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Allergies and intolerances

RAST tests and how long to avoid nuts

1 reply

dandelionandburdock · 19/04/2007 10:53

Hello - I'm new to this board. My ds1 is 5 years old and has not yet eaten nuts (he had a milk allergy when younger which he had outgrown by age 2, so we decided to delay nuts for a good while). We were always planning to give him nuts somewhere between 4 and 5 years old at the latest, but for various reasons that aren't directly to do with him we're now thinking of postponing introducing them properly into his diet for a while longer (we'd quite like the house to stay nut-free until his baby brother is eating them too). However, this means we don't know if he could be allergic already, or not - obviously he's most likely not, but with a previous food allergy we would have preferred to have some idea of this before he started school and started having lunch next to people with peanut-butter sandwiches etc.

So - we've been finding out if he could have a RAST test for nuts, so just in case he is allergic we'd have a bit of a warning (he had one before his milk challenge and it seemed quite simple). We found somewhere to do it privately, the GP was happy to refer, all straightforward - but now the GP has found in his notes that they actually tested him for nuts as well when he had his RAST test before the milk challenge (i.e. when he was 2), and the result was negative. On the one hand this is good news - hooray! - but on the other hand I don't know what it means - can we be pretty sure he's therefore still not allergic, three years later?

I'm finding all of this a bit of a minefield at the moment with conflicting advice. We've read recent research suggesting trying to avoid things but not completely managing it (e.g. avoiding nuts but then having traces in processed foods) could make a child more likely to be allergic. That makes me think three years without nuts (but with plenty of chocolate and other odd bits of processed food ) could have changed my ds1's status with respect to nuts - could that be the case?

Meanwhile ds2 is aged 6 months and has loads of dry skin and some eczema-ish patches, and we've no idea whether we should be doing the same thing and delaying nuts for years or if we might as well try him on them at 18 months. (Loads of friends start their kids on nuts earlier and I'm really wondering if there's any point to us having delayed even though it does seem to be the standard advice...)

OP posts:
tatt · 20/04/2007 08:24

personally I'd have the older child tested again and give the younger one probiotics. Don't know what I'd do about feeding the younger one nuts - as you say information on that is a bit contradictory now. I'd have the older child tested because a test at 2 before they'd been exposed to nuts might not be reliable. Your gp could do a blood test for peanut, costs him less than £10 or you could get a more general nut screen done privately. Wouldn't think there was much risk of nut allergy but if you can afford the tests its safer and he could have nuts outside the house.

Probiotics help quite a few children with eczema and help the immune system develop.

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