Child may have outgrown allergy

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I had a very interesting discussion yesterday evening with a woman I met at a party. Her 2 boys (ages 2 and 5) were running all over the place, so we got to talking about taking care of kids, etc. I mentioned that my son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. (I tell EVERYONE about this now because so few people seem to understand how serious it is.) She said, yes, her older son (5 years old) had a peanut allergy too, but he didn't have it anymore. She had fed him peanut butter before he was a year old and she said his face swelled (eyes practically swelled shut) and he got hives. This actually happened twice and she narrowed it down to the peanut butter. That's all she knew about it... when she took him to the pediatrician, he said her son was probably allergy to peanuts. She didn't see any need to follow up with an allergist. This woman (who was very concerned about her children as they were running everywhere) didn't seem very worried about the allergy, probably because no-one told her about the seriousness of it. She said that when he went to preschool she wrote on his forms that he was allergic to peanuts, but she didn't tell anyone at the school about it -- she didn't think to do that. I think she said she visited the school one day and all the kids were eating peanut butter and apples, including her son and he was fine. She said he's been eating peanut butter ever since with no problems.

My eyes were about as wide as they could be while she was telling me this story. It sounds like her son had a pretty classic allergic reaction to the peanut butter. But she didn't get him tested for sure, so there's no way to know if he actually was allergic. Still, I thought it was interesting enough to tell everyone here.

--Tracy

On Feb 19, 1999

I am curious if she tested him now would he still show an allergy. I know she probably wouldn't, but it would be very interesting to know. I also tend to wonder if it really was the peanut butter. I'd be very excited to think that it might be possible. But everyone tells me it is not. I wish we could really keep statistics some how. Maybe there are kids out there who have outgrown allergies. They never saw an allergist so it was never documented. I also think there are people who have children that have this allergy and don't really take it seriously. I know if I had just listened to my pediatrician,( and I think he is a good one - he is just not well versed on peanut allergies) I would have said o.k. she has an allergy keep her away from it. He was that nonchalant about it. Didn't put much merit to it at all. This is all very interesting. I wrote that I am going to the FAN meeting in May in Stamford CT. I am certainly going to pursue this with them. Thanks for posting it.

On Feb 19, 1999

Patti,

Sometimes I wonder if I'm blowing everything out of proportion, the seriousness of my son's allergy, but all the information I've read always makes me think I'm not.

However, I've called quite a few people who I've just learned have peanut-allergic kids and they're all pretty nonchalant about it... everyone of them. A few of them sounded a bit concerned, but none were educated about the allergies, only one of them belonged to FAN (but didn't sound like she read all the materials they send). They had each experienced pretty severe reactions with the first exposure, but said that they didn't have any problems with keeping their kids away from peanuts, or that the reactions were any more severe when they did accidentally eat them. So when I talk to these people, I wonder if I should be so concerned. I have gone to great lengths to educate myself, find a good allergist, ask the right questions... and no-one I know personally does these things. But then I read some of the stories on this web site and I get worried again.

*sigh*

--Tracy

On Feb 19, 1999

Tracy, in response to your statement of some people being very laid back about their child's allergy - I believe that they are most likely not as informed about the potential of the allergy. Also the phrase of anaphylaxis being very "rare" makes one think that it cannot happen to their child. I know of two people who were taking the "laid back approach", labeling reading, but allowing their child to eat bakery items from others, no epi-pens, etc. - Each of those families recently had a trip to the ER from a cookie at a Christmas party. Fortunately each of these children recovered. Now, they have joined FAN and carry epi-pens. I would rather have the knowledge that we have for prevention versus the experience they encountered. Knowledge provides comfort and power to keep your child safe!

On Feb 19, 1999

This is definitely an interesting thread! I know what you mean about people not taking things seriously. I feel like I am the ONLY one at the daycare center bringing them literature, demanding things, etc. I'm sure I've got the "b*tch label" by the workers but I don't care. But people's stupidity amazes me. At my daughter's school (she is not allergic) there was a boy in her class with a peanut allergy. I went to a Christmas party and there were cookies there with M&Ms baked in. I told his mother that she should not allow him to eat those. She just stared at me. I explained it all to her. She said, "well, if he eats straight peanut butter he vomits but if he eats an M&M or chex mix, etc, he just gets hives on his face." She absolutely did not seem concerned that he was getting all of these exposures. Believe it or not, in all other areas, she was extremely intelligent and responsible. He has made it, so far, to the ripe old age of 8.

