "declares itself" @ age 7. This is part of what is called the allergic cascade. Our daughter was diagnosed with asthma about that time. Prior to that her numerous respiratory problems were called reactive airway disease, probably aka asthma. Some signs & symptoms are cough, wheezing, increased respiratory rate, & a drop in peak flow meter readings. The peak flow meter is considered one of the most sensitive indicators for severity of asthma. Most children at about 5 years of age are able to use one. Guidelines for the treatment of asthma have been published by the NIH in '95 I believe & updated in '97. The NIH can send you a copy, for a fee, or you may be able to download them from there site. It is also interesting to note that many asthmatics have reflux disease, often asymptomatic, that can make there asthma worse. The National Jewish Hospital in Denver has a one week intensive workup/testing for asthmatics to get thru all the testing in a short period of time.

On Feb 25, 1999

Nicole, I have a 3 year old son who is allergic to peanut and has asthma. We found out about the peanut allery when he was 8 months old. We didn't know offically about the asthma until he was 2 years old. But they suspected that he may have had it all his life. But was being dignosed(sp?) as broncitis every few months.

On Mar 14, 1999

Hi I have had asthma since birth, as has my two year old son - although neither of us has a peanut allergy. We have what our allergist refers to as "seasonal allergies" which generally present the classic combination of asthma, eczema and hay fever. Here in Alberta, kids are not diagnosed as "asthmatic" until they are at least two or have had four episodes requiring a trip to emergency or hospitalization. My daughter, on the other hand, has instinctively avoided peanuts all her life and is anaphylactic - her only accidental contact resulted in vomiting. She has exercise-induced asthma and doesn't seem to have the combination with eczema and hay fever. By the way, I participated in a research study here last year where they are looking for the asthma gene - maybe the allergy one will be next!

On Mar 15, 1999

My sons family history is as follows: I had asthma until the age of 16 and am still severely allergic to cats, my husband has had a lifelong allergy to dogs, has developed asthma as an adult, and eczema is on both sides of the family. My son so far has eczema, anyphylactic peanut allergy, and a slight allergy to dogs. We are praying he does not develop asthma. But needless to say, the genetic tendency for allergies is very dominant for my son. However, my six year old has no known allergies. I guess my poor son got them all!

On Jul 25, 2002

Well I need some help on this one.

My 5 yr old daughter is still iffy on the asthma diagnosis as of yet but every time she gets a cold(which is twice a month) it is with cough(which is extreme). She always ends up with pneumonia and on Flovent and antibiotics(Zithromax).

She is not sick right now but last night they rode bikes to the park and at home drank some water and went on the swings. She started to cough and I could tell she was in distress so I told her to get off the swings. I asked her if she was ok and she said she couldn't breathe. I could tell she was having big time problems and then all of a sudden she threw up. She said her throat started to hurt first then she started coughing. When this was over she had threw up 3 times and was feeling better. She was ok the rest of the night and in the morning usually coughs a little, sneezes 10 times and is fine(when she doesn't have a cold).

Any insight? I know Moms intuition tells me my daughter is going to have asthma(if she doesn't already)but I have read a little about exercise induced anaphylaxis and in the back of my mind was worrying about that when she was throwing up last night.

I am going to call the Doctor today but I know a lot of you guys are dealing with asthma and wonder if this is a familiar scenario? Thanks in advance for any insight.

On Jul 25, 2002


This definitely sounds like cough variant asthma, which is what my daughter has. It often is not picked up by doctors since they do not here the typical wheeze, however if they have done a lung X-Ray when they said your daughter had pneumonia (which they should have to diagnose pneumonia) they should be able to tell she has asthma.

When my daughter has an asthma episode she starts coughing and will occasionally not respond well to her ventolin and will end up coughing hard enough until she throws up. If she coughs enough to throw up I head to emergency. Often the nurse on triage will not consider it urgent, since she can't hear any wheezes, however the doctors always proceed with the standard asthma treatment (ventolin nebules every 20 minutes, sometimes with atrovent as well, if not cleared up after 4 nebules start prednisone, wait 4 hours post prednisone).

As an aside, a trip to emergency for asthma is always a long one - usually 6 to 10 hours so I bring puzzles, colouring books, and other toys with me always.

Is your doctor a pediatrician or a family doctor? I would definitely try to get a referral to a pediatrician familiar with asthma.

