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Treating nut allergies by gradual exposure?

(15 Posts)
outputgap Tue 09-Feb-16 15:57:15

Hi, my 2 year old ds had a reaction to cashew nuts (in chocolate ice cream) last week. He was treated with piriton at A&E, and recovered pretty quick. He's also got eczema and seems to have a much milder reaction to cats.

I'm waiting now for an appointment with an allergy specialist, but we have private insurance which I could use.

So could I borrow your experience, and ask
a) is there a consultant in London that would be particularly good; and
b) I remember hearing that there were successful trials of 'curing' nut allergies by very gradual exposure to nuts of children. Does anyone know if this is now a treatment, and if so, where would I go to find out more?

Thanks very much in advance

May09Bump Tue 09-Feb-16 16:01:32

My DS has nut allergies and we are thinking about the exposure route. We have no knowledge of whether it works, as only in the early stages of looking into it. We have left it until 6 - so DS can tell us how he is feeling, whereas when younger they can't tell you what is going on.

My niece has been through it with her allergies - more hayfever related and it was tough on her, draining, allergic reactions etc. However, after two years it has appeared to work.

May09Bump Tue 09-Feb-16 16:04:25

You also need an Epipen asap - I would get a private consult for the Epipens if the NHS referral is going to take time. I would check your private insurance as most don't cover allergy treatment. They may cover the initial diagnosis - but not beyond that - give them a call.

outputgap Tue 09-Feb-16 16:05:56

That's a really good point about waiting actually, May. I had not thought about it like that, so that's very useful. And very interesting to hear about your niece's experience. Thanks.

outputgap Tue 09-Feb-16 16:06:52

Ah, okay, I'll do that. Thanks again!

crackedphone Tue 09-Feb-16 23:33:31

so far its peanut allergy by Dr adam fox from what I remember.

There are some good immunologists around in London hospitals as well.

I wouldn't pin your hopes on a cure as yet. Hope for outgrowing imo

I also think you need epi pens. good luck .

outputgap Wed 10-Feb-16 13:25:09

OK, that's really useful. Certainly his dad grew out of childhood asthma, and gets all sorts of crazy reactions to bites and random sofas and all sorts, so I'm fairly relaxed about it. I knew, given his eczema, and his dad's history that something like this was pretty likely, so I'm not too horrified!

I shall carry around the piriton until I get an epipen, and we are very close to a fantastic central London hospital, and his lips didn't swell, so I'm not going to worry too much. Crossing fingers!

PostmistressMcColl Mon 22-Feb-16 18:09:55

Our GP was happy to prescribe epipens for us while we waited for the hospital allergy appointment back when my daughter had a reaction to peanuts when she was two, so might be worth seeing your GP for epipens in the first instance?

outputgap Mon 22-Feb-16 19:47:12

Thanks Postmistress. I got the impression from other threads here that I'd have no luck. But I'll try that tomorrow. Would be good to have that back up.

Likeaninjanow Mon 22-Feb-16 19:52:39

We were told that we'd need to wait until ds2 was older for treatment like that as, if successful, he'd need to commit to eating a minimum amount of the nut every day for the rest of his life. The consultant said it would have to be a decision made by ds2 himself. I'm not sure if my consultant is a bit unusual though.

PostmistressMcColl Mon 22-Feb-16 20:43:45

My guess would be that it depends on the GP and also on the reaction... But worth a try. In the case of a systemic reaction that's clearly to nuts, I would definitely push to get an epipen from GP. In actual fact, dd is 6 now and we have never needed to use her epipens because we've managed (to my knowledge!) to avoid peanuts but I wouldn't want to be without the pens unless we get the all clear from the hospital that she's outgrown it or if she does the desensitisation in the future, if it's available. We go to annual allergy appointments at King's in SE London and can't fault the excellent care there.

rogueelement Tue 23-Feb-16 20:34:51

I think you're a bit early days in your diagnosis to be honest - there is a peanut desensitisation programme that is slowly coming off clinical trials (in London and Cambridge I think); the same team are trialling response to other nut allergies but a lot I think depends on the specifics of your child's response.

First step is to get seen by an allergy clinic.

The other advice we are given is to stay right on top of asthma as poorly controlled asthma increases the likelihood of unpleasant reactions; and that in turn may mean controlling the response to the environment (like not have sleepovers with friends who have lots of cats). ah the joys.

outputgap Thu 25-Feb-16 01:49:29

That's really useful, thank you.

He has his allergy clinic appointment right at the beginning of April.

I have actually been keeping him away from family houses with cats without knowing whether that was the right thing to do or not. I think my family thought I was being a bit precious but it's good to know that is likely to be the right approach.

Actually, while I've got all you experienced people here, the GP told me that there shouldn't be any problem getting the second half of his men b vaccine done. (The allergic reactions have arisen since the first, so I wasn't concerned before. And I read someone on here saying vaccines were dangerous for her allergic dd, so it made me wonder.) Does the GP's advice sound right?

rogueelement Thu 25-Feb-16 08:50:09

Well if he's allergic to cats that seems reasonable! Both my husband and DD are allergic to cats - an overnight stay would cause wheezing. I have been surprised at the effect of the environment on DD's asthma - it's a lot bigger than I realised.

I have never worried about vaccinations, I'll embrace everything she's not allergic to. She gets a yearly flu jab and all her routine ones.

Allergy is a bit of a long-term game, important to stay sane. For me it's been an insight into the best the NHS can be. I would also recommend joining the Anaphylaxis Campaign which is a very informative charity for people with severe allergies. Or at least take a look at their website, they've got some good resources.

outputgap Thu 25-Feb-16 19:20:24

I know! He's only mildly allergic to cats, in that his eyes puff up and go red, but it seems wantonly cruel to take him to places where I know that will happen. But I'm sure my parents thought I was being precious!

Thanks again. Really appreciate the advice.

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