My 3yo daughter seems to have a peanut allergy to me, but the allergist's testing seemed to indicate no allergy at all. How can this be?
At nearly a year old I gave her a small peanut butter sandwich (her brother's favorite snack at the time). She never actually ingested the peanut butter but she broke out in red blotchy hives everywhere that it touched her and part of her lip swelled up. I mentioned it to the dr. at her 1 year check up and they told me to avoid all peanut products with her and when she turned 2 we would do allergy testing.
Last year I finally got an epipen and a referral for the allergist. They performed the scratch test on her back. It seemed to me that she did react to the peanuts (and to sesame as well). Those patches turned just as red and puffy as the histamine control spot did, but they felt that she didn't really even have a strong enough reaction to the histamine either. SO, they sent us out for the blood work version. That test was completely negative, and the allergist said that test never has false negatives. He did recommend bringing her in for the challenge test, but we never had the chance while the referral was still valid due to the delays from his office in getting back to us. Also the though of her actually eating the peanut butter with such a severe skin reaction scares me (this was also about the time the girl at camp died from her peanut allergy at camp - was all over the news).
Well, now our epipen is expired and I fear that we won't get a new one because of those negative tests. I did a small skin test on her tonight. I put a little peanut butter on her back where she couldn't reach it. No reaction. But then I put a little bit right beside her lip, about 20 minutes later there was a raised red rash that spread a bit but was mostly gone in about another 20 minutes. I took pictures to show to the doctor, just like I did the first time. I will still avoid all peanut products with her as well. Just wondered if anyone else had any similar experiences, and whether they ever truly figured out if your child is/isn't allergic.
By minnie rose on Jul 26, 2014
Sorry, I didn't mean to post 3 times. Computer lag didn't show any action going on.
By 8allergymom on Jul 27, 2014
What I have been told by both my pediatrician and allergist is the reaction of the child is what you trust most and trust first over any allergy testing. Next reliable is skin testing followed by the blood work. Trust your instincts as a mother and your daughters reactions above any testing. And if you are being dismissed or ignored by your doctors you should do some research and find new doctors who take what you have to say seriously and listen to your concerns. Look at local children's hospitals to make sure you have a doctor who specializes in food allergies in children.
I did have a similar experience but much different reactions from the doctors. I had my son tested for allergies when he was 18 months due to severe skin rashes. The skin test did not show any reactions, but the blood work indicated a dairy, egg and wheat,tree nut and wheat allergy. As soon as we took him off the foods his skin issues immediately cleared up. Then we felt safe to give him peanut butter after the testing but he immediately broke out in hives that travel down his whole body. When I contacted my doctors they immediately told me to avoid all peanuts going forward and to consider it an allergen even though he tested negative to it. They recommend retesting ever year, and the next blood test did come back showing a peanut allergy as well. Bottom line is trust your gut and find doctors how support you and your concerns. You don't want to end up in the ER, since it sounds as if your daughter is displaying all the classic allergic reaction symptoms when she comes in contact with peanuts. An epi pin can save lives and you do not want to be without one with your daughters reactions.
By minnie rose on Jul 28, 2014
I didn't look at the ingredients list, but anything is possible. She did react to the peanuts in a granola bar that my teenager left out though so peanuts are still an issue either way. She also reacts to the breadsticks at Olive Garden - not sure which ingredient is the culprit there.
By Mrsdocrse on Jul 28, 2014
I am sorry that you are going through this. I would definitely follow up with the primary Dr and go back to see the allergist. Tell them your concerns and ask them for a prescription while you wait for another appointment. They should be able to do that.
Seems like there is a lot different information out there. I have also been told that there are a lot of false positives but negative is negative. I also was told that blood test is more reliable than skin. I would ask for a food challenge. Have you considered that it may not be a reaction to peanut butter but something else in the peanut butter that is causing the reaction? Just a thought.
By minnie rose on Jul 28, 2014
Thanks for your reply. She will be going in for a well visit soon and I will be asking for another epi pen and referral for sure. I was very careful with testing her at home just to see if she did indeed still react before going to her appointment. I had the epi pen right next to me and used a miniscule amount on her back (and later on her face). Weird thing is - her back did not react, but her face did. And her back is where they did the testing that was inconclusive - not even the histamine spot reacted like it should. Maybe they should test on her arm instead?
By smithdcrk on Jul 28, 2014
Add my vote for, "the reaction of the child is what you trust most." We never would have gotten to the skin test, if the allergist hadn't believed my young daughter when she reported her mouth "felt funny." He said he would rather test in the office and remove all doubt than have to meet us after an ER visit. The skin test was so exciting, he did refuse to schedule an oral challenge.
If the skin and bloodwork show a low risk, the doctor directed (not at home) food challenge is the way to go. It looks like you have a supportive family doctor. Get a new referral. Do the food challenge at the doctors office.
When you bring in the PB, use an all natural one that just has peanuts in it and your regular one. My daughter once had a spectacular skin reaction to a new soy sauce. It turned out it was one of the additives not the soy!
Good Luck with the testing. It can be scary, but if it is negative there is so much to gain (and lose like extra worry!). If it is positive you have the proof you need and can keep your daughter safe and healthy.