Just found out my 14 month old son is PA (SCARED IN IDAHO)

Posted on: Wed, 05/23/2001 - 4:56pm
Peytons mommy's picture
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Joined: 05/24/2001 - 09:00

pHello everyone,br /
On Friday, 18th of May we went to see an allergist and found out my son was PA. (90% chance of a reaction) The night before his appointment, my husband gave him 2 small bites of pie that had peanut extract in it and our son immediately started coughing and a few hours later vomited. He also cried all night.(he developed a rash all over his face too) We were told by our pediatrician that he was allergic to milk and peanuts and to just try to avoid them. She didn't tell us the severity of his PA and that he could actually die from it!!! She didn't even tell us about the EpiPen!!! I feel so guilty (as do my husband) that we made our poor baby suffer all night. We didn't know he was having an anaphylactic reaction. I've been reading all your messages until 2AM since we found out. It scares me to death!! The allergist told us how serious this could be and we now have the Epipens. I know I have a few years before he starts school but, I worry about that now especially after that boy in Wash. died. I'm so glad to read all of your messages...I learn something everyday from them. I do have some questions. He is almost 15 months now and is so small (only 17 lbs). He grew at a normal rate the first six months of his life and stopped growing from 6 to 12 months. (he has bad eczema also)Do you think this could be a result of his allergies? I'm still nursing him and I worry if I eat something with peanut protein...could he have a reaction to it through my breastmilk? I'm so glad to find this website..I need all the support I can get. We are military and we have no family close by./p

Posted on: Wed, 05/23/2001 - 6:32pm
Rach's picture
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Joined: 05/01/2001 - 09:00

Welcome to the boards!
You mentioned your child's growth - there is already a thread on this topic with a lot of responses that might help you. It is posted under Reactions/Stories.
I haven't got any children, so I can't help you very much, but when my mum breastfed, she would act as if she was allergic to nuts so that she completely avoided them. I don't know if this is necessary, but something managed to control my reactions- maybe it was that?
The only way to be safe is to be completely sure about what the situation is. I find that the more worked up about something I become, the more I put myself at risk because I am not calm enough to think about the entire situation - I just think about the present. I find that when I am relaxed and think about hat I am going to be doing, when I could be exposed to nuts and how I can prevent a reaction, things generally go very smoothly.
Take care,
Rach

Posted on: Wed, 05/23/2001 - 9:55pm
Rach's picture
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Under the Main Discussion Board, there is a thread on breastfeeding/pregnancy that you may find useful.

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2001 - 7:44am
Wilton's picture
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Joined: 12/15/2000 - 09:00

Peyton's Mommy,
Welcome to the subculture. Isn't it amazing how life can take directions that you never knew existed? Take heart - many of us have unwittingly caused our children to suffer on the advice of woefully ignorant pediatricians.
We did exactly the same thing to our little Katherine. We gave her a taste of a peanut cookie when she was just over 2, and later noticed a little rash around her mouth. Since there were other possible causes for the rash, we didn't think much of it. But we did ask our pediatrician. The pediatrician should have said "see an allergist - get a blood test". Instead, she said "wait until Katherine is 3 then give her a little peanut butter". Needless to say, we followed her advice and Katherine got to see the inside of an ambulance and got to taste an oxygen mask.
So, do not punish yourself for taking the advice of someone who is paid very well to be educated in areas where you are ignorant. You're doing exactly the right thing in reading everything you can on the web. You will soon be better educated than your pediatrician on this particular topic. The knowledge you gain and the understanding you pass on to those around you will serve as the best possible protection for your child.
Re your question about breast feeding. There was a recent study that hit the press that determined beyond a doubt that peanut proteins can pass unchanged from mother to child via breast milk. I don't have a handy link to the study, but I believe it was out of the University of Toronto and should be easy to find via a web search.
Remember Friday, May 18th. Your life just took a major turn. But I firmly believe that by educating yourself and then by educating (sometimes aggressively) the other people in Peyton's life, you can give him a safe, happy childhood.

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2001 - 8:11am
Wilton's picture
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Joined: 12/15/2000 - 09:00

Disregard this - server problem resulted in a duplicate posting.
[This message has been edited by Wilton (edited May 24, 2001).]

