should we do a challenge?


Hi all, The allergist office just called my DH and said my son's RAST test is level 1, which it has been for the last 3 years. When we were in recently for a check up the allergist (very well respected here in Phx - I think, one of the very best) stated that if his test remained the same again this year he would do a spt and then an oral challenge. Well, the nurse called and said they wanted us to do a oral challenge - my DH said what about the spt and she said we already did one (last year) and it was still a barely positive - so of course I want to repeat that first... but his levels for the last two years were around 120 and less than 80 is negative (it started out at 1400). My son is 4 1/2 years old. He was dx at 9 months with a spt (I thought he was allergic to wheat but boy was I wrong!)

What do you all think? My allergist stated that he doesn't really consider a level one an allergy, but of course to not give peanuts until after the oral challenge.

An oral challenge scares me, especailly since his test was not negative... my DH didn't know what to ask so he didn't ask for the real number....

I want so badly for him to outgrow this, but I don't want to increase his likelihood of keeping this allergy by doing an oral challenge too early.

Thanks, Andrea

On Mar 1, 2007

I would call him back and ask for the exact number.

On Mar 2, 2007

I called and spoke with the nurse this am regarding our numbers. DS's number is 0.50 (with <0.35 being a zero level). The allergist feels like we are ready to do an oral challenge with peanuts (of course starting with contact, skin). The nurse told me she has worked at this office for 15 years and has never seen a child not pass an oral challenge for peanut, because they only do them when they feel the child has outgrown the allergy. That makes me start to get hopeful, but of course I don't want to get hopeful - only to still have the PA.

My mind wanders into the what ifs... what if he has outgrown it and we can lead a life without as much worry, what if he has a severe reaction during the challenge, dreaming of going to baseball games (my husband is a HUGE baseball fan)...

I probably schedule within the next week or two. Any thoughts? DS is 4 1/2 and has not had a reaction for years. He still has eczema that comes and goes, otherwise healthy.



On Mar 2, 2007

I would follow your allergist's advice. My DD failed an egg challenge (her numbers were extremely low)---I don't regret doing it, though. She made it to the 5th dosage (equivalent to having 6 hard boiled eggs) and then reacted with hives and eventually facial edema (which was treated with steroids for 1 week due to Benadryl not helping). There is no way we would have known for sure about her allergy to egg without the challenge. We will do another challenge when her number is 0.

Good luck! I hope he passes!!! Nicole

On Mar 2, 2007

I would feel comfortable doing the challenge in a medical setting (hospital)- our allergist has indicated they often challenge when below a 2- best wishes.

On Mar 2, 2007

if you pass the challenge I have heard that you need to keep eating PB on a regular basis to keep the allergy away.

ask your Dr about it. it is an odd thing you avoid avoid avoid then suddenly some says ok eat it.. I would be nervous but if you pass the challenge i have been told that you should put inyour regular diet so that your immune system recognizes it. and keep you from having reactions! good luck.. luck! Therese

On Mar 2, 2007

I think the fact that your doctor has never had a patient fail a challenge in 15 years is a really good sign. It sounds like your allergist is very cautious, just like ours. I read that Dr. Wood does a challenge if there is a 50% chance the person will fail and I just about fell over. Your doctor sounds very conservative. Based on the information you posted, I would do the challenge. Let us know how it goes!

On Mar 2, 2007

My son's numbers have been below 1 the last few tests and our allergist has suggested several times that we might challenge "someday". So far the "somday" hasn't arrived. But I totally understand the pull- the desire to SO BADLY outgrow vs the risk of exposure and the fear of not outgrowing. It's difficult. Please keep us informed!

On Mar 2, 2007

Thank you all for your advice and comments. I think we will do the oral challenge within the next couple of weeks - prayfully. We are going to Disney soon and what a trip that would be without all the food challenges that accompany traveling.

Thank you for being so supportive. I just have to trust in God and our doctor.

I can already picture the hives now in my mind and the emotions forthcoming...

I will keep ya all updated on the challenge and outcome. Peanuts are like poision to me, so I can't even imagine having one placed in DS's mouth.

Can you tell how crazy this is making me? Such a life changing event (either outcome) in such a short period of a few hours, but I guess that is how life works.

Thanks again, Andrea

On Mar 5, 2007

Just wanted to let you all know our challenge is scheduled for Friday, March 9th at 120pm. Please pray that DS will be kept safe. We all know how great it would be for our children to outgrow their allergies, which I hope for, but I really hope that he stays safe and does not have anaphylaxis. Thank you. Andrea