Confused about diagnosis

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 12:15pm
KateDe's picture
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Joined: 09/20/2006 - 09:00

Hi, my name is Kate. My 3 year old son Jack tested positive for peanuts a year ago with ONLY a blood test. The score was low (about 5). I was told that his allergy is mild and that we should avoid peanuts and but not be too worried, he'd be retested in a year. I just had him re- blood tested. The score was lower, about 2.5. The doctor was happy until I told him about Jack getting hives about six months ago from being in a restaurant with peanuts on the floor. Yes, in hindsight it was dumb to go there, however I wasn't too concerned based on what the first results where. I simply made sure that he never ate peanuts but never worried about other factors. After telling the doctor about that reaction he did a skin test. Based on those results he said that my son is more allergic (maybe about a 15). I asked what that meant and didn't really get a clear answer.

I am sorry for the confusing preface but I just want to know why the blood test and skin test would be so different. I was told a year ago not to worry about issues such as cross contamination in food plants to read every label carefully and carry an Epi with us at all times. Can things change that much in a year? Are those two tests usually so off from eachother? Should I get him tested again through another doctor?

Any advice is much appreciated. TIA.

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 1:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I don't really know a lot about the tests. Some people find one is more accurate, and some find the other more accurate.
The fact is that your son reacted without actually eating peanut. So, regardless of what the two tests say, you know he is sensitive.
You seem to want to know how allergic your son is. Well, I consider allergies like a pregnancy -- either you are or your are not -- how much doesn't make any difference.
*****
I was a bit confused. Do you now have an epi-pen? And are you now avoiding *may contains* and *trace amounts* for your son?

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 1:22pm
KateDe's picture
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Joined: 09/20/2006 - 09:00

I got epi pens today, printed food lists out for his teachers too. Up until now I was told not to be overly concerned. I was told that his allergy was not in the range to worry about. I didn't even worry too much about the reaction he got in the restaurant that one time. Now I feel terribly guilty and confused. From here on in I guess that we must totally avoid foods with peanut traces. I am just trying to figure out what happened that would make the two tests so different from each other.
I am trying to figure this out. I've been Googling for hours and am frightened by the things I've read. I went from being cavalier about his "mild" allergy to petrified about a more severe one in a day.

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 2:41pm
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

What prompted the original testing? Did he have reactions that made you suspect a food allergy?
Actually, if the blood test you had was the Immunocap test, 5 kUA/l for peanut IgE is not exactly low. I believe that would be a Class III or high positive result. Low would be a Class I or a number between .35 and .70
The second number you had (2.5) would be a Class II or Moderate allergy.
I'm not sure what 15 means with respect to the skin test. It could refer to the measurment of the wheal that formed (15mm). That would also be a high result, usually given a score of 4 on a scale of 0-4 for the skin test. So I don't think these results are contradictory. If you feel that your current doctor is not really up to speed on food allergies, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another allergist.
For now, my advice is to be very careful. Your son reacted without even ingesting the peanuts. That is an indicator that he is sensitive. The test results really only correllate with the LIKELIHOOD of a reaction. They do not tell you how severe the reaction will be. The severity of reactions varies from one reaction to another in a given individual.
For more information on the blood test, check this website:
[url="http://www.immunocapinvitrosight.com/templates/Page.asp?id=1934"]http://www.immunocapinvitrosight.com/templates/Page.asp?id=1934[/url]
Stay safe!
Cathy
------------------
Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 1/2 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 10:50pm
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Like pregnancy, yes.
He's allergic. Period. You avoid products containing peanuts. You avoid going to bars with peanuts on the floor. You read labels and if it contains peanuts, you put it back without a second thought.
As for 'may contains...': YOU decide. YOU are the parent. There was a stat out there that said X% of 'may contains' DO contains, and it was high enough to worry.
For us? We give 'may contains...' to Caitlin. That's OUR choice.
YOU, my dear, make your OWN choice. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Glad you have epi pens. Glad you found us!
And lastly, beward of 'cross contaminated' bakery goods, like cookies, cakes, etc.. from the grocery store, kwim?
Hugs! And welcome!!!
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 NKA (Avoiding Nuts)
[url="http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin"]http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin[/url]
------------------
[b]* Obsessed * [/b]

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 11:30pm
NicoleinNH's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

EDIT
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/21/2006 - 1:01am
KateDe's picture
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Joined: 09/20/2006 - 09:00

Thank you everyone for the responses. I think I was just shell shocked yesterday, no pun intended. I know now that I must be much more careful. I think I will bring him to another doctor also. I got the Epis, gave one to his preschool teacher today and also got a list of peanut free snacks for her.
The internet has so many wonderful resources. I am happy that I found this board. Thanks again for the responses.

Posted on: Thu, 09/21/2006 - 1:18am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Welcome to the board (forgot to say that yesterday).
As mom's we seem so willing to accept the blame for everything. As Nicole said, let it go. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] When you feel it creeping in, think about all the parents here. I bet if you read people's stories you would not feel the parents are guilty. You would think "they didn't know" or "how could anyone prepare for that" or something along those lines.
When you were informed of the risk, you quickly took action. Searched for information, started making the environment as safe as possible, and prepared for emergencies. Rather then blame, you deserve a (peanut-free) hero cookie. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 1:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I don't really know a lot about the tests. Some people find one is more accurate, and some find the other more accurate.
The fact is that your son reacted without actually eating peanut. So, regardless of what the two tests say, you know he is sensitive.
You seem to want to know how allergic your son is. Well, I consider allergies like a pregnancy -- either you are or your are not -- how much doesn't make any difference.
*****
I was a bit confused. Do you now have an epi-pen? And are you now avoiding *may contains* and *trace amounts* for your son?

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 1:22pm
KateDe's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/20/2006 - 09:00

I got epi pens today, printed food lists out for his teachers too. Up until now I was told not to be overly concerned. I was told that his allergy was not in the range to worry about. I didn't even worry too much about the reaction he got in the restaurant that one time. Now I feel terribly guilty and confused. From here on in I guess that we must totally avoid foods with peanut traces. I am just trying to figure out what happened that would make the two tests so different from each other.
I am trying to figure this out. I've been Googling for hours and am frightened by the things I've read. I went from being cavalier about his "mild" allergy to petrified about a more severe one in a day.

Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 2:41pm
Momcat's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

What prompted the original testing? Did he have reactions that made you suspect a food allergy?
Actually, if the blood test you had was the Immunocap test, 5 kUA/l for peanut IgE is not exactly low. I believe that would be a Class III or high positive result. Low would be a Class I or a number between .35 and .70
The second number you had (2.5) would be a Class II or Moderate allergy.
I'm not sure what 15 means with respect to the skin test. It could refer to the measurment of the wheal that formed (15mm). That would also be a high result, usually given a score of 4 on a scale of 0-4 for the skin test. So I don't think these results are contradictory. If you feel that your current doctor is not really up to speed on food allergies, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another allergist.
For now, my advice is to be very careful. Your son reacted without even ingesting the peanuts. That is an indicator that he is sensitive. The test results really only correllate with the LIKELIHOOD of a reaction. They do not tell you how severe the reaction will be. The severity of reactions varies from one reaction to another in a given individual.
For more information on the blood test, check this website:
[url="http://www.immunocapinvitrosight.com/templates/Page.asp?id=1934"]http://www.immunocapinvitrosight.com/templates/Page.asp?id=1934[/url]
Stay safe!
Cathy
------------------
Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 1/2 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

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