Mistaking reactions for asthma attacks

Posted on: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 6:50am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Is it possible that my dd's asthma attacks (which come on so quick and seem to be triggered by ???) are peanut exposures?
Most often her attacks happen at school or at friends and have required hospital stays. Sometimes I know they are due to weather changes or a cold, but what about the ones that happen quickly w/o an obvious trigger? She declines so rapidly. Can it be an allergic rx w/o hives or other obvious symptoms IYO?
I was reading the articles on how some fatal allergic rx's have been mistaken as asthma attacks and it got me thinking. Maybe I should be putting more thought into the cause of her asthma attacks. It's also odd that she was dx'd for both at about the same time.

Posted on: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 2:34pm
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

thank you (name edited out by office).
Someone else mentioned in a recent thread that their child had severe asthma symptoms w/o hives etc. until they tightened comfort zone w/peanut. It really got me thinking that maybe exposure was causing some of these asthma symptoms, especially those that are so swift and seem to be w/o an apparent trigger.
I want to add that we have a pretty tight comfort zone and our house is completely nut free- that is why I am concerned that maybe these asthma attacks may be triggered from exposure due to houses we visit having residue etc...even though she eats nothing that isn't from home(aside from the occasional Wendys or Pizza hut). The most severe attacks always occur away from home.
[This message has been edited by krc (edited November 04, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 9:54pm
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

Before DD was diagnosed with asthma, she had 2 asthma-like episodes. She was eating may-contains at that time since we didn't understand the risk, and I know she ate some on those days that were things we didn't normally buy, because she'd gotten them from relatives. In neither case did she get hives or mouth pain (or if she did, they were too subtle to notice -- she only gets a few hives on her face usually, anyway), but in the night she got profoundly labored breathing along with stomach pain. It didn't occur to us or the doctors at the time, but now we and her allergist believe those were peanut reactions. She has since been diagnosed with asthma, but nothing like those times has ever happened with her asthma. She just had a persistent cough until she started medication.

Posted on: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 8:20am
mistey's picture
Joined: 01/18/2004 - 09:00

I have worried about this for years. We do our best to make our home as safe as we can, but I do worry that someday I might "miss" a reaction thinking it is asthma.

Posted on: Wed, 01/10/2007 - 10:46pm
PerthPeanut's picture
Joined: 01/02/2007 - 09:00

You've got me wondering on this one. My big girl has been hospitalised loads of time with asthma, with the absolute works administered to her, for up to 9 days at a time [ouch]! At no time have I considered the possibility of asthma being brought on due to her allergies, specifically peanuts as you mention. Probably because I am so 'anal' about keeping her safe! Hmmm... My understanding was that the hives/welts/swelling/puffy face and eyes etc were simply an allergic reaction, but not connected as such with asthma??? I know that restricted breathing during an allergic reaction can be a double whammy if you're also asthmatic.
Wouldn't it be nice if life were just somehow that bit simpler???
Take it easy!
Wonderful mother to:
3 year old girl - allergic to shellfish, has asthma
6 year old girl - allergic to shellfish, peanuts, cashews, pistachio nuts, various tree nuts, sesame seed, poppy seed, coconut, mandarine, some dogs and cats hair - asthma, eczema and hay fever!!!

Posted on: Thu, 01/11/2007 - 6:35am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Both Nathan Walters and Sabrina Shannon died because their pa reactions looked like asthma attacks. Inhaler was used instead of epi until it was too late for epi to work. It is the reason that asthma is a risk factor for death from anaphylaxis, because if there are no other symptoms people mistakenly think it is an asthma attack and don`t use epi when they should. All of dd`s peanut reactions have looked like asthma. She has never had any symtoms with her pa reactions other than asthma symptoms.

