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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 376
Location: Alberta
This is what the allergist stressed to us today at our appointment, and I wanted to post it here because it's quite interesting stuff.

My son is 10, and the allergist said that this is the year that they usually see allergies "explode" in a child with a history of allergies. My son's, however, seem to on the decline.

Before we saw our current allergist (at age 5), my son's asthma was managed by GPs and ER docs who constantly told us to take him OFF the Flovent after he was symptom-free for a few weeks. Then my son had a milk exposure and his breathing was so compromised that they had a hard time getting the reaction under control. SCARIEST moment of my life, by far. Anyway, after that reaction, our allergist smacked us with the reality that despite the fact that he never has any asthma symptoms, the potential for a reaction is always there ... just waiting for the right trigger. So in kids with food allergies, that is why they recommend preventive corticosteroid inhalers 24/7 despite the fact that they don't otherwise have any asthma symptoms. So we agreed to put him back on the Flovent. And what happens....

Another milk exposure. This one, he had every symptom of anaphyaxis, but his oxygen sats never dropped below 97, and he never experienced any difficulty breathing. It was still a terrible reaction, but he was not in danger of not breathing. I am pretty sure it was the Flovent that saved him from a worse outcome. It was also that year that he started skin testing positive to environmental allergens. Funny, he never seemed to have any symptoms ... no sneezing or runny nose, etc. But he put him on Nasonex anyway. By this time I'm totally on board ... so we continue to give the Flovent and Nasonex every day, even though my son has not had any asthma or runny nose in years.

Now we've reached a point in his life where they usually see the "explosion" ... but it's the opposite for us. Why? Well, he explained that they've been seeing more and more of this over the years, and research is still coming .. but it seems that in allergic children, decreasing inflammation in the nasal passages (through the use of Nasonex) and the airways (through the Flovent) seems to be correlating with a decrease in their allergies. We're not talking just a decrease in symptoms, which is an obvious benefit, but a decrease in allergies. Indeed, after 64 pokes today, he had fewer flares than ever. The spike at this age is usually because of non-compliance ... parents fear putting their children on the medication when there are no symptoms, which results in an increase in their allergies in the pre-teen / teen years. So, despite the fact that my son only had 2 small flares for environmental allergens, he is staying on the nasal corticosteroids because of the sharp decline. Even in kids without environmental allergies, the nasal passages are the main point of entry for potential allergens - so they are starting to believe that using the nasal sprays earlier may actually prevent them from developing and contribute to lessening the ones that already exist. (Note to Susan - I hope I got all the above right - I was very excited hearing it! Of course he was referring to a specific group of children, taking into account their total IgE, individual food IgE and skin testing, which is all very confusing to any non-allergist!)

I know this is just an anecdote, and that many children grow out of their allergies spontaneously, but a few years ago we were turfed from an allergist who told me that my son's situation with milk was basically hopeless, and not to come back until he was at least 12 years old. Instead, I went to a different allergist, who has stuck with us towards making my son better, and seems to be a little more on the leading edge. So while the above may not apply to everyone, there seems to be hope for even us "hopeless" cases!

Lots of exciting stuff happening these days! Baked milk challenge in 2 months, and we NEVER would have thought it would happen!!

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