TESTING

Posted on: Thu, 04/20/2000 - 9:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My son is scheduled to see an allergist in about a month and a half after experiencing hives, inability to swallow, & vomitting withing 15 seconds of eating 3 small pieces of cashew (did have peanut oil). I just want some information on what kind of tests are run and what to expect. Should I prepare him for it? He is four years old.

Posted on: Wed, 07/26/2000 - 5:01am
PattyR's picture
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Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

You are right to be concerned. Peanut allergy is almost never outgrown. Has he done a blood test recently to determine if there is an allergy? If not, that is what I would want done first. I don't understand why you don't have an Epipen Jr. either. My son went 6 years without a reaction before he had another. I also recently had him tested by scratch test. They diluted the peanut protein 1 part to 100 parts water and he had a scary reaction. I should have followed my instincts and not done this when I was having doubts. Finally... peanut allergies, as well as all food allergies, are unpredictable. The type of reaction one has on one occasion doesn't necessarily predict what will happen the next time. I would strongly suggest a second opinion here. Let us know what you decide to do.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2000 - 10:40am
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Joined: 08/14/2000 - 09:00

I am unsure about what type of testing my 2 yr. old PA son should have....RAST or skin test? He also has asthma and possibly a fish/shellfish allergy so he is going to be tested for asthma triggers (e.g., dust, mold, animals) and other highly allergic foods (tree nuts)
The allergist wants to do a skin test but based on the research i have done i thought he should do a RAST to assess how bad the peanut allergy is and at the same time screen for the other allergens? Lastly, how traumatic is the skin test?
thanks

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2000 - 11:18am
BENSMOM's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

Deb, no offense, but this allergist sounds like an idiot. It would be one thing to do a controlled oral challenge, but to just give him a piece of candy? What makes your allergist think it's not life-threatening? What if he's wrong? I would go for a controlled oral challenge in a hospital with measured amounts of peanut protein to see if your son can tolerate peanuts now. Let us know what you decide to do. Good luck.
bridgetdb, most allergists do a skin test first--it is faster and supposedly more accurate, although you can have false positives for both skin and blood tests. However, for my son, the skin test was pure h*ll. Every bump itched and he freaked out. He's almost 5. It might actually be easier on a younger child. I don't know. My son is extremely sensitive to all of his 5 senses (has an acute sense of smell, hates being too cold or too hot, a tepid bath is too hot for him, etc.) Maybe most kids handle it better.

Posted on: Mon, 08/14/2000 - 1:06pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Bridgetdb - My daughter was skin tested last month, just before she turned 3. I was told to bring something for itching, such as calamine lotion or Caladryl cream. The actual scratching on the back didn't bother my daughter one bit, she barely flinched, but she was sitting on my lap, facing me while they did it so I could whisper in her ear and rub her arms and reassure her.
Once the areas tested started to get itchy, she started to wiggle around quite a bit, but you can't touch the area for 10 to 15 minutes to give the allergen a chance to react. Once she started wiggling, I wiggled with her and rubbed her arms and we danced in the chair and sang crazy wiggling songs. I just kept distracting her from her itchy back any way I could - maybe you could bring a favourite toy or book.
We ended up not even needing to use the Caladryl cream, because as soon as they saw the size of the wheal on her back, they let us put her shirt on and let us rub her back briskly to help ease the itching. The wheal lasted less than an hour, but she had a large red area for about six hours after.
Good luck with the testing, whichever method you choose to go with.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2000 - 8:31am
Lisa M's picture
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Joined: 03/07/1999 - 09:00

