New w/PN allergy - class 1. How much to change?

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 11:21pm
JenOhio's picture
Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Hello! I recently found this site and it is an eye opener!
A quick history...when DS #2 was <1, he picked up an empty cup that had contained crushed peanuts. He put it on his face and ended up w/red bumps. Scared me to death! I figured it was an allergy, and at his next ped appt, we talked about it, but Dr didn't recommend much beyond avoidance. We have avoided straight peanuts and foods that contain, but not those that may contain or are made in same factories. Fast forward to age 3. At his annual check-up, I asked for him to be tested. Blood test came back +, but low. Only a 1. We went to an allergist. He started out by saying that w/no other factors (asthma, excema, etc..)and such a low result, he wouldn't neccessarily consider it a +. We did the skin test and it was positive. He recommended that we continue with the way we have been doing things. I know that means William is getting trace amounts from some foods. I was comfortable with it, but now reading these boards, I am thinking we need to take it more seriously. Our allergist has 2 kids that are PA, so I trusted his advice, but as you all probaly are, I am hoping for DS to outgrow it. Will the continued trace exposures impede that? It is all so confusing!

Older DS (age 5) still eats PNbutter sandwiches daily, and we do little to accomodate other that keeping an epi pen around and keeping certain foods away from PA son. I am starting to think we need to really take this more seriously. I know I am in denial, but at the same time, I am just not sure exactly *how* allergic he is. He has never reacted to any foods, and he eats everyting from M&Ms to granola bars. I have read a million posts on here since finding this site last night, and it seems that he could go from no reaction to severe reaction with no warning.
Has anyone else had this low of a result w/no history of reactions and still had a severe reaction out of the blue? Please forgive my naivity, but I truly do not understand how all of this works!

Thanks for reding this long, rambling post!


Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 12:24am
bonestable's picture
Joined: 04/05/2005 - 09:00

I think everyone you ask will give you a different answer to this one.
Seeing as he had a reaction as a baby, and he has a positive blood and skin test, I think you are wise to avoid him eating peanuts, but the issue of may contains is more difficult.
If he has had no reactions to eating these may contains, and he has never reacted to having peanut butter eaten in is house every day, it seems like he can tolerate this level of exposure, so following your allergist's advice does not seem unreasonable.
My DD is 3 too and she has had a low positive blood test. For her, we avoid all may contains, traces etc and do not have peanuts in the house. BUT she has other food allergies including an anaphalactic one to dairy. Also she had bad eczema, and she seems to have asthma. AND no one in our family has ever eaten peanut butter, so it is not a big sacrifice to give it up.
We are considering a food challenge at the allergist's office at age 5, if she still has low results and has not had any reactions.
Of course it is possible that he will suddenly have a major reaction, but this is theoretically possible for anybody. You should be prepared by always having Benadryl and the Epipen on hand.

Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 12:31am
2BusyBoys's picture
Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

In addition to discussing the issues with your allergist I would suggest reading The Peanut Allergy Answer Book by Dr. Michael Young.

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 3:22am
JenOhio's picture
Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I truly do appreciate all of your expertise and advice.
This is where I am really confused, though. I completely understand that each reaction could get progressivly worse, but what if there is *no* reaction? I'll take the example of m&ms. He is 3, and has eaten them without incident for probably 2 years. No hives, no rash, no cough, nothing. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that today he could eat one and have a reaction. I get it, but then again, I don't. Perhaps it is denial, but I just can't recconcile it in my head. He has never had a reaction to anything he has ever eaten, and I guess that is why we are too lax in our house. If there had even been one hive pop up on him for any reason, I would better "get it", KWIM? But as of right now, all that has happened is he got a bump where a peanut touched him, and his blood test came back at less than 1.
I am afraid now, however, that I may be ruining his chances of outgrowing it. The allergist said he was a good candidate to do so since he has no other symptoms to go with it. I guess what I need to do is go back to the allergist and really pick his brain. His plan was to re-test at DS's next birthday so we could assess where he stands before he starts pre-school next fall. I don't think I can wait until that appointment, though. Way too many questions and uncertainty in my life right now!
Thanks again for your advice, and I will now be reading this board for the rest of the day! What great experience to learn from!

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 6:13am
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

Not every m&m is going to have a peanut trace. I used to eat them too until every now and then I noticed that my throat felt funny. It wasn't all the time. You just have to eat the one with the trace to have a reaction. So I stay away.
[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited February 15, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 7:13pm
williamsmummy's picture
Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

Ok, bit education on 'may contains'
as previous poster mentioned sometimes peanut traces are not in the m&m's. Its a bit like a game of russion roulette.
Most chocolate manufactureres around the world have something called, 're-work' this is chocolate pushed through the system to 'clean' it , that is , to pick up all loose food bits , like pieces of nuts. Then this chocolate is put back with the new batch. So some chocolate WILL end up with a piece of nut in it, others will NOT.
That is the meaning of 'may contain nut traces'
The same applies to cookie /biscuit manufacturers , dough is pushed though beforehand, before biscuit manufacuture.
More worrying still, you may have a 'may contain ' on a food that you wouldnt expect nuts to appear in. This could all be down to perhaps the one wrapping machine.
That wraps food from too different lines, one line may have nuts on, the other may not. But the wrapping machine is considered a risk, so the bog standard warning of 'may contain' is slapped on.
In fact this standard labelling is responsible for many near deaths or deaths from food allergy. The food allergic community find it hard to trust or understand the meaning behind the wide spread label, so they ignore it.
As for reactions getting worse each time , this again is an allergy myth. Take it as granted that your child is allergic, severely allergic at this time. Until tests and time with medical care prove other wise.
each reaction depends on a combination of these following things,
amount ingested.
health of person BEFORE exposure. ( in a child a common cold virus or tummy upset etc)
Uncontrolled asthma.
amount of alocohol ingested.
for women, time of the month.
High stress levels, say for instance exam times for teenagers.
Other allergies that the person is exposed to, like environmental allergies, tree pollen , hay fever etc.
Unfortunatly for some allergic people there are some who are SOOO sensitive that they react with anaphylaxis to every trace.
There is always an exception to every rule.
That said the vast majority of children's reactions depend on the above listings. Young children often recover quickly if they are given an antihistamine as quickly as possible.
I hope this explains things a little more clearly,
corrected as many spelling mistakes as i could find, but in a hurry with all four kids fighting in the background!!
[This message has been edited by williamsmummy (edited February 16, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/20/2007 - 5:49am
niche LH's picture
Joined: 02/06/2007 - 09:00

Hi, I am relatively new to this board. And yes when we first found out about my son's Nut allergy (allergic to all nuts the allergist had a test for). We thought he has made it 3 years lets just keep things the way we have been. Which for us was basically a yes to may contain items. Unfortunately - within a month he had a reaction to bread that was cross contaminated with some kind of nut in the bakery. NO nuts at all listed on the label. I have since done much more extensive research and we now avoid all may contains or processed on and all items we feel have a high risk of cross contamination such as bakery items, ice cream stores, oriental food. etc.
At first it seemed silly to us to take away stuff he had always had now we just say better safe than sorry. He misses M&Ms the most [img][/img]
ds 4 all nuts
dd 8 mo - don't know yet fingers crossed

Peanut Free Store

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