Posted on: Thu, 01/11/2007 - 10:21pm
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

krc, I think that is more common than people realize. I also think it is why reactions are underreported; I'd bet that a lot of ER visits are logged as asthma visits rather than anaphylaxis.
When DS was younger, he always hived up first, then wheezed. In the past few years he's had a couple of reactions with wheezing only; one was him reacting to the breath of his friends after they had eaten Reese's at a b'day party, the other was to trace amounts in a (supposedly safe) cookie.
[This message has been edited by Going Nuts (edited January 12, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/12/2007 - 12:31am
PurpleCat's picture
Joined: 01/28/2006 - 09:00

Yes! I absolutely believe this. Our DD was diagnoised with asthma as an infant and we had many scares in the ER with her. I would be at home telling them the rescue meds weren't working and she was getting very scary - they'd send us to the ER. Many doses of drugs later, she would be home, exhausted and miserable for a few days and at this time was on Predisone.
After we discovered her food allergies and removed what she was allergic to from our home, her ER trips immediately dwindled to maybe one a year!

Posted on: Fri, 01/12/2007 - 12:55am
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

My son's asthma is only present if he has been exposed to an allergen or if he has a cold. For this reason, I do not keep an inhaler at school because I don't want them to administer inhaler instead of epi. Asthma was my son't first diagnosis until I requested the doctor to test for food allergies. Yep, class VI peanuts. He will have small reactions at friends houses and after shopping. I know it is not asthma because he has lots of phlem and drainage and sometimes gets itchy....not typical signs of an astma attack.
This can be a very tricky call to distinguish asthma vs. allergen reaction. I think I have gotten better over the years to understand the different types of coughs. If he has a cold he stays home from school and I administer his inhaler. As he gets older I may change this, but right now this policy is working for us.

Posted on: Fri, 01/12/2007 - 11:34am
luvmyboys's picture
Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

Hmmm...when I posted my experience with this a while back I was told it wasn't likely...go figure. Now I am quite convinced ds has had his 1st 2 allergic reactions in the past couple of months since his diagnosis 4 years ago. It MAY be a new allergy. I am going to have him tested for mustard in particular since this is the only food eaten in common at the time.
Like a PP, Ds has always only had asthma during colds and when it's moldy out. But these do not come on suddenly and there's never an audible wheeze. These last 2 times it came on suddenly with an audible wheeze but his peak flow was still very high in his yellow zone, similar to a viral induced asthma attack but oddly with a wheeze. He did scratch at his chest and belly the first time just a bit but there wasn't a mark on him.

Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2007 - 6:02am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Carefulmom:
[b]Both Nathan Walters and Sabrina Shannon died because their pa reactions looked like asthma attacks. Inhaler was used instead of epi until it was too late for epi to work. It is the reason that asthma is a risk factor for death from anaphylaxis, because if there are no other symptoms people mistakenly think it is an asthma attack and don`t use epi when they should. All of dd`s peanut reactions have looked like asthma. She has never had any symtoms with her pa reactions other than asthma symptoms.[/b]
I just noticed this thread was back up! I had problems w/ my username and had to reregister...haven't been able to post for awhile!
Carefulmom, this is so scary and exactly what I am afraid of!
If her severe, sudden, asthma attacks have been peanut related, I should have used her Epipen on multiple occasions!
I can specifically think of an instance in October at a bday party where she declined rapidly w/ audible wheeze and SOB. Before her nebs, she could hardly move the peak flow! I also gave Benadryl and started prednisone but it took her days to fully recover and return to normal activity.
So I am going to view these sudden attacks as possible exposure reactions from now on. I plan on talking to her doctor about it at our next visit.
OMG< I'm really starting to think we've been lucky and I should have been using her Epipen when she has these sudden attacks [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
If ever one of her attacks were coupled w/ hives or any other symptom, I would have given Epi immediately but since they were not, I have treated as "normal" asthma.
Why did it take me so long to put this together? Her first anaphylactic rx was so severe with multiple obvious allergic symptoms that I think I have sort of compared any future symptoms w/ that reaction.
My action plan is definitely getting a makeover! Thanks for all your replies and good luck to all [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by krc (edited January 16, 2007).]


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