Short article in March 2005 Parenting Magazine


Hi everyone, I just received the newest issue of Parenting magazine and (on page 37) found this blurb about peanut allegries: "About 50 percent of kids with mild peanut allergies outgrow them, often by age 5. Once they do, the best way to keep symptoms away may be to provide a monthly snack of peanuts. What to do: if it's been 18 months since your child's peanut allergy was first diagnosed, ask your doctor about a peanut challenge, which is done under medical supervision. If she passes, add a few peanuts (or at the most a tablespoon of peanut butter) back to her diet. But continue carrying an EPI pen (epinephrine injections, which stop an allergy attack). If she passes the challenge for a year, the allergy is gone for good".

I'm interested in everyone's comments; my two year old daughter was diagnosed with PA last December and we just had a follow up with the allergist. I asked him if, based on her skin test or a blood test at a later date, could he tell us just how severe Evie's PA is (I was concerned because her prick test reaction spread 4 inches across her back). The allergist said no, because a child who has had several mild reactions can all of a sudden have a severe reaction and that even the blood testing isn't 100% fullproof -- so I'm a little confused about this Parenting article as it mention children with "mild peanut allergies."

Thanks in advance -- this is a great message board for frightened and/or confused parents!

On Feb 12, 2005

What I'm curious about is where they get the 50% number, and how they define mild.

Frankly, this article sounds a bit misleading and dangerous to me. Will someone who's child has never stopped breathing regard the allergy as "mild", as in, "oh, he just swells up a bit, or gets hives". [img][/img]


On Feb 13, 2005

This article bothers me too. I would love to know where they get the 50% also. It seems to be very misleading and I would hate to think parents reading this may try a peanut challenge on their own thinking their child has a "mild" allergy. I never consider any peanut allergy "mild."

Just in reading what is posted it makes PA seem like not a big deal. I would like to see the article myself in its full context.

On Feb 13, 2005

I forgot to add, I do agree with your doctor. I friend in my neighborhood always had what seemed to be mild reactions to peanut- until one day in his 30's he had full blown anaphylaxis. He almost died.

There's so much talk of numbers and scores sometimes when it comes to PA. It can be very confusing. I feel if your allergic, your allergic. I don't focus on the numbers too much. In my opinion, always treat PA as seriously as it deserves.

On Feb 13, 2005

I don't like that little blurb either.

Here's where I believe the 50% came from...

AAAAI: Some Children Appear to Outgrow Peanut Allergy By Paula Moyer

DENVER, CO -- March 12, 2003 -- Contrary to conventional wisdom, some children may outgrow peanut allergy.

Researchers who presented the findings here March 9th at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, said children with peanut-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels of 5 kU/L or less are most likely to outgrow their peanut allergy.

This finding is consistent with previous research, which showed that 21.5% of such patients actually outgrew their allergy and 60% could pass an oral challenge, said David M. Fleischer, MD, from the Department of Allergy and Immunology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

To further understand the natural progression of peanut allergy, Dr. Fleischer and colleagues followed a cohort of 32 boys and 21 girls with peanut-IgE levels of 5 kU/L or less who had undergone oral peanut challenge at a median age of 5.5 years. Median peanut IgE levels were 1.2 kU/L.

All children were given a peanut challenge test, and those who passed the challenge were evaluated using a questionnaire designed to assess the effects of reintroducing peanut into their diet. Of the 53 patients, 52% passed the challenge, compared to 61% of patients with similar peanut IgE levels in the previous study.

Those who passed the challenge were a median of 5.7 years old and ranged in age from 3.3 to 10.9 years. Their peanut IgE level ranged from less than 0.35 kU/L to 4.9 kU/L, with a median of 0.56 kU/L. The investigators found that 59% of patients with peanut IgE levels of 2 kU/L or less passed the challenges, compared to 67% of such patients from the previous study.

The 48% of patients in the current research who failed challenges were a median of 5.3 years old and ranged in age from 4.1 to 14.2 years. These patients' peanut IgE levels ranged from less than 0.35 kU/L to 5.0 kU/L, with a median peanut IgE of 1.85 kU/L.

No significant difference in IgE levels was found between these two groups (p=0.15). Three patients passed food challenges after previously failing a challenge, and one patient who had had a prior anaphylactic reaction passed her challenge. Among those who passed challenges and now eat peanuts, treating physicians have reported no adverse reactions.

"Although we once thought that peanut allergy is a lifelong problem, certain patients with a history of peanut allergy may outgrow it," Dr. Fleischer said.

These findings show that children who have peanut IgE levels of no more than 5 5kU/L have a greater than 50% chance of outgrowing their allergy and thus should be given an oral challenge. "No evidence of re-sensitisation to peanut in our patients has occurred," he said.

[Study title: The Natural Progression of Peanut Allergy. Abstract 502]

------------------ Mom to: Sean 3yrs PA & EA Brian 1yr MA

On Feb 13, 2005

I find it confusing when they mention children who have had anaphylactic reactions and then outgrow peanut allergy. How are they defining anaphylaxis?

Are the reactions mild anaphylactic reactions? Can a child with low RAST numbers but a severe anaphylactic reaction outgrow peanut allergy? Can a child who has had one severe anaphylactic reaction outgrow peanut allergy? Or does a severe anaphylactic reaction eliminate the possibility of outgrowing peanut allergy?

On Feb 14, 2005

I'm not sure of the answers to your questions. But, it's a study based on a limited number of participants...I think it can be analyzed differently by many people. I'm assuming the one that was anaphylactic is an outlier.

------------------ Mom to: Sean 3yrs PA & EA Brian 1yr MA

[This message has been edited by Ree (edited February 14, 2005).]

On Feb 14, 2005

I read that in the magazine and I admit, it made me mad. It is a very serious allergy and I feel they made light of it. As a parent, how do I make others understand the importance of keeping my child safe if this article makes it sound like half the children outgrow it? Before I came and began reading here, I would have accepted that article as fact. Not any more.

On Feb 14, 2005


Originally posted by turtle: [b]As a parent, how do I make others understand the importance of keeping my child safe if this article makes it sound like half the children outgrow it? [/b]

My thoughts EXACTLY!!! It is articles like this that makes it even harder for those of us fighting our children's schools. Wonderful!!! [img][/img] This is just what we needed! They already think we are "over the top" type of parents ("we deal with hives and wheezing all the time" said the nurse) and this article will just confirm their thoughts.

Of course, I suppose there is the small chance that they will ignore this article, like they have ignored the numerous INFORMATIVE articles that we have provided them concerning PA. Not likely, but always possible.

On Feb 14, 2005

This is terrifying...I think this is very dangerous "advice"

On Feb 14, 2005

That blurb about being "18 mos. since your child's PA was diagnosed" makes no sense. It's been 7 years since my DD's was diagonsed and she's been reaction free (Thank God!) for the past 7 years. I had her RAST retested at her 9 yr. check up and her levels have increased!

I don't agree with this article at all.