Q&A with Dr Andrew Clark, consultant in paediatric allergy, who is leading the world's largest peanut allergy study

(109 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-Apr-10 10:57:29

Dr Andrew Clark is a consultant in paediatric allergy at Addenbrookes NHS Foundation Trust and he has been in the news because he's leading a £1 million NHS-sponsored study into peanut allergy.

We're very pleased that Dr Clark, whose other research and clinical projects focus on improving the care of children with food allergy, has agreed to answer your questions about children's food allergies.

We'll send over the questions on this thread to Dr Clark on 24 April and put up his answers during the first week of May.

Thanks to Dr Clark, and TIA for your questions.

OP’s posts: |
TiredFeet Sun 21-Apr-13 21:04:11

ah balls just seen this is old thread!

TiredFeet Sun 21-Apr-13 21:03:14

Not feeling great so apologies if these questions have already been posted

- my son has multiple severe allergies (diagnosed by blood /skin prick tests) including milk egg soya wheat. I am pregnant with second child and wondering if there is anything I should be doing/not doing during pregnancy/breastfeeding/weaning this next child. (Lots of allergies on both sides of our family)?

- my son had severe eczema from 3-6 months and we were desperate, he never slept for more than 40 minutes at a time, day or night. We were seeing gp's bi-weekly, desperate for help but they just prescribed piriton/emollients. I asked about cutting cows milk out of my diet (breastfeeding) and the gp laughed at me. When we started weaning he had a very severe allergic reaction to his first taste of cows milk and the paramedics had to administer adrenaline. This, whilst terrifying at the time,was a blessing in disguise as we finally got decent advice from a dermatologist and allergy testing. Can more be done to educate GPs? I can't believe their current lack of awareness at the connection between infant eczema and allergies. My sons life (and mine) was transformed when the allergens were cut out.

Spuderoonerism Sat 13-Apr-13 12:09:37

As YoniTrix said, this is an old thread. Addenbrookes allergy page is here but says they are no longer recruiting for the trials.

YoniTrix Fri 12-Apr-13 22:34:54

thephoenixlady this thread is a few years old, you'll not get a reply.

ThePhoenixLady Thu 11-Apr-13 11:57:33

Dear Dr Clark, My Daughter is 14 and has had multiple Allergies all her life. We have all come to terms with it and are grateful to all the health care professionals that have helped us understand and live with this.
My daughters life would be a million times better however, if she could eat egg, as this is in so many foods. The tree nut, Shell fish & certain fruits that she is allergic to, she can avoid easily enough and manufacturers are producing increasing varieties that exclude nuts in particular.
We did speak to Dr Kakoo at St. Marys about this, but he said that there are currently no Desensitisation programmes in the UK. I Then stumbled across this page and regained some hope.
Please can you help us in any way?
Kind Regards, Rachelle Oakley

VenusdeMedici Mon 31-May-10 21:33:43

Tatt, thanks very much for your response. Really kind of you.


tatt Tue 25-May-10 05:56:08

Venusdemedici He made some general comments about this sort of situation. Paraphrasing this would amount to get your child the blood test that gps can do (to which I add but you may have to tell them its available) because of their atopic history. They have both probably already been exposed to nut traces (our allergy consultant said children usually had been by age 3).

The younger child could probably have nuts anyway and the testing method was described - little on the lip and wait 24 hours. Personally I'd favour the slower method our allergy consultant suggested which involved some on the arm or back, then the skin of the face, then the lip.

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 24-May-10 20:33:46

hey misdee, how are you? i'm sure that the consultants there are quite good - it's just getting my GP to refer us to them that's the problem! But I'll follow it up in a few weeks when dc3 arrives. Thanks .

misdee Mon 24-May-10 20:00:59

CSWS, just read through that q+a, and see your ds had a reaction. dd4 is under dr hall at lister, who tested her for allergies and gave her an epipen.

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 24-May-10 19:49:18

mobilemandy - you're a month late with your question!

