Pediatrician experienced with food allergies

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Do they exist? Is it important to find one, or do you just go to the allergist for the allergy questions? My old pediatrician just said to stay away from peanuts when Kelsey had a reaction. Luckily I found this list and went to an allergist. I tried out a younger pediatrician today, who a friend said was highly recommended. She was even less informed and told me that Kelsey would probably grow out of the peanut allergy so I should try giving her peanut butter again after awhile! The words I'm thinking now I can't type!!! Actually, I told her politely what my allergist had advised and moved on to the next topic. In your collective experience does it make a difference to have a food allergy aware pediatrician?

On Mar 29, 1999

Hi there!

It would be nice to have an allergy aware pediatrician, but not necessary provided your child is seeing a board certified pediatric allergist as well for the allergy problem. I think the world of my son's pediatric practice - but when I questioned one of the most intelligent pediatricians in the group about a C.A.P. rast test (which the allergist had recommended), his response was "Cap? Like something you wear on your head"? Point being pediatricians are great at pediatrics, but allergy just isn't their specialty. I'm an attorney - I specialized in medical malpractice. I wouldn't know where to begin in an auto case, or a divorce. I'd refer someone to an appropriate attorney. The same is true with medicine these days, being so specialized. The pediatric allergist is sufficient to handle the allergy portion of your child's history, and the pediatrician can handle the sniffles, diarrhea, vaccines, coughs and upset tummies.

But, you must make sure to tell the pediatrician of your child's allergy at each visit. My son went to the doctor today (for a double ear infection). He needed an antibiotic, and naturally I was concerned about the flavorings and inactive ingredients in the drug. I checked with the pharmacist as well. Hey - they make drugs flavored like bubble gum and grapes.....peanut butter can't be far behind!

On Mar 29, 1999

Hi, we take Troy to a pediatric allergist/immunologist affiliated with a teaching hospital. She is wonderfully knowledgeable, willing to talk to schools, day cares etcetera and reports back on all our visits to our consulting pediatrician and to our family doctor. We are lucky to have found four phenomenal doctors: the pediatric allergist for the overall care/consultation re: allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, dust, pollens, animal dander), the consulting pediatrician who helps us when colds/flu cause Troy's asthma to take hold, a dermatologist to tackle exzema as needed, and a family physician who ensures that she is up-to-date and informed about issues reported from all of these other specialists and who will not hesitate to ask them about new research she has encountered or to recommend that we seek a second opinion from another specialist if necessary. When I read about the trials and tribulations some of you experience with doctors it is hard to believe that they are so uninformed. What I took for granted in Troy's medical care, I now cherish. I wish you all well finding knowledgeable and caring doctors. It is so helpful to know that they are available for medical advice but also as backup information providers when dealing with school.

On Mar 29, 1999

Laura is right it would be nice if you had a ped that was allergy aware, but from my own experience and the others I have read about on this board, general peds are very unfamiliar with peanut/food allergies. So it is best to go to an allergist. I really like our ped practice of 3 doctors, but they were very limited in the questions they questions the could answer about this allergy. They just said don't eat pnts and explained the signs of anaphalaxis, and no rx for epi-pen (the nurse even told me I could try pn again in 1 year [img][/img]). I stopped asking them questions when I quickly realized I had more knowledge than them just from a few hours on the internet (don't doctors ever surf the net???) I can understand that general peds don't have an indepth knowledge of something that's not their specialty, but it baffels me as to why they don't even know the basics! One of the doctors now even asks me questions about pn allergy!!!

On Mar 30, 1999

Brenda has hit upon the answer to well informed doctors who do not specialize in this area. Educate them. Most would be delighted to read (a little) about something concerning their patient. If you bring in something well sourced and up to date (not too long) I think you will meet with much success! As Laura has pointed out this is not an area of expertise for many doctors.

On Mar 30, 1999

Next time I visit the ped, I'm going to bring them FAN pamphlets so they can hopefully subscribe themselves and so they can hand them out to other patients with food allergies. I don't think they are even aware of FAN and its a good starting place for even doctors.

On Mar 31, 1999

We are seeing a board certified allergist, and I would not expect a pediatrician to provide the same level of information as an allergist. What I would hope is that a pediatrician would know that nut allergies can be serious and that if a kid reports having a reaction to nuts that the pediatrician would advise consulting with an allergist. Now that I'm a little calmer I recognize that pediatricians do have to be generalists and can't be expert on everything. I agree that polite education of pediatricians is the most positive step we can take so that the next generation of kids get medical advice that will help keep them safe.