Should I avoid peanuts?

Posted on: Mon, 07/23/2018 - 4:49am
toryadub's picture
Joined: 06/14/2014 - 16:32

I've had a very mild peanut allergy all my life and my last reaction was when I was 10 years old when I did a peanut challenge at the allergist. I got mild symptoms after about 30 minutes when I was halfway through a peanut butter cup. I had mild itching/sneezing and my nose looked swollen. It was my worst reaction yet. But still, they had to use a magnifying glass to see it. The verdict was, I had a "sensitivity". So they gave me an epi-pen to cover their butts. I never needed it though. At one point they thought I outgrew the allergy completely.

I'm 16 so it's been 6 years since that time, which was my last reaction. I go in for a prick test every once in awhile. It shows up as mild every time. I don't go out of my way to avoid thinks that might be cross-contaminated or things that say "processed on the same equipment as peanuts" until a few years ago just to be on the safe side.

I went in for a prick test earlier this year and it showed up a little bit bigger than most times but not my too much. I just got an IgE blood test last week to determine if I really was allergic. Turns out it's completely negative. Which really confuses me, because I thought it would at least show up a little. After all, it's more likely to have a false positive than false negative. My allergist called and said "it looks like she's outgrown the allergy!" She said I'm one of the lucky ones.

So is it possible that I have outgrown the allergy completely within these 6 years?

Like is it possible to have a positive prick and negative blood test? My mom said the allergist said the blood test is more accurate, but when I look it up, people say the skin/prick test is.

My allergist is the top allergist in the whole state.
So I should probably believe her over the internet.

I'm just really confused. Should I still go out of my way to avoid peanuts or should I just let go, and take my allergist's word...

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:27pm
GrownUpLaurenMom's picture
Joined: 07/17/2014 - 22:44

Our experience: My daughter had a blood test come back COMPLETELY negative. We forced a repeat of the test and as expected, it came back very positive, supporting her scratch tests. We do not blood test any more. My advice would be to be very wary of FALSE tests when prior positive tests have been made.
You are right about not trusting what you read on the internet, however. Smart thought. While your allergist may be 'tops', are they a 'food allergy expert'? The top allergist in my area would not put a sign up stating that no food be brought into his waiting room after my then 4 year old had a reaction from picking cookie left on a paper plate by a patient while I was checking us in. The cookie was whole, apparently uneaten and DD did not eat it - she just touched it. He said, "How can we control what gets brought in?" (yet hey did have a sign to be considerate about wearing too much perfune/cologne!!) So much for my 'top allergiest' getting it. The next top-allergist gave us the negative blood test. My advice would be to get a second opinion, if possible.

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:41pm
smithdcrk's picture
Joined: 03/13/2014 - 16:46

Agree that blood work is NOT the full truth.
Our Allergist uses it as a guide. He said every patient is different, each body decides what their reaction levels are. He uses blood work as a trend identifier, and screens for at least one food that is eaten regularly with no side effects as well. When TN indicators dropped over the course of 2-3 years and the levels matched the "safe food," he requested an oral challenge to be done in the office under controlled conditions. Then skin tests after. When blood work, oral and skin challenges were ALL "low risk" or negative we added TN to her diet.

Posted on: Fri, 07/25/2014 - 8:54am's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, is answering one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Thank you for sharing your story with us! Whether or not you’re completely rid of your peanut allergy, it’s a blessing that you haven’t had any serious reactions in the past six years and, according to your doctor, you have a bright, PA-free future!
We’re glad that you’ve been cautious these past few years and have taken steps to properly read food labels and avoid cross-contaminated products. However, it’s important to balance caution and vigilance with leading a healthy life. It’s not too uncommon for people to outgrow their allergies. This video describes how common it is to outgrow a food allergy and how someone is more likely to outgrow it if it’s not too serious.
It’s also possible for your peanut allergy to return if you don’t build a tolerance to the allergens you previously avoided. This article describes how children can outgrow peanut allergies and what steps to take to avoid having them returnIt’s natural to question your doctor’s claim that you’re completely PA free, especially since you’ve been living with this allergy for almost your entire life. But this is a time to be optimistic and try new things. If your doctor has said you will no longer react, why not try some foods you’ve been avoiding these past years and track how you feel afterward? You still have your EpiPen to rely on in case of an emergency, but it sounds like you’re very unlikely to suffer a dangerous reaction.
Getting a second opinion from a different allergist is always a good idea, and it could help to put your mind at ease. This article describes different ways that you may not have explored to test for allergies.
We asked our Facebook fans to share their thoughts on your questions. You can read their feedback here.
We wish you the best and hope you open up to the possibility of being rid of the allergy.