My son has had two skin tests. The first right before he turned 4 and then another at 4 1/2 (I stupidly asked them not to do the environmentals the first time because I was afraid it would be too much in one sitting but ended up needing to have it done later anyway). He handled it pretty well both times. Like the above post they had him straddling facing me and I talked in his ear the whole time. When he got itchy they told me I could blow on his back and that did seem to take the edge off. They also had a tv in the examining room and a selection of tapes so they let him pick one out and that helped, too. After they read the results they used rubbing alcohol to clean off the numbers they had written on his back for the tests and that seemed to take the itching away. I thought they might use a hydrocortisone cream but they said it wouldn't be necessary and they were right. I might would put some in my purse to use after it was all over after they were finished in case there was a need. The allergist wouldn't even do a peanut skin test. He said it is safe to assume he has not outgrown his allergy and had no plans to test him for it. He does not do the Cap Rast, which I've never gotten a clear answer on why not. I may request one when he is 8 or so. I read that there are false negatives on both tests, but what about false positives? Brett had 4+ for both cat and dog but we have two cats in the house and he doesn't show any symptoms of problems with them.
Bensmom-My older son (not allergic) is the same way with his senses. Everything is more noticable to him, sounds, smells, tastes, etc. I am glad he doesn't have to go through that testing. When I told him about Brett doing it, his face just went white. He couldn't even imagine getting scratched on purpose so many times! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I dread when he gets braces, because I remember how much it hurt to get them tightened! He will be miserable!
[This message has been edited by Lisa M (edited August 18, 2000).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2000 - 2:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My four year old son was tested via the scratch test. It was aweful for him. I was able to hold him in my lap but he has always had a very low tolerance to pain. He is also, as some mentioned above, very sensitive with his 5 senses. I actually had to laugh when I read that someone else posted that their child thought tepid water was 'hot'. That is exactly how my son is. He is very sensative, though never reacted, to the smell of nuts. Needless to say, he ran around the doctor's office for the entire 30 minutes afterwards screaming, "I want to go home....I want to go home." My husband and I did everything possible to calm him and he tried so badly to scratch his back. His wealts were so huge. I think the smallest one was 17 mm. They also wiped his back with the alcohol but we definately need the cream. We did not take one with us as the provided it there. My youngest son, age 2, was recently skin tested but tested negative to what we actually thought he was allergic to (almost 99% sure based on his reaction) but was slightly positive to cat and dog. He also did not fair well during the actual testing process. He screamed the entire time but was fine once it was over. I am not sure if this is a coincidence or not but he did get sick, cold symptoms, the day after he was tested and the allergist gave him a full examination too. I have an appointment for myself this Monday (environmental allergies) and will post about how much pain there actually is. I think alot of children have problems with just being held tightly and not understanding what is happening to them or their bodies.

Posted on: Sat, 08/19/2000 - 5:23am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My daughter does have a fairly high pain tolerance - my son has NO pain tolerance so lucky for him he has never been tested! My daughter's "sense" that gives her the most trouble is hearing. She's afraid of thunder, airplanes, vacuum cleaners, blow dryers, even bumblebees. I guess I'm lucky that's her only sensitive area - she just puts her hands over her ears.
The nurse that did the testing did say that Cayley was one of the easiest kids to test, so I'm sure it's very difficult for a lot of youngsters. There is an anaesthetic cream available for blood test and I.V. needles. I wonder if this cream would work for allergy scratch tests, or if it would distort the results. In Canada the brand name is Emla, and it is available without a prescription at pharmacies. It is applied in a fairly thick layer over the area in which the needle goes in, and it takes about 20 to 45 min. to take effect. Once the area is numbed, the Emla is wiped off and the needle goes in with no pain. It couldn't hurt to ask your doctor or allergist about using this cream - why make your child suffer needlessly?

Posted on: Mon, 08/21/2000 - 1:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I had my appt. with the allergist today and believe me I can understand why children get upset. The actual 'scratch test' was ok but after the reaction starts to take place it does NOT feel good. My arm itched so much that it finally just started to burn after 10 minutes. I washed my arm off with soap and water and then put the ItchX on but it took several minutes for the itching to stop. The test was done at 10:00 am and my arm is still swollen and itches really bad. Turns out I am allergic to 8 grasses (all 4+), 5 trees, 4 weeds, and 3 molds. No food allergies though (which I didn't expect to have) and no allergies to cat, dog, or dust mites. I decided to start getting allergy shots for them and my arm where they injected the grass/tree is red, hot, puffy, and very sore. I am not sure if this is normal but it kind of shocked me since they gave me such a small dose this time. I guess I know where my son's get all of their allergies now.

Posted on: Tue, 08/22/2000 - 7:03am
Kathy Spencer's picture
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Joined: 08/17/2000 - 09:00

Deb, I strongly recommend that you not allow the doctor to give your child any peanut product by mouth. In fact, after getting a positive test once, I would not let the doctor do a scratch test.
My son went into anaphylaxis after a scratch test when he was 10. He started with hives and progressed to breathing difficulty. It took all day to get the reaction under control and he spent half a day in the emergency room. I shouldn't have let the allergist repeat this test, but he assured me that it was safe, even though my son had had an anaphylactic reaction to a peanut butter cookie when he was 2.
Now I know that he should have done a RAST test, which he didn't even tell me was possible.
You need to have an epi-pen available at all time. I would get another doctor.

Posted on: Wed, 08/23/2000 - 3:33pm
chasie's picture
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Joined: 07/20/2000 - 09:00

Hi, we found out my 22 mth old has PA in July and around the 1st week of this month, I let the dr talk us in to doing the open challenge. Even after I had that not to sure feeling about, we did it. I feel so bad about what I put my baby through. The dr tried to talk us into do a soy too. But I will not let my son be a lab for him. I'm not sure if soy is anywhere as bad as Peanut but I will not do that to our son. I wish I tuned in to my feelings more and not be scared what the dr would think! I hope you keep us informed and good luck [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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