Just found out - what steps should I take?

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 6:05am
TMG's picture
Joined: 01/05/2007 - 09:00

We have never given our 13 month old daughter peanuts or anything related... although I now see that many things are cross contaminated.

anyways - our dr. wanted to do allergy test because of Audrey's dry skin (eczema) since birth and I ok'd it. They only did a blood draw and tested only a few things. Initially we thought it'd come back positive for milk, however it didn't. Everything was negative except Peanuts.

I don't know what to do now. I have been reading up on it a lot.

I did eat peanuts while I was preg. and while I nursed her, but she only has had the skin condition (dry & a bit itchy)... nothing more than that.

The dr. said we can't do a scratch test until age 2? but she was going to set us up with an allergist.

I guess at this point i'm just wondering... do I just keep her away from peanuts and peanut butter or do I try to avoid anything that may have been cross contaminated as well? I left a message for her because I keep thinking of questions, but she is out for the afternoon - not be back until monday.

in reality we don't even know how severe her peanut allergy is since we haven't really given her peanut stuff!

Any help / advice is appreciated.

Theresa Marie

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 6:16am
barb1123's picture
Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

All allergies are different but in general a peanut allergy can be very unpredictable. People with a low score can go into anaphylaxis and while generally everyone with a high score can go into anaphylaxis not everyone will.
Also some allergic individuals can be contact sensitive. That means merely touching the substance can cause a reaction. My son would be like this and can go into anaphylaxis from contact.
Some can even have a reaction from breathing in the allergen. This is particularly worrisome with peanuts as there is a lot of dust from them.
It is good that you are seeing an allergist. HOpefullly that it soon. I am in Ireland and don't know the system in the States but you might need a letter from an allergist to get prescribed EpiPens. Regardless you should inquire as soon as possible about having at least 2 on hand at all times.
To be safe I would recommend avoiding ALL peanuts, peanut containg products and "may contains". Strict avoidance can help minimize the severity of the allergy though this is not always the case.
Peanut allergies can be unpredictable but if your child also has asthma the risk of anaphylaxis goes up dramatically.
Has your doctor discussed anaphylaxis with you? If not, I can give you more information on that. I would treat ANY peanut allergy as a potentially deadly one.
Different people have different "comfort Zones" that is what they are comfortable with their PA children eating, environment, i.e. school, etc. I would have a tight comfort zone.
You really don't want to experiment with seeing what kind of reactions your child will have. She could have mild itching and hives or she could die or anything in between. I would strongly recommend further talks with a pediatric allergist and getting at least EpiPens as soon as possible.
And welcome to the board.

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 6:29am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My son had his first reaction at 18mos. He had a skin test at 19mos and came up +peanuts and eggs. I just had his cap rast done this summer now he will be 3 this month.
Just make sure you read labels! It really isn't that hard once you get used to it. Don't get me wrong though it is scary! In fact my son broke out in hives last night but I don't know what from! We are a peanut free house and it was while he was eating roast beef (Hillshire Farm-his favorite), grapes and carrots. I guess I will never know, but I did take a picture so my husband would believe me. He says I am a bit of a drama queen! I know you are overwhelmed but call manufacterer and lots of people have great advice here. I have learned so much by going on the site. What was her cap rast numbers?

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 6:54am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

First, I would have your doctor prescribe an Epi-pen, if he hasn't already. I would also carefully review the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction and how to treat, just in case.
I would read all labels and avoid anything possibly containing peanut. This includes bakery items, may contains, or made on shared equipment.
Although your child has not reacted, he tests positive, and like Barb mentioned above, peanut allergies can be severe and very unpredictable.
Good luck and happy searching. I wish I would have found this board when my dd was diagnosed in 98. It would have been so helpful in the early stages of researching and trying to absorb all the information. But 8 years later, this board is still a tremendous help!

