Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Dr will not refer my nephew for alergy treatment, what can be done.

(27 Posts)
apibeeman Thu 18-Jul-13 11:22:28

My nephew suffers very badly from peanut allergy, all he will eat is steak and bread, he is scared to eat anything else, its telling on his health now. I took him to the doctor in Staines Middx, and asked if he could be referred to the Cambridge University allergies clinic. The Dr refused, so what can be done to get him a referral?

Januarymadness Thu 18-Jul-13 11:26:17

Is the reason for not reffering that your nephews problem is not physically related to his peanut allergy but to anxiety around food.

There are plenty of other things to eat that are safe for peanut allergy sufferers. Maybe he needs some other kind of treatment?

RobotBananas Thu 18-Jul-13 11:26:58

Why did he refuse?

apibeeman Thu 18-Jul-13 11:58:15

The Dr says he is to old at 23, however they treat adults at the clinic also.

apibeeman Thu 18-Jul-13 12:01:30

Another problem these days is more and more food has peanut oil in it, he has recently had a reaction to M&S fresh fruit drink. When he has a reaction he generally ends up in hospital, so it is not fiction.

Erato Thu 18-Jul-13 12:03:52

I agree with January, he probably needs counselling rather than an allergy clinic. Has he discussed this with the doctor?

I can see how processed food would be a bit scary with all the "may contain nuts" labels, but things like fruit and vegetables are clearly nut free - he needs to work through his fears by talking to someone professional I would think.

Has he tried contacting this support group?

impecuniousmarmoset Thu 18-Jul-13 12:04:16

Ask another GP! Seriously - the first locum GP I talked to about my DD's dairy allergy said 'ooh how strange' when I described her allergic reaction hmm. GP no.2 sent us straight to the allergy clinic (at Cambridge as it happens) - though I confess I have found them to be about as much use to use as a chocolate teapot so far...

RocknRollNerd Thu 18-Jul-13 14:10:24

I agree with others that the main thing going on sounds more psychological than directly related to the allergy. He should ask for a referral for counselling and also contact somewhere like the Anaphylaxis Campaign for advice.

I'm not sure what clinic you mean at Cambridge University - did you mean the Allergy department at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge, the University itself doesn't have an allergy department? To be honest even if he had needed to be seen by an Allergy specialist (rather than a MH professional) I'm not surprised you couldn't get a referral from Middlesex to Cambridge - there doesn't seem to be any specific reason why he would need to be seen there through the NHS. You could look at private treatment which I presume would enable you to pick a consultant wherever you wanted.

apibeeman Thu 18-Jul-13 15:27:43

I would have thought the best approach would have been to find out what his allergies actually are, and work from there, but thank you all for your help, that gives us a place to start. The mother has been trying to solve the problem for years but has got nowhere, personally I think the problem should have been tackled years ago. and the problem is down to bad doctoring.
Thanks all:-

Januarymadness Thu 18-Jul-13 18:42:27

You have confused me. You say he has a serious peanut allergy (i know they are not fiction dd has one) but you go on to say you dont know what his allergies are?

RocknRollNerd Thu 18-Jul-13 19:31:24

Another one who is confused and I'm not clear where 'bad doctoring' comes into it....

Bread seems to be an odd choice if the peanut allergy is severe as many breads are at risk of crosee contamination. If your nephew/his mum is really worried then fresh meat, fruit, veg and rice would all be reasonable nut free choices if prepared at home.

I also cannot see someone in Middlesex getting a referral to Cambridge as the allergy services there are under the same pressure as everywhere else and I'm not sure why you would want to go there in anycase. I would advise that your nephew needs to seek help for what appears to be a phobia about foods other than bread/steak. If he is unsure what he is allergic to then he should ask his GP for a referral for further testing at the nearest local hospital. If he is only eating bread/steak because he is unsure what foods may contain nuts then a dietician would be a starting point (particularly if his health is suffering because of his current diet) and the Anaphylaxis Campaign for advice re labelling.

apibeeman Thu 18-Jul-13 20:06:49

Well I am not a doctor for one and he is not my son, I know he has a peanut allergy because I have seen the results and I have seen what he eats, he has been under doctors for many years and I would have thought between his mother and the doctors they would have sorted something out but I know that is not the case. I know he is now concerned about what he is eating so maybe its a new beginning for him.

mistlethrush Thu 18-Jul-13 20:12:29

But if he knows he's allergic to peanuts, what is the point of going to an allergy clinic - they will simply be able to confirm that he is allergic to peanuts.

I'm allergic to chocolate - no one has ever diagnosed it, but its fairly obvious, so I steer clear.

I'm lactose intolerant - again, no one has actually tested it, but my DH can tell when I've accidentally eaten something that I shouldn't have done just from hearing me - so what's the point in getting a confirmation when adult?