Regarding the outgrowing issue. My son has always tested at 4 on the skin prick test. His first reaction at 7 months was bad hives on the face and swelling of the eyes. His second exposure, at age 3, was with the pre-packaged Austin Peanut Butter crackers. He ate two of them. Guess what--no reaction at all (that we could see). I took him back to the allergist after this, had him tested again, and he was still a 4. So, I don't know if he needs a certain amount to react, or if he will never react in a visible way, or if it was just a fluke. Christine

On Feb 19, 1999

Hi Tracy, Patti, Mary & Christine,

As I am sure you all do, I feel much safer knowing all that we know about this allergy and are still learning. As I too wish that all of our children could outgrow this allergy, I could not play Russian Roulette with his life and that is what I feel these other parents are doing. I couldn't imagine giving my son a food that contained peanuts in it and nonchalantly say "oh he just breaks out in hives." As we all know, when someone breaks out in hives, there is intense itching inside their body. Why in the world would any parent want to put their child through that?!

Tracy, you are by no means blowing this allergy out of porportion. Mary made an excellent point...we are all informed and knowledge is power. The more educated we become, the less frightened we will be. Everytime I read this BB, I learn more than what I knew the day before. I'm like Christine when it came to my son's daycare - I think we shared the same title! I had jokingly mentioned to Donna before that we all should be like the Saturn commercial and get together once a year! At least our children would be able to play together...there wouldn't be peanuts around for a lot of miles!!

Take Care!

On Feb 19, 1999

Just me again. I too wonder about the fact that I have become almost neurotic about this allergy. But I believe it is better to be educated and careful than take a chance. I hope none of these people have a problem, but I certainly could not take a chance now. It reminds me of when I was in Disney World I was chatting to a cast member about the allergy and the lady next to me said oh yeah my son has a peanut allergy too. Every Halloween we have to get out the Benadryl for hives. Her husband is a doctor!! I don't know what kind of doctor but I was so surprised that they were that carefree about it. On another note,I did however finally make a connection through a friend of mine with a friend that has a first grader with this allergy. She takes it very seriously and is starting a support group. I told my friend to give her my number and told her to tell her about this web site. I hope to get her involved expecially since she has a child in school with this allergy. Also if anyone is in the Northern NJ area and we get a support group going let me know. Patti

On Feb 19, 1999

P.S. Christine and others I would rather cary the B*TCH label than the one "The mother who didn't do everything to protect her child". Call me a B*TCH anytime. Patti the B*TCH

On Feb 19, 1999

Patti,

I couldn't resist...YOU GO GIRL!!!

On Feb 19, 1999

Hello,

In response to the comment about outgrowing peanut allergy, I just visited the allergist and got my son's blood test results - level 5 - pretty bad. Anyway, I asked them about outgrowing this allergy and they said although rare they have see cases where the kid could eat peanut butter when they got older without a reaction. I don't care if they told me tommorrow my son was no longer allergic I still would not give him any, but I wouldn't be as stressed out.

My question is I thought I had read somewhere that you could test positive for life but not have the allergic reactions. Has anyone read this? Because if this is true then you would never really know. My allergist said bring my son back in the office for another RAST test in three years (at that time he will be five years old). Because of his age, his immune system is possibly still changing that there is a 'small' chance that he might out grow it. I am not holding my breath.

I 'm so curious what the test results would be for the lady with the 5 year that out grew it. It makes you wonder how many kids go to the doctor because of a reaction then get tested, results positive and then later in life they change but never go back to the doctor because they don't have the problem anymore. The allergists may not really know the true outcome of alot of the patients. Just a thought.

Carol S.

On Feb 19, 1999

P.S. One more thing. You mentioned the lady (the one with the 5 year who outgrow the allergy) said the her son's doctor said don't bother going to an allergist. Funny thing, my son's doctor said the same thing. He said don't bother going to the allergist because the test will probably say he is. Well, he was right he is. But, I decided to go to a allergist on my on and get him tested. At least now, if when he is older and if he tested negative, I would always have that information that he really WAS at some point. I glad I went on my on.

