Retesting

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DS is getting ready to turn 2 in Dec and we really wnat to have him retested. He has only had 1 reaction and that was hives only. Dh and I have not eliminated PN out of our diets so DS has been around then with no reaction. We want to get him into some sort of day care and if he has outgrown the allergy that would be great. But I only want him to have a blood test. Don't want the scatch test. Is the blood test as reliable? I am anxious to know what is going on inside of that little body. And when they do the blood test can that tell you if he is alergic to anything else? Thanks for reading this rambling post. Julie

On Oct 12, 2005

Hi Ethan's mom, The best information I've found on PA in one place online is information by John Weisnagel M.D. called "Peanut allergy: where do we stand?" You'll find information here on the skin prick test and RAST testing.

[url="http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm#diagnosis"]http://www.allerg.qc.ca/peanutallergy.htm#diagnosis[/url]

I have this site bookmarked and refer to it frequently. It is updated often.

On Oct 12, 2005

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Originally posted by ethan'smom: [b]DS is getting ready to turn 2 in Dec and we really wnat to have him retested. He has only had 1 reaction and that was hives only.[/b]

Julie, don't forget that one reaction doesn't necessarily predict future reactions. My son's reactions were pretty mild, too, an itchy mouth. But we still live knowing that his next reaction, if it happens, could be totally different. OTOH, I, too, take some comfort -- irrational though it may be -- that his previous mild reactions mean that future reactions won't necessarily be anaphylactic.

Also, if your son isn't even two yet, how long ago was the reaction that told you he's allergic? If it was less than a year ago, he really hasn't had a whole lot of time to outgrow the allergy.

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[b]Dh and I have not eliminated PN out of our diets so DS has been around then with no reaction.[/b]

This doesn't prove that your son has outgrown his allergy. My son developed his allergy when he was 6 years old. He had no further known exposures to peanuts (although he does attend a public school with plenty of other kids who eat peanut butter, so he probably has some small contact exposures whenever he touches the playground equipment, etc.), and no further reactions to peanuts. So when he was 8, I asked his pediatrician to re-test. His bloodtest at age 6 was barely a category III, moderate allergy, with a score of .72. His bloodtest at age 8, despite no known exposures or reactions, was still a category III, but with a score of 1.. So not seeing any further exposures or reactions doesn't necessarily mean much in terms of how a kid's immune system is doing.

What your son's lack of reactions does prove is that either you and your husband have been really good about washing up after eating peanuts and so not actually exposing your son to the peanuts, or that your son is not currently sensitive to contact or airborne exposure to peanuts. If it's the latter, and you really can't know at this point, you may be sensitizing him further -- thus decreasing his chances of outgrowing his allergy, which otherwise is a distinct possibility, since he's still so young.

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[b]We want to get him into some sort of day care and if he has outgrown the allergy that would be great.[/b]

That would be so much easier, wouldn't it? It's so hard to send a food allergic kid to daycare or school and worry about him the whole time! Are there any nut-free daycares in your area? In our town, the three preschools/daycares I've checked out are all peanut/treenut free. (There are at least 2 other preschools in town that I haven't checked out yet, so they may be preanut-free, too.) If not, can they make accomodations for your son, train the staff and keep the Epipens ready? Maybe restrict the nutty food to one certain table? Maybe let you provide safe snacks for the entire classroom?

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[b]But I only want him to have a blood test. Don't want the scatch test.[/b]

That makes sense. That way you won't be giving him another exposure.

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[b]Is the blood test as reliable?[/b]

Yes and no. The blood test (RAST or CAP-RAST) is less susceptible to false positives than the skin tests, but it is more susceptible to false negatives. So if you get a positive blood test, then yes, your son is still allergic to peanuts. If it's negative, then you can't be entirely certain, and you'd probably want to either wait a while for a followup blood test or do a followup skin test, which is a bit scarier.

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[b] And when they do the blood test can that tell you if he is alergic to anything else? [/b]

Basically, when they do a blood test, they're checking for allergy to one specific allergen. If you want your son to be tested for other things (like treenuts, for example), they have to do a specific test for each additional item -- one for walnuts, one for cashews, one for almonds, etc. However, a blood draw is a blood draw, and it won't matter to your son whether they take a little extra blood to test for additional things. It's just a matter of whether or not your doctor agrees to order those tests and whether your insurance company agrees to pay for them.

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[b]Thanks for reading this rambling post. [/b]

Not rambling at all. You asked some really terrific questions. Please let us know what you decide about testing and daycare. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your little guy is one of the 20% who outgrows the allergy!

--Debbie

[This message has been edited by DRobbins (edited October 12, 2005).]

On Oct 12, 2005

Our allergist does the skin test and if negative will then do a blood test.

On Oct 13, 2005

Isn't that odd, Codyman? Our allergist says exactly the opposite. Wouldn't it be nice if they could agree on soemthing in regards to this allergy?

------------------ [i][b]Allergy Eliminator [/b][/i]

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