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2001 - 2:38pm
MattsDad's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Welcome to the Scared to Death Club. Our son had his first reaction to peanuts when his sister gave him a peanutbutter sandwich (which he didn't eat just put it to his face)we thought it was due to a bar of soap he got hold of. His second reaction also came courtesy of his sister, but there was nothing else to blame. Our family doctor's advice was "Well no more peanutbutter sandwiches for him." When you consider all of the other products which contain peanuts it's a wonder we still have him. READ EVERY LABEL! And I mean read every label, ice cream, chili, coffee, bean bag chairs, shaving cream, and so on and so forth. You are not half as scared as you're going to be. Just remember you're not alone and it can be done. Being scared is a good start.

Posted on: Thu, 05/24/2001 - 6:41pm
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Joined: 09/17/2000 - 09:00

Just wanted to add to my husband's (MattsDad) post. Yes, allergies CAN contribute to or cause growth problems. Our son was breastfed from birth until 3mo of age after he lost 7oz in a month. After switching to formula, he gained well for a week. Then he quit gaining. From then until the time we began introducing solid foods, and ended up eliminating the formula within about 3wks, he gained either VERY little, VERY slowly, or occasionally LOST weight. His percentiles slipped from over the 50% in weight and 25% in height at birth to far below the charts in height and under the 5% in weight by the time he was 5mo old. That was right around the time we discovered he was PA, incidentally.
Numerous tests and a visit to a pediatric gastroenterologist gave us no answers. It wasn't until January of this year when we took him to an allergist (as a direct result of stumbling onto this site in October of last year) that we FINALLY got a probable answer to his FTT (failure to thrive) and other problems (goopy eyes, arching of the back, not wanting to be held while eating, lethargic periods, periods of NO appetite, ashen color, etc, etc, etc) when he was an infant.
Probable answer? Food allergies. Our theory now is that he began having problems and losing weight while on breastmilk because I was eating things he had developed allergies too. Of the things he has since tested positive to, I was eating: peanuts, carrots, peaches, watermelon, and chocolate. He appeared to be doing better for a short time after switching to formula, because he was no longer being exposed to those allergens. However, after drinking the formula for a few days, he developed another allergy and began having problems again, which did not go away until we eliminated the formula and fed him solid foods only. See, one of the ingredients listed in the formula is coconut oil. He has since tested positive for a coconut allergy. We were effectively poisoning him, little by little, every day of his life for 8mo. =(
He did tremendously better once off the formula, but still had minor problems with rashes, goopy eyes, and other minor complaints. We think most of those were probably being caused by the occasional peaches and chocolate he was eating, if not from peanut products that we were unaware he was getting (we didn't know yet to read every label, but we weren't giving him obvious peanut products). Coconut is not a part of our diet anyway, so he wasn't getting anymore of that, and the carrots and watermelon he flat out refused to eat any time I offered them, so he was naturally avoiding those allergens as well.
Today he's still short, but his weight/height proportion is so good that he's actually a chunk o' hunk. =) I was SOOOOOOO pleased to be able to say that the first time. I still am really, because for months I knew he was sick but didn't know why and didn't know how to help him. I spent countless hours researching online, and took print-outs on various possible causes to my doctor, but not once did I suspect allergies. Apparently none of the 3 doctors that saw Matt during that time did either. Regardless of the fact that during this time we mentioned to our regular doctor that he had facial swelling after touching peanut butter to his mouth.
Another example of allergies affecting growth is my daughter, who has also always been small (though never in as bad a position as Matt was there for awhile!). We recently noticed a connection between her increased milk intake and her eczema flaring from mild to "Omigosh! What do I do now?" and eliminated milk from her diet to see what would happen. What happened is that her eczema clearly up almost completely within 2wks, but would flare after accidental exposures (even in minute amounts), AND that she gained *2 POUNDS!!!* in about 6wks. She has never gained so well! She too, is still small for her age, but again, her weight/height proportion is at a much better level now.