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 7:03am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Definitely stay away from anything that could be cross-contaminated. At least until you see an allergist, then it is between you & your doctor. Also, if you haven't already, get a prescription for an epi-pen (for a young child, it would be a jr.).
You said you don't know how severe it is. Unfortunately, that is how it is with peanut allergy--even someone who has always reacted mildly can suddenly have an anaphylactic reaction. So I think it's best to always assume that the next reaction will be a bad one. You can be pleasantly surprised if it's not, but you will be more likely to avoid it in the first place if you make that assumption.
I know it can be overwhelming at first. Go to the manufacturer threads to get an idea of what products are safe, and what isn't. However, be aware there is much difference of opinion. What one person finds safe, another doesn't trust. But it will get you started, then you can make your own decisions.

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 7:22am
2BusyBoys's picture
Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

A great book resource is The Peanut Allergy Answer Book by Dr. Michael Young.
Good Luck!

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 7:54am
MarkiesMom's picture
Joined: 02/23/2006 - 09:00

I believe that a certain percentage of the population carries antibodies to the PN protein, yet is asymptomatic when ingesting PN. Of course, you don't want to be the one to test your dd to find out if she'll react or not. Hopefully your visit to the allergist will clear things up. For now, it certainly can't hurt avoiding all PN and traces/may contains/etc.
My son had reacted to pistachios when he was three -- runny nose, raspy breath, still ran around like a maniac. I didn't think much of it; made an appt. with the allergist a month later, and only avoided tree nuts in the meanwhile. SPT revealed pistachio 4+ peanut 2+. A few allergists' visits later (thanks again to another PA.com member, ended with a great doc involved in research at U of M), RAST tested Class 2 pistachios, and 3 to cashews, my ds is still eating peanut butter (doc didn't want to test IgE for PN -- most likely would be positive), but we avoid all tree nuts and may contains, shared facility, etc.
At times I wonder what may have happened had I never seen an allergist to begin with. Could my son have gone on to eat tree nuts without any issues?? Possibly. But, he may also have suffered an anaphylactic reaction, and at least I had a heads up. Maybe avoiding all tree nuts will help him outgrow the allergy??
Now you're armed with some information (that you probably wished you never knew about!), so look upon it as a good thing. The worst that will come of it is that you remove peanuts from your life. It is a huge lifestyle change, but does get easier over time.

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 9:47am
melissiabeth's picture
Joined: 05/24/2006 - 09:00

I just wanted to say welcome! My daughter who is 2 was also allergy tested because of her eczema and only come back positive for peanuts. She was skin tested. She has also never had a known reaction. She later had RAST testing when we switched allergists.
I just wanted to say that in the short time I've been dealing with this (about 9 months) it does get better. At first I was really freaked out and read so many things that scared me. I did have to take a step back from reading because it everything was overwhelming me!
It does get easier and becomes second nature. Talk to the allergist, do your own research and eventually you'll figure out what your comfort zone is and what is best for your child. Good Luck to you!

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 4:11pm
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 01/06/2007 - 12:40am
TMG's picture
Joined: 01/05/2007 - 09:00

Thank you everyone for your responses. It's so ... I don't know... kind of a relief to hear other's stories. And to know what you've done and experienced. I feel like I can really learn a lot through this board and have already!
So now that we've done only a blood draw test... we'll be seeing an allergist. But should I push to have a scratch test done?
The dr. didn't really say anything other than the test doesn't show numbers, just shows that her blood reacted to the peanuts when tested and that she would set us up with an allergist. and that was pretty much it. I was kinda shocked, as well as the dr. was shocked, so I didn't think of all my questions until later and left a message for her to call me so I can see when we'll be seeing the allergist, etc.
Our next check up is in Feb. with our dr. (15 month check).
We do not have an epi jr. but I will ask the dr. about that when she calls monday!
Thank you to everyone... looks like I'll be going through my cupboards this weekend.
OH one more thing... where to I learn all of the 'secret' names for peanuts? or how to read labels? tia!

Posted on: Sat, 01/06/2007 - 12:54am
maphiemom's picture
Joined: 12/01/2005 - 09:00

I just want to add that if you had not eaten peanuts while pregnant is not a guarantee that your child would not be allergic, so do not blame yourself , she may be predispositioned to be allergic to peanuts, you are now armed with knowledge that you need to be cautious, and it is a managable situation, we are going on 3 years with only one contact reaction so far, you are at the right place to get great advice and support .

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