On Feb 19, 1999

Just wanted to add that my pediatrician also did not recommend me seeing an allergist. I wonder why this is so common. I don't expect my pediatrician to know everything that is why we have specialists. Oh well. Carol S - just wanted to send you a special note. I saw that your child scored a 5. Mine too. Even when you know your child has the allergy when its in print or you hear the doctor say the words it is so much more real. Not correct English but you know what I mean. Just wanted you to know I was there just recently and if you need any extra support just let me know or start posting constantly like I have been. It definitely seems to help. I think my husband thinks I moved into the computer room. You guys have been such good friends. So Carol S. please reach out. I have my ups and downs which I know we all do, so when you are down hopefully one of us is up. Thsts all for now. Just thought of one more thing, my brain is constantly going on this thing. I live in East Hanover, NJ and if any of you look on a box made by Nabisco that is where their headquarters is. I know someone actually quite a few someones who work there and I am going to make an appointment to see them and discuss labelling and the peanut issue. Maybe I can make a difference with this company. I also want more info on how do you know how things are made and where and with what etc. Anything else you guys can think of let me know. Bye for now.

On Feb 19, 1999

These pediatricians who recommend not going to an allergist... I think it's very important to get other opinions and hear other perspectives from people who specialize in the allergy field. My pediatrician is very well respected, but he admits he doesn't know much about this stuff. Also, the more peanut allergic children the allergists see, the more awareness of the problem. I wonder how many 'unreported' cases there are because parents don't take their kids to see an allergist?

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

--Tracy

On Feb 19, 1999

My pediatrician too recommended that I not see an allergist until my son was 5 yrs old. He had a severe reaction at age 15 months to a peanut butter cookie. It was full blown anaphylactic - hives, vomiting, swelling, constriction of the throat, blood pressure plummeting; but my pediatrician seemed to not take it seriously. (My son was seen by a another doctor who was close to our home and we rushed him there during the incident). I took him to an allergist anyway and he administered the scratch test where my son's weal was 20x20. My question is this - I have heard many of you talk about the RAST test and the different levels. My allergist did not offer the RAST test; so I am wondering if my son should have it at this point (he is 2-1/2) and how much more effective is it then the skin testing?

On Feb 19, 1999

Hi everyone Ihave read also somewhere along the way that a very small percent of peple have out grown the allergy. In retrospect, i have also read of people who have never had a reaction,into adulthood, only to one day break out in hives. We have nver taken our daughter to an allergist, as she had had an episode of anaphlyaxis and the RAST test done by the pediatrition. We have found out by accident that she has a contact, airborne, and ingestion allergy to peanutbutter. As for the non chalant attitudes, i would be inclined to chalk it up to ignorance. Our daughter is in daycare, and the staff are exellent. The first week, i worried to the point of sleeplessness, jaw clenching and litterally made myself sick . I do have my worries, but not to that degree,as i can't be with her 24/7, ad do have to trust to a degree that there are people who are more than willing to assist and accommadate. I do believe that this is the hardest part. Take care all

On Feb 20, 1999

Hi Everyone,

Luckily for us, the ER Physician who attended my son's first anaphylactic episode advised us to see a pediatric allergist. His episode occured on a Friday, Monday morning he was seeing his pediatrician and I asked the pediatrician about a referral to an allergist...he didn't hesitate! Both doctors work hand in hand! Any testing the allergist does on my son, he faxes a copy of the report to the pediatrician so it will be in my son's medical file at both facilities. I have the best of the best! Although the testing of the peanut allergy was done at the allergist's office, it was his pediatrician who faxed me the results at work.

My son is also a 5 for the peanut allergy. All I could remember was his range was 2130 for the allergy - I just found his sheet with the scale on it. I never knew to go by the numbers on the left ie., 1-6, I always used the 2130 number. Thanks for the tip! He is a 4 for the egg white and he gets retested for that yearly as he still tests positive. His allergist said he will NOT retest my son for the peanut allergy due to it being so high! Maybe I will re-address this with him at my son's next visit due to the posts here.

