Tracy\'s Trip Report: FAN Patient Conference in Baltimore

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 5:48am
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Trip Report: Food Allergy Network's Patient Conference, Baltimore, April 10, 1999
Reported by "tracy"

I was extremely impressed with FAN's Patient Conference this on Saturday, April 10, in Baltimore. There was a lot of positive energy and excellent presentations. The conference was very well organized. FAN provided excellent handout materials, very good displays and the opportunity to purchase their fabulous resources. (I bought the pantry stickers - safe to eat and not-safe-to-eat stickers - and the Alexander Elephant video.) I really enjoyed meeting attendees with similar circumstances and experiences. I highly recommend attending this conference and am already planning to attend future conferences, bringing my husband and perhaps my parents with me.

I traveled all the way from Texas, and to my knowledge was the only person from that state in attendance there! Obviously most of the attendees were from Maryland and surrounding states, but I did meet some people from Florida, Louisiana and Minnesota.

All of the peanut-allergic attendees or parents of peanut-allergic children I spoke to were not aware of this web site.

In this trip report I'll detail some of the things I learned. Keep in mind these notes are from my perspective and there's always the possibility that I misheard something or wrote it down incorrectly. It was difficult at times trying to understand some of the more technical issues. Do not take anything I write based on my experience as an official recommendation. I plan to discuss much of what I learned with our allergist.

The conference began with a welcome from Anne Munoz-Furlong, head of FAN. Dr. Robert Wood, an allergist, gave two presentations, the first "Introduction to Food Allergy" and then "Understanding Anaphylaxis." Dr. Wood was an excellent and very knowledgeable presenter. I was most impressed that HE is allergic to peanuts, so he has a much more personal and understanding perspective.

In his Food Allergy Introduction, he talked about the most vulnerable time to develop an allergy is the 1st two years of life. Obviously some people are genetically more susceptible and will develop allergies even though they are not exposed in the first two years, but my understanding from his presentation is that some food allergies can be avoided simply by identifying the risk in your family history and keeping babies and children away from highly allergenic foods. Milk, eggs, soy and wheat allergies are highly likely to be outgrown, but, as we all know, peanut allergies are not likely to be outgrown (but more on this later in the research presentation notes). I wrote in my notes that allergenic foods should be avoided in the first 3 years of life. Since my husband and I both have a history of allergies in our families, we will do this with our next child. We are also avoiding feeding our 15-month old son shellfish and tree nuts until he's older. (He doesn't show any sign of being allergic to eggs or milk.)

There is a high risk for peanut-allergic children to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Diagnosing food allergies

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 6:45am
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Joined: 03/14/1999 - 09:00

Thanks for the report, this will be very helpful information to many!
P.S.Do you feel like a school girl again? I think we give you an A+++ for a job well done!

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 9:44am
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Joined: 03/08/1999 - 09:00

Tracy....Thank you for passing along the information! [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Lynda

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 11:48am
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Joined: 01/19/1999 - 09:00

Thanks Tracy! Your notes are very helpful to those of us who didn't attend the conference. We appreciate your efforts.
Mark

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 10:17pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

Tracy, job well done! I appreciate you taking the time to pass on what you learned at the conference. Excellent information and excellent tips--especially involving the children.
Thanks!

Posted on: Tue, 04/20/1999 - 1:53am
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Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

Tracy Thanks for taking the time to write these notes. I hung on every word. I am going to the conference in Stamford in May. I hope I can take and pass on notes as well as you. Thanks again. I am also interested in the RAST/ CAP RAST differences. I am going to speak to my allergist about this. I know her feeling is that her only reaction is proof positive of her allergy but I would be interested in the different scores. Katherine is also a high 5 according to the RAST test. Very interesting stuff expecially about going off to college allergy free. I like that!!
Patti

Posted on: Tue, 04/20/1999 - 6:01am
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Thank you for all the nice compliments everyone! I actually enjoyed typing up all these notes, unlike when I was in school. I worked on these notes while flying home on the plane, and then when I was flying on a business trip.
I know others attended the Baltimore conference or will be attending future conferences, so I hope those folks can supplement my notes with their own perspectives. Also, if you're attending a future conference and can ask questions about some of the things I was unclear about, that would help.
What was also really great about the FAN conference, which I forgot to mention in the above report, is that they allowed a lot of time for Q&A. So if you're going, have those ready ahead of time. They will ask you to write your questions down on paper and send them to the front. Not all questions get asked and answered, but they try to get through as many as possible.
Thanks again,
Tracy

Posted on: Tue, 04/20/1999 - 10:59am
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Hi Tracy,
I just wanted to add my thanks for the post. I was also very encouraged about the dollars being there for research, and also that many school age children can expect to go to college free of this allergy.
I am also from Texas, and have frequent flyer miles due to business travel. Maybe I can hook up with you for next year's conference.
Stay Safe, Debbie

Posted on: Wed, 04/28/1999 - 2:19pm
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

I just wanted to add my "Thanks"-this information is so helpful. I truly appreciate it. Sounds like a great conference-I'll have to look into going next year!(I'm also from Texas!!)
Dawn

Posted on: Mon, 02/21/2000 - 2:51am
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Joined: 09/27/1999 - 09:00

Tracy,
Just went through the archives and read your post. Thank you SO much.
Kristene
p.s. I am also from Texas and am planning on attending a FAN conference.

Posted on: Mon, 02/21/2000 - 11:45am
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Joined: 01/02/2000 - 09:00

Question for all you Texans...is anyone from the Dallas area. I am looking for a children with food allergy support group. If there isn't one, I thought about starting one. Does anyone know if any food allergy support groups exists in this area?
Great report!! I really wanted to go to the conference and I am n ot going to be able to. I have a question on the lentil issue? Was the speaker saying that there is a strong chance of a lentil allergy if you have a peanut allergy. My son who is pa vomited forcefully afer eating lentils in the middle of the night.

Posted on: Tue, 02/22/2000 - 3:11am
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Joined: 09/27/1999 - 09:00

I am from West Texas, but I think there is a section for support groups on this board. You may want to try there.
Kristene

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