I am totally new and not sure what to think about my son's diagnosis to peanuts. He is 2 now, but was diagnosed at age 1 after they did a blood antibody screen for a suspected (and verified) milk allergy. We just had a scratch test done and again, we are told he is allergic to peanuts. I totally understand the ramifications of this, but it almost seems surreal, because he has never had a reaction. He has never injested peanuts, but has touched a utensil with peanut butter residue on it. So i feel completly unsure about how far to take this, as I feel the allergist we went to go see did not seem interested to answer my questions, handed me a paper and an epipen and said bye. Frustrating! No one in our families has allergies, so I feel completely uninformed. Any help would be nice... Should I get a medical alert? What other precautions do mothers of toddlers- WHO eat everything in sight do ???? Thanks so much, Sonya
On Aug 10, 2008
Hi Sonya. I am so sorry for the diagnosis. My son was 13 months when he was diagnosed and I was in total shock. Many experts believe that peanuts can get to a child in the womb or through breast feeding. This, I believe, is what caused my son's allergy. I ate a lot of peanuts during my pregnancy and nursing because I thought they were healthy. Needless to say with baby number two, I completely avoided and he seems fine.
For some reason, some allergists are terrible at answering questions. I would encourage you to find one that takes PA very seriously and answers any questions you might have. They will be your biggest ally in managing your son's PA.
If it helps at all, my son is 3 and I recently started a website for parents with young children who have PA. I write something everyday that I believe helps us keep our little ones safe. The address is [url="http://www.peanutallergykid.com."]http://www.peanutallergykid.com.[/url] I also talk about the importance of getting a medical alert bracelet among other things.
On Aug 10, 2008
I am sorry for the diagnosis. It is a shame that I hear so many people say the same thing.... there allergist handed them an epi and off you go. My allergist was a little more helpful. But.. he is of course in a busy pratice and I can't expect him to spend tons of time with each patient. However, he did point me inthe right direction of food allergy support groups inthe area. they were the biggest help. maybe your allergist has some flyers that you can take home. also the food allergy net work is a big source of info for me.
I got DS ( now 7) a medic alert bracelet as soon as he went to pre school. ( 3). I would get one.
I would take peanut out of the house. Start reading labels on foods. I keep a safe snack bag with treats in it that I know are safe for my son in a baggies and take it with me. I usually also keep a dum dum pop in my purse in case there is an unexpected time that someone had treats that aren't safe. I have something to give him that is.
I also keep handi wipe travel pack in my purse to wipe hands and tables ect before we eat.
teach hand washing early! and often! that is the best advice I can give.
On Aug 10, 2008
Welcome to the board! I'm am so sorry to hear about your DS's diagnosis and I understand how overwhelming it can be at first.
My DS was first diagnosed at 4 months old (we did skin tests because he had such horrible eczema) and I was expected a milk allergy and was shocked when the only thing he came up positive for was pn. To my knowledge he has never had first hand exposure to any pn or tn. BUT I was eating CANS of nuts while I was pregnant and while nursing I was eating PB&J's just about daily with my older DS.
It wasn't until he was more around 1 when he started eating solid foods, started walking and putting everything in his mouth that I really started to understand the changes in our life we would need to make.
Everyone has their own comfort zone and you will eventually find yours. For us we keep ALL pn/tn products out of the house and we don't bring in anything that is a "may contain", "processed in/on/at" same facility. This way at least I KNOW when we are home he is safe. I've also worked a lot with him about NOT picking things up and putting them in his mouth. When we are out anywhere there is a big rule about not picking up ANYTHING off the ground.
We still eat out and have fast food restaraunts we feel are safe (except for the desserts, we never eat the desserts out) like McD's, Wendys, BK. We still check each time just to make sure though. At regular restaraunts I call ahead, talk to the manager, then upon arriving talk to the manager again, give a chef card to the waitress to take back with our order to the chef. So far we haven't had any problems with this.
The hardest thing that I've had a tough time with is playgroups when it is a potluck type situation. I normally will ask everyone in the group to not bring pn/tn foods but I can't realistically expect everyone to read all the labels so I ALWAYS bring for for DS that I know is safe for him to eat.