You all are wonderful!

On Feb 20, 1999

It is so interesting reading all the comments here. Many of you mention that your child had a subsequent episode where only itching and hives occurred and you administered Benadryl. Would you assume that there was some sort of peanut product or byproduct involved in the epidode? The reason I am asking this is that my son has had a couple of episodes in our backyard recently where he had itching and hives around his eyes. We administered Benadryl which alleviated the problem, but we could not make the connection to peanuts, We figured he must have had some reaction to an airborne which he has not been tested for yet (He is on 2 yrs old). Have any of you had similar incidents?

On Feb 20, 1999

Hi all, Interesting conversations going on here. Connie, our doctor in at the Children's Hospital ER referred us within days to an allergist, too. I am really concerned why a General Physician would not refer to an allergist for all these cases above???? Could it be greed????? Gosh I hope not.It is just common sense to see an allergist - a specialist - and learn, learn, learn from them about this allergy. And testing throughout life, I think, would be beneficial. Unless someone knows of a good reason not to test? By the way, my "allergist" doctor said there is a 10% chance of my son growing out of this allergy.I interpret as there is 90% chance he stays allergic. Regarding the laid back people, again, I too wonder HOW they can be so relaxed. I've come across many of these types, including immediate family. I too know they think I am a B*tch. Especially when my husband and I through away tons of food at our reunion because it definitley contained peanuts. OOOPs got to go, my kids are screaming.

On Feb 20, 1999

Hi all! Great info here! I have so much to say here! My son who is 6 now first showed signs of an allergy at about 18 mos. He would get a rash around his mouth and the whites of his eyes would go red. I mentioned that I suspected this allergy to my doctor and she immediately refered me to an allergist. He tested positive with the skin test and the allergist commented on how alert I was to pick it up. He entered school and last Easter came home with candies and ate one without my permission. He brought it to me half eaten and said I better not have this, it is peanut butter! I kept him by my side for hours, epipen in hand, no reaction! He vomited about 4 hours later and we called the hospital and they said it was probably just nerves and I agreed! We had him retested and he still tested positive, very sensitive. The allergist also told me people may only react 70% of the time and the severity of one reaction will not predict the next. Meaning(for the woman whose son only gets hives) he may get hives this time but next time could be the full blown anaphylactic shock!!!! I would never take those kind of chances! Thanks for taking the time to read my long winded story! You all all very helpful! Stay safe!!! Kathy

On Feb 21, 1999

Regarding the unpredictablility about the reaction, this may have something to do with how strong the immune system is at the time, or what the stress level is. I have allergies to various things (hayfever, cats), but they affect me differently at times... sometimes I have a terrible reaction, other times I'm just fine. I noticed that when I got pregnant my allergies hardly bothered me at all, and a year after having my son, they still haven't bothered me much. I've read that pregnancy boosts the immune system, for how long, I don't know. (And it probably differs with the person.) I am enjoying not being sick, though!

Just a thought. But I have been thinking it's important to concentrate on my son's immune system. Dr. Andrew Weil has written a lot about this sort of thing (eat lots of garlic, broccoli, don't be stressed, etc. etc.). I would think the same ideas would apply to children.

--Tracy

On Feb 21, 1999

Tracy it is also my understanding that allergies are cumulative. So if you have multiple allergies it is difficult to know how much of something might bother you. For example if you usually can be around two cats and not be bothered, but now it is hayfever season and one cat sends you into a tizzy. Just an example but you get the drift. I found with my other food allergy kids that one day he could eat a grilled cheese and have no problem. But if he had eaten M&ms earlier and it was hayfever season that sandwich would put him over the line. There seemed to be a certain allergen level he had to reach. Now I know this does not relate to the peanut issue because it is known that it takes very little. but I thought it was worth mentioning. Also I like the idea of keeping their auto-immune system strong. It seems that as I discuss this allergy with people I realize what is she giving up? Mostly the whole dessert food group. Big deal. She will learn to substitute more fruits and have a healthier lifestyle. I am also limiting my boys to this as well. I think with all this better eating and handwashing as a family we will all be healthier. Now the stress level for us parents is another matter but this is what this board is for - right!!! Good comments Tracy. Patti