I have been through the allergy confirmation recently - because I have become allergic to pain killers, having had no problem with them for years. This was so unusual - and quite important to know about - that my allergy was tested and confirmed. What do they do about it - recommend that I don't take the painkillers that I'm allergic to....

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 18-Jul-13 20:17:03

Does he think he is allergic to other things besides peanuts?

Has he been referred to the allergy clinic where he lives?

You can't get referred to Addenbrookes if you live in a different trust (as far as I am aware) but you can see an Addenbrookes allergy consultant privately at a private hospital in Cambridge.

Why do you specifically want to go to Cambridge?

eyestightshut Thu 18-Jul-13 20:21:27

Why does a twenty three year old need his aunty to take him to the doctor??? confused

Broccoli?
Potatoes?
Well most veg other than pulses???
Most fruit???

Why can he not eat any of the above?

sorrymeagain Thu 18-Jul-13 21:12:38

I am an adult with a severe allergy to peanuts. Many people think it is strange the way I live my life but I never eat out and never buy take aways etc. I find the idea just too stressful. I do however live a very healthy lifestyle and cook everything from scratch. I consider my diet to be very varied. The only things that I buy that are not fresh are bread and the occasional cake made by the fabulous baker boys (guaranteed nut safe and sold in most supermarkets). Buying food has never been easier because of clear labelling. It is scary but as long as you are cautious nothing should stop your diet being varied.

PJM18 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:54:24

Hi. I wonder if you are talking about the peanut allergy de sensitisation programme at Cambridge. I don't know the criteria for referral but it may be best phoning them direct and asking their advice re referral.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 18-Jul-13 22:10:04

Addenbrookes desensitisation is a clinical trial, not a treatment, and it hasn't recruited anyone new for years. There isn't a treatment. There is a trial for adults called 'trace' to look into trace warnings but obviously that may not suit someone who is food phobic.

nobeer Thu 18-Jul-13 22:33:03

M&S are quite good at making sure there's no cross contamination in their factories. A cousin of mine worked in one and he couldn't even take peanut butter sandwiches in his packed lunch.

However, maybe he's allergic to other fruits which is sometimes associated with a nut allergy. I have a peanut allergy, but recently discovered I'm allergic to avocado, and I sometimes get an itchy mouth with kiwis and bananas depending on their ripeness. Sometimes a latex allergy can also be related to this too.

Why he needs to go to Addenbrookes, I'm not sure. But I would have thought a referral to his local hospital would be adequate where they could do allergy tests for other food stuffs.

apibeeman Sat 20-Jul-13 20:48:55

pj18:- to answer your question:- yes I phoned them up and they said get his doctor to refer him to them, I discovered them on the internet and appeared to be the best people.
nobeer:- I think he is allergic to fruits also as that can frequently be the case, he has been to local hospital but they have done nothing. I think to get him tested to find out exactly what the problem is, would be a good solution, and then to find what he can eat safely.
eyestightshut:- I am a he, not a her, ie I am his uncle. I have seen that he and his mother have had no success on the NHS so thought I could do something for him, you would have thought the Staines Middx doctor would have told me that he could not refer him to Cambridge. Well he didn't. I am now in France am no longer able to contact him as when you phone the clinic you can only speak to reception.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 20-Jul-13 20:55:53

You can see Andrew Clark at the spire hospital in Cambridge as a private patient. There are also good consultants at Guy's who do private work. Tests for fruit and veg allergens are notoriously unreliable, a negative is usually a negative but false positives are very common. As your nephew appears to be somewhat phobic then would unreliable tests help him?

mistlethrush Sat 20-Jul-13 21:05:12

I got a negative result to something using the standard pin prick test - and then got a proper trial of it that came up as positive. So, being realistic, the only way you can be sure is to have it in any case.

eragon Sat 20-Jul-13 22:28:22

I think this question should be moved to the allergy section of this site.

you will get some clearer replies there.

you rarely get only one allergy btw. ever heard of OAS/Oral Allergy Syndrome!

RocknRollNerd Sun 21-Jul-13 11:14:47

Ah ok, I read your initial comments about the fruit drink as meaning you thought it had peanuts in - I hadn't understood you meant he was suspected of having more allergies. If he wants to pay then he should be able to get a private referral to see whichever doctor he wants - as others have said you can see Dr Clark privately in Cambridge or there are other good allergy doctors (Dr Du Toil, Dr Lack I think?) who work out of London hospitals. He should be pushing for more testing if it's suspected he has allergies to more than just peanuts.

eragon I think most replies have been pretty clear and have come from quite a few of the allergy regulars in anycase. Where there's been confusion it's come from the confusion in the OPs posts as the full picture didn't come out initially, or at least that's what happened with my responses.

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