Need information

Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2000 - 1:01am
ryansmom's picture
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Joined: 02/11/2000 - 09:00

My 2-year old son appears to be allergic to peanuts. His first reaction was about 6 months ago when he ate some chopped-up peanuts at Logan's Roadhouse and threw up almost immediately. At the time I attributed it to choking on a small piece of peanut, although he never, ever throws up (never even spit up as a baby). The second time was over the holidays when I gave him some peanut soup and this time he threw up, his lips swelled up and he got hives. The third and last time was at his cousin's birthday party when he got a pea-sized amount of peanut butter on his finger, licked it off and less than 2 minutes later started coughing and threw up (no swelling or hives this time). He had his 2-year check-up last week and when I mentioned the incidents to the doctor, she wrote us a prescription for 2 Epi-pens. I now carry one, along with some Benadryl and a medicine spoon, and the other is with my mother, who cares for him while I'm at work. I want to have him tested to determine the extent of his sensitivity. He has never reacted to any other foods and I'm sure some of the things he has eaten have had peanut products or at least a trace in them, so I'm thinking he may react only on ingestion of peanuts or peanut butter. I should also mention that he's eaten with us at Logan's many times and has never shown any symptoms, not even coughing or wheezing, and that place is loaded with peanuts. What is the best type of test (blood, skin, etc.)? Should I be carrying more than one Epi-pen? What about my mom? Any other advice? Thanks.

Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2000 - 2:54am
kar's picture
kar
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Joined: 02/05/2000 - 09:00

I had a similar situation where my son reacted "mildly" at a 15 months to injestion of peanutbutter (hives)and then reacted "mildly" to the skin prick test. The doctor prescribed two epi-pens & suggested we keep one in the house and one in the diaper bag. Almost two years later I needed to use the epi when my son took a bite of a friend's snack.
Each reaction might be extremely different. My son had also eaten M&M's without a problem (long before we knew better). I would recommend carrying the epi with your son always. The manufacturer of the Epi recommends keeping it between 59 & 86 degrees F. Therefore, I wouldn't keep it in a car. Also, the epis expire, so I'd watch for the expiration date & replace as necessary.
As far as how many epipens to keep with you, I would say that's up to you & your doctor. One thing to know is that if you do need to use one, you still need to call 911 & get your son medical attention ASAP.
It's a scarey thing! It's hard to know where to draw the line. There is a lot of information to know. This organization is a great resource, as is the Food Allergy Network.

Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2000 - 4:08am
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

First off, it certainly would not hurt to have him tested. It is very good to get the allergy documented--you will need this for entering the school system later. It also wouldn't hurt to figure out if he is allergic to any other foods. While he may not be experiencing any severe reactions to anything else, he could be having milder, unnoticeable reactions to other foods that you don't know about (chronic congestion, hyperactivity, etc.). Secondly, when and if you do get him tested, the test result will not really be a good predictor of how he will react. For instance, you may have the skin prick test done, get a HUGE welt for peanut and a HUGE welt for egg and realize that he hardly reacts to egg. Or he may get a very small welt for peanut, but go into anaphylaxis when he eats it.
You're certainly not wasting your time getting a test done, but it will not be a very good predictor of how sensitive he is or how he will react upon exposure. You know that he is allergic and you must now take action to reduce his exposure (contact, airborne, or ingestion) as much as you can. He may be fine to sit in a restaurant full of peanuts but, doing so may furter sensitize him to peanuts making his next reactions worse. Also, my son has only had skin pricks done. I don't know if one method is preferred over another--they each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Christine

Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2000 - 5:36am
tynebaby's picture
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Joined: 01/02/2000 - 09:00

My son tested a 4+ on the skin test which is severe yet he tested a 1 on the blood test which means mild. My allergist told me that the blood(rast) test indicates the severity of the allergy whereas the skin test only indicates that an allergy is present and does not give a good indication of the severity due to some peoples skin just being more sensitive to others. Has anyone else heard this?

Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2000 - 10:20am
Ellen's picture
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Joined: 04/16/1999 - 09:00

I always like to have 2 epi-pens with me just in case one malfunctions or a second one is needed before medical care is received
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Posted on: Sat, 02/12/2000 - 8:43am
adamsmom's picture
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Joined: 02/09/2000 - 09:00

I also carry 2 EpiPens with me everywhere I go with my six year old son, Adam. Adam's allergist refused to give him a skin prick test after hearing how Adam reacts to peanut and other legumes (i.e. black-eyed peas), pistachio nut, sesame, etc. (2 times with peanut; first time at 14 months with "just" swelling around eyes and mouth and then again at three years at a playgroup/preschool with hives all over his body, swelling, vomiting, and fainting. "One" pistachio nut sent him to the emergency room in an ambulance. "Sesame Tahini Spread" also sent him to the er with swelling, problems breathing, and all over body hives.) After hearing Adam's history the allergist was afraid that Adam might suffer another anaphylactic reaction or just an outbreak of atopic dermatitis sitting there in his office testing for other allergies. We opted for the RAST testing ... Adam's score with peanut is almost at six range and has managed to go up since he was first tested as an infant. Has anyone heared of a RAST test score going up two numbers (scale from 0 - 6) with so few encounters? Carry your two EpiPens ... ALL of Adam's reactions have been different. Our family has developed a no nut/peanut policy in our home. We read labels everywhere we go ... inquire about what oils are being used in restaurants. My husband and I have not eaten a peanut/peanut product in over three years and our youngest son, 4 years, has never had peanuts either. We have informed family members as best we can with the resources availabe to us. It has been quite a struggle ... the grandparents have had a very hard time dealing with "PEANUT" allergy. They had never heared of such a thing and have for some strange reason had a hard time trying to understand it. Stay safe and thanks for listening.
Susan

Posted on: Mon, 02/14/2000 - 1:25am
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

Glad to hear you are carrying more than one Epi-Pen at all times, and also having no peanut products (or other products the person is allergic to) in the home is great!
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Stay Safe,
[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Posted on: Mon, 02/14/2000 - 1:43pm
Renee's picture
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Joined: 09/02/1999 - 09:00

Susan,
My daughter went from a 4 to a 6 RAST with no know exposures. My Allergist was stumped, I would love to know if others have experienced this too.
She has had two reactions since one was Airborne (see the posting under Reactions Little Mermaid on Ice) with asthmatic symptons and the other was suspected ingestion with vomiting only.

Posted on: Fri, 02/18/2000 - 7:16am
Tlarrab's picture
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Joined: 02/13/2000 - 09:00

I carry two epipens also in case something goes wrong with one or too much time as passed before we reach medical assistance. It was explained to me that the epi-pen suspresses the reaction which could return. Also, if an epi-pen is used, the injector must go to the hospital with the child. I had a rast test done on my son at 14 mos by his ped. He had two reactions prior to the test and many exposures to peanuts. While traveling with visited a few roadhouses and visited zoos handling peanuts. If he showed signs that peanuts were a problem they were so minute that I missed them. Thinking back it was a miracle something horrible didnt happen to my son. I am still confused about how he could handle peanuts yet walk by someone eating a pb sandwich and begin to swell. He scored a 5. 28,ooo allergens. The allergist wouldnt do a prick test because he was afraid this would initiate a reaction. Where ever my son goes the epi-pens, the benedryl and the spoon go. We have a special bag that we keep these items in. Some of you mentioned you had your children tested again. When and why would it be necessary to retest? I was told this is a life long condition. Is there a possibility that if a child can increase in their sensitivity that their sensitivity level could decrease?

Posted on: Fri, 02/18/2000 - 7:30am
AnMaMc's picture
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Joined: 01/25/2000 - 09:00

My son skin-tested for peanut allergy at 13 months. I preferred to have a retest at age 5 for my own benefit. He tested allergic, again. His allergist has told me several times that by no means does a large reaction when testing mean he will have a severe reaction if he ever ate peanut products, he's not even sure he would react at all. He has never had an allergic reaction to peanut products since before age 1. I'm hoping the longer I keep him away from peanut products, the smaller the reaction if he would ever accidentally eat peanut products. I have been told many times this allergy is life long and he cannot "outgrow" it like he has with other food allergies.

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