Possible Peanut Allergy in 3.6 yr old son - what now???

Posted on: Wed, 04/08/2009 - 4:14am
cgdig's picture
Joined: 04/08/2009 - 11:08

My son is almost 4 and has never had peanut butter, reeses peanut butter cups, or any peanut product. I had my son skin tested for peanuts last year only because he was suffering from very bad spring allergies. His skin test came back slightly positive. What does that mean, slightly positive? I like his allergist, but I also feel he's a bit alarmist. He's prescribed my son an Epipen which we carry with us everywhere. I've notified his school and taken the necessary precautions at home as well. But now I'm reading that these skin tests are not very reliable or very conclusive. His skin did not have a major reaction - more like a tiny pimple sized reaction. What should our next step be to know for sure, without a doubt, the extent of my son's allergy. Thanks to all!

Posted on: Wed, 04/08/2009 - 9:48pm
doofusclo's picture
Joined: 12/03/2006 - 09:00

May I suggest you get the read The Peanut Allergy Answer Book or Food Allergies for Dummies? The internet is wonderful but the books are usually either written by doctors or have medical experts that have reviewed them.
Here is the thing about food allergies - you don't know how sever the next reaction will be. Most people's reactions get exponentially worse every time they have a reaction.
The EpiPen is a good idea. It is better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.
Did the allergist discuss a schedule for retesting your son?
For example my daughter does a capRAST (blood test to measure anti bodies) test yearly. If they are low enough one day we will then do a scratch test and then a food challenge.
One mistake people some people make is thinking you can be a little allergic. You just don't know what the next reaction will be.
If your allergist seems to be an alarmist he might have seen the results of anphylaxis and that can be life or death scary.
Maybe your son could be one of those outgrowing his allergy.
That would be a good reason to do regular retesting and depending on the retest schedule a food challenge with your allergist.
Until you verify with a food challenge that he isn't allergic please continue to treat it with trepidation.
I am sorry you and your son have this burden. I hope for both of you that he outgrows it.

Posted on: Fri, 04/10/2009 - 5:37am
BestAllergySites's picture
Joined: 03/15/2009 - 21:46

If I am understanding correctly-your son had seasonal allergies and has never had a reaction to peanut butter because he has never eaten peanut butter correct? Why did you have his tested for peanuts then?
Testing is a very tricky thing. There is about a 60% false positive with skin testing alone. One should take into consideration 1. history of reaction 2. skin testing 3. blood or rast testing. Only these three things combined can give you a clear idea of an allergy. And the only ONE thing is history of reaction.
If your son has never had a reaction to peanut butter but is testing positive on skin prick I would ask for a blood or rast test. If those results are negative-more than likely there is no allergy. If the results are positive-then there may be an allergy. Either way-I would follow up testing with a food challenge.
Some doctors are overly cautious and some not at all. It's hard to find a happy medium and you have to trust your instincts. I am not an allergist. This information is from my experience and what I've read.
My oldest is food allergic. We avoided those foods for my youngest. We recently tested him just to see and he was positive for peanuts on the skin test and negative on the blood test. We chose to give him peanuts per our doctor's suggestion and he tolerates them fine.
You really need to discuss the results with your allergist and question the testing results if your son has no history of reaction to peanuts.
Best of luck!

Posted on: Sat, 04/18/2009 - 11:11pm
barbfeick's picture
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 05:48

I have done my own study of the peanut allergy. I believe that the allergy has two possible causes. One is leaky gut. This is not as serious an allergy and can be "outgrown" more easily. It can be due to the child being given medications - antibiotics. Peanut products are used in medicines and vaccines and do NOT appear on the package inserts. So a peanut allergy can frequently develop in a child who had no exposure to peanuts at home because the child was vaccinated or used medicines as an infant.
Peanut allergies can be life threatening. Your allergist would rather be overcautious than make a mistake. Skin tests are not all that reliable but there really is no totally reliable test. You can try some of the other tests out there. Computerized electro dermal screening is not a medical "test" but has been shown to be highly accurate in looking at food allergies and sensitivities. Plus there is no exposure to a possible allergen.

Posted on: Sat, 05/09/2009 - 10:34am
michaelradar's picture
Joined: 05/09/2009 - 17:20

If your son was tested for having a peanut butter reaction.
I would suggest keeping him away from it as much as possible. And have your doctor write a note to the school about about his peanut allergy. And I would definitely bring his lunch to school. If you have any question you can e-mail me back at radarmichael@yahoo.com

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