comfort zones and # of reactions

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 3:04am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Before posing my question, let me preface this by saying I am in no way being judgemental of anyone's comfort zones or the decisions they make, I am simply looking for information that may help me (and others) to determine comfort zones and levels of risk.

I am trying to determine if there is a correlation between people with tighter comfort zones and fewer reactions. For example, our comfort zone is fairly tight (no "May Contains" or "Manufactured in a facility or on the same equipment") and since my son's diagnosis, he has not had any reactions (touch wood!) Is the fact that he has not had any reactions because of our tighter comfort zones or would this still be the case if we did allow him to eat "may contains" etc. I would be curious to hear other people's experiences with regards to: 1) do you or do you not allow your child to eat foods with a warning label of any kind, and 2) how many reactions, if any, has your child had.

I hope I am being clear in my question and that I am not offending anyone in asking.

Thanks.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 3:34am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We have a stricter/narrower comfort zone.
Ryan has had one reaction since diagnosis at age 3. He is now 7 1/2. That reaction was unavoidable--a new cereal box of a brand/cereal he had eaten many, many times before with no peanut warnings/traces, etc. on the box. It wasn't the milk, he drank milk from the same carton the night before.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 4:00am
robinlp's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

I have a pretty strict comfort zone. Jordan has been reaction free since discovering his allergies 2 years ago.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 4:47am
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

I thought that as well.. the more reactions you have, the tighter the comfy zone.
But now, whats a reaction? Systemic meltdown? Accidental exposure? Blotchiness?
I guess my answer could be interpreted many ways.
Our comfort zone is quite lax. To be honest, I dont know WHAT Caitlins labels say on her food anymore. There are very few things we buy from the store, that are processed though, and we've never had any anaph reactions (to peanuts), nor have we had ANY exposure to peanuts (AFAIK).
I'll just leave it at that.
Jason
Caitlin 4-17-00 Allergic to Dairy, Egg, Wheat, Bananas, Grapes, Rye, Sesame, Beef, Garlic, Mustard, Onion, Peas and Avoiding Latex and all Nuts
Sara 2-13-98 NKA (avoiding nuts)
Meghan 2-28-03 Outgrown Reflux - Alimentum feeder, Stopped Zantac - RAST neg to big 8
[url="http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin"]http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin[/url]

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 5:04am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks everyone for your replies. I am looking at this from a very simplistic point of view. That is, I would be curious about any type of reaction (from blotchiness to full blown anaphylaxis). I guess part of my question comes from the fact that my personal experience has been that parents who have a looser comfort zone (i.e. eat "may contains" etc.), are the ones whose children have had some type of reaction. Again, I'm not saying people should or should not eat "may contains", I'm just trying to do a very unscientific survey to see if there is any difference in the number of reactions between people with strict vs. looser comfort zones.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 5:22am
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Purely a guess.
Those with strict comfy zones have fewer reactions. But the opposite does not really exist, at least in our situation. Maybe our situation isnt entirely the opposite.
Strict comfy zone = no 'may contains' would most likely have very few reactions (if any)
Lax comfy zone could be 'eats things WITH peanuts' which would most likely yield boat loads of reactions.
Maybe thats not a lax comfy zone, but rather NO comfy zone [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I know what you're asking, you know what you're asking, the PA folks here know what you're asking.
The answer you would think to hear is 'The more lax your comfy zone, the more reactions will occur'.
But as you know, PA is NOT cut and dry [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Jason of the lax comfy zone [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 5:31am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

