i still don\'t understand this....

Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 2:20pm
joeybeth's picture
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i know i've touched on this before but i'm still so confused about fa's.

why....if my two PA girls are also both allergic to wheat, soy, egg, milk, chocolate, tomato, etc..... are they able to consume these things safely when other children have serious problems if they consume them????

i have seen my girls' skin tests and numbers to soy, wheat, egg and milk, for example, and i know that they are as "allergic" (testwise anyway) to those things as they are to peanut. i just don't get why they are definitely anaphylactic to peanut but have very mild problems (if any) to the others.

we do have lots of skin issues but no other noticeable problems to the other allergens and have not been told by our allergist or pediatrician to avoid those foods. however, our allergist is adamant that we avoid peanut at all costs and remain prepared with meds at all times (which i agree with after seeing a few reactions in the past).

i just don't understand why my girls consume milk in large quantities on a daily basis while being technically 'allergic' to it while others like kailey (god bless her parents) cannot tolerate even a taste on a fingertip.

does anyone understand this?

Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 11:10pm
saknjmom's picture
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I know what you're saying, Joeybeth. My ds tests positive for soy and outgrew an egg allergy.
He eats stuff with soy...in fact when he was a toddler (before diagnosis) he used to eat soy cheese and all kinds of soy based foods. Same with egg....I never gave him a scrambled or fried egg, but he ate foods with egg. With the eggs though, he would react if he touched an egg in the shell or if he touched raw eggs.
I did notice that if I was careful and got soy out of his diet, his eczema would improve. He outgrew the egg allergy, but if he touches raw eggs, he still gets itchy and if he eats too many scrambled eggs, sometimes gets a hive or two.
I don't get it either....

Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 11:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My older brother, who is allergic to peanuts, can eat them. His reactions are very minor and only when he eats large quantities. (He doesn't like pb, but for example if he ate about 2 dozen peanuts, he would get a little itchy rash.)
Personally, I don't understand the more/less allergic. After what I've been through, I would avoid even trace amounts of any allergen. (Just my opinion.)

Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 11:35pm
joeybeth's picture
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i get what you are saying about avoiding all allergens but my girls literally drink about 5 full glasses of milk every single day in spite of a milk allergy. this does not include the milk they have on cereal or the other milk products they consume, like cheese. i see no reason to eliminate it from their diet since it "seems" to pose no serious problems for them - particularly since the peanut allergy has already limited them so much. same with soy and wheat and egg for us. if i knew which one(s) were the cause of their skin problems i would most likely eliminate or reduce them from their diets. at the moment i don't feel particularly irresponsible continuing to give them wheat, soy, egg and milk because the difference between those allergies (for them) and the peanut allergy is very much night and day different. with peanut exposure we have immediate, severe, progressive anaphylaxis symptoms. when they were much younger the egg did pose minor problems for them (itchy throat and redness around lips), especially if it was raw or undercooked. during those years we did avoid egg. as far as i know, my girls never reacted to their wheat, soy and milk allergies. when they were babies they were put on soy based formula due to problems with breastfeeding and regular formulas. i do think, in retrospect, that the soy formula may have been the cause for their horrible skin as babies. they were just miserable with raw, oozy skin. at the present time they still have skin issues but much less severe and manageable - mostly very dry patches of skin and itching. i should probably do some sort of elimination diet for them to try and find out which allergen is the culprit but i have hesitated to do so because of the limitations already imposed on them by the peanut allergy.

Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 11:38pm
MommaBear's picture
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joeybeth, forgive me if you've explained it before, but how did your children become diagnosed with a "milk allergy"? What events lead up to it. They have an "official" diagnoses, right?

Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2007 - 11:46pm
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Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

I know 2 people who can eat peanuts and have a little discomfort. Itching. And every now and then when they crave they deal with the discomfort. But everyone else including me and my son I know with PA react worse. Every individual is different and this also confuses other people about how severe PA can be when they know that uncle so and so was allergic and eats peanuts every now and then. Also peanuts are more dangerous then having an allergy to veggies. I have MFA and peanuts are more scary then the veggies although 2 veggies I have severe reaction to like swelling of mouth and tongue.
[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited January 22, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 12:32am
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

This is exactly my questioning in my post about the milk....if you're allergic, you should be allergic, but there are soooooo many variations that it is hard to know if down the road, it won't turn deadly one day. What I hate the most, is the uncertanty with food allergies, you can be fine one exposure and dead the next. My 8yr old just JUST tested(I took her to talk about ashtma and they allergy tested her, I had no need to test her prior) but she came back postive to chocolate and beef???? What, she's been eating those for years and years! (I just have skin results, 10/5 for beef and 5/4 for chocolate...they are pretty low) so the advice given was eat in moderation. That confuses my other kids and family because they aren't allowed one ounce of nuts(or eggs, soy, milk pork and beef) no room for moderation at all.
Now just last week she ordered a Whopper Jr and chocolate milk, within 15 min she had a migraine and was feeling icky, so she is learning what *moderation* means. I've told her no more of either for now, just easier that way. But like Joeybeth said too, about the eggs, those have confussed me for years.....my son dipped his finger in cake batter and his throat started squeezing, but a day or so later, hubby gave him a piece of that same cake...nothing happened. WHY?????????????? I want this to be yes or no, not maybe.
I also wanted to voice, my 6yr old had eczema since he was little....I've really cracked down this last year with what he eats(egg/peanut/tree nut allergies) and his skin has gotten sooooo much better. I even quit using the rx-ointment and we just use baby lotion after his baths, no flair ups.

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 12:35am
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Anonymous (not verified)

For me, peanuts were always an inconvenience. But sesame seeds would kill me. Over the years, my reactions to peanuts have gotten worse. I'm not about to self-test to see if the reaction would now be anaphylactic. I've always accepted that one day it would be.
My sister reacted worse with soy or green peppers then to peanuts. (Though she did react whenever she ate peanuts, it was less severe.)
Come to think of it, I know a few kids that react worse to milk then to peanuts. (One is now a young adult but I knew him as a child.)

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 1:20am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

my middle daughter was diagnosed at 12 months as allergic to peanut, wheat, milk and soy based on testing done with a pediatric allergist in memphis after her first anaphylactic reaction to a lick of pb off the tip of my little finger (dumby me - i didn't know not to give her peanut products). apparently the milk, egg, wheat and soy (among other potential allergens) were just something they happened to test for at the same time as the testing was done for peanut.
same with my youngest daughter who was tested before any reaction just before 12 months. we just had her tested as a precaution and discovered she had the exact same allergies as her sister.
later the girls have both added several allergies to the list (either that or they just weren't tested for those in the beginning and have always been allergic to the others as well).
so yes..i guess this would serve as a "diagnosis" although we've never seen physical evidence of their other allergies, other than the occasional egg reactions i mentioned above (unless of course you count the skin prick reactions and the eczema).
i'm just always baffled as to why some people have major problems with egg and milk, for example, and my kids don't seem to. at least with peanut and treenuts there seems to be less variation. it seems rare to find someone "mildly" allergic to those. for us, i swear you'd not ever know the girls are allergic to wheat, soy, egg, milk, tomato, chocolate, etc...unless you saw it in their medical records (and checked their sandpapery little legs.) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited January 22, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited January 22, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 1:30am
new2PA's picture
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This doesnt answer your question but our allergist said "Peanut is different". DS had his first (and only) SPT at almost 12 mos old. He had his first blood test at 1 1/2, the second at 2 1/2, and the last one at 3 1/2. The first blood test showed egg white at 9.89, egg yellow at 4.something, and peanut at 4.97 (forget the exact levels).
I asked the dr if/when he'd do an oral challenge, he said when the numbers had to come down to 20% of the original level before he'd consider a food challenge, but that was just for egg. For peanut, he said he'd have to be negative on the blood test before he'd do another SPT, and he SPT would have to be negative before he'd consider a peanut challenge, and he wasnt sure he'd be OK w/an oral challenge for peanut then anyway, because "Peanut is different". He didnt really elaborate on "how" it's different, and I didnt know enough about allergies at the time to push for a better answer.
DS's second blood test, all of his levels came down considerably, enough that the Dr OK'd him to eat eggs that were made in pancakes, cakes, etc, but said to hold off on scrambled eggs and things that were "blatant" egg prodcuts. So, he learned he likes pancakes, waffles, etc, and had his first piece of real cake that year.
Last year, after having eaten certain egg containing prodcuts with no problems and at least one accidental exposure to mayonnaise in tuna salad, we had the blood test done again. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited b/c I was SURE he'd outgornw his egg allergy and would have a zero on his egg test. Wrong. When the nurse called and said his egg white level was 1.35 (I think...1 point something), I was crushed.
I was so sure the dr wouldnt entertain the idea of a food challenge, b/c he was not a zero. I scrambled an egg and took it with me that day, "just in case". I talked with the dr and asked him when he'd consider a food challenge, that I had brought an egg that day. He looked over his chart, and said "Yeah, I think we can go ahead with that...I think he'll be OK".
So we fed him one bite of the egg. No problem. Later we fed him a few bites of egg, no problem. He ended up eating about half of the egg I brought, with no reaction. So the dr said it looked like he had outgrown his egg allergy and we could feed him any kind of egg product we wanted.
So, as of June 06, he had outgrown his egg allergy, although he still had a 1+ on his blood test.
He will have another blood test in June 07. Of course we hope the test shows he's outgrowing it, but what we realistically shoot for is that the level isnt going up.