On Feb 21, 1999

As to the question, does anyone outgrow a peanut allergy: yes they do because I outgrew my allergy to peanuts. Now, I don't know where I was on the RAST test but it wasn't very high, I'd guess. When I would eat peanut butter, my eyes would redden and I'd get hayfever-like symptoms. These reactions started when I was in junior high school, I had the assortment of allergy shots for a year, and avoided peanut butter until I was an adult. But I did outgrow the allergy eventually. However, my son's pediatric allergist has told me that of all the known allergens in the world, peanut allergies are the least likely to resolve over time. Better to bank on that vaccine, I guess.

Noreen

On Feb 22, 1999

I think it is very interesting that you write that you outgrew your peanut allergy. I wonder if statistically this would be higher if there was better record keeping. It seems that as I keep talking about this peanut allergy, everyone knows someone. I mean can it be this common. I know statistically on one of the other boards it seemed like some of the school classes had quite a few. Could it be possible that peanut allergies are just on the rise or is it that some do outgrow it. I mean I don't seem to find as many adults with this allergy as I do children. Not even close. In fact I have found only one other person that told me her husband has an allergy to Brazil nuts (not even peanuts) and I probably know of 5 children that I have heard about in only the past couple of weeks. It is very interesting though. But I am also still putting my money on the vaccine. I also will try to keep my daughters immune system very high as I think Tracy pointed out on another board and also avoid avoid avoid!! Thanks for posting.

On Feb 22, 1999

Noreen, I have been thinking about your post a lot. When you say you outgrew your allergy do you know this because you now can eat the products or did you have a RAST test done that says you have no allergens. Does your doctor consider you allergy free. I know you said you never had a RAST test done in Junior High. Also you said you took shots. Were these for the peanut allergy? How does one know they are not allergic anymore. I wouldn't want to let my guard down and not have my epi-pen with me. Can someone who knows how allergies work shed some light on this. I know its all very complicated on how the body works. I want to be real positive with this, but in some ways its a little scary too. Patti

On Feb 22, 1999

Like everyone else on this board I take the peanut allergy very serious (epi-pen, complete avoidence, FAN member, the whole 9 yards). But I have had similar experiences with others having non-chalant attitudes that has really confused me and goes against everything I have learned. For examples: I have a friend (40 yrs old) who is allergic to peanuts (tested positive by allergist). He has been under an allergist's care since he was a kid for his other allergies and allergy shots (dust mites, pollen, etc..). Well he has eaten peanuts ALL his life!!! Sometimes he has no reaction at all or just gets a stomachache, nothing more serious!!! You can all imagine my amazement to this. The other example is my peditricians' office, they too were nonchalant. They didn't discourage or encourage an allergist (i went to one anyway) they didn't see the need for an epi-pen, and just didn't make it sound all that serious. They said they have alot of patients with the allergy but none of them ever had a life-threatening reaction (and i'm sure these other patients aren't as educated on advoidence i am and take the ped. dr. laidback approach).

Anyway, the only thing I can conclude is this: since my friend who's always eaten peanuts can't just have just been lucky and since all the other kids in my ped. office haven't had any serious reactions, maybe most people will never have the serious reaction. Even though every reaction a person has can be different maybe its just a very small percentage of the population that is at risk for anaphalxis and the others will just have mild reactions?????

I'm not saying we let our guards down, I'd just be interested in some real statistics of people with the pn allergy that have always been mild or gone away.

So confusing......

On Feb 22, 1999

Hi everyone :-) It is very important to remember that everybody's body reacts differently to everything including peanuts. Prior to my 4yr old having gone into anaphylaxsis once, and with the degree of the allergy, I usesd to bake pb cookies ect.. as i used to like them and I also have a 14 yr old who is not allergic to pd. Pb is now a source of stress to me , to the point that the smell of it literaaly makes me nauseous. Pb has over the years has been usedalot because it is a cheap form of protien. Keep in mind that it is highly unlikely that pb is made the way it used to be made, and it is also prbalby proceesed differently. It is also possilbe to be allergic to some of the preservatives that are used. For example. My daughter is contact allergic to Cottonseed oil. she can eat it but she can't touch it.(of course we don't buy anything with this ingrediant any more). Sunny Delight uses it in tone of the orange juices. That's how I found out. She drank one, and next thing i knew, she was breaking out in hives around her mouth. Sorry for the long winded response, but I hope that it has been helpful Take care All