As for the bracelets, until DS starts school where he isn't with me all day he wears one of these - [url="http://shop.statkids.com/Products-Wristbands.html"]http://shop.statkids.com/Products-Wristbands.html[/url] when he starts school I will get him a medic-alert too.
I found that getting a lot of information helped me feel less over-whelmed. There are some great books out there. I personally really liked Dr. Michael Youngs The Peanut Allergy Answer Book. I even got family copies because it is a really easy read but full of great information.
I know it is tough at first, but you will get used to the changes that you make and find your comfort zone. Welcome!
On Aug 10, 2008
Thanks so much for this information...reading more into all this makes it even more overwhelming, but I am the type of person who likes to be informed. The next step is assuring and confincing family, church and friends that this is SERIOUS. I think I too, must pinch myself!! I ate tons of pb when pregnant, nursing...and it scares me to think that this may be the reason he has to suffer! But i understand there is no turning back...and prevention is the best at this point. What type of card to hand to the waitress, and chef? I am dealing with a milk allergy too, but i don't believe it is severe. He suffers with his eczema too- and so often the dr. said it is not food related... I am beginning to wonder if the dogs have had anything to do with that- as the scratch test came back positive for that. Eczema is hard to understand too.
thanks for the link too... I appreciate it!
On Aug 10, 2008
don't beat yourself up too much about the peanut consumption while pregnant/nursing.
with ds#1 pregnancy and nursing, i ate nuts all the time, with no thought to allergies. ds#1 has no food allergies.
with ds#2 pregnancy, continued eating anything including nuts. went on an elimination diet while nursing to help with "colic." ds#2 has a ka-gillion food allergies.
with dd, i watched everything i ate. i spit out a bite of pie in a restaurant when i discovered it had nuts on top. she has unfortunately tested postive to many foods as well.
keep looking forward, mom, you're doing a fantastic job with your son. being informed is the best way to "get used" to this allergy.
btw, soy was the culprit with ds#2 battle with eczema. we cut out ALL soy and his skin cleared within a week or so. he now can eat soy, but we do so sparingly. food allergies are commonly a cause for eczema, but it can take some time to cut stuff out and narrow down the offending food.
On Aug 10, 2008
Here are a couple different sites to make the Chef's cards -
I couldn't believe how quickly my DS's eczema cleared up after we cut out all pn/tn from my diet (while I was nursing) and keeping him from any contact since then. He still has some signs of eczema (mostly behind his knees/elbows) and I do two "spot treatments" on him daily with the hydrocortizone on his spots and Aquaphor all over, but he is about 95% better from how he used to be when I was still eating pn/tn. I know when we are around others (IL's mostly) he ends up breaking out REALLY bad and will have horrible horrilbe patches of eczema and I'm pretty sure it is because they were not washing their hands enough, etc.... It can drive you crazy!
I can certainly see how the dogs would be causing his eczema to flair up especially if he tested positive for dog dander.
On Aug 12, 2008
If the test came back positive for dogs, you must find a new home for your dogs and not take him to homes where there are dogs. Dog allergy can be as serious and life-threatening as peanut allergy. My 1-year-old grandson was blood tested severely allergic to dogs and peanuts. He has never had peanuts, and his parents found a new home for the dog the next day. After a year of asthma attacks and a very sick baby with frequent hives, since the dog is gone he is much, much better. Not one asthma attack and very few hives. He is also mildly allergic to other things, and the dog dander will be in the house for years, just gradually diminishing so we didn't expect a 100% "cure."
On Aug 12, 2008
i agree with GeGe. dog and cat allergies can be tough. any animal dander allergy, for that matter. i went to the emergency room as a child when my dad took me for my first horseback ride--not the fun we had imagined.
although i outgrew my peanut and other food allergies, i am still plagued with animal dander allergies. i never had a animal-free home, so i don't know if that is why i've never had relief from these particular allergies.
i can tell you that my hives, eczema and asthma are still very troublesome around animals.