What would you do?

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Should I get my son retested?

He is almost 6 years old. His history is: -hives after eating peanutbutter at age 14 mos. After this we are very careful to avoid exposure. -negative RAST at age 3 -positive skin test for peanut at age 3 -a few minor hives for unknown reason ages 3 & 4, goes away after antihistimine -hives all over torso after eating watermelon at age 4 3/4, goes away after antihistimine -hives all over torso and "Mommy, my throat feels funny" after eating watermelon at age 4 3/4. goes away after antihistimine.

He is now almost 6, and hasn't had any hives or other reactions in the last year. We are always very, very careful about exposures.

Should I have him retested?

On Jun 17, 2005

Are you thinking of testing for watermelon or just peanut. To me, no harm in testing. I would start w/ a rast for peanut & watermelon, too if that's possible. Then, go from there. My ds, 3, just had a neg. rast. We're awaing a skin test and if neg., thinking about a challenge. Good Luck to you!

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On Jun 17, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by julieneaman: [b]Are you thinking of testing for watermelon or just peanut. To me, no harm in testing. I would start w/ a rast for peanut & watermelon, too if that's possible. Then, go from there. My ds, 3, just had a neg. rast. We're awaing a skin test and if neg., thinking about a challenge. Good Luck to you!

Thanks. I guess I was wondering what the point is of testing, since the RAST was negative before, and the skin test is an exposure...

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On Jun 17, 2005

Oh, I think I misread your first post. Your son hasn't had a rast since he was 3 & is now almost 6? If you're concerned about an exposure via skin test, you could start w/ a rast. Seems to me your son could be one of the lucky ones. I would want to find out b/c of the research that indicates that if a child does outgrow, he needs to eat peanuts on a regular basis to remain non-allergic. Let us know what you decide.

Julie

On Jun 17, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by julieneaman: [b]Oh, I think I misread your first post. Your son hasn't had a rast since he was 3 & is now almost 6? If you're concerned about an exposure via skin test, you could start w/ a rast.[/b]

Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant is there any point in doing a RAST test, since his last RAST test was a false negative?

On Jun 17, 2005

How do you know the last RAST was a false negative? Couldn't the skin test be a false positive? The false positive rate on the skin test is 50%. Also, I've read that the skin test can remain positive for up to 7 years after an allergy is outgrown.

Personally, I would RAST test again and if the test is still negative I would consider a challenge.

The watermelon seems like a pretty clear reaction (or cross-reaction with a pollen) and I would just assume he's allergic to watermelon and avoid it. FWIW, my DS is sometimes bothered by watermelon and sometimes not - I think it depends on what's in the air at the time.

Rebekah

On Jun 17, 2005

DS is 7, and we just had him retested with an ImmunoCAP test (newer and more accurate than RAST he said). He hadn't been tested since he was 2.

He said that with kids under 4, skin tests are often more accurate than RAST tests. After 4, you can count on the RAST score more.

So there it is, FWIW.

On Jun 18, 2005

Yes, I would have him retested. My DD is 9 (will be 10 next week!) and I had her retested last year after going for about 6 years since her last RAST. I wanted to know if her levels had changed any -- whether worse or better.

Much to my and my Dr.'s surprise, her levels went up slightly for peanut, but went down considerably for tree nuts, and negative for shellfish. I was just hoping that w/o any reactions for all those years, her levels would have decreased.

I think it is a good idea to get them retested every few years just to see if there is any changes in their numbers.

Just a thought on the watermelon. I've been eating watermelon for years without any problems. Lately, when I eat watertmelon, especially w/o cutting it off the rind, I get an itchy throat, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Go figure!

On Jun 18, 2005

Would retesting provide you with any information that would change your behavior?

It wouldn't for us. We'd still keep a very vigilant regiment, so the numbers wouldn't have any practical effect. Retesting DD would only serve to satisfy our (and our allergist's) curiosity to compare her numbers. We decided that if she needed a blood draw for something else, we'd ask them to also run a rast (or i-cap). DD hates having to get 'stuck', so it's hard for us to rationalize doing so just to satisfy our desire to know which way her numbers are tending.

On Jun 18, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]Would retesting provide you with any information that would change your behavior? [/b]

I'm not sure. The RAST was meaningless last time. The scratch test is an exposure...so do I really want to do it again? I don't know.

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