peanut allergy desensitization?

Posted on: Tue, 05/18/2010 - 2:43am
RRFromR's picture
Joined: 05/18/2010 - 09:19

Hi everybody, I'm a new poster here. My 27-month old child was recently diagnosed with PA (vomiting after eating, positive skin test, 39.7 level after blood test). He was skin-tested twice before but had negative results, with one of the negative skin tests happening after the vomiting incident. No other allergies and also eats and loves pistachios.

I read an article named "Maternal peanut exposure during pregnancy and lactation reduces peanut allergy risk in offspring" and also the Duke study on desensitization; I'm thinking of introducing peanuts in my diet (the child is breastfeeding)as the safest desensitization route.

My plan is to have some peanuts at work on Friday and nurse when I get home, so I can keep an eye on the kid all weekend.

I have 2 questions:

1) is there a possibility that he might get anaphylaxis while sleeping? Currently he sleeps in his room and we'd like to know if we should sleep in his room.

2) is there a possibility that he might get anaphylaxis during the week if I have some peanuts on Friday morning?

We're not very happy with our current allergist (her approach is don't give peanuts, have epipen handy, come back in 1 year, there's nothing she or us can do) and we're waiting to see Dr. Robert Wood, but our appointment is at the end of the year.


Posted on: Tue, 05/18/2010 - 11:26pm
BestAllergySites's picture
Joined: 03/15/2009 - 21:46

First off--I'm going to give you my thoughts on this reminding you that I am not an allergist or medical professional--and to keep in mind that what you read here from any poster should not be taken lightly.
First thing is first--if you are not happy with your current allergist get a new one asap. Trust your motherly/gut instinct and find someone else. I know you said you have another apt way down the road. See if you can get on a wait list or find another allergist in the meantime.
Next--I do not and would not suggest trying to desensitize your child to peanut in any way shape or form. Did your allergist tell you that "you" can not eat peanut while breastfeeding? If so--I would stick with that advice. If not, I would ask.
Two reasons for this:
1. Desensitization is done in small measured amounts building up over time. With breast milk there is no telling if any peanut protein is reaching your child--and if there is--how much.
2. The Duke study is just that--a study. And it is in it's early stages. While the results look promising--it has been said that this treatment may not be right for all allergy sufferers AND those that it works for may need to eat peanut "daily" to keep their resistance.
The likelihood of an allergy with vomiting, and both tests being positive is certainly higher.
Has your child had any other allergic symptoms other than the vomiting after ingestion? Hives, watery eyes, scratchy mouth, etc.? Vomiting is a sign--but vomiting alone is not necessarily a 100% indicator.
If you think that your child does not have a peanut allergy and is testing positive. (And that is possible.) I would ask for a hospital setting food challenge.
If you think your child does in fact have a peanut allergy--then I would avoid peanuts in all ways, shapes and forms.
Regarding anaphylaxis--it can happen within minutes or take up to hours. It can potentially happen while your child is sleeping.
Also--keep in mind that one allergic reaction does not predict the next. Today might be mild, tomorrow severe, and then back to mild again.
Allergic reactions are an immune system response. If the immune system is compromised in any way (even a recent prior reaction) the reaction can be more severe.
I know peanut allergy is a tough thing to live with, but it does get easier in time. I highly suggest you find another allergist to discuss your concerns with.

Posted on: Sat, 05/22/2010 - 12:02pm
ritpet's picture
Joined: 03/27/2010 - 13:50

I completely agree with what Ruth said. If you do not like your allergist find another one but don't try to desenitize your child. It is way to risky and in my opion (and I am sure you probably agree) the possible cost (your child) is not worth it. Please get a second opinion.

Posted on: Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:12pm
barbfeick's picture
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 05:48

Dr. Tenpenny is supposedly having some success with desensitizing serious food allergies. Search on "Dr. Tenpenny" and you will find her.
This is only MY personal belief. If the allergy is caused by vaccinations or injections, the chance of much success with desensitization is near zero at this time. If the allergy is caused by leaky gut, you have a better chance.
A major caution - I read of a man who underwent the desensitization and it only got rid of his early warning symptoms. So he did not realize he was being exposed to it until it was too late to avoid a full blown anaphylaxis episode.

Posted on: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:38pm
pnkid06's picture
Joined: 10/26/2010 - 11:50

My daughter has a peanut allergy and I ate it all the time while I was pregnant and while I was nursing. It was a quick easy protein. I didn't have to cook or wonder if I had enough protein to pass on to the baby. I was told this could in part be why she had the allergy. So, don't go jumping to conclusions that this will desensatize you child. I also have a son that could not tolerate gluten through breast milk but was able to eat it just fine on his own. Once again stick to the allegist, thats what thy do.

Posted on: Fri, 09/21/2012 - 11:12am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi RR,
I agree with Ruth's post above. Do NOT try to desensitize your child yourself! Peanut allergy is very serious and unpredictable and you could be putting your child in extreme danger.
When your child is older, you could consider enrolling in a peanut desensitization clinical trial. My 14 year old daughter just completed the oral immunotherapy clinical trial at the New England Food Allergy Treatment Center in West Hartford, CT. They have had more than 200 patients with overwhelming success! My daughter's rast score was greater than 100 when we started in March. Under close supervision in a medical setting, they give patients increasing amount of peanut flour (mixed with pudding, applesauce or something similar) over the course of 6 months. They start with .1 milligrams and go up to 383 mg of peanut flour. My daughter successfully completed the clinical trial and is now eating 3 peanut M&M's every day to maintain her desensitization. I know that it is hard to believe - when I first heard about the clinical trial I thought it sounded crazy - but it works! Most of their patients have no symptoms and NONE of the patients have had anaphylaxis from taking the dose of peanuts. It is carefully controlled and monitored. It is already been life changing for my daughter, who can now eat ice cream at Baskin Robbins, eat Chinese food and almost any candy she wants! She still is not supposed to eat peanuts, but the expectation is that if she accidentally eats peanuts she will either have no reaction or a mild reaction, because she can tolerate the amount of peanut that is in 3 peanut M&M's. Products that "may contain peanuts" are no longer off limits. We don't have to wipe down the seats/tray, etc before flying on an airplane - and she can have a more normal teenage life. I would encourage everyone to check out the website - this really works, our family is so grateful and our stress level and worry has been greatly reduced.

Posted on: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 8:17am
kristal77's picture
Joined: 05/08/2012 - 12:58

My son has a peanut allergy and I ate peanuts on a very regular basis when I was pregnant with him and breastfeeding.

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