mom2four, our comfort zone is similar to yours, absolutely nothing with any type of a warning, nothing from any other countries (we're in Canada), or from companies that I don't trust.
DS had a reaction to a PB cup that he got a hold of at halloween (I hate halloween), DH said we should let him trick or treat and then go through all his loot. While I was intently reading labels he (at age 3) grabbed PB cup and bit into it.
Next was accidental exposure while at a picnic where someone else was eating a thai salad (which we did not know about). DS did not ingest any of the salad but contacted it somehow.
Then the really big one was from a cheesecake with no indication on the label about any possibility about cross contamination. Three bites in he started choking, that was the scariest day of my life and why DS now no longer eats any baked items that I have not made myself.
Next reaction is unkown, but we suspect PB residue on a playground he was at. He was doing the monkey bars then seconds later screamed that his hands hurt (they were covered in hives). Then his whole body was covered in hives and his face and airway started swelling. This was at a school in our district that is not PN free, we were there for DD's softball game.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 5:31am
erik's picture
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Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Compared to most people here, I have a "loose comfort zone". In the past 20 years, I have had zero ingestion reactions. I have had airborne reactions when in a restaurant with loose peanuts being eaten in the bar area so I avoid that type of situation. I have eaten many 'may contains' during the past 20 years.. Mars bar, Breyers vanilla ice cream, Dare cookies, etc, although I have generally stopped doing this since I discovered PA.COM, although I do continue to eat 'may contain tree nuts' as I am not allergic to tree nuts (I am PA only).
The only time of my life when I had several reactions was more than 20 years ago when I did not know anything about cross contamination. Baked goods caused most of these reactions. Marzipan on a cake, a cookie, a Danish pastry. Plus a no-name chocolate bar.
But once I stopped eating most baked goods (except for those made in peanut-free facilities) and once I stopped eating no-name chocolate bars, this seems to have kept me reaction-free (plus a bit of luck of course!).
Personally, I think the risk of eating 'may contains' is dependent on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers such as Breyer's, Dare, etc have stringent cleaning procedures and only place the warning label on their packaging since they do process peanut products on the equipment and even with the strict cleaning, they can not guarantee that the product would be 100% safe. I ate products such as these for many years with no problems. Other manufacturers may not have stringent cleaning procedures between production lines (thinking of no-name granola bars, etc) so there may be a big risk with eating 'may contains'.
So in summary, I am saying that you can have a "looser comfort zone" and still be reaction-free as long as you are careful and alert. Although cross-contamination does happen, so in some cases that 'may contain peanuts' is an important message not to ignore as the product may be unsafe (those are the type of products I avoid) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 5:38am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks Jason for your perspective. It sounds so simplistic: tighter comfort zones = fewer reactions. But if this was true, wouldn't everyone want to have a tighter comfort zone? And when people make the decision to have a looser comfort zone, how do they make that decision? Are they knowingly risking a reaction (thinking that it would probably be a mild reaction) or do they think they are at no more risk of a reaction than someone who has tighter comfort zones? Again, I'm just curious about the rationale people have. For me, I choose to have a tighter comfort zone because I want to reduce the risk of a reaction as much as possible but I am wondering if there really is such a correlation. I'd really like to hear from people with a looser comfort zone to hear how they have come to their decision.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 5:42am
attlun's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

We don'thave food with any kind of allergen warning for pn, and nothing from companies we don't trust. Ds has had 3 reactions.
------------------
Tina
Trevor age 2 -PA
Harmony age 1 -KNA
It's a BOY!!! due June 24, 2004

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/2004 - 5:43am
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Thanks Erik.
You sound like Ann (DW), probably not in reality though...
DW is Anaph to peanuts, and in fact avoids all nuts (she may be anaph to more, but shes never been tested. She under the impression shes allergic to all nuts, except walnuts)
She had probably 2 reactions in the 13 yrs Ive known her. She avoids thai food (given), peanut products (given), and most baked goods out (given). For some baked goods, shell have me taste it first, and if it doesnt taste peanutty, she'll eat it.
She eats pretty much waht she wants. We dont hit many restaurants with the kids (obviously), nor with out them (another obvious!), but if we do, she knows enough to get something that looks safe.
We dont buy new foods for us in the house often, but we'll read the label... And have become more aware of foods given the girls situations...
You know im getting old, when I lose my train of thought like THAT. I should just delete this post, but I do want to say thanks for the insights!
Jason
Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b]Compared to most people here, I have a "loose comfort zone". In the past 20 years, I have had zero ingestion reactions. I have had airborne reactions when in a restaurant with loose peanuts being eaten in the bar area so I avoid that type of situation. I have eaten many 'may contains' during the past 20 years.. Mars bar, Breyers vanilla ice cream, Dare cookies, etc, although I have generally stopped doing this since I discovered PA.COM, although I do continue to eat 'may contain tree nuts' as I am not allergic to tree nuts (I am PA only).
The only time of my life when I had several reactions was more than 20 years ago when I did not know anything about cross contamination. Baked goods caused most of these reactions. Marzipan on a cake, a cookie, a Danish pastry. Plus a no-name chocolate bar.
But once I stopped eating most baked goods (except for those made in peanut-free facilities) and once I stopped eating no-name chocolate bars, this seems to have kept me reaction-free (plus a bit of luck of course!).
Personally, I think the risk of eating 'may contains' is dependent on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers such as Breyer's, Dare, etc have stringent cleaning procedures and only place the warning label on their packaging since they do process peanut products on the equipment and even with the strict cleaning, they can not guarantee that the product would be 100% safe. I ate products such as these for many years with no problems. Other manufacturers may not have stringent cleaning procedures between production lines (thinking of no-name granola bars, etc) so there may be a big risk with eating 'may contains'.
So in summary, I am saying that you can have a "looser comfort zone" and still be reaction-free as long as you are careful and alert. Although cross-contamination does happen, so in some cases that 'may contain peanuts' is an important message not to ignore as the product may be unsafe (those are the type of products I avoid) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img][/b]

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