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DS has a nut challenge soon - can anyone help me understand the process?

(2 Posts)
TimeForWhine Tue 10-May-16 09:38:35

DS has had skin prick tests and blood tests and came out as very allergic to peanuts, and with a middling reaction to walnuts and hazlenuts, tho hazlenuts slightly less so. I have spoken to the allergy nurse today about the tests and have been left confused.

Initially he is having a walnut challenge; given that previous tests showed he is allergic to them, is this to see just how allergic he is?

Another day he will be having a mixed nut challenge of cashews, brazil nuts, a couple of others I forget, and hazlenuts all at the same time. I don't understand why hazlenuts have been included in the mixed challenge since we already know he has reacted to them, so what will we learn form this test?

Also, a friend has just suggested that if he doesn't react then he would need to eat the nuts concerned regularly to avoid an allergic reaction in the future ie the challenge itself could become a sensitiser given he has never had any of these nuts before.

I'm wondering what we are actually gaining from doing the challenges. Could it really make him worse?? Can anyone explain it all to me?

McBassyPants Sun 15-May-16 08:07:44

Can I ask what it was that triggered the allergy referral in the first place?

So the walnut and hazelnut blood tests are not conclusive enough and they want to test using an open food challenge. There are many different types of ways of reacting too. Some people might have a reaction when the allergen comes in to contact with the skin but actually be fine ingesting it.

Your DS will be given measured amounts of the potential allergen in a controlled manner, increasing the amount at each stage whilst being observed for a reaction. If he does react the test will be stopped and an allergy confirmed. If the challenge is completed without a reaction then the allergy is ruled out and you are advised to slowly reintroduce the food into his diet.

If there is a reaction, you will be told to avoid the food still. They will then usually repeat the challenge when he is older to see if he has grown our of it (unless he has a MAJOR reaction and you are given an epipen).

And what your friend has said is completely wrong I promise smile

Hope this helps

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