For LIZ re: sensitivity

Posted on: Thu, 04/08/1999 - 9:36am
Terri's picture
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Joined: 04/08/1999 - 09:00

You are exactly the kind of person I have been wanting to ask this of. My son is 10 years old and recently had allergy testing. He is allergic to multiple items environmental and food. Peanuts is one of the items. However, he as never had an observeable reaction. Sometimes after having something with peanutbutter he will say his chest is tight for 5 to 15 minutes. I want to know if other people used to have no to mild reaction and now have more serious or anaphylactic reactions. My pediatrician did not think it likely that my son would develop more serious symptoms but that he should avoid peanuts. Thanks. Terri

Posted on: Thu, 04/08/1999 - 6:50pm
Liz's picture
Liz
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Joined: 01/17/1999 - 09:00

Wouldn't say that I started with no or mild reaction - I'd get hives, asthma and vomiting, severity dependant on what quantity I'd eaten. What has happened over time is that the reaction is faster and more violent for less of the allergen. And while I used to be able to eat split pea soup with no apparent reaction - now I can't even take one swallow without that awfully itchy throat and scalp. Sigh.
I am also allergic to cats but refuse to live without one or more, so tough. Mind you, I have no difficulties with my own cats, but my mom's give me the classic puffy face, so I think there, exposure is beneficial for long term tolerance.
Dust is also a problem, and given the state of my house keeping and the fact that I am the renovator and maintenance person here, I suppose that constant exposure is keeping my tolerance level for that high too.
Food allergies are different though, and strict avoidance appears to be the only safe way.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/1999 - 12:47am
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi, I would worry about continuing to expose your son to peanut products. I know three adults who at an early age did not have anaphalactic reactions, only very mild symptoms such as your son describes or in one case eczema and all of them report that they developed increasingly severe reactions including anaphalaxis. One of these adult men is my brother and it is scary to know that he has such severe reactions after years of only mild symptoms. His doctor told him that each of his earlier exposures probably sensitized him a little bit more each time and that today's doctors are more informed than thirty years ago about the sensitization process. I am not a doctor but thought you might like this point of view. Also, if you read some of the posts about doctors on this board you will notice that some doctors are less informed about this food allergy than others . If I was in your position, I would seek a second opinion from an allergist who specializes in this area. Take care.

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/1999 - 2:41am
Terri's picture
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Joined: 04/08/1999 - 09:00

Thank you for your response Kathryn. I was told to remove all peanut from his diet X 7 days and then give it to him and watch for reaction. (I made sure my husband was home in case we had to call 911). My son still says it makes his mouth feel tingly and his chest feel a little tight. Therefore we are not going to feed him anything (knowingly) with peanut in it. However, I need to find out if I should look for "other things" on labels besides the words "peanut" or "nuts" (he also tests positive for english walnuts and shrimp.) Thanks. Terri

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/1999 - 2:48am
tracy's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

I attended the Food Allergy Network's patients conference in Baltimore last week and Dr. Robert Wood spoke. Regarding peanut allergy, he said it's not true that reactions will become more severe over time with repeated exposures. Based on what I've heard on these bulletin boards, I wasn't sure I agreed with that statement, but he is an allergist and he's also allergic to peanuts himself, so he keeps pretty up-to-date on this stuff.
--Tracy

Posted on: Thu, 04/15/1999 - 2:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Terri,
Watch for the word arachis or arachis oil on labels. The peanut is a legume of the plant arachis hypogaea. There is a discussion going on under the topic on arachis oil (aka peanut oil) on another thread.
Take care.

Posted on: Fri, 04/16/1999 - 11:58pm
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi, just a word about Dr. Wood's comment re: increasing sensitization. I have done some reading / research in medical journals, online databases etcetera and there is little scientific study in this area and two opposite schools of thought that appear in the literature. I talked to my allergist about it and was told that adult patients did often report increasing sensitization and that this is why all exposure should be limited once any reaction is noticed. Her opinion may change if studies prove differently. Again, I am not a doctor but I think until there is scientific research we all need to take care. Hope this helps?

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