Talking Allergies

Peanut Allergy (5 yo) results: RAST >100, 6+ !!
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Author:  kmommy [ Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:16 pm ]
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I read the labels at least 3 times. Once when I'm buying the product, once when I'm putting the product away, and once before I serve the product. The life-threatening allergies in my house are peanuts (my hubby) and eggs (my son), as well as numerous other allergies that cause "issues".
It can be difficult at first, but it quickly becomes second nature.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:24 am ]
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Yes, I've caught allergens on the list during the second or third reading!
I blame all of the distractions in the store for this. :)

Author:  Becky [ Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:38 pm ]
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Update in first post.

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:22 am ]
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Hi again,

Sorry to hear of the high test numbers. My DD's IgE was 93 for peanut when first tested, but I have heard of 3 families through our local support group whose children's tests were over 100 as well. I asked the Dr not to do a skin test for peanut, so I don't know what her wheal size would have been.

Regarding the wheat and cat/dog allergies, from what I've read, if the people are tolerating the food/substance with no problems, then they can continue even if tests show a mild allergy. I would check with your allergist about this. My son tested at IgE = around 2 for coconut, but has been having it with no problems, so I've continued giving it to him. I've heard of others doing this well.

Also, while it seems to be bad news to have such high IgE numbers, our allergist tells us that the number can't predict the severity of reactions. So, a high number doesn't mean you'll have a very severe reaction just like a low number doesn't mean you'll have a mild reaction.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:45 am ]
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Oh Becky! I can hear the panic in your post. :(
First of all, you're doing a great job in going through the house and reading the labels etc.
Too much information can be overwhelming so breathe, regroup your thoughts for a moment and concider your priorities.
You're making your immediate environment "safe" so that you have a safe haven.
Go back to basics for a while. Eat foods with few ingredients, gather some recipes and don't plan to eat out just yet.
Organize your information. Keep track of his allergy information. If he's in school, preschool or daycare, make sure those who look after him are aware and have the necessary documentation.
Get an auto-injector trainer and practice.
Sign up for medication reminder programs or record the information in your computer with a reminder.
Once the initial feelings of being overwhelmed wear off you can branch out and call companies about products.
Peanut allergy is one that companies are catering to more and more. Many products are listed peanut. Restaurants are more aware as well. Call ahead and plan to arrive at a slower time when they can give your food the attention you need.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:49 am ]
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So many foods say 'may contain traces of nuts' that he's had for years without any problems. Are they all unsafe for him now? He loves hummus (chick peas), which are in a similar family, are they off the list now too?

If your allergist has not told you that foods in the legume family are off limits, then they aren't. You can be allergic to only one food from the family. Check for cross contamination in the production line or make your own!

Your allergist will give you a list of foods to avoid.

Author:  mharasym [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:21 am ]
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I agree - it does get easier!

My 17yo son has been >100+ RAST from the beginning (diagnosed at 18 mo) and he has never had a peanut reaction except the initial one. that triggered the diagnosis. He has had some small reactons to egg which is is also allergic to, but nothing else.

Yes, we've been careful - diligent. But yet we still eat in restaurants, we still eat at friends/neighbours/family, he's still involved in extracurricular activities, has a job, has a girlfiriend - life is "normal". It didn't always feel that way, but as you and your child become more comfortable with managing the allergies, it won't be so overwhelming.

He NEVER leaves the house without his Epi - even to take out the garbage. I asked him one time why he did that - he said, "just habit". He still doesn't eat a "new food" away from home - something we started and have never changed. There are so many products now for people with allergies, and the improvements in labeling, I find it much easier to shop. I used to call for cross-contam info before clear labeling became the norm. I buy from the companies that provide me with the info I need on the label- I'm not going to spend my time begging for info if they aren't willing to offer up front.

Check out the recipies section for lost of peanut free cookies, muffins, cakes etc that are easy to make.

Author:  Becky [ Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:29 am ]
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Just checking in, I really appreciate all of the understanding and support I've received here. It's so nice to hear from people who 'get it'.

We're still adjusting, and I'm still a little panicked, but not quite as much. I've just become afraid of food, one of my twins really wanted a Wendy's salad yesterday and although I've read the info numerous times I just couldn't do it (all 3 boys love the Mandarin Chicken Salad, which I'd now order without almonds). I took my PA 5 year old to a kids concert the other night and EVERYONE around us was eating popcorn, mini donuts was made me want to gag. One little girl walked past us with a sleeve of peanut butter cups and she may as well have been carrying poison. I use to really like nuts, but now when I see them at the grocery store I find them revolting.

I find it hard that some close friends & family members just don't get it. It's not as easy as avoiding peanuts & peanut butter, a loaf of white bread from a small bakery can be just as dangerous.

I've ordered some small nalgene bottles so that I can have 5 mls of Benadryl everywhere.

His preschool is having St Patricks day parties next week, which involve food. I've offered to make cupcakes with green icing for the whole class (the teacher usually supplies the snacks on special days), she will make green jello and ensure that it's completely peanut free. I trust her, and feel ok about it.

Thanks again.

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:40 am ]
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It IS really hard, especially at first, with some people who just don't understand the severity of the allergies, and it bothers me to see people eating PB in public places with lots of kids around, but when there are no signs to say otherwise, I can't blame them.

I think most, if not all parents have stories to tell about conflicts or awkward situations with relatives or friends over food at parties and dinners where people just don't get it. And like everyone says, it does get easier. We're fairly comfortable now, having found the packaged food that is safe for us, but rarely eat in restaurants, and I'm now working with the school to ensure my daughter will be safe at Kindergarten in Sept.

Just tonight my sister in law, whose husband is allergic to peanuts and daughter is allergic to egg, put the chicken wings I made specifically for the kids on the same plate as some restaurant food with no actual nuts, but were in essence may contains and probably contained egg! My DH quickly grabbed the wings that hadn't touched the restaurant food and actually said something to her. I thought I'd be safe eating at their house!

Regarding the Benadryl, there are new chewable tablets that you can buy, however, they say age 6 and up (I notice your son is 5). I haven't checked with our allergist about this, but judging from the dosage chart on the liquid version, it looks like for us, my DD would just take half of the tablet. I'm not 100% sure this is OK, but if a child under 6 can properly chew a tablet after biting off half of it, I'm OK with giving him/her the tablet instead of fumbling with the bottle, a spoon, etc. You might want to ask your allergist if this would be acceptable, as it would save yourself some trouble.

After I found this product, which is just recently, and we haven't used it yet, I carry two tablets and at least two epi pens everywhere we go.

Author:  Becky [ Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:02 pm ]
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Thanks for your post Alison's mom, my son will also start Kindergarten next fall, and it'll be a big adjustment from his small preschool.

I was talking to the pharmacist about Benadryl Perfect Measure Spoons, and he suggested the chewable tablets, but I thought I read somewhere that in case of anaphylaxis the liquid works faster, and is easier to administer (something about reduced saliva & problems swallowing). I'm thinking of ordering some small nalgene bottles so that I can have a bunch of 5 ml doses ready to go instead of carrying the big bottles everywhere.

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