Help! Adult having peanut food challenge Friday

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Was diagnosed with PA 6 years ago at age 37-class I on blood test. Have been diligent about reading labels etc. for 6 years- no reactions. Went to new allergist and I tested neg on blood and skin prick! Having peanut food challenge Friday! Scared! Any thoughts??

On Jul 16, 2003

I wish you the best of luck with your food challenge! Please let us know how it goes. I'll be crossing my fingers for you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

On Jul 17, 2003

Mariam-

Thank you! I will let you know.

On Jul 18, 2003

Cyclist - How did it go? Are you okay?

On Jul 20, 2003

Mariam, Wendysco, - yes I am fine!! Thank you!!

It was great!! I didn't have to eat the snickers bar- I got to eat a chocolate "Power Bar" and it was SO good! No reactions at all!!Doc says since blood and skin tests came out negative and I was able to eat the "Power Bar" I can now eat anything that says "may contain traces of peanuts". We still don't know what originally caused the reactions though so he reccomended that I don't sit down with a bagful of peanuts but I do not have to worry so much about cross-contamination. That is really all I wanted to be able to find out anyway since I have always hated peanuts and other nuts too and will never eat them anyway.

Yesterday I also ate 2 different bars while on a 70 mile bicycle ride and had no reactions while exercising! I tried the Carrot Odwalla bar- didn't like it but will try the chocolate one this week.

Sorry this reply is so long but I am just really happy and wanted to share it with you all- thanks so much!

On Jul 20, 2003

Cyclist, if you don't mind sharing your reaction history that lead to your initial diagnosis, I'd like to hear it.

Allergy blood tests can be wrong so it's important to look at the bigger picture. Your information could help us all better understand peanut allergy.

On Jul 20, 2003

I am not familar with the Power Bars, did the chocolate Power Bar contain peanuts/nuts? or did they only have a "may contain" label on them?

For part one of my son's oral peanut challenge, he had to eat three peanut butter cups over a period of time. Part two of the oral challenge is in three days.

On Jul 20, 2003

Cyclist, I'm also curious about your reaction history. Although I haven't posted in this thread, I have been reading it.

Codyman - Please let us know how things go with your sons challenge. Good luck to him.

On Jul 20, 2003

Cyclist, I'm so glad everything went well with the "challenge", but I'm a little bit confused. If the doctor had you eat a "may contain" bar it doesn't seem to prove anything to me. (Nor does the fact that you ate two "may contain" bars subsequently without reaction.) [i]May[/i] [i]contain[/i] does not mean [i]does[/i] contain. Isn't it possible (and perhaps even likely?) that the bars you ate were not actually cross contaminated, but that another bar would be? Why doesn't the doctor want to challenge you with actual peanuts?

Sorry for my confusion. I am not trying to be argumentative or negate your "good" news. I'm just truly confused, and am trying to better understand your doctor's reasoning.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

[This message has been edited by California Mom (edited July 20, 2003).]

On Jul 20, 2003

Hi All- Thanks for your concern- This is a very long reply- sorry. Here are the circumstances that lead up to the original diagnosis of peanut allergy: 6 years ago when I was 37 I suddenly started having allergic type reactions to something while on a 2 week, 700 mile bicycle trip. I was sweating profusely, became very weak, my face-arms-neck turned dark red and I felt like I wasn't getting enough air. I thought it was from something I was eating but I ate exactly the same type of foods when I was training for the trip and I had no reactions. On the trip though I was eating much larger quantities day after day. My diet consisted of peanuts in various forms- peanut butter sandwiches, snickers bars, chocolate and peanut butter flavors of "Power Bars" and "Clif Bars". I couldn't pin point an exact food to the reactions because I just thought maybe it was from something else- new vitamins I started taking or the Glucosamine/chondroitin capsules I started taking for sore joints.

I had the reactions many times during the trip and each time it subsided without any treatment after a few hours. When I returned home I was not eating peanut butter anymore but still ate snickers and Power Bars but I did not have any more reactions. I also stopped the Glucosamine capsules and vitamins when I came home.

A few months after the bike trip I was sitting on the couch eating some chocolate chip cookies and I started having the reaction again. This time i knew for sure it was something in the cookie because that was the only thing I had eaten in several hours and it happened about 10 minutes after eating the cookies. I took a benadryl and the symptoms went away.

I went to an allergist with the list of ingredients of the cookies and he did a blood test for all kinds of nuts. The blood tests were all in normal range but peanut came back as 0.56-class I . He told me I was allergic to peanuts and that I should never even eat anything that may be associated with peanuts/peanut oil. Peanut flavored "Power Bars" are made in the same molds as the chocolate ones so he told me never to eat them or any other bar that "may contain traces" etc.

