I need some serious advice...

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My son is allergic to peanuts, chicken, turkey, egg white and kiwi fruit. We have always had blood tests done and after his anaphlyactic reactions to peanut butter and kiwi these items were determined. We just moved and saw a new allergist. He did a skin prick test and showed the same allergies. However, we also had my daughter (16 months) tested and she tested 2 to just about EVERYTHING. My son also showed additional allergies and showed a 3+ to soybean and a 2 to milk...we had no idea!! He eats soybean and soy all the time and we have never seen a reaction. I was shocked ...than he told me to continue to feed them the items that they tested 2 on! I am so confused because I thought that I should absolutely keep them from these items...some were milk...nuts...soybean?? As you can see I feel lost now. Why can't I seem to find an Allergist that knows more than we do? I really need some advice because in all honesty I trust the advice I get here more than I do the Dr.'s advice. Thanks...hope my rambling made sense!!

On Aug 8, 2004

After my 20 month old daughters anaphylactic reaction to peanuts, we had a RAST done that showed a level 2 for milk. The allergist told me to take her off of whole milk, but didn't see a need to cut it out entirely. (Personally, I don't get the whole milk thing - I thought it was PROTEIN they reacted to.) Anyway, I cut down her milk and give her chocolate soy milk as a staple. But she still eats LOTS of milk products (ice cream, cheese, yogurt, etc). She has never had a reaction to milk. She does have mild eczema, which I attribute to her various mild allergies, but she does not break out following ingestion of milk products. So I weigh the pros and cons and decide to continue the milk products and treat the eczema when it flares up.

Carolyn

P.S. Just so no one thinks I am a TERRIBLE mother who lets her kid suffer thru eczema...she ocassionally (2 or 3 times a month) gets a "flare-up" behind her knees that is pink and only slightly raised. One light treatment of with her triamcynolone cream and it is gone.

On Aug 8, 2004

I think that as parents of children who have life threatening food allergies we know lots but we do not know it all. I am not sure if all of our anecdotal knowledge is actual firm knowledge. We hear a story from someone who heard a story from someone who lived next to someone.

We do have our own experiences but I'd wager most of us have good doctors we trust.

Doctors train for years and years and frankly once you find one you are comfortable with you have to start trusting him/her.

I do not mean blindly giving your trust to just anyone, but that one person you can click with and feel comfortable with. And that might mean you make a leap to begin trusting someone.

Peggy

On Aug 8, 2004

Robinlp,

My pa, milk, and egg allergic son also tested mildly positive to wheat and soy. I had already been feeding him wheat without any reactions, and the allergist suggested trying soy since the allergy count was low. He tolerates soy no problem too.

My own feeling is similar to Carolyn's. With a child that has multiple food allergies, if they NEVER show a reaction to the food, if the allergist concurs, I would continue to feed it to them.

My allergist said that peanut allergic kids can have false positives to things. And, since my ds has never reacted, and his diet would be insanely limited if I cut wheat and soy out too, I continue to give it to him.

Regarding your daughter, even though I know it's painful, maybe have the RAST test done and compare it to the skin prick.

I say that only because maybe you caught the beginning of an allergy with the skin prick test?(Of course I'm just guessing, never did get that MD degree [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img], and a rast would give you a more clear picture if she truly has allergies.

I remember my allergist said skin pricks were great for ruling out allergies, but they can give false positives. That's why I would do the RAST test I think.

Are you avoiding peanuts with her? She's never had any reactions? Without the RAST, I would be fearful of feeding her all these foods she tested positive too also.

Sorry, feel like I'm babbling...Hopefully I've made sense to you and helped a little...

------------------ Meg, mom to: Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA Sean 2 yrs. NKA

On Aug 8, 2004

Robin- My dd also tested positive on a RAST food panel to wheat,soy,tomatoes and egg. Well she had been eating all of this with no problem, so the Dr had us come in a eat those foods and then he listened to her to make sure she was fine and said- no problem she can eat these things and she has for years now. Her PA/TN allergies showed much higher numbers and she had never eaten them so he was more comfortable keeping her away from them. Subsequently she did have an anaphylactic reaction to a cookie with walnuts in it. I keep her away from ALL nuts and it turns out she is also allergic to sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

So long story short, if your child has been eating those items you mentioned without problem, I would say your allergist is right and it would be safe to continue!

Maybe they tested pos. to a skin prick because they eat it anyways???

On Aug 8, 2004

Carolyn, milk does contain protein. A protein is just a specific amino acid chain. One specific milk protein is casein.

ygg

On Aug 8, 2004

I just posted about my ds's skin prick test that he had. My new allergist told me that skin prick tests are much more accurate than the RAST and he doesn't do any RAST tests. My son's RAST tests last year showed he was allergic to wheat and soy to which he has never reacted to. My allergist believes that the true test of an allergy is whether or not a person can ingest the food. This is not to say to test allergies by eating the food (oh gosh no) but rather if the child has always tolerated a food and never had a reaction, she/he is not actually allergic even if the tests say so.