On Feb 22, 1999

Hi Patti:

To answer your questions, I know I'm no longer allergic to peanuts because I have ingested my share of peanut products for quite some time as an adult with absolutely no reactions. As to the severity of my peanut allergy, it was by no means anaphylactic. I was allergic to other things but my worse reactions were always caused by peanuts. The whites of my eyes would become blood-shot red and I'd develop hayfever symptoms. That was it. So, I'd guess you can say I had a mild allergy to peanuts. Perhaps I'd be at a 2 or so on the RAST. The allergy shots I took were more for my allergies to pollen. I did test positive for peanuts, along with other allergens, via the skin prick test. I remember having a welt on the spot where they tested for peanuts. The only thing I did was avoid peanuts until I got out of my parents' home. I'm sure I wouldn't have been as ready to try peanuts again if I had a reaction as bad as my son or others on this newsgroup. But I liked the taste of peanut butter and, like all of us when we leave home for the first time, we do many things are parents forbade us to do.

As an aside, I must say I really hated being on a restricted diet as a teenager. I remember having to bring special lunches to school while everyone ate from the school cafeteria. I have quite a bit of empathy for my son and others who must travel down this same path.

Noreen

On Feb 22, 1999

Every person is different. My allergist told me that there is a good chance my daughter could outgrow her allergy. Her skin prick test was only a 2+. She had hives, major face and itchy eye swelling and conjestion but no problem breathing with her first reaction (and only!). He said her reaction was probably severe because she most likely rubbed the peanut butter into her eyes. I have never heard anyone with a score of 4 outgrowing this allergy. As my husband and I left the allergist's office my hubby said.."You know, it hasn't been that hard avoiding peanuts...we'll just keep at it. When she's school age we'll test her again."

I'm not so afraid now that I've had her tested. That +2 score may have given me a false sense of security.

------------------

On Feb 23, 1999

Hi Everybody, I am in my early 30s and have had the peanut allergy since I was a baby. I just had a baby of my own, and I am very concerned that she will inherit my tendency toward food allergies. (Although I hope I did all the right things during pergnancy and while nursing... restricting my diet, etc...)

Listen to my story.... It should help others understand that they should take this allergy seriously, even if symptoms seem mild.

I now know to take the allergy very seriously, although as a child growing up, my family and I didn't know how serious it could be. Our doctors never told us.

I had a few "accidental" run-in each year, growing up. My symptoms were usually swelling, of my mouth, skin, lips, eyes, vomiting, and an upset stomach. Because of these uncomfortable symptoms, I tried to avoid peanut, but I never knew it had the potential to be fatal.

That is until I was 21 and had a couple of Chinese egg rolls at a happy hour with some friends. I had no idea that they contained peanut butter in the filling. Within a minute my eyes started to water, and I had severe sinus symptoms. So, I asked a friend to take me home, still not knowing that I was in trouble. On the way home, my asthma started to act up, and it would not respond to my inhaler, so told my friend to take me to the hospital. We arrived there just as I was passing out from lack of oxygen. To make a long story short, I had full respatory failure, was intubated and in intensive care for 8 days. The doctors told me they had never seen anything like it, and that if I had arrived at the hospital just minutes later, I would probably not have made it. This was the most frightening thing that had ever happened to me or my family.

Prior to this severe reaction I had never had a reaction that involved my respiratory system. The type of reaction can definately change from time to time, so please be careful and help others to take it seriously.

