Is it time for tree nuts?

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2007 - 11:39pm
kcjenn's picture
Joined: 07/27/2004 - 09:00

So now my PA son is 5 years old as of last month (sigh! where did the time go?). His PA diagnosis was 3 years ago, May 16th.

Prior to our big peanut kaboom, he was consuming many tree nuts or products with tree nuts without any issues--almonds for sure, pecans and walnuts, too. He was not skin tested for any tree nuts after our peanut incident (I know now that he probably should have been). His RAST (not cap) for peanut score a year and a half ago was 76.31, class VI. Definitely allergic. Dr originally said that we should keep feeding him tree nuts, but we chose to avoid after doing research and due to cross-contamination issues. We have allowed him to (sometimes) eat foods that are labeled "may contains" or "processed in a facility" with tree nuts, but have not let him have anything with actual tree nuts in it (to our knowledge).

How have you handled this with your kids? Should I get him skin-tested before reintroducing tree nuts into his diet? Which tree nuts to test him for? We also have a 2yo who is avoiding all tree nuts and peanuts until about 3 (when we will have her seen by an allergist) so that's a wrinkle, too.

I have a recommendation for a new allergist who is a pediatric allergist and very focused on food allergies (our original doc is more focused on environmental allergies, which was great for me, but we found him a bit too "casual" about the peanut thing). We haven't seen this new doc yet though.

Just trying to gather some advice. It *would* be nice to have some Blue Diamond almonds (which are peanut-safe I believe?) once in a while. But I've been too nervous to try it. My gut feeling is that he is totally fine with most tree nuts given his past experience, but it has been so long and I'm so used to avoiding all nuts like the plague.



Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2007 - 11:55pm
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

DD is TNA too, so I can't really share our experience, but just a friendly reminder that tree nuts are in different familys. You can be allergic to some but not all (although once you are diagnosed avoiding all is reccomended).
So even if your child has eaten and is not allergic to certain types of tree nuts, others might be a problem. A friend of mine just discovered she is allergic it cashews and pistachios, the hard way with a pretty bad reaction, while she has eaten other tree nuts before. RAST tests can check for the variety of tree nuts.

Posted on: Sat, 05/12/2007 - 12:45am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

I'm in a similair boat here. Allergist said that peanut free tree nuts were ok - but he had never eaten them before so we haven't started. I am pretty new to this - he was only diagnosed in Jan.
My thought in reading your post is that you should wait until you see the doc. I would want a skin test done myself before reintroducing those nuts. He/she may have a certain protocal that they will want you to follow to do this. I think it would help also to get you off on the right foot with the doc - although I wouldn't do it for that reason alone.
Good luck! Please let us know what happens and what the doc says. [img][/img]

Posted on: Sat, 05/12/2007 - 10:20am
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Gosh, that's a toughie.
My son developed new food allergies after his doctor said he wouldn't (around age 4 or 5). Given that, we waited until around age 8 to introduce tree nuts. We're also [i]extremely[/i] careful - we generally shell nuts ourselves (or, at the very least, wash them thoroughly to make sure we get the peanut dust that may be on them from traveling in the same truck).
It's tricky because nuts can be a life-long, life-threatening allergy. At the same time, they're an awesome source of protein and they've helped us fatten our kid up a little! Making baklava from scratch is my personal labour of love for my child...)
I think you have to talk with your doctor since there are so many variables.

Posted on: Sat, 05/12/2007 - 12:08pm
hopechapel's picture
Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

The doctors differ on this. I would get the Rast test for all tree nuts asap before giving him a nut. I brought this issue up and was provided with some convincing info -- 30-40 percent of PA will sesnsitze to treenuts.

Posted on: Sat, 05/12/2007 - 9:59pm
kcjenn's picture
Joined: 07/27/2004 - 09:00

Thank you for your thoughtful replies. This is a tricky conundrum, isn't it?
I had no idea that nut allergies could run in "nut families". So I am very much appreciative of that information. Makes sense, though.
It would be nice to be able to eat tree nuts. Of course, we are doing just fine without them! And it would be good for us and my son to know if and which ones he's allergic to. Since we avoid all of them anyway, I haven't been worried. But as we are reaching this next step, I'm kind of kicking myself for not having had him tested before now.
I think that we might use this as a reason to set up an appointment with this new allergist. I'd like to go ahead and get established with this practice anyway, especially before my daughter reaches the age of 3, when we'll have another big decision to make!
Thanks again,
~Jenn in Georgia
DS (5) PA, DD (2) NKA

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