My son's RAST tests were very unreliable and I trust the Skin Prick Test that he did. The RAST tests said that my son's supposed allergy to wheat is a +2, and so is his allergy to peanuts (which he HAS reacted to anaphylactically). His Skin Prick test showed a +5, which is probably much more accurate.

Basically, my allergist said that a +1 or +2 are debatable and subject to interpretation, but plus 3, 4, 5, or 6 on either test are significant and show true allergy. For example, my son's RAST test last year showed a +5 for outdooor mold, and my son has indeed been hospitalized in the spring due to his mold allergy. I believe this result to be accurate.

There are so many opinions out there, even between doctors. I agree that you need to find a doctor that you trust completely. I finally did after 5 years. The previous poster just told you that her doctor believes that the SPT shows false positives and the RAST is more reliable. My allergist told me the exact opposite. So obviously there is some controversy out there. I hope that you find some information you are comfortable with to keep your children safe.

Btw, my allergist gave me a sheet with resources and circled "peanutallergy.com" as an excellent resource, so he can't be too bad. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

All the best,

On Aug 8, 2004

We had a similar testing issue with sesame. Dd had it in Kashi cereal daily as a staple for ages and tested positive. She never had any signs of reaction to sesame. After keeping her away from it for a year, I mentioned this to the allergist(I think I was too overwhelmed with the whole peanut thing the first time). He said in the absence of any reaction to known repeated ingestion there is the assumption of no allergy. Pretty much his words. He just happened to do a panel of related allergens since we were there for PA. I had not reported any sensetivity to sesame. becca

On Aug 8, 2004

I had skin tests recently and whilst pa was no suprise, I tested positive to almonds. I have eaten almonds all my life and I love them. I have never had a problem. Allergist said I can continue to eat them but just be careful because they are usually processed in the same factory as peanuts (would be safer to buy in shell).

On Aug 9, 2004

Our allergist has always been hesitant to test for other foods if Ryan has been eating them with no problems.

His philosophy is: known reactions, positive skin and/or RAST score = true allergy.

There are patients in his practice that test very highly allergic to a specific food, yet never have had reactions. I'm talking adults here. Ryan actually is a case in point. He is definitely peanut allergic through reaction and testing with a high RAST and a big wheal via skin. He was given a RAST for tree nuts when he was 4. Very low positive score compared to peanut--borderline, .99, l.24, and 1.54 results for the big four. This was compared to >100 for peanut on his first RAST and a 64 on his second. Also, there were no known reactions to the vast quantity of tree nuts he had eaten out of bags for baking, cans, and cereals.

He said is his RAST scores are probably false positives. We avoid tree nuts for now, but it is not something that stresses me out.

My husband and I have occasionally discuss this and agree that if we were tested, we would probably show some positives as well.

On Aug 9, 2004

I have heard that testing for allergens in children under the age of two sometimes does not give accurate results. You said your child was 16 months? Maybe this is why she showed so many alleries. I know that my allergist would not test my son until he was past his second birthday. Maybe look into this.

On Aug 9, 2004

I suspect that one reason allergy tests are so unreliable and can vary from year to year is that there are a tremendous number of uncontrolled variables that could contribute to the results. This could also explain the unpredicable nature of the reaction itself.

Things such as:

-what the person has been eating in that time period

-exposure to chemicals

-exposure to drugs

-levels of chemicals and drugs in the drinking water

-level of environmental allergens in the air at that particular time

-exposures to small amounts, (not enough to trigger a noticable reaction), of the allergen through inhalation or ingestion

-time lengths between significant allergen exposures

-mild viruses and bacteria that the immune system could be fighting

-genetics

On Aug 9, 2004

I do not have time to read everyone's info, so forgive me if I am repeating.

I think all doctor's have different opinions about what they consider serious or not. My son has had three skin tests and every time we go back, it shows he is allergic to more and more things. Now I think we are up to 11. I did food eliminations to most of them and he was fine. Maybe a sniffle here or maybe a small headache..but sometimes nothing. These are to like..chicken, turkey, eggs, etc.

Does your child have dry skin? If so, this could be why it showed up now. The nurse also told me that if they have sensitive skin and she presses a little harder on it, then all of those will probably show up as a 1 or a 2. Not such a great testing procedure if this is the case.

My doc says that he usually doesn't consider anything that is a 1 or a 2 unless the child has shown some type of systematic reaction. He says to do the food elim. test first and if nothing, then continue the foods as desired.

Renee

On Aug 10, 2004

When we had my sons RAST test done he came back with the following: Milk-2 Peanut-1 Egg-1 Soy-1 Banana-1 He has never had a skin test. The only reactions we had seen were to milk and peanut. So my allergist told me to avoid milk and peanut all together. He suggested I also avoid the other three egg, soy and banana for a while and then slowing reintroduce them to his diet one at a time. I have done this. He is back on egg and banana but I left out soy because it seems like his eczema is better off of it and I dont find soy too hard to avoid. (I let him have soybean oil and lectithin.)

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