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DS (9) just started showing intolerance to some nuts, can I pay for a test?

(16 Posts)
SymphonyofShadows Sat 05-Dec-15 10:19:41

DS2 who is 9 has started to react to hazlenut, walnut and pistachio but not peanut (I have cut out all nuts) and has been given epi pens from the GP. He has been referred to a paeditrician at the hospital but the appointment isn't until late Feb and I'm not sure they will be testing straight away as it is with the Consultant IYSWIM? I'm keen to find out the severity and exactly which nuts are an issue asap. With Christmas coming up there are going to be nuts everywhere so I just want to be informed as much as possible. Is it possible to pay for him to be tested somewhere and is it the right course of action? Thanks.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 05-Dec-15 10:27:58

It's not that easy to find out the severity as reactions can get worse at any time.

If I were you I would just avoid all nuts over Christmas, sorry

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 05-Dec-15 10:28:21

They will probably test at that appointment they do here when we take DD.

SymphonyofShadows Sat 05-Dec-15 12:04:24

Thanks for the replies.

I wasn't sure at what point they would do tests as the GP was a bit vague. We are avoiding all nuts and he is very good at spotting them, I'd just hoped we could find out whether he needs to carry an epi pen when he is outside the house etc. or whether he just needs Piriton.

It came on very suddenly. One day he had some Nutella and it made his lip swell a bit. He'd had it loads of times before, and very recently, so I assumed that it was a bad batch and threw it away, then a similar thing happened with a walnut and pistachio that he took from a bag of mixed nuts. Since then we are nut free, as is school. He used to sit and shell peanuts (monkey nuts?) while we watched a family movie and did this right up until we realised about the other nuts so he weirdly doesn't seem to have any problem with those. Not that he's going to get the chance to test it now!

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 05-Dec-15 12:07:04

He might still be OK with peanuts if he tests clear to them

Peanuts are actually legumes and not nuts. So it's very possible he won't be able to eat some nuts but will be OK with peanuts. But depends on risk of cross contamination and severity of course.

Dd is allergic to peanuts but fine with hazel nuts.

SymphonyofShadows Sat 05-Dec-15 12:13:32

Thanks Fanjo, am I mad to think he might grow out of it? He reacted to eggs the first time he had some when he was little, but the egg challenge took so long to come through (over a year) that by the time he had it there was no reaction at all.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 05-Dec-15 12:15:12

It's very common to grow out of egg allergy but not so much a nut allergy.

Dd tested clear to peanuts last time but we have been told she needs clear blood test and 2 more skin tests to rule it out as it's unlikely she has grown out of it.

SymphonyofShadows Sat 05-Dec-15 12:56:12

Ah right, thanks.

WottaMess Sat 05-Dec-15 15:09:28

I'd expect them to test at the appointment.

Ds is allergic to peanuts but there's a high correlation between peanut allergy and all nuts so he is but free even though he shows no reaction to other nuts.

If you've been given epi pens then I would carry them, and piriton which would be your first port of call, at all times. Make sure you are comfortable using them. You can order training ones from the makers to practice with.

SymphonyofShadows Sat 05-Dec-15 16:46:33

Thanks. School have regular training sessions for epi pen use so I will be going to the next one of those, and they are a nut free school. I stupidly thought that this would be something that would be tested quite quickly. We have been waiting since October so it will be nearly 5 months before he is seen.

Runningtokeepstill Sun 06-Dec-15 12:56:48

You can keep him safe in the meantime by continuing to avoid nuts and taking the epipens everywhere your ds goes. My ds wore a bumbag with his epipen and inhaler in all through junior school and secondary and the school kept an additional pen in the medical cabinet.

Things have got better than they used to be. Ds1 had a big reaction to something with cashew nuts in aged around 20 months and didn't get an epipen prescribed until he was 3. In the meantime he ate foods that were contaminated with nuts on a number of occasions as warnings weren't as good back then (he spat them out pretty quickly as he starts to react immediately but still had some swelling and hives). He's now 22 years old and manages by scrupulously reading ingredients and not taking any risks.

He was retested aged 11 as he'd not had reactions for ages but was still allergIc to peanuts and mega allergic to cashew and brazil nuts. Recently he reacted to chick pea flour falling out of a packet he was moving at work. Chick peas are a legume and therefore related to peanuts. To the best of his and my knowledge, he's never eaten chick peas and is currently awaiting the results of a blood test for chick pea sensitization. It was quite a strong reaction so we think he probably is highly allergic.

So in your position I'd definitely avoid all peanuts and tree nuts and "may contain" foods, take the epipens everywhere and see the test results just as confirmation.

SymphonyofShadows Sun 06-Dec-15 13:10:49

Thanks Running, we have a total ban on all nuts and school are very much on top of it. They are nut free and since I've alerted them to DS being allergic I've had an email that was sent to all parents of nut allergy sufferers confessing that a child who was new to the school had a nut product in their lunch, and that it was swiftly removed and the my child did not come into contact with it. This was followed up by a broadcast message on email and school gateway app reminding everyone that no nuts are permitted. I was really impressed as I know that not every school is nut free or would do this. School have an epipen and he carries the home one around in a little backpack if he goes out. I'm going to ask for another one for his sports group as they have social events too. They are very keen on having one.

DS is a picky eater anyway and forensically examines anything he is given that is out of the ordinary. He is very aware of the effect that nuts have and is very vigilant (he is quite a serious child). The family know what to do if anything happens and his best friend's mum is a nurse so she is all over it too.

Runningtokeepstill Sun 06-Dec-15 18:24:25

That all sounds very positive. It's great that your ds wants to check ingredients himself as he'll need to be prepared to be vigilant and take responsibility.

Ds1 has coped very well with it really although it's a pain now when works Xmas meet ups are in Chinese, Indian or Middle Eastern restaurants. He won't take the risk. Fortunately he and his friends mostly eats out at Wetherspoons! I did worry when he was younger that he'd get lax about it when he was old enough to go out drinking (especially the under aged drinks parties when there are nuts around) but he's remained very sensible, at least about nuts!

SymphonyofShadows Mon 07-Dec-15 13:32:59

I hadn't even thought about when he is older but it is a worry. Your DS sounds like he is dealing with it really well.

Runningtokeepstill Mon 07-Dec-15 13:54:17

Yes, he copes well. One thing a previous poster suggested was getting a trainer pen. It acts just like an epipen but doesn't stab you with a needle, but it does click so that you know it's being used correctly. These are great as everyone can practice using them and when your ds is doing activities or staying at someone's house then people there can practice too. When my ds went to uni he trained the people in his flat. All his friends at school and college had a go with it. It's reassuring as both ds and those around will be calmer if the epipen is needed if they know what to do. Oh and the other important bit is stressing that no matter how well ds seems after using a epipen, an ambulance must be called as relapses can happen.

babybarrister Fri 18-Dec-15 10:49:13

have a look at the Anaphylaxis Campaign website as well

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