child just diagnosed- advice please

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Hello- My 7 yr old son was just diagnosed with a penaut allergy and now needs to carry around an epi-pen. His past symptoms have been itchy throat when eating penauts..throwing up randomly after eating dinner or ice cream from fast food places. (now looking back...these places had peanuts in full expposure to everything)...but I am still really shocked. He eats PB & J with no problems..but was told not to stop immediatley. How could he eat these and be fine. His prick test came back with a 3+..and he said a blood test would not be needed due to the positive back and his symptoms. Any thoughts on any of this?

Also..a friend told me about the food allergy network..and it seems to be a great informative site. Are there hidden words in ingrediansts that I need to watch out for?

Any advice, help, or words of encourgament.,

Thanks, Amy

On Feb 21, 2007

Welcome!

And read on!

You'll get plenty of advice from people here... Be forewarned. Don't get overwhelmed. Everyone has different opinions here (and everywhere), and theres much more information out there NOW then EVER.

For what its worth (FWIW): Testing is NOT 100% accurate. Plenty of kids have false positives or false negatives... no rhyme/reason to things.. just 'is'.

If you had SPT (skin prick testing) you've done more than some people have done...

Another test is RAST (the blood draw). Gives a guideline, really. you know your child better.

Eatting PB&J with no reactions is 'not the norm'. Perhaps your child allergic to peanuts, and you've been 'lucky'. Maybe he's HAD symptoms and you never noticed them (eczema, red ring around anus, hives, congestion, etc etc...) Maybe they were subtle... Maybe now you DO see them.

Regardless, avoidance is necessary with allergies. 100% avoidance.

Lastly, epi pens... Glad you have them. Hope the exp. date is 1 yr out. Pray you never need to use them. carry them everywhere... Be careful (but not neurotic) about what is eaten...

And welcome!

Jason

------------------ [b]* Beyond Obsessed * [/b]

On Feb 21, 2007

Thank you Jason for your quick reply.

Are there hidden peanut names on labels that I should be aware of??

I am going to get my older son tested and I am thinking of myself as well. I know when I eat walnuts I get an itchy throat..so I just avoid those..so I wonder if I have an allergy too?

Amy

On Feb 21, 2007

Hello and welcome.

I think the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) is a wonderful resource in addition to this website.

FAAN's website is [url="http://www.foodallergy.org"]www.foodallergy.org[/url] They do have a list of things to avoid for peanut and nut allergies.

Here is info on hidden sources of peanut: [url="http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/peanut.html"]http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/peanut.html[/url]

Here is a list of "how to read a label for..." Scroll down to read all of the info. [url="http://www.foodallergy.org/downloads/HTRL.pdf"]http://www.foodallergy.org/downloads/HTRL.pdf[/url]

Itchy throat with walnuts sounds like you should definitely be tested. Avoid all nuts until you hear about what you should do from the allergist.

On Feb 23, 2007

Hi Amy, One thing I will pass along to you is that the level of "comfort" that each parent has in terms of coping with peanut allergies (or any food allergies, for that matter) varies SIGNIFICANTLY. In visiting this board, I am always amazed by the variation of what one parent can live with versus another. I have run into this at my DD's school, as well, when dealing with teachers/the nurse who are used to different comfort levels from other PA parents. I, for example, follow the advice of my allergist and avoid food manufactured on machineries which process nuts. I also avoid "may contain traces of nuts". I do know that many individuals do not do this because they have never had a problem in the past. It is important for you to find what is comfortable for you and your family and to not let anyone else influence that decision. I tell the other Moms in my DD's preschool class that a lot of the steps I take are for my own sanity, so I can leave her each day and go to work without having extreme anxiety about her safety. You have to do what you have to do in order to cope and only YOU know what those steps are. I would also tell you that practicing with my daughter's expired epi-pen on a chicken breast was extremely helpful. I did it with my husband, older child, and PA 5 yr old daughter present. It felt entirely different from the trainer epi-pen so I am really glad that I know how it really feels. I also wanted you to know that my daughter only reacted by vomiting initially and I never made the connection that it was peanuts until I was having her tested for environmental allergies. The allergest recommended we test her for peanuts, and low and behold, she had one of the highest reactions he had seen in a child that young. A subsequent RAST test two years later shows that she will probably not outgrow it and that she has, in fact, gotten worse. Her reactions (at age 2 and 3) involved only vomiting and rashes. At age 5, she had an accidental exposure which caused swelling of the tongue, extreme nausea, and general malaise. It was a much worse reaction to watch and required an epi-pen. My allergist is Dr. Young, who wrote the Peanut Allergy Handbook. I have found the book very helpful as well as this site. Best of luck to you. Educate, educate, educate! Lisa, Mom of 5 y.o. with PA and pistachio allergy

On Feb 25, 2007

Welcome... I have not been on this board for long but have been dealing with PA since my 6 year som was diagnosed with a PA (along with milk and egg allergy) which he out grew (thank god).

My best advice is that you need to find your own confort zone and I agree with the previous poster that said you decided and don't let anyone change your mind. Talk to your Dr. Also I have found that when addressing PA with others that the best way is to be polite and not demanding. Also have some solutions ready for push back from people... I helped the pre school class come up with a list of suggested snacks and lunches "other than peanuts" I asked the moms to tell me thier favorite lunch that was safe.. as a result I came up with a few new idea for give michael and everyone had a big list of alternatives.. I think it just shows that you aren't just expecting someone to chnage just for you and you don't do anything... any way good luck.. Therese

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