New Diagnosis - Confused and blood test level question

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I'm new to the board, as my 22 month old daughter was just diagnosed with a peanut allergy about a month ago -- but I'm learning so much!

I'm still very confused about our diagnosis and I'm hoping those of you with more experience can help. We had my daughter tested thinking she had environmental allergies (long story of a cough, but she doesn't have any allergies to dust, pollen, etc.). To our surprise, the skin and blood test showed a peanut allergy. The allergist (who is very highly recommended in our city) seems relatively unconcerned about the peanut allergy, just says to avoid peanuts, treenuts, and shellfish, not to particularly worry about cross-contamination, and did not give us an epipen.

At the time, I didn't know very much about peanut allergies, and didn't ask enough questions. But now I'm wondering why the relaxed attitude? The allergist said that my daughter's numbers are so low (0.16) that she thinks she'll be in the 20% of kids that outgrow the allergy. My daugher has also had peanut butter (before we found out about the allergy) 3 to 5 times with no reaction at all.

Part of me has a hard time believing she has the allergy! Of COURSE I'm taking it very seriously and avoiding all nuts, etc. But it's so strange . . . Could the low #s be the explanation? I appreciate all of your help and advice so far!

On Nov 18, 2005

It is possible that with the RAST value being so low that this is a false positive but the level could increase with other exposures and therefore become a true allergy.

My personal suggestion is avoid nuts like the plague (traces too) until she's at least 3 or 4. At some point she should be retested to see if the level stayed the same or increased. Talk to your doctor about prescribing Epipen because even though the number is low now doesn't mean that she's not at risk for ananphylaxis since it still may increase.

Having Epipen handy will put have you prepared just in case. With any luck, it may be a false positive and she won't end up being allergic but at least you will have some peace of mind.

Good luck!

On Nov 18, 2005

My son's doctor thinks he'll outgrow it to -- his RAST was .83, so it's much higher than yours which I think should actually be considered negative -- I thought anything under .35 was considered negative. Anyway, I read a study recently that said of the people whose IGE level was less than 5 when first tested, 60% of them outgrow the allergy. That's exciting for those of us with low scores, but we have to keep avoiding those nuts until they've officially outgrown it. Now, I of course would not want my son's test to be any higher, but I agree with you that b/c of the low score, it's hard to believe that it's for real. Just wishful thinking on my part I guess. I see what all these othere mothers and kids have to go through on a daily basis. I just pray they find a cure/treatment or my little guy outgrows it before he has to go to Kindergarten and deal with it! My son actually did have a reaction to peanut butter though -- his upper lip swelled and so did his eyes (but he was crying), it was taken care of with Benadryl and a steroid. My situation is quite different than yours -- I just wanted to commiserate that it is so unbelievable that a tiny speck of a nut could hurt my little boy --

On Nov 18, 2005

My PA son was eating PB&J sandwiches for 2 months before he started reacting.

I'd say avoid peanuts until you can test again. Why take the risk? If she really is developing the allergy, then you keep her safe. If she isn't, what's the harm in not eating peanuts?

------------------ [i][b]Allergy Eliminator [/b][/i]

On Nov 18, 2005

Keep benadryl (diphenhydramine) liquid always on hand as well as an epi-pen. No need to be alarmed if you are prepared for any allergy, not just peanut to any family member.

On Nov 22, 2005

Sorry, I guess I wasn't totally clear . . . we are taking this very seriously and plan to totally avoid all peanuts/tree nuts until we get retested when she's 3. But I really appreciate everyone's thoughts! In particular, it's good to hear that others with "low" blood test levels are hearing similar things. The wide array of advice/opinions on these allergies is a little overwhelming. It's hard to know how to strike the right balance between vigilance and total panic (where I was at first!). If you have any more thoughts, it really helps. Happy Thanksgiving!