My daughter is PA and her asthma is actually quite mild in comparison to my son's so she is only on preventer meds occasionally. Basically her asthma usually only occurs when she has been sick with a cold and she has had the occasional exercise-induced episode.

Good Luck


[This message has been edited by DebO (edited July 25, 2002).]

On Jul 25, 2002

Smack- My non Pa daughter has asthma. She was diagnosed at 17 months old. It has gotten so much better over the last few years ( she is 4 now). We use pulmicort in the nebulizer every night before bed. she takes 1/2 tsp of zyrtec x2 a day. It seems to control it. Her initial symptoms prior to the diagnosis included horrible uncontrollable coughs every time she caught a cold. They were especially worse at night. She would cough so much that she would vomit. Every morning it is normal for her to cough a little bit, and its been like that now for a long time. she coughs a little and then she's ok. The trick is, that if you go to the allergist and your child is diagnosed with asthma, the use of a daily "maintenance" medicine like pulumicort, seems to really help. This was the first winter we didnt go to the ER for pneumonia! - ironically enough, her peanut skin test at 1 1/2 years was 3+ (so i wonder if that had anything to do with it....)..however at the time our allergist didnt really inform us about the positive skin test and she continues to eat peanut butter. ( our NEW allergist just recently informed me.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ) but says that it was probably false positive...... anyhow, hope you figure out what is going on with your child...and oh yeah, exercise does it too....brings on an asthma attack ...sometimes in my child. -allison

On Jul 25, 2002

Deb and Allison, Thank you.

I wrote the info. down that you gave me because it fits with my non-pa daughter. She has been iffy with the diagnosis of asthma for over 2 years. In past she was on the neubilizer a few times due to complications with bronchitis and always goes on the puffer(Flovent) lately after she gets a cold and cough. Never has she ever gotten a cold without getting a severe cough to go with it. When she did have a x-ray done it was the chest not lung for pneumonia so maybe next time that should be done to check for asthma, so thanks Deb!

Also, it's the family Doctor were dealing with and I will ask him if we could get a referral to a pediatrician that deals with asthma. He says it's hard to diagnosis asthma in kids sometimes until they are around 6 or 7 . Are kids with asthma sick a lot?

Thanks again guys you really helped!

On Jul 25, 2002

Hi again

the diagnosis thing is BS. There is a test that can be done, if necessary, and the standard at the Children's Hospital in Alberta is that they diagnose once the child is 2 years old (not 7!!). There is also a second criteria here where if a child has a certain number of episodes (it is in my post from 1999 farther up the thread ) they can also be diagnosed as asthma.

The important thing is that your child may be getting a lot of unnecesary antibiotics - cough variant asthma also causes you to cough up a lot of phlegm but there is not really an infection - instead it is the inflammation due to asthma.

Oh BTW - I meant a chest X-Ray rather than lung, but your doctor has to know how to diagnose asthma from the X=Ray. If there is no pediatrician they can refer you to, ask for a respirologist.

good luck


On Jul 25, 2002


You raised such an interesting point because my daughter doesn't have chest x-rays every time she gets put on Zithromax(Dr. thinking it's pneumonia). My daughter has problems with phlegm every time she gets a cold which makes her throw up. He does prescribe the Flovent(twice a day)because perhaps he thinks it is asthma? So really, she probably needs the asthma meds and not the antibiotics to get rid of the inflammation.

I'm not very well read on the asthma stuff but you certainly are enlightening me.

Thanks again!

On Jul 25, 2002

Hi Smack,

I just wanted to add that asthma is hard to diagnose unless there are current symptoms when the child is in the dr. office. Which it sounds like your daughter is doing better, I sure hope so anyway. Keep a detailed log of all coughing etc episodes, and what preceded them to bring to the dr. appt. I would highly encourage a visit with a specialist. I let my ped. handle my son's 'reactive airway disease' for about a year until I finally had him seen by his ped. allergist who also specializes in asthma. The new dr. put him on a preventative, singulair. He makes it thru colds without trouble now. The dr said as children grow new lung tissue it is very important to keep it healthy, that any little flair ups will make the tissue forever prone to asthma. That probably sounds so dumb or obvious, but I can't believe how in the dark I was about the whole asthma thing. I thought someone would tell me exactly what to do, or if my son didn't need a visit to the ER I thought that meant we were handling it fine. He was much better this past winter. Good luck, I hope your daughter only has a mild form.


