PA son never reacted, but tested positive--what now?

Posted on: Sat, 05/20/2000 - 5:43am
BENSMOM's picture
Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

My 4 1/2 yr-old son ate walnuts last month and his lip started swelling. Benadryl took care of it. He was subsequently tested for tree nuts and peanuts (skin prick test) and was positive for everything except pecans (but we won't be giving him those either.)

He has never liked peanut butter, but has on occasion tried a small amount, or a small amount of a peanut butter granola bar. He was also regularly eating granola bars containing peanut flour. He has never reacted. What now? How vigilant do we have to be? I will keep him off all food containing peanut products, but do I need to worry about cross-contamination and hidden ingredients? Will he eventually develop a reaction if he is exposed to small amounts of peanut protein? Is he really even allergic? Should I get him tested with the "oral food challenge" I've read about at in articles? Does anyone else have a kid who doesn't react, but has tested positive?

BTW, he is probably allergic to milk, had a wheezing episode on a bad pollen day recently, sometimes gets a rash if a dog licks him, and has had mild eczema on and off, so he has lots of general, mild allergy problems. Thanks for any help. I got a little hysterical when I found out, and now I am trying to figure out what we need to do to keep him safe.

Posted on: Sun, 05/21/2000 - 11:59am
rilira's picture
Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

I think a common thing among people who are recently diagnosed is the same statement you made about your son- "he has never liked peanut butter". I firmly believe there is a natural form of protection that makes PA or other allergy sufferers stay away from obvious allergens. I would avoid peanut just because of the reaction to the walnuts. There is so much co mingling of nuts that it is better to avoid all (FAN also recommends this).I would be very viligant. This allergy is tricky. One day there could be mild or no reaction and the next could be full blown anaphlaxsis.Just the continued ingestion of the allergen in any form increases the possibility of a more severe reaction. I live by the old saying "better safe than sorry". Many allergists believe the skin prick test is the most accurate indicator of food allergy. I would keep him off peanut and all its products and have him re tested in one year if it still indicates positive I would discuss the food challenge with the allergist. I personally find food challenges scary but under the right circumstances ( medical personnel present) I guess it could be ok. Good luck!

Posted on: Mon, 05/22/2000 - 1:32pm
FromTheSouth's picture
Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

You are describing a child with a weaken immune system, therefore, a prime candidate for multiple food allergies, chronic hayfever and/or asthma. If you have excezma, you are 50% more likely to have chronic hayfever or asthma. Asthma, by the way, is triggered by allergies. You should contact FAN (Food Allergy Network) and get the "how to read a label" info. on all the allergens. Avoid those allergens as if they were severe. Allergen avoidance is the only treatment for allergies. "If you don't know what's in it, don't eat it" is our motto. I call the company on vague labels or if it is something new she has never eaten. I tell them they will kill my child if there is a peanut or tree-nut deriative in their product or if cross-contamination has occured at their facility. Now is it safe for her? As far as testing, discuss your questions with the doc. An oral food challenge test, in my opinion, would be too risky. A trace amount of the peanut protein (so small it is invisible) can cause a fatal reaction in an allergic person. They would have to test my child many times (skin & blood) before I would ever do that. A peanut allergy is considered life-long, rarely outgrown. Do a search on this site for info. on that topic. Cross-contamination is a very real threat for the reason I just mentioned. We will not eat at restaurants that use peanut products (cook with peanut oil) or have such items on their menu. You can also refer to "The Allergy Report" at [url=""][/url] website. It is a very detailed report written for the med. commun. but released to educate the public. It will answer many of your questions...I think docs. go by symptoms and past reactions to confirm allergies, too. Skin tests are considered more accurate than blood tests. Blood tests check the IGE levels in the blood per specific allergen to help determine likelihood/severity of reaction. Also, check out the "book" section on this site... Educate yourself as much as possible! Though this site is not medical advise, you can learn alot about many aspects of p.a. Good luck!
[This message has been edited by FromTheSouth (edited May 22, 2000).]

Posted on: Mon, 05/22/2000 - 11:38pm
bethd's picture
Joined: 05/23/2000 - 09:00

Hi, Actually an oral food challenge is not too risky when you have a doctor monitoring you the whole time. One sign of a reaction, and you are injected with an Epi-pen. Oral food challenges are a critical part of the clinical trial process. If it weren't for clinical trials, we would not have such medications as IBUprofen or Allegra. If anyone is afraid of having a reaction to a peanut or having their children react when a doctor is near by, think of what could happen if no one is around. There is currently a trial underway with Tannox, they have developed a new drug that should be able to increase Ige levels so that if you do ingest a peanut protein, your body won't react as severly as it normally would without the drug. This trial is critical because it could be the closest thing there is to a semi-cure for peanut allergy.

Posted on: Sat, 05/27/2000 - 10:39pm
dit's picture
Joined: 03/19/2000 - 09:00

My allergist told me the CAP-RAST will help give an indication as to who a food challange might be indicated for. It will not predict the severity of reaction but I believe there is some cut off point that says try (but of course under strict medical supervison with emergency tx avaiable) or DON"T even think about it?
My son has never reacted out right to peanut. But, as far as I know the only time he ever ingested peanut or peanut products has been when I was pregnant and nursing. He had an episode of one eyes swelling and three hives on his neck when he was about 11 months old, had a diagnosis of astham, ezcema, non stop ear infections, turned blue, febrile I begged to have him tested, via IgE, + for peanut, egg, soy (while he was on soy formula) cat, dog, mold...They also skin tested him, same results. I've kept him away from peanut and egg as far as I know. This spring when the mold spore counts were "extreme" his right eye would swell somewhat and his asthma cough returned. No hives. I have this little voice that tells me he'll be the one in a million that outgrown peanut since he's never even had it? and I'm going to have him challanged to egg this summer. He had been eating waffles with egg for a short time before he was tested. So, were all those symptoms related to FOOD? Environment? Viral infections? Some days my mind goes off on tangents.

Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2000 - 5:15am
jrizos's picture
Joined: 05/30/2000 - 09:00

wow your in a similar situation as me. How worried should I be? my son is 19 months. He has had a reaction to walnuts with blisters and hives. I used benedryl and had him tested. He reacted to everything. before I went to the pedi allergist he was exposed to peanut butter. His older sibling was snacking on it behind my back and let his brother go for a taste. the baby spit it out but when i cleaned all the peanut butter off face and hands he was covered with big huge hives. the allergest said that testing him would be dangerous and to use an epi-pen if he eats. It is the time. You need the epi-pen on hand and to use it so that if an immediate reaction occurs I'm ready. The quicker the more severe. my baby also had a reaction to raw egg when he smashed eggs one day. He can eat cooked eggs. the pedi said eggs and peanut butter i a little different in this case because my son reacted to the oil of eggs and not the protien. He is allergic to fresh bananas he can have them cooked. He hates the taste of bananas and peanut butter. If it is chocolate he loves chocolate so I have to watch out. as a baby he has one ashma attack and excema, and ongoing ear infections. This stopped when I chose to stop breast feeding. I did not have him tested for food allergies. I thought it was dogs or something and never thought of food. He is allergic to food. Time is the factor in an anaphylactic shock. The blood test can be false pos and neg but my allergist said we will not find out because we will not take any chances

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