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 1:38am
bethc's picture
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What about false positives in testing? Sometimes that's the answer. It does happen, although I don't know the likelihood. I thought it was more likely in a blood test than a skin test; is that right? I've read that reaction history is part of the diagnosis, that you can't entirely know if you have a food allergy without knowing if you react to actually eating the food. Hence, food challenges.
Some people are allergic to raw eggs but not to cooked eggs. It depends on which protein they're allergic to and if it's broken down by cooking. Some people with an egg allergy can eat baked goods made with eggs but not plain eggs (scrambled, fried), even if thoroughly cooked. I wonder how that affects a child's ability to outgrow the egg allergy, to still eat things with egg in them. But the baked goods don't cause a reaction. I know 2 people like that, one a child and one an adult.

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 6:38am
bonestable's picture
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I think false positives are reasonably common. I thought a true diagnosis of an allergy is only made if there is a reaction history, not just from a positive test.
My DD has tested positive to sesame, coconut and peanut. She has never eaten any of these and we avoid them. So we don't know if she is really allergic. We may consider doing oral challenges when she is older, if her levels are low enough.
She also recently tested positive to soy and wheat, but she has been eating these fine for 2 years, so neither the allergist or I consider her allergic.
I am reading Scott Sicherer's new book - he estimates that 5-8% of the general population would test positive to peanut allergy, whereas only 1-3% are actually allergic.

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 11:11am
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Is a positive "blood test" or "skin prick test" in and of itself, indicative of a food allergy?

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 1:33pm
joeybeth's picture
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not sure. i just assumed that they were indicative of allergies given the information i was given by the pediatric allergists (three different ones) and the size of the reaction spots on their skin and their numbers.
i could be wrong. maybe because my kids obviously could pass food challenges to the wheat, milk, soy and egg; that is indicative of them not being allergic to them (or perhaps being only mildly allergic to them).
i did have one pediatric allergist who told me the girls had effectively outgrown those allergies during testing once a few years ago(the skin pricks had gone down tremendously). however, upon retesting a couple of years later, the results were once again as high or higher than peanut.
the whole thing just confuses me. i am not sure but i would bet that my girls' skin tests and numbers are as high as some peoples' that are severely allergic to say...wheat, egg, milk and soy. of course that's just speculation on my part. could be totally wrong. i just don't get why my girls don't react or react so mildly. don't get me wrong...i'm thrilled to be so fortunate but it does bother me sometimes. i have a little nagging in the back of my mind that one day they will react to something they have not previously had a serious reaction to.

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