New with lots of questions

Posted on: Tue, 01/27/2004 - 3:04am
DougiesMommy's picture
Joined: 01/26/2004 - 09:00

My son Dougie was diagnosed with PA when he was 15 months old. He is 2 years old now and have been fortunate not to have any mishaps.

I question the level of his severity. We took him to the allergist cause I tried to feed him peanut butter on a cracker which only touched his lips and he broke out in hives around his mouth and his lips swelled. When tested (skin test) though they didn't mention the level of his severity and after reading endless posts here at I'm really concerned at what level he may be. Should I be? Or should I just continue like I have and treat it as life threatening? We have avoided peanuts and all nuts just to be safe. Would his reaction be considered contact allergy? How do I know if he is airborne allergy? I just wanted to be as proactive about this as I can and hopefully avoid any other reactions.


Cher ~
Dougie 12/14/01

Posted on: Tue, 01/27/2004 - 4:38am
MimiM's picture
Joined: 10/10/2003 - 09:00

Sorry but really all peanut allergies must be considered life threatening. His reaction may have seemed minor but if just touching it to his lips made him swell up, just imagine if he actually injested it. Also, with each accidental exposure, even if it's minor, he may become more sensitized and it will take less and less peanut protein to cause a given reaction.
If you don't already have an epipen, make sure you get one and learn how to use it.
It would be worth asking your pedi alergist to do a RAST test. That way, if you have him retested in another year, you can see if his level changed. There is a chance since he's still young that if his levels are low, he could outgrow it (about 20% do!). My son's allergist says that they must outgrow it by the time they are about 4 years old, otherwise it's highly unlikely.
My son is 5 1/2 with a RAST test >100! Oh well!
Good luck and stay safe! Keep logging on to this website and look for a support group in your area.

Posted on: Tue, 01/27/2004 - 5:12am
wendysco's picture
Joined: 05/03/2003 - 09:00

My son was diagnosed in May of 2003, he is now 3 years old and to my knowledge we never intentionally gave him peanuts and he has only ever had hives, he has MFA and EA so it is hard to tell if he has ever actually had a reaction to peanut. His skin test was impressive and his RAST numbers I believe put him at a class 3 or 4. We treat it as a life threatening allergy as it very well could be. Past reaction history does not predict future reaction severity.

Posted on: Tue, 01/27/2004 - 9:51am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Welcome Cher,
I know there is quite a bit of disagreement over this, but here's our allergist's take on levels, numbers, etc.
He feels that for the most part from a practical standpoint, they mean very little. He says that many people with low numbers will still have anaphylactic reactions, and some with high numbers will have no more than a few hives. All reactions should be treated as if they are potentially life-threatening, and anyone with PA should proceed as if their allergy is severe.
The exception to this is in trying to decide whether to do a food challenge enough. In that case he wouldn't even consider it unless the numbers were extremely low.


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