Asthma/Peanut Allergy Connection

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 3:36am
Liamsmom's picture
Joined: 02/21/2001 - 09:00

pWhen my little guy was diagnosed with peanut allergy several weeks ago, the doctor told us that although PA doesn't actually cause asthma, many people have both conditions. Since then I've read that nearly three-quarters of those with PA have asthma as well! So now I'm freaking out about when or whether the asthma will kick in. Neither my husband nor I have it, but several members of our families do. Our allergist said there was nothing we could do at this point to prevent it, but I'm going to continue breast-feeding Liam (he's nearly 16 months now), and hope he gets some benefit from that. I'd appreciate hearing from some of you who are living with both PA and asthma, and would particularly like to learn at what age the asthma developed. My sincere thanks to all who respond!/p
p[This message has been edited by Liamsmom (edited March 21, 2001).]/p

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 4:02am
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

Hi Liamsmom. My son was diagnosed with pa at 12 months and started having asthma symptoms when he turned 2. That spring he started having problems with this strange cough. He would literally cough all night long and eventually learned to sleep through it. Then I learned on this website that there is a type of asthma called cough variant asthma. So I took him to the pediatrician (not his regular one at the practice) and she said that he was perfectly normal and if the cough didn't bother his sleeping then "just let him be."
He had the same problems the following fall, spring, and then the fall after he turned 3. He started really having problems that fall and we had to take him to the ER because breathing difficulties. That's when his regular pediatrician started taking it seriously. We got a nebulizer to give him breathing treatments at home and his strange little cough went away. Obviously, we were all able to sleep better!
He really only has a problem in the spring and fall. The pediatrician referred to it as seasonal bronchial asthma. We recently moved and his new pediatrician prescribed Claritin for him to start using before spring starts to hopefully control some of his asthma symptoms.
Also, there is no history of food allergies or asthma on either side of our families. I hope your son is one of the lucky ones who is able to avoid it! Good luck. Deanna

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 6:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Liamsmom, welcome! I don't know if we can make a strong co-relation between being PA and having asthma. I do know that a number of us with PA children also have children with asthma, but I don't think we have ever discussed whether this could be a co-relation.
The thing that troubles me about my PA son being asthmatic is that it has been said that if your child is asthmatic and PA they have a greater chance of dying from an anaphylactic reaction than PA people that do not suffer from asthma.
My son was diagnosed with PA at 18 months of age. He had his first asthma attack at 2-1/4 years of age.
If you look under the Links discussion heading on this board, I have put some Asthma Links in because I know that there are a lot of people here dealing with asthma also. I actually find asthma more frightening to deal with sometimes than I do PA.
I actually think, under Living with PA, I probably raised the question about how many of us had PA children that were also asthmatic. Let me see if I can find that one for you. I know that there are a lot of people dealing with it, but I'm still unclear whether it is related to PA directly. I think it has something to do with our children being atopic (I had to ask what that meant on this board after the doctor recently labeled my son atopic) - the child has allergies, asthma and ezcema, all of which have a genetic component.
Does your child have any other allergies that you know of yet? I know that my son's environmental allergies (dust mites, grass, pollen, trees, etc.) are triggers for his asthma. Also, in our emergency plan should he have a reaction to a peanut product, he is to be given both the Epi-pen immediately and two puffs of his Ventolin (reliever) puffer for asthma.
I hope I have been of some help. I'll try to find that other thread about how many people are actually dealing with both. Also, you may like to check out the Asthma Links that I mentioned above simply to see if those websites do provide information on when this usually appears (if there is a "usual" age for it to appear).
Again, welcome, and best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 7:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Liamsmom, I did have a similar thread started under Main Discussion. I have just raised it again so you might get a look at it. I only got 12 responses though, so not overwhelming.
I know there are more than 12 people here posting that have asthmatic as well as PA children.
I believe this question is really valid and should be raised again. I would either choose the Main Discussion or Living with PA discussion headings, simply because a lot of people don't venture into the Introduction section (it's new) and ask something like Do You Feel There is a Co-relation between PA & Asthma? How May PA People/Parents Are Also Dealing with Asthma? You get my drift.
I think it is a really valid question.
I hope I was of some help.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 10:56am
EILEEN's picture
Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

Although my son has a strong family history of persistent, severe, steroid dependent asthma (on both sides), he is pa but so far non-asthmatic (and neither is his non-pa brother). Both have horrible environmental allergies. My pa son will be 6 later this year and the risk of developing asthma drops dramatically after that age. So I am very hopeful.
So in a nutshell (sorry!), pa doesn't always mean asthma but I am beginning to see that this is rare.

