Is allergy doctor really necessary?

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/1999 - 2:03am
Sheila's picture
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Joined: 07/22/1999 - 09:00

I have posted earlier about my 2 year old having a reaction to peanut butter a couple of weeks ago. We now have epi-pens and I will definitely try to keep him away from peanut products and all nuts for that matter. I just wonder if it's really necessary for me to go to an allergy doctor and let him do skin scratch tests (which probably hurt don't they?) and pay him a bunch of money just so he can tell me what I already know: keep him away from peanuts! I really don't think my son has any other food allergies and I wonder if the scratch tests may not be real accurate on a 2 year old anyway. I guess I just feel like the allergist isn't going to tell me anything that I don't already know. Any comments from you more experienced moms would be appreciated!
Sheila

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/1999 - 3:10am
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

pSheila,br /
If your pediatrician is knowledgeable in the area of allergies (and sounds like he/she is) and you know what to do and you carry the Epi-Pen, probably not. We basically started out with an allergist to confirm and document that my son actually had a peanut allergy and that what he was reacting to was the peanut protein and not some other substance. I think, in the future, it may become important to officially "document" the allergy in case you need special assistance in the school system. The documentation would be noted after either a skin prick test or one of the other methods. By the way, when we took my son in at 10 months of age for his first skin prick test, we found out about his egg allergy. At that point, my son had never eaten an egg, but he had eaten products with eggs in them (mayonnaise, egg noodles) with no reaction. He has had subsequent accidental exposure to eggs with no reaction; however, I stil think that it is important to know about the other allergies to try to avoid them so they don't induce asthma conditions or worsen. In many instances, a child allergic to peanuts will have other food allergies, so you might find this information beneficial.br /
Christine/p

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/1999 - 3:18am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pHi Sheila,/p
pI hope you reconsider and take your child to a Board Certified Pediatric Allergist. /p
pMy son has seen his allergist since we found out about his peanut allergy (the hard way) at the age of 10 months old...he is 5 now. We also thought our son was just allergic to peanuts. Come to find out, he was allergic to milk, peanuts, soy, and eggs. We go back to the allergist in August for him to be retested for the egg allergy. He has since outgrown the milk allergy./p
pI know it seems like a pediatrician would be enough but allergies are not their field of expertise. I guess the best way to put this is if we had an ear infection, we wouldn't go to a dermatologist since it's not their field of medicine. Granted, pediatriacians should have some type of knowledge about allergies, but they don't practice this type of medicine day in and day out whereas allergists do./p
pI hope this helps./p
pStay Safe./p

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/1999 - 12:04pm
Lschubert's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

pSheila,br /
Hi, I was told to hold off on the allergist until my son was 3. I finally got a refural at 2.5 because of athsma (and this was only when he was sick with a cold). They would not risk a skin test on peanuts sense we where almost sure it was the cause of the one trip to the E.R.br /
It is easy(for the most part) to avoid pn. But years later (3) with no reactions I was second guessing myself and questioning the pn allergy. I was dillegent but could not believe that perfect so I asked for the rast test. Just to be sure. Why scare everyone and live in fear all the time if it is not true. Of corse the result is we have a definate allergy to peanuts. So now we know and I press on reading lables and scaring my friendsand family. But praise the Lord we still have had no more reactions.br /
If you do decide to go, it may also show other things to watch out for.br /
God Bless. Lori/p

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/1999 - 1:20am
SquirrellyMom's picture
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Joined: 06/29/1999 - 09:00

pSheila,br /
We HAD to see an allergist when my son was 1 year old. We did not know he had peanut allergy. I only knew he was very, very sick, but our family physician NEVER mentioned a food allergy. A Ear/Nose/Throat specialist finally referred us to the allergist because he said something was causing his sinus congestion. The allergist had the RAST test performed we found numerous "minor" food allergies MAJOR peanut allergy. The allergist did suggest we wait until he was older to perform the skin prick tests. We had those done when he was 6 found allergies to dogs dust mites. We have also experienced 2 episodes of asthma-type wheezing during exercising. Our pediatrician is great she is very knowledgeable - however, she prescribed a nasal spray medication for his sinus problems that our allergist said wasn't strong enough. Also, she did not consult with us about measures we should take to control dust mites, or provide us with allergy information. Also, our allergist gave me a letter regarding Josh's peanut allergy so that I could have an "official" paper to put in any school or camp file. This was necessary because we had one emergency room trip because of peanut ingestion the emergency room physician put us off entirely too long. Our allergist said to always carry his letter with us and that if we ever had a "problem" like that again, they should call him immediately. I felt that the allergist was much more knowledgeable in all the "particulars" of the allergies. Our pediatrician had also told us that kids usually outgrow their food allergies sometimes could receive shots to minimize their effects - The allergist explained that shots would help with the dog/dust mite allergies - BUT no way should we ever try to de-sensitize him against the peanut allergy. I just like having my son in the hands of a specialist when it comes to a life threatening allergy like peanut!!!!/p