On Feb 23, 1999

In reading the article entitled "Peanut allergies pit parent against parent in school debate" on the CNN website, Dr. Hugh Sampson was cited as the source of the data that about 1.5 million people in the U.S. have peanut allergies but only about 20 percent of them are so allergic that their lives are at risk. It seems to me that, for mostly legal reasons, the allergists are telling us ALL that our lives are at risk, when in fact that may not be the case for many of us. Skin prick, RAST and CAP-RAST testing are all imperfect--some of the individuals testing positive on these tests may not, in fact, have a true peanut allergy. Many of us know for certain that we do have peanut allergies because of oral challenges--either done under medical supervision or done accidentally at some point in our lives when we ate peanuts and reacted. Yet, even for those of us who have had a positive history of a reaction, I have yet to find an allergist who is willing to categorize peanut allergies into mild, moderate or severe categories--yet, in reality, it appears those categories do exist. We all know of a few reported stories of people going from mild to severe reactions in the course of their lives, but we also know of individuals (my next door neighbor!) who reacted to peanuts at one point in their lives and now eat it without problem. AAAAGH! Help me sort out this allergy!!! It is so unnerving to me to run across allergic individuals who treat their peanut allergies casually--it makes you start to second guess all the elaborate precautions you take each day to remain safe. Sorry to go on so long--I just needed to vent some of my frustration with this allergy.

[This message has been edited by Deb (edited February 23, 1999).]

On Feb 24, 1999

Elizabeth,

Thanks for your story! I had read somewhere that the Chinese use a lot of peanut butter/peanut oil in their cooking and that egg rolls are sometimes "lined" with peanut butter, like a glue, to hold them together.

Deb, take heart - you are not alone in the way you feel! Don't ever feel like you are second guessing yourself. Go with your instincts! (If only I could take my own advice) HA HA! I feel pretty much the same way you do; sometimes we have good days and sometimes we have bad ones. This board is where I find my sanity when I think it has left me completely!

On Feb 25, 1999

Thanks for the words of support, Connie! Nice to know I'm not the only one who feels frustrated with this allergy.

On Feb 25, 1999

Hi, I am the mother of a four year old boy who is severely allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts. I also have a brother who is allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts. As a very young child my brother's reactions to nuts were limited to hives, in his teens his breathing was sometimes somewhat affected but by the time he was in his early twenties even a tiny amount of peanuts or nuts pushed him into full anaphylactic shock. His doctors told him that often, but not always, each exposure makes the body's response worse as it becomes increasingly sensitized to the allergen. Also my child care provider has a teenage son with a peanut allergy. This child for years suffered only an attack of eczema if he ate peanut products, however, at his last exposure he reacted with hives, breathing difficulties etcetera so has now been advised that his body has been sensitized by the earlier exposures and told that he should never have been allowed to have peanut products once his allergy was discovered, no matter how weak it appeared on the testing scale. My son sees a pediatric allergist who agrees with the other allergists that each exposure can increasingly sensitize the body. Sorry, this is not good news but it is information that might have changed my brother's and my child care provider's son's levels of carefulness had it been available to them. We know so much more now than in the past.

On Feb 26, 1999

Kathryn I agree, I think limiting their exposures is a big key to this allergy. Again I really sympathize with the airborne people. That is a tough job. That is why I hope research continues and hopefully we can have a solution to this problem. Patti

On Feb 26, 1999

Kathryn, I think that everyone needs to hear what you have just described as progressive reactions over the years. I think that because there are so many variances in how someone reacts to an exposure, that is why so many people are nonchalant about this allergy. Then it makes me look like an overprotective mom. What you have described is what I believe can happen and thus am so obsessive in managing this allergy with our son.

On Feb 26, 1999

Hi, certainly when my brother was young we were concerned and aware of the allergy but we had peanut butter at home and the rest of us ate it in his presence. Imagine! I believe now that extreme caution is absolutely necessary and will bear whatever wrath, labelling comes my way as a protective mother.

On Mar 8, 1999

I was reading this article [url="http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm"]http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm[/url] and it discusses some research which seems to suggest that more children outgrow peanut allergies that previously thought. It is a long article and that point is quite far in. But it is all very informative. I really recommend it - it is on the Links page under "our position" or something similar.

------------------ Holly

On Mar 8, 1999

Here is a link to PeanutAllergy.Com's links page. Just click on it. This article is under "Peanut allergy: where do we stand?" [url="http://www.peanutallergy.com/linkspage.htm"]http://www.peanutallergy.com/linkspage.htm[/url]

------------------ [email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

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