False positive RAST for sunflower today

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 11:30am
ahensley's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2005 - 09:00

My son's RAST for PA came back at 150 (up from 120 8 months ago) but allergist said it could be due to hydration status and he was happy we stayed in Class 2. I am fine with his results..(well of course I was hoping but not realistically yet). Retest RAST in 1-2 years at age of 5 then oral challenge as needed.

What I am not fine with is that for some reason the sunflower seed RAST came back at 3,790. He eats Sunbutter almost daily and has never had the slightest reaction..EVER!!
Of course the nurse said he had a severe allergy and I just couldn't believe it. I had just fed him sunflower butter at lunch 20 minutes prior to the call. I went into anxiety mode and crying. My husband even came home from work early since I was so upset. I was so sad to be having to take away not only his favorite food, but also having to change our life again for a food allergy... everything we have thought was safe (for PA) now may not be due to sunflower allergy.

I waited on pins and needles all day until the allergist could call back. He told me that since DS never had a reaction to sunflowers he could keep eating them and it was mostly likely a false positive result. He told me they don't usually test RAST unless there has been a specific reaction to that food and he wasn't sure why the lab ran all the nuts/seeds RAST. He said it causes confusion due the possibility of false positive. He said if there has been a reaction then it is good to put the whole picture together with SPT, RAST and reaction to the food.

Anyway, I thought I would just share and wondering if anyone else has had such a high false positive result on a RAST. I mean the highest level of PA he has ever had was 1300 (Class 4) and he was contact reactive with hives. So when they told me almost 4000 for something he eats every day... I just freaked.

Life is better now.
Andrea

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 11:35am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

It was mentioned this morning on the CBS Early Morning show that a positive skin or blood test doesn't mean anything unless there's also a history of reaction to the food.

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 9:53pm
ahensley's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2005 - 09:00

HI Adele,
It was our Dr. Bosel that called me back. He is such a great doc. Just wanted to let you know what a calming nature he has about him.
Andrea

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 10:31pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

ahensley,
Your experience with sunflower is similar to our with tree nuts.
Ryan's peanut RAST was very high with severe reactions, his tree nut scores were very low in comparison with peanut but they were definitely positives. His highest was cashew at 1.54 which he ate all the time.
Our allergist tends to discourage testing for foods that his patients do not have physical problems with because the scientific tests are not always accurate. DH and I always wonder what our scores would be if we did RAST testing on the 8 top allergens.

Posted on: Sat, 03/18/2006 - 5:31am
MarkiesMom's picture
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Joined: 02/23/2006 - 09:00

My 2 year old son experienced a runny nose and possible rasp after eating six or so pistachios. I thought I'd have him tested, just to confirm he wasn't allergic. His SPT was 4+ for pistachios, and 2 for peanuts (even though he had been eating peanut butter for months prior without a reaction. I was told strict PN and TN free diet. I took him to a second allergist and was told he is likely not allergic to pistachios, that due to the nature of his skin (he has mild eczema, will get a rash from using certain creams, gets localized hives fom heat, which disappear within minutes with a cold washcloth) that the test was most likely a false positive. He said my daughter would probably show the same results (she has NKA, also has mild eczema). Needless to say, I've kept him away from nuts until I get a third opinion. I was also told that clinical history is the best indicator, which in my case is based on what I saw, or thought I saw.

Posted on: Tue, 03/21/2006 - 1:02am
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Joined: 03/21/2006 - 09:00

My DS had itchy legs as a baby that he left scratch marks on. It was diagnosed as eczema. He had a reaction to peanutbutter(hives on his face) at 14 months. He had skin testing at 15 months which included a slight positive to egg (not sure of the class but smaller than the peanut). The allergist at the time told us that since he had been eating egg for a few months without difficulty he could continue. After that time he ended up with hives on his face where RAW egg had ended up but had continued eating cooked egg in pancakes, other baked items and noodles without obvious problems. Meanwhile, the "eczema" on his legs cleared up when we started using Vaseline after his daily bath. We ended up getting a second opinion from a different allergist when he was 18 months old. His RAST test to egg showed a Class 3 for yolk and Class 4 for white. We were told that we should avoid eggs because he was "highly allergic" and should also avoid soy which was a Class 2. Sometimes I wonder if I am making out lives harder for no reason at all and they were both a false positive. I guess in the back of my mind I wondered if he was developing an allergy to soy and that the more he ate cooked eggs, the worse his RAW egg allergy would get. Maybe he was even developing an allergy to cooked eggs. I avoid because the professionals do not know the answers and I would rather give him the best chance of outgrowing. I do find it very frustrating however and it is extrememly hard to explain to people that he is very allergic when they saw him eating eggs in the past. People end up thinking I am "full of it".

Posted on: Tue, 03/21/2006 - 11:45am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Hi Andrea, I think it was on your recommendation that I went to the Arizona Asthma & Allergy Institute and saw Dr. Boesel. I agree with you - good doc. He helped me put things into perspective.
Thanks for recommending him.
cheers,
Adele

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 11:35am
Adele's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

It was mentioned this morning on the CBS Early Morning show that a positive skin or blood test doesn't mean anything unless there's also a history of reaction to the food.

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 9:53pm
ahensley's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2005 - 09:00

HI Adele,
It was our Dr. Bosel that called me back. He is such a great doc. Just wanted to let you know what a calming nature he has about him.
Andrea

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 10:31pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

ahensley,
Your experience with sunflower is similar to our with tree nuts.
Ryan's peanut RAST was very high with severe reactions, his tree nut scores were very low in comparison with peanut but they were definitely positives. His highest was cashew at 1.54 which he ate all the time.
Our allergist tends to discourage testing for foods that his patients do not have physical problems with because the scientific tests are not always accurate. DH and I always wonder what our scores would be if we did RAST testing on the 8 top allergens.

Posted on: Sat, 03/18/2006 - 5:31am
MarkiesMom's picture
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Joined: 02/23/2006 - 09:00

My 2 year old son experienced a runny nose and possible rasp after eating six or so pistachios. I thought I'd have him tested, just to confirm he wasn't allergic. His SPT was 4+ for pistachios, and 2 for peanuts (even though he had been eating peanut butter for months prior without a reaction. I was told strict PN and TN free diet. I took him to a second allergist and was told he is likely not allergic to pistachios, that due to the nature of his skin (he has mild eczema, will get a rash from using certain creams, gets localized hives fom heat, which disappear within minutes with a cold washcloth) that the test was most likely a false positive. He said my daughter would probably show the same results (she has NKA, also has mild eczema). Needless to say, I've kept him away from nuts until I get a third opinion. I was also told that clinical history is the best indicator, which in my case is based on what I saw, or thought I saw.

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