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/1999 - 4:28am
Sheila's picture
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Joined: 07/22/1999 - 09:00

pI appreciate everyone's responses. I'm going to go ahead and take my son to the allergy doctor next week. The more I've thought about it, I've got lots of questions for the allergist such as what may be causing my son to wake up coughing almost every single night when he never coughs at all during the day. Maybe he's allergic to his pillow or something! I guess I'm also hoping the allergist will tell me that my son's not really allergic to peanuts but I'm pretty positive that he is. I'm trying not to let this whole peanut allergy thing get me down. I can get really worried if I let myself but I'm just trying to remind myself that ultimately my child is in God's hands and He will take care of him. I will just be as informed and careful as I possibly can and teach my child to be careful and that's all I can do!br /
sheila/p

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/1999 - 5:19am
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

pYou mention a night cough. Perhaps you could ask your doctor about asthma. Night coughing is one of Troy's (my son) symptoms when he is asthmatic. In young children coughing is a key symptom. Apparently, in many cases, young children often cough and may not wheeze at all. Troy doesn't have any wheezing unless it is a very severe asthma attack. I have learned that asthma, eczema and allergies often come together. Hope this helps. Take care. /p
p[This message has been edited by Kathryn (edited July 27, 1999).]/p

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/1999 - 7:44am
SteveW's picture
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Joined: 04/08/1999 - 09:00

pSheila,br /
Your comment about your son's pillow reminds me of something that my allergist recommended. I have hay fever (including a dust mite allergy) and bedding is one of the places where dust mites can be a problem. The doctor recommended frequently washing bedding including pillows and comforters in hot water to reduce this problem. Throwing his pillow in the washing machine might not help, but it couldn't hurt./p
pMaryBethW/p

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/1999 - 10:25am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pSheila - I am glad to hear that you have decided to see an allergist! As the person who prepares the food in our home I have felt a lot safer since we had allergy testing. I now know what to watch out for, not that that is an easy job with peanut, soy and egg allergies. /p
pThe good thing about an allergist is this is a doctor that very young children generally don't have to see very often because they don't usually receive shots. We learned yesterday that the type of allergies that require shot generally begin around three but as a rule usually don't cause problems (from inhalation) until many exposures sometimes years later./p
pA few things to think about when picking an allergist:/p
p1. Ask if they do allergy testing on the first visit. There is no need to pay for two visits. We just met with out new allergist (our second one) and after a brief consultation we did skin tests and then received the information concerning the findings. Spencer cried for just a minute with the tests and then was fine. He is a "big baby" so I am confident if he can do it anyone can./p
p2. Make sure they have someone on call at all times in case you have a problem and need to ask questions./p
p3. If you happen to visit your family doctor ask him what his experiences have been with this doctor. We didn't do that with our first doctor and we had considerable problems./p
pGood Luck and Take Care!/p
p------------------br /
Kelly Mbr /
Another Mom in Michigan/p

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/1999 - 10:31am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pSorry Sheila I forgot a couple of things.../p
pOur allergist recommended replacing pillows frequently since they can "hide" germs, bacteria, molds and dust./p
pAlso, I wanted to mention yesterday when we went to the allergist I would have bet my salary that Spencer was not having any allergic symptoms. Unfortunately when they looked in his nose they found congestion and decided to put him on Zyrtec even though he is not 2 yet. I was pretty blown away because I felt like I would know if he was having a problem. Also, the doctor asked us about his "BM's" and we indicated that he has the "runs" all of the time and they said that was from his allergies./p
pIf nothing else a visit to the allergist will put all your questions to rest./p
pI hope some of this help!/p

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/1999 - 12:11am
SquirrellyMom's picture
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Joined: 06/29/1999 - 09:00

pSheila- Yes, so happy you are going to allergist! As I mentioned in my reply to you earlier we found that Joshua has dust mite allergy (very common!!!) and our allergist gave me a catalog for allergy free products. We bought zipper covers for all our pillows our mattresses. This is where the little ugly dust mites live FEED off sloughed off skin (ugh [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]). I don't remember the company name that we bought the covers from - but they are wonderful. We put them on all of our beds because we all wanted to sleep a little cleaner all four of us were staying "stuffed-up" at night (probably those dust mites getting to all of us!) The covers were a little expensive - but when I told the order clerk on the phone that I wanted to cover all our beds pillows I just couldn't afford them - she kindly told me that they always have what they call "seconds" and they were MUCH MUCH cheaper. Still have great protection - only might have a mis-stitch or cut a little off - anyway I bought all I wanted it wasn't too bad on the old pocketbook. When we travel, we take Josh's pillow with us - We were also told to buy only "Vellux" blankets for beds. NO quilts or blankets made out of anything else - they are 100% nylon. I wash them often in HOT water. Allergist said to wash Josh's sheets minimum once a week in the Hottest Water possible - this kills the dust mites. Maybe, this will help with that night cough. Good Luck - [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]/p

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