Talk to me about allergists - why should we see one?

Posted on: Tue, 03/18/2008 - 8:06am
littlepearl's picture
Joined: 03/18/2008 - 14:45

Hi all...This is my first post! Thanks for reading!

2 years ago, my daughter was diagnosed as "Highly Allergic" to peanuts by our pediatrician.

(Her RAST score, which I can't say I really understand said >300 beside "Peanut". All the rest of the foods tried had numbers like 13, 5, 25, 4...etc -- so peanut did look pretty formidable when comparing numbers.) Can anyone explain the >300??

She had a serious reaction at 23 months (vomiting, gagging, breathing troubles, and hives) after tasting one fateful teaspoon of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream.

What will an allergist do that our pediatrician doesn't do? I am really interested in what one would have to say, but what exactly could I expect from one?

- Cheryl

Posted on: Wed, 03/19/2008 - 1:02am
niche's picture
Joined: 02/05/2007 - 09:00

So the rast #'s as you listed them don't make sense to me either. there is a chart and the 300 number doesn't fit with what I have seen. I don't have it in front of me but <.35 is negative. and the chart goes up to 100 some kids test >100 after 100 they don't typically give you a number. The testing can't tell you how severe your kids reactions will be. Rast scores when tracked over time can give you an idea if your kid might be outgrowing an allergy. Allergists also use SPT testing. Some allergists prefer one over the other. I like to watch the Rast #'s over time although for us and PA it is doubtful my son will ever outgrow.
I did want to say that the reaction you described sounds very very scary.
When diagnosing food allergies they say reaction history trumps testing.
Hope that helps,

Posted on: Wed, 03/19/2008 - 1:21am
littlepearl's picture
Joined: 03/18/2008 - 14:45

The pediatrician always writes "RAST 4/4" on my daughter's preschool paperwork -- and also notes Highly Allergic. She had the test a couple of years ago, so maybe some of the classifications have changed? I don't know...

Posted on: Wed, 03/19/2008 - 1:34am
doofusclo's picture
Joined: 12/03/2006 - 09:00

I can only speak from my experience. My daughter has peanut, tree nut, milk, egg, rice and keflex allergies. My pediatrician was pretty knowledgeable about food allergies. Having said that what he says and what my allergist says are not exactly the same.
My pediatrician says my daughter will never outgrow any of her allergies. My allergist says she has a chance of outgrowing some of them.
My allergist knew that kids with peanut allergies have a 50% chance of being allergic to tree nuts and to test for those.
My allergist knew that many kids who have food allergies also have asthma and told me what to look for. (Thank God that is one thing she doesn't have.)
My allergist is involved in some of the immunology studies going on with milk, eggs and peanuts now. He says my daughter is to young for those. That studies should be done with adults and young adults and worked out with them before being given to toddlers and babies. (My pediatrician would say to push by daughter into any study to advance the science.)
My pediatrician got my daughter into a great allergist, but also warned us that there are a great variety of allergist out there. Some are great. Some are just beyond witch doctor according to him.
My allergist knows the most accurate blood test to do for allergen levels. Apparently my pediatrician doesn't. My allergist also knows to retest her yearly.
I also think having an allergist gives my pediatrician another resource to turn to if my doctor had a question.
Oh one thing that was very comforting to me. My allergist has peanut allergies. So I got to met someone who had lived a normal life with food allergies.
Plus at school age your allergist can be another resource for a 504, but I guess you doctor could too.

Posted on: Wed, 03/19/2008 - 11:05am
littlepearl's picture
Joined: 03/18/2008 - 14:45

So I am sitting here looking at this old results report for my daughter. This is what it says...
CLA-1 Test results (Maybe this isn't the RAST test?)
Food IgE Panel
Lists A LOT of different foods and the legend says:
My daughter had some numbers in the teens for a few things, but her peanut result just said >300 Class 4. Anybody familiar with this test? It was administered 2 years ago.

Posted on: Thu, 03/20/2008 - 6:33am
doofusclo's picture
Joined: 12/03/2006 - 09:00

There has been an allergist on this board maybe you can try to contact him for help understanding the results. I think his logon is CMayer.

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