Posted on: Fri, 05/25/2001 - 12:48am
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Joined: 04/13/2001 - 09:00

Hi Peytons Mommy. I too only recently found out about my son PA. (4 months ago) Although I suspected PA, I let my son try a little tiny piece of a peanut (I too didn't know the dangers of having PA). That's when my eyes opened to the dangers, he immediately grabbed his throat and turned bright red. He said it was hard to breath, then he started vomitting, it was horrible to watch, he is only 3 years old. We rushed him to the hospital where the doctors told us he is anaphylactic to peanuts.
That's when my world turned upside down. I went on the internet and started my research on this allergy. I couldn't believe that I could have killed my son that night (I still think about what could have happened that night). It took me about a month to start sleeping properly again. For me though, I found that finding as much info on PA is extremely helpful in dealing with it. This site is a great start.
I used to eat a lot of peanut butter when I was pregnant. I never ate while nursing, but then again I only nursed for a month and a half. At this conference I attended on allergies in Kingston, there was a doctor (I think it was Dr. Vadas) there discussing the latest findings on peanut proteins being passed on to the baby through the breast milk. He said that they tested the breast milk and they found high levels of peanut protein in it. I don't know if it would be enough to cause a reaction, but he did say that the babies were being exposed to it. They are still trying to determine if this kind of exposure is actually making the babies immune to having PA or is making them more prone to having PA, because not all babies came down with PA after being exposed through breastmilk. I would speak to your allergist about it, he should know about this latest research.
Personally speaking, if I were to become pregnant again, I would avoid peanuts and peanut butter all together. Hope this helps.
Tina

Posted on: Mon, 05/28/2001 - 2:31pm
Peytons mommy's picture
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Joined: 05/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi,
Thank you for all your responses. It's so nice to have the support and someone to talk to anytime. Any advice you can give me would be great. I have a question about Benedryl. Peyton's allergist didn't mention it...we just got the EpiPen from her. It seems that everyone has this Benedryl on hand at all times. Is it a prescription or over the counter? Does it seem to help? I don't ever want to have to give my son that EpiPen if it's just a mild reaction and the Benedryl could help. Does it work immediately?? Thanks again for responding!!!!
Peyton's Mommy

Posted on: Mon, 05/28/2001 - 6:17pm
MattsMom's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2000 - 09:00

Our Benadryl is OTC. We use it for any mild reactions Matt has to ANY of his allergens. It generally clears up these mild reactions within a few minutes. Our allergist has basically told *us* (allergists have differing opinions on this) to always use the Epipen, follow with a tsp of Benadryl, and a call to 911, with a peanut reaction, though. She's told us to use it:
If we know he has ingested peanuts, whether or not he is showing symptoms yet.
If we suspect he has ingested peanuts, whether or not he is showing symptoms yet.
If he has touched peanuts (he's contact sensitive) and has any respitory symptoms OR facial swelling OR has hives and any other symptom.
If he has any respitory symptoms OR facial swelling OR has hives and any other symptom; regardless of what caused or possibly caused the reaction.
She feels that the policy "Better Safe Than Sorry" applies here, and has said that she would rather we use it needlessly and deal with a hyperactive kid for a couple of hours, than hesitate to use the epipen because we're "not sure" when it is needed. Again, for *us*, our allergist said to use the Benadryl only (but epi later if any of the above situations came into play, of course) for the reactions we knew weren't caused by peanuts that included ONLY hives or redness (like around the mouth).

Posted on: Mon, 05/28/2001 - 9:59pm
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Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

Our 2 1/2 year old little girl is PA and was diagnosed at 17 months old. Regarding your question about Benadryl-we seem to have to use that a lot! We haven't ever had to give her an Epi-pen shot since she was diagnosed with her allergy (thank goodness), but she does get "topical" reactions to peanuts about once every couple weeks. She will get hives on her face or hands from the playground, grocery carts, toys at other children's houses, and at the mall. We think she is coming in contact with peanut residue and she just gets a few bumps on her face or hands. A teaspoon of Benadryl and us watching her CLOSELY seem to do the trick. I am always prepared to give her an epi-pen injection if needed, but so far none has been needed.
I am glad you have found this web site, it will be very comforting and informative for you. Finding out about your child's allergies can be very overwhelming. You will find your "comfort zone" and it will become second nature to read labels, talk to people about it, and be able to sleep a little easier. It just takes time (and a lot of reading). [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] good luck with everything.
Shandra (mom to Madeline, 2 1/2 year old PA)

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