peanut allergy

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My grand daughter is said to have peanut allergy's , I would like to know what the levels mean and what is normal and what is not to worry about. She has been around peanuts and peanut butter and has never had any reaction . I need to know what the levels mean and what to be concerned with. Her's was 7.28 in 2013 when she was 1 and now she is 3 1/2 her level is 2 .81 ku/l.

By Kara on Jul 31, 2015

I commend you for asking this question! Some of my family members don't take the time to really find out what it all means, which causes major problems, particularly around holidays. I'm not a doctor, but a mom who has kids with nut allergies. At 7.28, she was at risk for a severe reaction if around peanuts/peanut butter. The fact that her level has gone down speaks volumes to the care she is receiving from her mom and dad. She is still at risk (my allergist says 1.0 or over (I _think_ - please check with your daughter/daughter in law for what your gdaughter's guidelines are) is an allergy and any contact with peanuts, peanut butter, or items made in a facility with nuts are to be avoided according to the allergists I've take my children to.

The difficulty lies in the unpredictable nature of how a person will react when exposed to the allergen. Your granddaughter's gut finds the peanut protein toxic. It's nothing that could have been avoided- sometimes it just happens. The reaction to ingestion of the protein could result in hives, vomiting, sometimes an asthma attack...the list of possible symptoms are something you should become familiar with. To stop anaphylactic shock, an epipen would be administered and 911 would be called. One exposure could just result in hives, but another could result in a multi-system shut down where she can't breathe and/or loses consciousness.

The only effective way my allergist can treat my children's allergies is strict avoidance. No one in my house eats peanuts or peanut butter. If we want to eat it, we must do so away from home, wash our hands thoroughly and brush our teeth before coming back home. I encourage you to please talk to the parents- they know the specific information for the child you are inquiring about. I WISH my mother in law would do so- she doesn't believe us, rolls her eyes, etc. my father in law thinks one little bite won't hurt.

What you can do for your grand daughter is 1)learn to read food labels 2)develop a close relationship with her parents regarding what her specific challenges are with managing her allergies 3) learn when and how to use an epi-pen in case of shock and 4) realize that it's extremely scary for some parents to let their food allergy kid out of their sight, especially before she can manage her own food.

You are awesome! I wish my family would be as willing to learn!!