Questions about retesting and introducing peanuts

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2007 - 4:34am
JeannieLino's picture
Joined: 06/02/2005 - 09:00

Hi there,

I have mostly lurked on this board since discovering that one of my girls has a peanut allergy nearly 2 years ago. I have found this board to be a wonderful source of information.

When we discovered that Cassie was allergic to peanuts, we went to see an allergist and it was confirmed, allergic to peanuts. She tested negative to tree nuts, but we have been avoiding them anyway, just in case. Maggie was not tested at the time, as she had not yet been exposed to peanuts/tree nuts. The allergist said it would be best to have her avoid PN/TN until she was about 4 or ready to go to school, at which point we would retest Cassie and test Maggie. They won't be going to school until fall of 2008, Kindergarten and they will be 5 1/2

Here are my questions:

Should we have Cassie retested now to see if she has outgrown her PN allergy? Or to see how allergic she is? Or wait until next year (at 5).

At what point do we try (if we try) exposing Maggie to peanuts and tree nuts? Do we try at home with the Benedryl and Cassie's epipens ready? Or do we have her tested first and then expose her in the allergists office?

Both of the girls know that Cassie is allergic and that she can't have peanuts, and that we don't know if Maggie is, so that is why she can't have them. I don't want them to be afraid if/when we do expose Maggie and subsequently their little brother (who just turned one and will be waiting til at least 4 ) so how do we ease their possible and my definate fears?

Thanks in advance for any advice,


Maggie- almost 4-avoiding all PN/TN for now
Cassie-almost 4-allergic to PN avoiding TN
Nate- just turned 1, also avoiding PN/TN

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2007 - 4:53am
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

Ooh, so twins, one with PA and one unknown? Are they identical? Have you ever heard how likely the other twin is to have PA when the other has it? I know a set of identical twins who are both PA.
I'd follow your Dr.'s advice. In our case, the allergist doesn't want to bother with re-testing my PA DD for PA until she's in her late teens, because her set of circumstances makes it very unlikely she'll ever outgrow it. But you may have an entirely different situation.
I'd have the other daughter tested before trying to actually feed her peanuts if I were you. Epi-pens don't guarantee safety. And it sounds like you have no idea about her PA status. With my younger DD, she had 2 accidental peanut ingestions with no reaction. We had a RAST test done, which was negative. So then we did do the at-home experimenting: peanut butter on the cheek, then the lip, then a tiny ingestion from the end of a toothpick. No reactions, but I'm bringing her in to her sister's allergist this month to discuss her whole allergy picture. It still scares me, but I want to know whether she has any food allergies before she starts kindergarten.
Good luck in sorting this out!

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2007 - 6:22am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2007 - 10:46pm
JeannieLino's picture
Joined: 06/02/2005 - 09:00

Thanks for the responses. The girls are fraternal, I have never heard about identical twins having identical allergies, but it makes sense I guess.
I am going to ask their pediatrician at their 4 year check up for a referral to the allergist again. Then we will see what he says. It is just something that has been weighing heavy on my mind now, and they aren't even going to school this year.
They are definately more aware of Cassies allergy, when we go to other peoples houses, we always talk about them not eating anything until they have checked with DH or me, and we practice them telling people they are allergic to peanuts if anyone offers them food. I am lucky in that my dad understands about the allergy and is careful to check labels and such, although he once missed peanut oil (I caught it on the box )and he always hands me boxes to check first. My inlaws know about the allergy, but don't always remember, and I don;t know if they think it is as serious as I do.
The girls are hardly (practically never) ever anywhere that I am not, so for now we are ok. I guess I am just gearing up in my head about everything we will need to do for them to be safe in school and I don't even know what level we are at.
I really want Cassie to be one of the lucky 20% that outgrows it (don't we all want that for our kids, lol)
Thanks again.

Posted on: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 1:00am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

We have fraternal twins too, age 4. One has MFA, and the other has reflux/stomach issues, but tests negative on food allergy tests.
I would definitely have both tested. A school may want updated testing information on the allergic twin, and you need some comfort level on where the twin with NKA stands.
At our next allergist visit, I'm approaching the allergist about my NKA twin and kindergarten (next year -- YIKES!) and how to proceed. Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable doing an at home challenge, especially with peanuts.
Also, consider age when determing a challenge with peanuts. Your allergist should be able to help you with this. I'm waiting until NKA ds is 5 before I challenge him.
For example, at my MFA ds' last milk challenge, there were obvious symptoms I picked up (Him pointing to his throat saying he has hives in there, and his voice changing), but I didn't pick up on the subtle changes of flushing all around the back of his neck, behind his ears. You also want someone to monitor breathing, heart rate etc, which they will do at the challenge.
It's good you're thinking about this now -- you'll have plenty of time to do what you need to without feeling rushed [img][/img] Good luck! Meg

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