Mobilemandy Mon 24-May-10 15:06:56

Dr Clark

My 6 year old son is anaphalactic to egg, cats and horses. He has bad allergic reactions to dogs tree pollen and dust mite. Please could you advise me if I can join him on any desensitization programs. I would love to desensitize him to egg and dogs specifically as his quality of life would drastically increase. I have been told that his allergy to egg is too strong for him to gain any treatment but I am concerned that this may be an NHS opinion due to funding. I would also like to investigate any programs in the private sector.

I would be very grateful for any advice.


Amanda Powell

CantSleepWontSleep Wed 19-May-10 18:01:19

Thank you for your answer Dr Clark. I shall follow up with my hv in a few weeks (will see her then as I'll have a new baby) and try to get her to persuade the GP to give us a referral. She was instrumental in convincing him to refer my dd for her milk protein intolerance, so we can hope for the same success again!

VenusdeMedici Tue 18-May-10 13:45:10

Dr Clark, I appreciate you have answered many people's questions, however, unfortunately, for some reason you didn't answer my question. I'm therefore still confused and worried about what I should do, and was really looking forward to your advice.

ronshar Mon 17-May-10 14:37:10

Thank you very much for your answers Dr Clark.
I shall have to spend some time going through the different links as well.

ClaireOB Sat 15-May-10 16:35:48

Thanks indeed to Dr Clark, I have forwarded the link to his answers to lots of friends. And, for anybody who hasn't already done so, this No. 10 petition for better NHS allergy provision will be open until 03 June - petitions.number10.gov.uk/AllergyServices/

lukewarmcupoftea Fri 14-May-10 13:26:13

Thank you Dr Clarke - just read the Q&A and it was extremely informative. Still depressing that so little is known about allergies, but good to know you and your team are on the case!

MumOfTwoToo Fri 14-May-10 11:02:31

Thank you very much Dr Clark for giving so much time to answer the Mumsnet questions. Although I did not ask a question myself it was great to have so much information and have answers to so many of the concerns of the parents of all allergic children.

tatt Fri 14-May-10 08:55:28

BBF - if he named your child yes it would be a breach but if there is one there are likely to be others. So saying something like "we have on one occasion/occasionally/sometimes seen skin prick wheals for another/other allergies reduce during treatment (or tolerance thresholds for another allergy increase during treatment)" shouldn't breach patient confidentiality. He shouldn't name the type of allergy but don't see why he can't make a guarded reference. Perhaps he was just worried about how reporters can blow these things up.

Was also surprised that he did talk about a "cure" rather than a treatment. That seems premature to me. We all hope it will be but there are unanswered questions about whether the children lose tolerance if they stop eating the nuts.

He says many times that the initial amount required for sensitisation is very small, don't know where that is from but makes it virtually impossible to do anything about avoiding it.

While saying they had never seen the speed of response matter he did confirm piriton is not the fastest anti-histamine. Maybe the campaign for piriton in sachets should be addressed to other drug companies too. Next time we buy antihistamine I may get a different one.

Chandra Thu 13-May-10 21:27:33

Thanks, more so for taking the time answering so many questions, it must have taken a considerable amount of time.

PixieOnaLeaf Thu 13-May-10 21:27:32

Message withdrawn

beggsie Thu 13-May-10 20:27:16

Thanks Dr Clarke - your time and sharing of your expertise is much appreciated.


BlueBumedFly Thu 13-May-10 20:11:59

Tatt - from his part that is patient confidentiality, what I choose to share is different.

PixieOnaLeaf Thu 13-May-10 17:49:53

Message withdrawn

tatt Thu 13-May-10 16:00:48

very interesting, although rather depressing that it isn't likely to spread for years.

Odd that although we know of one child who lost their tree nut allergy alongside their peanut allergy but he didn't mention it.

LoveBeingAHungParliament Thu 13-May-10 15:00:58

Thanks smile

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