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Question about allergies in children(11 Posts)
My DD was diagnosed with an allergy to peanuts (but we were told to avoid all nuts by the GP) when she was 10 months old. She is now 6 and carries 4 Jext pens at school, home, childcare etc. Since her initial allergy test (a blood test) and diagnosis she has never been told to have another allergy test. Is this usual? I know other parents with children with allergies who have routine allergy tests annually.
When she was initially diagnosed I did ask the GP if she would have further tests to determine whether she would grow out of the allergy and he said that she would never grow out of a peanut allergy and for this reason they would not repeat any allergy testing. In your experience is this correct?
I appreciate any insight.
My DS was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 14 months after a reaction to peanut butter and then a positive skin prick test. He's now almost 4 and has had annual appointments with a hospital consultant but no further testing. The plan is they will repeat the skin prick test when he's around 7 and depending upon the outcome he might then have a food challenge to see if he's able to tolerate them. I've read between 10-20% of children grow out of a peanut allergy so the stats aren't great but someone has to be in that group! As far as I know they don't like repeating the skin prick test too often because the less contact with the allergen the better the chances of outgrowing the allergy.
Thank you Eve. As far as I am aware she didn't have a skin prick test but did have a blood test (I am terribly ill informed about it) possibly because she was too young? I have never been offered any follow up appointments with the GP or hospital and they just renew her Jext pens once a year without comment. Maybe I should make an appointment to discuss further with the GP.
Who diagnosed your DD? Just a GP? If so I would want a referral to a consultant who specialises in this. As far as I know a blood test isn't a great way to test for allergies. My eldest DD was diagnosed with a penicillin allergy after an unusual reaction to a broad spectrum antibiotics. We had her tested (via a penicillin tolerance test in hospital) a few years later. Turns out she isn't allergic after all. Anyway there were kids there having peanut allergy testing (by being fed peanut butter).
Cacofonix yes, just the GP - we have never seen a consultant. I took her to the GP after having a reaction to peanut butter (swollen face and hives) and he referred her for the blood test. After the blood test I went back to the GP and he explained that the test showed that it was an allergy to peanuts and that her result was scored at 5.2 on the allergy scale. He said this was high enough for her to have to carry Jext pens but to put it into perspective he has seen patients with allergies in the 100s.
It's odd how different the approaches can be. I would be keen for DS to have a blood test and will ask about that at our next appointment. On the other hand, we were not going to be given epipens because DS's reaction wasn't anaphylaxis (it was pretty bad though - his face and ears swelled a lot, hives all over) and the guidelines in our area were not to prescribe them, just to carry Piriton everywhere. We persuaded the GP to prescribe epipens as a back up and ever since then the consultant has been a bit off with us - she clearly disapproves that we went against her!
Dd was diagnosed with a moderate to severe nut allergy aged 3 with a skin prick test and blood test.
She was tested again a year later just before her fourth birthday and amazingly didn’t react badly to any of the nuts apart from peanut and the dust mite. With a blood test they found her IgE levels for peanut had decreased considerably but dust mite had increased. She has severe rhinitis and needs steroids to keep her nose from blocking up and bleeding.
The doctors were quite amazed at how she’d not reacted to the other nuts as she had a moderate allergy to pistachio and almond the year before.
Now the plan of action is to bring her into hospital for a day and slowly introduce her back to peanuts and see if she reacts. They aren’t worried about her and she doesn’t need an epipen.
I’d ask to be referred to the paed allergy clinic in your local hospital, as a lot can change in 5 years!
My DD tested positive on the skin prick allergy test to peanuts when she was 2. She also tested positive to some pollens. She is now 13.
Throughout her preschool and primary years, Shen has to be supplied with Epipens. The hospital now thinks she is not allergic to peanuts. Apparently, in the skin prick test the body can confuse peanut with certain pollens.
She did not have an annual checkup but I think she should have done. I think we somehow dropped out of the system. Everyone else’s DCs seemed to get annual checkups.
My husband grew out of his peanut allergy.
Also, I remember hearing ages ago about a trial in which allergic children were given regular gradually increasing (microscopic) amounts of peanut and the trial had a relatively good success rate in terms of reducing the allergic reaction.
You should definitely see an Allergist.
Also, in case you have younger children, I believe the advice has now changed... to prevent a peanut allergy you are not supposed to totally avoid nuts ... instead you give children peanut exposure from about 9 or 10 months of age, three or so times per week. For infants and small children they recommend using peanut butter or Bamba snacks (an Israeli crisp type thing). Given you have one allergic child though, you should probably be extra careful when introducing it to subsequent children.
Maremaremare Thank you. Yes, I do have a younger DD. She is 4 and has never had peanuts but she has had other 'nutty' foods such as Nutella and almond croissant. Very infrequently though.
My DS had skin prick testing at 22 months and has a mild allergy to peanuts and a few other moderate allergies. He had previously had a blood test as well. We’re going back in a year, when they are going to consider a food challenge. It seems so bizarre that different areas do things so differently.
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