After that I became very diligent about reading labels although at the time labels were not always stating peanut allergy info like they do now. But, I continued to eat chinese food (except egg rolls)and eat in restaurants and order ice cream out, I was around people that ate peanuts and never had a reaction in 6 years!

Which brings me to the present, having not had a reaction in 6 years and I feel like somewhere somehow I must have had some sort of accidental contact with peanuts in all these years, so I thought I should be tested again to see where I'm at. I don't want to be able to eat peanuts because I hate them but I want to be able to eat the energy bars that say "may contain traces" or "manufactured on equipment that processes peanuts" because there are none that don't say that on the label.

So, I went to a new allergist who did a blood test- negative result and then a skin test- negative result. He then told me to bring in the food that I wanted to be able to eat so I brought a snickers bar(for the peanuts)and a "Power Bar" because that is what I want to eat.He said that since there is no way of knowing what caused my reactions of 6 years ago that I should try the "Power Bar" because that is what I want to be eating. He also said that if i was truly allergic to peanuts-which he thinks I am not-then I would react to the "Power Bar" since it is "manufactured on the same equipment as peanuts". He said that based on the blood result I showed him of 6 years ago he would not have dignosed a peanut allergy and would have looked for other causes.And, based on the results of blood and skin tests of now he firmly believes I do not have a peanut allergy although he did say that there are no absolutes in food allergy and alot is still not known.

I ate the "Power Bar" and was fine. He told me that I could start to eat different bars when i wanted but since I still don't know what caused the initial reactions I should only eat a few bites each time and have an epi-pen handy just in case. Basically trial and error.

So that is the basic story. I am happy about the outcome but I can't help but feel cautious and concerned and I know i will still worry every time I eat an energy bar.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I would love some feedback from everyone.

On Jul 21, 2003

While the results of all your testing sound encouraging, it does not sound like you had a true peanut food challenge. I don't necessarily agree with the allergist that you would most likely react to the power bar if you were allergic to peanuts, just because it is manufactured on equiptment that processes peanuts. I am sure that the manufacturer cleans the equiptment with the goal of eliminating peanut residue, they usually put the sign on in case residue is missed. Thus, I think the chances of peanut residue being present are low, and the chances of a reaction is low. You might consider having another challenge specifically to peanut so that you would really know if you are still allergic - I would be worried that I could still have a reaction and not be prepared down the road.

[This message has been edited by Bootsy (edited July 21, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by Bootsy (edited July 21, 2003).]

On Jul 25, 2003

Codyman- how did it go with the second part of your son's peanut challenge- why did he have to go twice??

Well, I made an appointment on Tuesday for another food challenge- this time with the actual peanuts. You all are right- I will never really know otherwise, so it's the best thing to do.

Thanks for all your support!!

On Jul 25, 2003

Cyclist: I ended up cancelling my son's appointment. I had a migraine and although I could have suffered thru the day, my husband and I decided that since we avoid all peanuts/nuts because of our daughter's allergy we could wait a year or two for our son to be retested. Hopefully they will be retested somewhere closer to home, as the drive to downtown Toronto is long!!

When we went to Toronto in February and my daughter was retested for her allergy which came up positive again, only a quicker and more severe reaction this time. The doctor said they do not forsee her ever out growing the allergy.

The doctor also skin tested my son for peanuts/nuts and it came up negative. They then gave him an oral challenge using peanut butter cups over a period of time. My son didn't want to eat the last peanut butter cup but did take two small bites, he was hooked up to monitors while this was done and with the third peanut butter cup, his pulse dropped as well as his blood pressure. The doctors stopped the testing at this point and said to come back for another skin test since he has now had peanut butter in his system. The doctor's also said he could eat "may contain" products but again since we don't buy them for our daughter we won't buy them for our son.

Good Luck with you testing on Tuesday!!

On Jul 29, 2003

well- it's over!! I went for the peanut food challenge and I am still here to tell you about it!! No reaction at all!!

My new doc says to still carry the epi-pen because we still do not know what caused my reactions 6 years ago.

While I won't be eating peanuts-I never liked them- at least now I know for sure and I can relax and eat things that say "may contain traces" That opens up a whole new world [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks everyone!!

On Jul 29, 2003

Cyclist, congratulations! That is terrific news! I hope you won't have any more "mystery" reactions; it must be nerve wracking not to know what caused them. At least you are prepared if the worst should happen...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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