I want to thank everyone on this list for the guidance they have provided us as we embark on this life with probable peanut allergy.
On Mother's Day, my 13 year old daughter ate her favorite dessert: ice cream with peanut sauce and a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Within a few minutes, she was coughing, had a rash, was wheezing, and said her throat felt tight. Luckily it did not progress beyond that because I did not know enough to take her to the emergency room.
The next morning, I contacted the allergist who said he is 99% sure that this is a peanut allergy and that we should proceed on that assumption. The blood test came back negative but we are still waiting for my daughter's seasonal allergies to abate before we do the skin test.
In the mean time we have had to deal with school, parties, resteraunts, a 2 hour airplane flight by herself, and just general day to day life. All of which we have negotiated safely so far in large part to the information we have found on this list.
On Jul 6, 2002
Blood tests are usually quite accurate---much more accurate than skin tests. You might want to do more investigating which may include an oral test in your allergist's office. Peanut allergy is definitely challenging and there's no point of you and your daughter having to deal with it, if there is really no need to.
On Jul 7, 2002
Have you made a list of everything she ate that day? Every single ingredient in every recipe? Sometimes there is a hidden allergy that you might not have thought of. Anyone visiting wearing purfume? Any shell fish? Just some other ideas other that P/TN. Good luck!
On Jul 16, 2002
Please let us know if there is any new info on your daughter - I pray that it is not a peanut allergy.
Sue in Sunny Arizona
On Jul 17, 2002
The skin test today was posative for both almonds and peanuts. Combined with the reaction she had in May, the allergist said that we need to proceed on the assumption that she is allegic to these nuts. He did say that we could re-test in 5 years. He would only suggest a food challenge if her skin test came back negative, and even then we would have to do it in a hospital setting.
On Jul 17, 2002
I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. It must be quite hard on her assuming peanuts/peanut products were a tasty food choice for her. Younger kids seem to adapt well because they've been brought up avoiding peanuts and taking precautions are like brushing your teeth. You do it every day--day in, day out for the rest of your life. To hear your daughter reacted from a Reese's PB cup does not surprise me. Reese's products on two occasions were the only things that alerted me my son might have a problem with peanuts. The reaction was similar to your daughter's, however, we had vomitting on our list too. The second time very severe and profuse. So many other peanut-contaminated foods set him off with asthma and coughing, which led to an asthma (not PA) diagnosis. Reese's products set off an alarm in my head--could he be allergic to peanuts? I, too, had no clue to take him to the emergency room on both occasions. Luckily, both times the allergic reaction resolved itself. Ohhhh, how lucky and ignorant we were!!! I'm so sorry to hear your teenage daughter has this to deal with PA now too in addition to the usual teenage stuff.
On Jul 23, 2002
What kind of blood test did your daughter have? What was her results? I am very curious about this because we are also in a diagnostic situation. My 14 yo son had a 5+ skin test to peanut 3 years ago. Last month he had a negative RAST blood test (not CAP-RAST). We are seeing an allergy specialist in August because of the difference in these results and the fact that in the past year he has said that his chest feels tight if he is around peanut or if he accidentally eats, say a cookie, with peanut butter in it. Also, if you put peanut butter on his skin he says it feels like it is burning even though it leaves no marks. My son has never had a reaction as serious as your daughters but I want to know if is is or is not allergic to peanut. I will be glad when it is finally 8/12/02 and he has his appointment. Originally my pedi was going to do an oral challenge in his office but changed his mind about the safety of that with the unclear results. Although I do have to say at first they said "Oh, see, he is NOT allergic to peanut because his blood test is negative." Then they called and asked me alot of questions and changed to making him see the specialist.
On Jul 24, 2002
I beleave that we had a RAST test, but I am not 100% sure. In any case, the allergist said that the diagnosis of a peanut allergery was based on the combination of a posative skin test and a history of an anaphylatic reaction immediately after eating peanuts. Given this history, he recommended against a food challenge even in a hospital setting.
He did hold out some hope in that the negative blood test may indicate a lower level of sensativity than somebody with a posative one. Also, he did say that there is some hope that she will outgrow the allergy and suggested that she be retested in 5 - 10 years.
Our tentative plan is to repeat the blood and skin tests in 5 years (just before she goes off to college). If these are both negative we would consider doing a food challenge but only in a hospital.