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Allergies and intolerances

Has anyone had a child with a nut allergy whose symptoms stayed at the same level of severity over time? Or does it always get worse?

26 replies

mollymawk · 07/07/2009 20:23

I have DS1 (age nearly 6) and DS2 (age 4) who both have nut allergies. I am feeling anxious this evening as DS2 went to a party and seems to have accidentally eaten something peanutty and was sick a couple of times and had a rash. No other ill effects.

He has had reactions 3 times before ? once as a baby when he got a rash when I touched his face with some nut dust on my hands (thus leading to first suspicion of nut allergy), then once about 18 mths ago when he ate a pizza and was sick and had a rash (still not sure what was on that!) and then a few months ago at pre-school when he got a rash from touching some bird feed that had peanut dust in it.

So now I am wondering has anyone had a child with a nut allergy of this kind of level of severity (so far he has never had any breathing problems, swelling etc) that just stayed at this level? I am just worrying about all those things I read that it gets worse every time. I fully understand that it might get worse in future but I am just hoping it might not be inevitable!

(I am just going to go off and eat now so won?t answer straightaway but I am hoping some people will have some experiences they can tell me about).

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pickyvic · 07/07/2009 20:30

my dd has peanut allergy and its always been the same. to get the reaction the child has to have been exposed to it once anyway to kick start the bodies immune system, its the second time the child contacts the allergen that the reaction is seen.

my dd carries and epi pen and we always keep piriton in for emergency, but when she has had some reaction like slight swelling presumably cos she has had something that "may contain nuts" the reaction has been the same.

the first time to an actual peanut we ended up in casualty and ive not risked it again! it may not get worse, just be prepared and keep the piriton handy!

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RenagadeMum · 07/07/2009 20:31

Sorry to say this, I have peanut allergy and it has stayed the same.

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RenagadeMum · 07/07/2009 20:32

Have you seen all the stuff in the papers about desensitising though? It sounds amazing!#
has it been done in Oxford?

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mollymawk · 07/07/2009 20:32

Thanks pickyvic (I'm not eating yet!). What happened to your DD that meant you needed to go to casualty?

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mollymawk · 07/07/2009 20:34

Ah, an adult with no worsening - thanks RenegadeMum (although sorry to hear you have it at all of course!). Yes, the densensitising stuff sounds promising. I wonder if/when it will be a program available to all of us?

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RenagadeMum · 07/07/2009 20:37

Would be great, wouldn't it. Imagine being able to go to any restaurant you chose! Actually, I do. You just have to be v careful with everything. I think what I am saying is, a nut allergy is something you can live with very easily providing you are sensible.
I am no longer embarrassed about quizzing the waiter for hours on end etc!!!

Hope your little ones are ok.

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pickyvic · 07/07/2009 20:47

hi mollymawk - my dd was 4 when we let her eat 1/2 a peanut one xmas....her face/lips/tongue/mouth swelled up within 30 seconds.
she is 12 now.

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pickyvic · 07/07/2009 20:49

oh and i should say that when she touched a stick with nuts in for her hamster she also had a similar reaction to your DS2. she got a hives type rash. sorted with piriton. id get some advice from your gp i think.

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mollymawk · 07/07/2009 21:08

Thanks again. In fact we have Piriton and epi-pens that we take everywhere. The Piriton has sorted all previous reactions, not had to use the epi-pens yet.

Today it seems he ate some crisps but there were also peanuts so perhaps someone had transferred a little bit of peanut into the crisps bowl. So I'm not trying any actual peanuts!

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OrangeFish · 07/07/2009 22:11

I have been dithering whether posing or not, as I have nothing positive to say but, well, since you were asking... DS's reactions have become more serious, each one has been significantly worse than the previous

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mollymawk · 07/07/2009 22:36

Thanks OrangeFish - sorry to hear about your DS. How old is he? Has he had many reactions?

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OrangeFish · 08/07/2009 00:28

He is six. He has not had many reactions (we are very very careful). The only thing I can say is that with the first one, he put a peanut in his mouth and had a rash on his face. Now we end up in A&E if he touches a surface that had contact with peanuts before.

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bruffin · 08/07/2009 08:33

DS actually grew out of his peanut allergy by the time he was 12, although his worse allergies are seseme seeds and treenuts which don't seem to have got worse.

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Beccabell · 08/07/2009 11:56

My dd2's allergy specialist said that one in 10 children will grow out of it.
He also said that each reaction may get worse because the immune system can kick up a stronger response when subsequently challenged - but this is not always the case.
The only way to manage it is to avoid products containing nuts traces...
I'm hoping that they come up with a treatment for treenut allergy sufferers (there has been a trial in Cambridge for peanut allergy sufferers which has enabled allergy sufferers to eat a handful of peanuts with no reaction)! I live in hope...