Posted on: Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:29am
toryadub's picture
Joined: 06/14/2014 - 16:32

Thanks for the advice, really, I will follow some of it. BUT I said I had NO reaction to peanuts in the past 6 years. (Because I avoided them. I only ate may contains.)I've NEVER had a serious/moderate reaction. Only mild.

Posted on: Sun, 07/27/2014 - 3:51am
juanita1173's picture
Joined: 11/16/2013 - 11:26

I was really surprised that the didn't contain the obvious answer: do a peanut challenge at the allergist's office!!!
Why, in the world, would you suggest that the person, who fears she might still be allergic (and from the answers in the comments, it looks like that could be the case), test out the theory at home away from medical attention? Why not do it at the allergist's office?
If your allergist never suggested a peanut challenge, get a new allergist.
I've read lots of articles where folks who were not very cautious went their whole life without a reaction and then died because they had an ana reaction without their epi-pen :( They surely ate foods that said "may contain" and ate at restaurants where cc was a real possibility. I imagine that they had small exposures over the years, without a serious reaction. Many article says the person knew they would just get itchy mouth, a couple hives, take a Benedryl and be fine. They knew their body's like clockwork. Then one day their body reacted completely differently and it killed them. So heartbreaking! The problem with darn food allergies is that your body can react very differently depending on the day and the state of your immune system :( .
Personally, if it were me, I would do a peanut challenge. If I passed I would be sure to eat something containing peanut at least every few days for the rest of my life, and I would probably carry an epi with me for life- or at least for a few years- due to possibility of the allergy popping back up.
But even with doing those little extras, taking a food challenge and passing would afford you a life of so much wonderful normalcy- normalcy that I can only pray that my daughter has some day! Find a doc that will do a peanut challenge in the safety of their office (and observe you for three hours afterward) and then enjoy what I hope you find is a newfound level of sweet freedom! :)
Mama of daughter who is ana to pn/tn

Posted on: Sun, 07/27/2014 - 4:09am
Mrsdocrse's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Hi There
You are one of the luck ones! I can understand your reluctance to all of a sudden start eating a food you have avoided for a long time. I have also heard of the allergy returning if you don't put it in your diet regularly. I would ask the questions to your allergist.
I know that you can have a positive test to a food but actually not be allergic. My son tested positive to tomato (skin prick test) and he has always eaten it with no problem at all.
Check with your allergist and ask him what you should do. But sounds to me like you have out grown it! good for you! Don't trust the internet!!! Call your allergist and tell him what you are feeling and ask him to explain why he /she thinks you have outgrown it. What is that based on... Ask it he would like you to do a food challenge again.
good luck

Posted on: Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:08pm
garyclark's picture
Joined: 08/21/2014 - 05:54

It seems to be the severe problem, but before you avoid it, you need to consult any doctor and take some medicines for this allergy.

Posted on: Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:41am
kperalez816's picture
Joined: 09/02/2014 - 18:15

Around your age, I started developing mild allergy symptoms to peanuts. I didn't really think much of it until college when I touched the outside of a bowl at a conference with almonds in it and broke out all over my hands. Shortly after, I started my food allergy testing. I showed mild reactions on the scratch test to peanuts and tree nuts, blood tests came back negative. They had me come in for a food challenge. I was having an anaphylactic reaction with in the shortest time frame (15 minutes if I remember correctly). A couple months later I almost died from an allergic reaction due to cross contamination.
If you are concerned, that you might still be allergic, please get a second opinion. We took my 19 month old daughter to the top allergy office in the area that supposedly specialized in pediatric allergy. The allergist we saw there refused to do a skin test, went straight for a blood test and then told us we should do a food challenge at home. We haven't gone back. Listen to your gut. If your gut says you may still be allergic, you might still be allergic.

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