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Just seen-GP re:bad allergy to prawns. To push for allergy testing or not?

(37 Posts)
pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 11:17:39

That's it really!
GP seemed to think that because it was an obvious reaction to prawns we should do nothing except avoid prawns, scallops and scampi (despite DD having eaten lots of scampi in the past & no reaction).
Is this a normal diagnosis? And would you push for more?
Very grateful for any advice before I talk to the school nurse about it on Monday please! Not sure what to think.

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 11:28:55

His only advice for next time was give a whole piriton & call A&E!

postal Wed 28-Oct-09 11:38:43

Listen to your GP and avoid shellfish if she's allergic. It's hardly a common ingredient.

What more are you expecting to push for?

LOL

morningpaper Wed 28-Oct-09 11:44:07

What test were you after? There isn't much you can do except patch testing

you could just rub a prawn on her arm wink

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 11:53:22

Just thinking the related possible allergens like scallops & scampi. DD is mortified about avoiding scampi just incase-
there is a bit of me which says 'hard luck learn to live with it' and another saying 'get a test so if it's negative she can continue to enjoy one of her favourite foods'!
AIBU?

postal Wed 28-Oct-09 11:55:37

scampi are prawns - just coated in breadcrumbs - aren't they?

postal Wed 28-Oct-09 11:56:17

so what reaction did she have to what kind of prawns

PrettyCandles Wed 28-Oct-09 11:57:59

If it was a one-off reaction, and it's not a major food for her, then it seems reasonable to do nothing, just avoid. Children can outgrow allergic reactions. I used to break out in the most spectacular rash whenever I ate plaice (or was it sole?), so my parents decided that I should avoid all flat fish. I can now eat them with no problem. Similarly for strawberries.

Depending on what she ate, she might not have been reacting to the prawns at all, but to an additive. Colouring, perhaps, or glazing agent, or chemical contaminant. If she were to react again, especially if it's a severe reaction, then I think it would be quite reasonable to want to narrow down exactly what her trigger is.

PrettyCandles Wed 28-Oct-09 11:59:01

Real scampi are something else, not prawns. More closely related to lobsters or crayfish, I thik. Can't remember what, though blush

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 12:00:55

Just basic prawns on their own. The reaction was a bad one where all her face & mouth became swollen.
Are scampi just prawms? I thought they were different?

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 12:01:38

I mean prawns- not prawms blush

MrsBadger Wed 28-Oct-09 12:02:12

'scampi' aren't usually prawns - look at the size of them!
mostly they are tails from something called Norway Lobster which is bigger and cheaper than 'true' prawns.

so if this was the first time she had had an actual prawn it might have been specifically that.

Piriton + A&E is not bad advice

And what will you be asking the school nurse to do on Monday? (can't quite fathom this)

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 12:03:45

I think I'm going to have to read up about which shellfish are related to prawns wink
Biology was never my strong point!

LuluDanceOnMyGrave Wed 28-Oct-09 12:04:32

What kind of reaction was it? If it involved mouth/face swelling, difficulty breathing, floppiness then you'd be wise to ask about carrying an epipen. Less severe reactions can be dealt with using piriton.

It IS more than just 'avoid shellfish', because a) what do you do if there's cross-contamination and b) what if she has a severe reaction?

Do YOU think it was an obvious reaction to shellfish? If you're not sure, you're well within your rights to ask for a referral for further tests.

postal Wed 28-Oct-09 12:05:38

generally the definition is indistinct in the UK
shrimps
big shrimps = prawns
prawns in breadcrumbs = scampi (in UK anyway)

although scampi truly should be a type of lobster it is often not here

MrsBadger Wed 28-Oct-09 12:05:45

NB how old is she?

LuluDanceOnMyGrave Wed 28-Oct-09 12:06:10

x-posted, I suggest you talk to Allergy UK who will be able to point you in the right direction and give you some idea of the kind of support your doctor SHOULD be giving you.

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 12:15:13

Thanks Lulu- that's a great idea!
Breathing wasn't affected to any great extent this time, but the doctor did say it wasn't unlikely were she to be given a trigger food again.
Sorry for confusion about school nurse BTW- it's just that she's the person I will need to talk to at school about school dinners & what to avoid!
DD is 7 so quite able to make her own food choices at lunchtime if you know what mean- will have to make sure she knows what to avoid once I've worked it out!

LuluDanceOnMyGrave Wed 28-Oct-09 12:33:59

I'm going to go off on a personal rant, sorry to hijack, but I'm getting REALLY fed up with health professionals who see an allergy diagnosis as the end of the story. They really don't seem to have any understanding that it can turn a family upside down and spark all sorts of emotional turmoil, from 'how will I cope' to 'did I do something wrong'. I long for a time when allergic people are referred not only to an allergy specialist, but to a dietician AND a counsellor/support group AUTOMATICALLY without having to do all the leg work themselves. I have no idea if such counselling services exist, but all I can say is I'm working hard on my psych degree and it's one of my aims in life to support allergic people/families.

Sorry. Rant over, as you were!

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 12:50:19

That's bizarre!
Allergy UK put scallops and prawns under different categories, so why has the GP told us to avoid scallops?

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 12:53:16

And why no mention of the related group- crayfish, crab & lobster?
I'm getting less convinced of the GP's advice by the minute!

LuluDanceOnMyGrave Wed 28-Oct-09 12:54:53

As far as allergy labelling goes, scallops and prawns as ingredients are all classed as shellfish, so anything pre-packaged, whatever type of shellfish it contains, should be avoided. As long as you know there's no cross-contamination though, if you know DD is not allergic to scallops, there will prbably not be a problem giving her fresh ones off the fish counter, although you'd need to really trust the person behind the counter!

LuluDanceOnMyGrave Wed 28-Oct-09 12:56:22

As for the other shellfish, I guess he doesn't know, and is just recommending blanket avoidance.

pugsandseals Wed 28-Oct-09 12:58:05

Must join allergy UK!
Thank you so much for the link Lulu! You are a star!

BlurredBoundaries Wed 28-Oct-09 12:58:16

As a slight aside. Ds' consultant has always told us to use liquid piriton in preference to tablet form as this works more quickly - which is important in a potentially anaphylactic situation.

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