On Jul 25, 2002

Sounds like everyone is right on target about the cough varient asthma... My son was diagnosed after two hospitalizations in 2 months at 9 and 11 months old.

The thing I wanted to add is that (in the USA anyway) a Doctor is most likely afraid to put the "asthma" label on a child because then it becomes hard to get a company to insure you. Most times they skirt around it till 6 or 7 years old if they can by labeling it Reactive Airway Disease or something else to avoid the asthma "label". Asthma is considered a pre-existing condition and can cause many insurers to try to not insure you.

HTH, Valerie

On Jul 25, 2002

Hi guys,

Thanks Jill for telling me about how to manage the cold with preventative Singular, I will ask about that.

My husband called to check on dd and I told him I went on pa.com and received great info. from you guys.

I'm taking both pa son and non-pa daughter to Dr.s on Saturday to get a referral to a pediatrician that specializes in asthma/allergies.


I think our family Dr. is too busy. We have a big shortage in our city and they are overworked. I like him but I just finished talking to my sister and told her on Saturday I was going to ask him for a pediatrician referral and she breathed a sigh of relief. She can't believe how many times my twins are sick. Strangely enough, her daughter started coughing and complaining about not being able to breathe. So my neice is now on Flovent. The city we live in is the worst for people with asthma or lung problems.

Thanks again guys, I am going to get my dd all fixed up. Now I'm going to Off Topic to get some help for my pa.son [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

On Jul 25, 2002

Hello again

Just one question - I can't remember where you are from in Ontario. If it is in Eastern Ontario, try to get a referral to the respirology clinic at CHEO. The doctor we saw there was Dr. Hampong, a very good respirologist and allergist. He then gave me a referral to a better pediatrician who is familiar with asthma since my son needs special care (his asthma is much more severe than my daughter's).

take care


On Jul 25, 2002

Hi Deb,


Beautiful City but don't dare venture outside in late afternoon, early evening due to the bad air quality allerts.

I'm kind of looking forward to Winter, how sick is that?

On Jul 26, 2002

smack - Yes, it definately sounds like she has asthma! One test that should be done on her that was done on both my daughter and me was to take your peak flow readings after exercise. The allergists always made us run around the block or up and down the stairs several times and THEN take our peak flow readings. This would most likely show the severity of your daughters exercise induced asthma attacks. Also, I have been told that frequent upper respiratory tract infections and asthma are definately related. -Kay

On Jul 26, 2002

Thanks Kay! I wrote the Peak Flow Meter down and will ask for the test. Good idea. I am definitely going to get to the bottom of this. I forgot to add, my daughter from 1yr-3yrs old, every time she would get a cold she got croup. She probably had croup 6-8 times a year. Any other asthma kids have that too? She grew out of the croup stage(Thank God)because that was tiring.

On Jul 26, 2002

My asthmatic daughter has had croup twice - took her to the ER both times because we thought it was a bad asthma attack when the albuterol (ventolin) wouldn't work. I still have problems distinguishing between the croup wheeze and the asthma wheeze. I don't know if the two are related but it kind of makes sense if you have reactive airways??

My DD has milk allergy, egg allergy, evironmental (esp grass), and asthma (she was diagnosed by Dr Hampong at CHEO too). My DS has peanut allergy, environmental, cold hives, asthma. My son's asthma often shows itself as a cough that drags on after colds. When he was two it seemed like he had a constant cold because he would cough all the time between colds.

On Aug 3, 2002

I just wanted to Thank all of you who gave me their opinions on my daughter. I was more prepared as to what to ask for and what to expect when I took both my kids to see our family doctor. Since he brought everything up that I had written down(from here), I chose not to ask him for a referral to see a Pediatrician at this time. My daughter is now on a daily Flovent and has a emergency inhaler if she runs into any problem from exercising later. My pa son is more asthmatic(cough varient asthma)when he gets a cold so he will use the Flovent when he gets a cold. The Doc. looked into my son's eyes and nose and said, "Allergies" so that is why he is coughing in the morning all the time. The fluid drains to his throat and makes him cough. So now my son has a nasal spray and eye drops for his allergies....I knew his allergies last September were a start of something more to come.

Thanks again for all the help!