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 11:16am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Liamsmom - Cayley will be 4 in July, and so far, no asthma, although both my mother and my sister have it. My sister's is quite severe and wasn't diagnosed until she was 16 (she doesn't have any food allergies).
I'm like you - hoping against hope that she's spared asthma, but what does keep me going is - research has shown that the younger a child is when diagnosed, the better chance the child has of outgrowing it. At the very least, a very young child with completely "managed" asthma, is very low risk for complications.
Hang in there - asthma is very difficult to diagnose in children, even for doctors. I wouldn't worry about it unless you're concerned about a persistent cough or another specific symptom, like wheezing. Good luck to you and me - PA got us but maybe asthma won't!

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 12:34pm
Head Cook's picture
Joined: 11/19/2000 - 09:00

My son's pa was diagnosed at 9 months and his asthma at 6 years old. He had a couple of bad winters before he was 6 - colds turning into bronchitis or pneumonia, etc., but asthma and environmental allergies did not hit until he was 6. He's almost 10 now and (knock on wood) his asthma seems alot better. It has been a tough couple years though. And I have been told that asthma hides in puberty for some boys. Wouldn't that be nice.....

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 1:25pm
SusanMO's picture
Joined: 03/13/2001 - 09:00

My 5-year-old PA son has what his allergist called intermittent asthma. He doesn't use an inhaler on a daily basis. It is used as needed. "Needed" can be defined as three mornings in a row to once in three weeks. It really varies. He also has cat allergies and exposure to cats really agravates his asthma. His first PA reaction was at the age of 2 and his asthma first surfaced at 3. Our allergist and pediatrician are expecting him to outgrow it, but more than likely he will have flare ups whenever he's exposed to cats. Really the only times he does need his inhaler is in the morning when he first wakes up or in the evening, when he is trying to sleep. There is a definite correlation to PA and asthma. At St. Louis Children's Hospital the Allergy and Pulomonogy clinic are one in the same. Not to mention, some people's allergic reaction is an asthmatic reaction, like my son's reaction to cats.

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2001 - 11:33pm
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

My non PA son has cough variant asthma which usually is only a problem in the fall, although it will sometimes kick in with colds. He was diagnosed at 4,although he had symptoms from the age of 2. My PA son had his first wheezing (the more typical variety) episode at 9 months, and still gets it occassionally with colds or bad allergies. He is 7 now. I should mention that we do have a strong history of asthma/environmental allergies in the family. As asthma goes, we are very lucky. They are both very under control.

Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2001 - 1:55am
Liamsmom's picture
Joined: 02/21/2001 - 09:00

WOW -- thanks for all those great responses! I enjoyed reading each of them. Now I have some idea of what to be looking for in the next few years. I'm comforting myself by thinking that even if my sweet Liam eventually develops asthma, we'll have adapted to living with PA by that point, & will take it in stride. Splendid rationalization, yes? I plan to check out the recommended Links discussion areas to look for other threads regarding asthma, and may post my question again under Living with PA.
One bit of asthma-related humor to share: The very day that we saw the allergist & started to worry about the potential for asthma, Liam invented a new noise to express amusement -- it's a slow intake of air through his throat with a decidedly wheezy sound (if any of you have ever heard a horse "cribbing", you know the sound). As you might guess, this noise earned Liam a LOT of attention from his parents, and he immediately decided to add it to his repertoire. Since then, I've often been driving around town, my brain preoccupied with various PA-related issues (I'm pretty obsessed at this point), when I hear this long, drawn out, "eghhhhhhhh" from the back seat. I twist around in alarm, only to see a wicked grin plastered on Liam's cherubic little face. Sixteen months old, and already he knows how to give his mom a heart attack... Again, many thanks for your stories and suggestions!

Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2001 - 4:51am
ConcernedMom's picture
Joined: 01/31/2001 - 09:00

I have a question to all parents here who say their child has asthma. My daughter has reactive airways, but our doctor said asthma is a degenerative disease, and it isn't proper to label small children as having asthma. Were your children tested in some way for asthma? Or are doctors just saying a child who wheezes or has breathing trouble has asthma?


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