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bridewolf · 08/07/2009 17:02

my son had a reaction to his first exposure to peanut, he also has a few other allergies,both food and envrionmental.

Its a myth that each reaction gets worse each time.
the severity of each allergic reaction depends on a range of factors.

  1. amount ingested.
  2. health at time of accidental ingestion.viral infections, etc

3.stress
4 amount of booze consumed!
5,out of control asthma.
6 other allergens ongoing, severe hay fever or tree pollen allergie for instance
7 recent previous reaction.( body on hyper alert)

most people will have a mild skin contact reaction.
and some show dramatic reactions , but vast majority are resolved with anti histamine.

a study some years ago showed that the quicker you get anti histamine in a child at first signs of reaction the better.

its perfectly possible to have mild reactions for years, and consider yourself as having a mild allergy, and then , out of the blue have a severe reaction.
An immunologist ( if you can find one) is the most qualifed person to state mild allergy or not.

outgrowing is about 20% of nut allergic children. norm about 7 yrs.

other food allergies, like milk are outgrown by 5 ish, or younger.

but allergies , esp those people with multiple allergies seem to take longer to outgrow if they are following that path.

most children with allergies are following a allergic march, which means that during the early years, the food allergies are discovered, and ezcema and asthma are hard to control.

skin sometimes improve past 6-7 ish ( for some) but other allergies change or develop as time goes by.

children with envrionmental allergies may discover their food is cross reacting with these allergies.
for instance , tree pollen allergy might have a link to fruit allergies.

or similar food proteins may cause a problem, peanuts and tree nuts, although different food groups, or like my son , peanut may also lead to a bean allergy.
peanut and egg allergy seem to frequently go hand in hand.


There does seem to be exceptions to all the above!
and that may be because of the sudden surprise of the huge rise in food allergies in children, and quite frankly the docs cant keep up with it all.
hope this is helpful.
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mollymawk · 08/07/2009 21:07

Thanks all for your replies. Bridewolf, that's all really interesting and helpful (I'll keep DS2 off the booze from now on ). Bruffin, your story is encouraging - I'll have to hope my DSs are in the 10%...

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SueW · 08/07/2009 21:16

DD has just had a couple of reactions to peanuts - she had a bite of a Snickers bar a couple of months ago and complained of burning in her mouth and hasn't had nuts again until this week when she accidentally bit into one in some rice we had in a restaurant. Again, she complained of burning but her reaction had been to swallow the nut pieces and no further reaction occurred.

We've just been to see the GP today who said that she doesn't feel there's any need for further investigation at this stage but obv to call 999 if she has problems breathing, starts to swell, etc.

She's 12yo btw. No family history of allergies.

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mollymawk · 08/07/2009 21:22

That's interesting SueW, that this has happened at age 12. Make sure you keep plenty of Piriton in the house though as a first line of defence in case it happens again.

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SueW · 08/07/2009 21:29

Yes, I've bought a new bottle of Piriton altho TBH I'm not v likely to cart it around with me (and nor is she). It's a shame it doesn't come in sachets as a couple of those would easily fit into a pocket/bag like her spare contact lenses.

(The Piriton we already had in the house expired in 2005 or 2006 and has barely been used. I think it may have been bought for chicken pox many years ago.)

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girlsyearapart · 08/07/2009 21:38

Yeah does anyone know someone with any contacts in the Piriton making process?? sachets would be veeeery handy. More likely to cut dd2 with broken piriton bottle when carting it about than have it in the right place at the time of a reaction!

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DesperateHousewifeToo · 08/07/2009 21:52

I got a small brown glass bottle from the pharmacist and transfered piriton into that to carry around. I label it all up with dosage & use by date.

It fits into one of those small plastic boxes (along with epipen, inhaler, hydrocortisone cream and dosage spoon as well as emergency phone numbers) that take-aways often come in these days. Ds takes this with him wherever he goes.

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girlsyearapart · 08/07/2009 21:55

good idea. will try as do need to carry some with me. Am luckily not at epipen or inhaler stage yet. Ask again after dd2 has nuts or egg though...

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bruffin · 08/07/2009 23:01

i always carry piriton tablets which are suitable from 6 yrs of age.

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DesperateHousewifeToo · 09/07/2009 08:53

I don't think the tablets act as quickley which is why if you have a child who potentially could have a severe reaction, it is best to give piriton syrup.

I'm happy for someone to correct me on this though

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bruffin · 09/07/2009 09:13

Tablets always seem to have acted quickly enough for us.

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