food challenge... Should I do it???

Posted on: Thu, 12/25/2003 - 3:14am
happymomof2amk's picture
Joined: 11/01/2003 - 09:00

My dd is three now. She has had two rast tests, one at 18 mos and one at 34 mos. She was a level 5 21,000. This time level 4 14,000. Our allergist said that isn't a significant change. She has had skin testing done at around the same time. The first he said was severe I don't know the size of the wheal. The second was a little more severe.

What bothers me is she ate peanut products for almost a year before the first test. She has never once had a reaction. She always has eczema I cant remember it flaring up anymore than normal. She was also a level 5 to cats the first time and level four the second test and never had a reaction to cats other than maybe eczema flare up. She is a level 3 to egg whites and eats eggs. She was a level four to soy beans and i never had to watch for soybeans. She is now a level one to soy beans.

well after all these tests I'm confused. I treat her pa very seriously. Although I honestly feel she doesn't have a pa. Her allergist said no to a food challenge in june, but now he is saying yes. It's scheduled for feb and I'm scared. What do I do????

DD 3 years Supposedly PA, TNA, Cats, Dogs, Mold, Dust, Dust Mites, Egg Whites, Never any reactions. Has had eczema since 1 month old.

DS 6 years No known allegies

Posted on: Thu, 12/25/2003 - 10:30am
Rae's picture
Joined: 03/28/2000 - 09:00

I have mentioned this several times on these boards, but I can't remember what threads the info. is in. So, I will retell for you [img][/img]
My younger PA dd (now 7)tested positive for peanuts at age 3 (level 2). She had eaten peanut products when not around her PA sister - didn't know to avoid them until age 3 at the time - and many may contains before. She too had eczema, but we never noticed any considerable flare-ups or reactions from peanut products. The only reactions we noticed were shellfish, which she tested a 5 to.
In hopes she would outgrow the peanut allergy we strictly kept her from peanut products. When she was 5 years old she mistakenly took a bite of a peanut butter chip cookie at a school party. Within 10 minutes I could not recognize my little girl! Benadryl did nothing, and we rushed her to the Dr. We did not have an epi-pen for her. The Dr. had specifically told me if she had eaten peanut before and not had an anaphylactic reaction she would not. He was sooo wrong! She is now more sensitive than her older PA sister. We know she reacts to touch.

Posted on: Thu, 12/25/2003 - 11:02am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I think many would disagree with me but my honest opinion is I would try a food challenge (in a hospital, not doctor's office, and with full support avail in case of a bad reaction.)
My son has peanut allergy and sesame allergy, supposedly severe. He has never reacted to sesame and he has been exposed many times. Trying to avoid sesame where we live, in Korea, is exhausting and I would like a food challenge even though his test numbers are high.
I realize a food challenge can be dangerous. And even if my child passed the challenge I wouldn't feed him sesame, not with the positive bloodwork, but the quality of our lives would improve drastically if I could stop being so vigilant about cross contamination (virtually everything in Korea is cross contaminated with sesame). I think the same goes with peanut--even if you don't feed your child peanut butter, wouldn't it be great to be able to get an ice cream once in a while, or a donut?
Avoiding the allergenic food is not so hard, but avoiding possible cross-contamination can make a person crazy--where does it end, you can become obsessed with the possibilities. And it is very demoralizing to have to live the "allergic lifestyle" when you're not completely convinced you even have the allergy! So I think if a child doesn't react to a food, or has safely eaten the food, I would want a scientifically designed (double blind placebo controlled) food challenge in a hospital setting.
Edited to add: Another reason for you to consider a food challenge in your daughter's particular case is because she seems to have a pattern of testing positive to foods she is not really allergic to. It makes those tests seem somewhat less valid in your daughter's case. Good luck whatever you decide.
[This message has been edited by Sandra Y (edited December 25, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/01/2004 - 8:52am
happymomof2amk's picture
Joined: 11/01/2003 - 09:00

Thanks for the replies. I'm still undecided about the food challenge. It's a very difficult decision. I don't know that I would feel comfortable giving her peanuts even if she passed the challenge.
How many out there have had both tests rast and skin come out highly severe and never had a reaction?
I would love to have more opinions. Thank you.
Angie & Hunter

Posted on: Thu, 01/01/2004 - 9:21am
momjd's picture
Joined: 02/24/2002 - 09:00

My son tested level 3 to peanuts and he had been eating PB and other peanut products before we had testing done. BUT he also had terrible eczema. As it turns out, there were a ton of other allergies- all of which trigger the eczema. But I assume that his exposures to peanuts were responsible for some of the eczema and thus consider it a reaction to peanut.
So, on the one hand I can't say he's reacted specifically to peanuts, but on the other I wouldn't consider him to have 'never reacted'.
Based on the fact that PB was one among many things that probably triggered his eczema and the positive skin and RAST results, we won't be going near peanuts any time soon.
I doubt that I would risk it even if I didn't think the eczema was a reaction. I know that reactions can be unpredictable and change over time, so how would I know that a subsequent exposure wouldn't cause full blown anaphylaxis even if prior ones didn't? Maybe I'd feel differently if any of his other test results had turned out be false positives, but that's not been the case for us. So in my mind a positive test result for DS is definitely an allergy.

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