Talking Allergies

My RAST results - PA???
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Author:  Becky [ Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  My RAST results - PA???

After my 2nd child ended up in the ER, and was later diagnosed PA (via blood tests, we still don't know what he ate that caused the reaction), I decided to have a full RAST panel done on myself, just for information. I've always been sensitive to various environmental things, but never to foods.

Surprisingly, my Peanut test showed a 100+ result. Prior to finding out about my oldest child's allergy I ate peanuts regularly, and in fact, had some not long ago (2 months?) when they were put on a salad I ordered when I was eating out with friends. I just had a few bites, and sent it back because I don't want to eat them out of principle, but I didn't have any reaction to them.

I don't know what to do now, my Dr said to carry an epipen and get to an allergist (1 year wait), which I will, but I'm just wondering how valid the results are? Being so high is worrisome!

I totally wasn't expecting this. We all show a mild + to wheat, but eat bread, pasta etc regularly and don't have any issues.

Author:  Julie [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My RAST results - PA???

Let me preface this by saying I am not a doctor!!, but my understanding is that neither the RAST or SPT (skin prick test) are an exact science. Our son's allergist (Dr. Susan Waserman) has told us that the only "true" definitive test is eating the food (oral ingestion). So, definitely get all the testing done, and be safe at all times, but I believe the true test is whether you can eat the food without reaction. Our son had tested positive to cottonseed oil (I'm actually not sure why he had been tested for this); however, he had ingested cottonseed oil on many occasions, and had never reacted, so she told us this was the definitive test - oral ingestion. Sometimes I've wondered if our avoidance of eating these foods (those of us not allergic) could lead to an intolerance or allergy to these foods), but so far, we've had no problem. I always have one of my son's Epipens in my purse, so I suppose I'm always prepared if anyone has a reaction... maybe you could do the same, in the meantime (until you are tested). We always have 3 Epipens in our house - our son's, my husbands, and mine (in my purse). I hope you have not developed an allergy to peanuts!! You certainly will have the knowledge to deal with this, if such is the case. Please keep us posted!

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My RAST results - PA???

I also have hay fever allergies and have had a couple of strange mild reactions seemingly to seafood, but eat it often with no issue. I have read non fresh seafood can trigger allergic reactions so have attributed it to that. Anyway, when Dd was diagnosed with PA, the dr wanted me tested and via SPT told me I was allergic to pollens and grasses, plus foods like peanuts! I have eaten them my whole life with no issue, and when I later told another allergist, he thought it may have been cross contact with certain pollens that were in bloom at the time? Still unsure, but I know I can eat peanuts and TN with no issue.

That all said, I am doing allergy shots and after 6 months, am on 'maintenance mode', but had a strange reaction last Thur to the shot, with lots of hives, flushingi and a scratchy throat. I called the Dr's office to tell them, and will be curious what they say for the next shot, but I may start carrying an epipen for myself also.

Author:  lakeswimr [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My RAST results - PA???

Skin and blood testing both have very high false positive rates. They are not supposed to be used by themselves to diagnose a food allergy. If a person eats a food with no reaction by definition that person is not allergic to the food. National Jewish Hospital did a study and found over 80% of children diagnosed as allergic to foods just by testing alone were not allergic. What you describe sounds like a false positive. You know the symptoms of an allergic reaction I am guessing since your child has food allergies. Allergic reactions are things like hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, tightness in chest, feeling faint (drop in blood pressure), etc and these symptoms start within minutes to up to 2 hours of eating the food. The symptoms almost always start within 45 min of eating. So, in the absence of symptoms I'd say you have a false positive there. Not uncommon.

Generally speaking, because of the high false positive rate, testing in the absence of reason to suspect a particular food is no longer advised.

Author:  Becky [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My RAST results - PA???

Thanks for the info, I have read that the higher the # the less likely that it is a false positive, but I know they are possible with both skin & blood tests. I am prone to rashes, GI issues & asthma, and though I have never linked it to a specific food, I wonder if there is something more to it. Though I have not consumed peanuts for 5 years (other than the one time mentioned above), but haven't watched out for may contains when out with friends, I will try an elimination diet and see how things go. 'Unfortunately', I have also started on Singulair recently, and do feel like my breathing is much, much better.

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