Talking Allergies

Do these results mean there is peanut allergy?
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Author:  spud1975 [ Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Do these results mean there is peanut allergy?

I am new here and was wondering if anyone could help me. My son had an RAST bloodtest done recently after he had an allergic reaction to something.
The results showed positive to peanuts and egg but my doctor said these were ok as it was within the acceptable range. We were concerned as he was exposed to peanuts that day in school and he always says the smell makes him feel ill.

So do these results mean there isn't an allergy to peanuts, my doctor felt he should be ok once he didn't eat them. We are going to a specialist in a few months for further tests, as the RAST test did show a severe dust mite and grass allergy which probably explains why he is always sneezing and sniffing.

I am a bit confused about these results so any info would be great,


Author:  Alison's Mom [ Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do these results mean there is peanut allergy?

Hmmm, I'd be confused too, because your doctor said 'they are in acceptable range', but 'he'd be OK once he stopped eating peanuts', which seem contradictory to me. How severe was the initial reaction, and has he had any other reactions apart from that one? If so, what did he react to? Has he not eaten any peanuts or eggs at all in the past? It's also hard to say what 'the acceptable range' is for blood tests, meaning there are people with very very low numbers who do react to exposure, and others with slightly higher numbers who don't. If possible, would you be able to get a skin prick test to those two items sooner than the specialist's appointment?

Until you get confirmation either way, I would treat him like he is allergic to peanuts and eggs.

Because it's inconclusive, I'm not sure what I would do about avoiding 'may contains' and carrying an epipen, but those are both things to think about as well, to be safe, in addition to making sure the school is aware he can only eat food that is approved by you, washes his hands before eating, etc.

Good luck.

Author:  spud1975 [ Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do these results mean there is peanut allergy?

thanks Alison's Mum for your reply. I am confused too. Are there acceptable ranges where you can be positive but it won't be an issue. I don't think we can get the skin prick test any faster as there is only one consultant and there is a waiting list.
We don't know if his initial reaction was to peanuts, he always avoids them as he says they make him feel ill, the day he got the reaction a boy in school had peanuts but my son didn't eat them. He got huge hives and swelling around his mouth and eyes but I gave him an antihistamine as soon as the hives appeared and he got steroids and was sent to A&E but after a few hours it went down. So it wasn't that severe but did give us a fright!

He eats eggs all the time, he didn't as a young child as he disliked the smell but does now.
He suffers from dust and grass allergies so is nearly always on an antihistamine but was off it when he got the reaction - could he get such a reaction to dust? The doctor said this was at the top end of the results so he is very allergic to dust.

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do these results mean there is peanut allergy?

I don't know too much about dust allergy, but here is what it said on our most recent blood test results in terms of levels:

less than .35 KU/L undetectable
.36-.69 KU/L Low
.7-3.49 KU/L Moderate
3.5-17.49 KU/L High
Over 17.5 Very High

I believe KU means kilo units, as in 1000 units per litre? It does say right on the results that an undetectable leve should not be interpreted to mean the patient is not sensitive, and a reaction could still occur.

There are also different types of blood tests, with different ways of reading results. Ours was 'Specific IGE test'. I'm not actually sure what the difference is between IGE and RAST, etc.

I have heard of people with low levels, like under 1 who are actually not allergic. My son, for instance, shows 1.13 for coconut, but eats it all the time with no issues, so the allergist said that means he is not allergic even though the results who 1.13 is 'moderate'. Also, he shows as allergic to most tree nuts, but not brazil nut, and that could be because he has never been exposed to them. What they do is look at history/severity of reactions, skin test AND blood test to get a clear picture. If it is still inconclusive after that, they will generally do an oral challenge.

If he eats eggs all the time with no issues, I would guess that he isn't allergic.

Given what you said about peanuts making your son feel ill, and the reaction (which could be to peanuts), I would think that there's a good chance that peanuts were the culprit. Keep in mind I'm not a medical professional of any kind. I think I would avoid peanuts and 'may contain peanut' products as if he were allergic, and get an epipen, which are available over the counter if you can't get a prescription. You may also want to get medicalert (or similar) bracelet that could say 'Food allergies', since you are not completely sure it's peanuts, and make sure he only eats foods approved by you when he is at school.

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