E.M. asks from Chicago, IL on March 30, 2010
Food Allergies - Lisle,IL
My son had an allergic reaction to eggs when he was 1-yr. old. He got hives on his chin/cheeks after eating French Toast. I subsequently had him scratch-tested and confirmed the allergy. He is now almost 3 yrs. old. Last October, when he visited the allergist to have the flu vaccine scratch test, I asked the doc to include peanuts and tree nuts in the tests. He tested positive for peanuts, in addition to eggs. (Bummer!) The doc ordered blood tests to check the severity of the egg & peanut allergies. Well, those test results came back negative for both! Great news. However, now my doc is telling me that 5-10% of blood tests will have false negatives and not to just start giving him eggs & peanuts. He wants me to have him scratch tested again in July and said he doesn't want me to give him peanuts/eggs until he has a negative scratch test, so he ruled out a peanut challenge. Doesn't this seem overly cautious? I hate my son having to go for all of these tests. Should I find a different doctor, or is this standard procedure? Anyone else have these types of results with their child?
J.M. answers from Minneapolis on March 30, 2010
Food allergies are tricky...I would go with the md's advice. My son tested negative to peanut and milk (via blood and skin prick testing)...he was previously allergic to both. Attempted an oral food challenge with milk..failed it cuz he vomited it all up within an hour and a half. He is 2 and they won't even do a oral challenge with peanuts until he is at least 4. If you don't have an epi pen, I would get one just in case. Learn how to use it and have some oral benadryl on hand. Good luck!
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H.M. answers from New York on March 30, 2010
DO NOT TRUST THE BLOOD TEST! They are not sensitive at all and have false negatives all the time. I have lived with severe food allergies since I hit puberty and never even bothered with the blood tests. Do it right and get the scratch/dermal testing. Having lived through it (I have to carry an epi-pen and have gone into anaphylactic shock six times) I would have to assume your doctor knows what he's talking about. It is not worth it to test on your own-- I know you hate for him to have the official tests, but it's a lot better than him having to be intebated in the emergency room when his throat closes up and he can't breathe. My parents went through hell before we found out allergies were the problem.
S.S. answers from Los Angeles on March 30, 2010
I know it sucks to have to keep taking your child for tests but both peanut and egg allergies can be VERY serious. Your child, if allergic, can go into shock and die within minutes if there isn't somebody there to give them a shot of meds. Blood tests are not as accurate as scratch tests so you can't rely on a negative blood test. Definitely be cautious and take him for further testing! If I were you, even if the subsequent tests show negative, unless its 100% for sure that he's not allergic (sometimes scratch test results are hard to read), the first few times I give him peanuts or eggs, I'd do it in the ER, just in case ;p
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on March 30, 2010
July isn't too far away, but it can feel like an eternity of you're anticipating it.
If you're really wanting to branch-out and to be able to serve him some of the foods, have you considered getting the opinion of another allergist? Insurance usually covers second/third opinions. I did it with my treatment for cancer, and I ended-up going against my own doctor's recommendation. Only time will tell if it was the right decision, but you should know rather quickly, I'd assume.
S.V. answers from Los Angeles on March 30, 2010
My son is allergic to both as well, but we just did the blood test. He had the same reaction to the eggs as yours did, but at a B-day party he broke out in a rash all over his body-we think it may be peanut oil, but really arent sure. He has never done the scratch test, but I would recommend to you to see if they can refer you to an allergist. We went to one and we able to find out all the info to not feed him eggs. In the 2 allergy blood tests he got, the second showed the eggs was alot lower, but the peanuts tripled so he has an epi-pen now. Its scary! Good luck-
S.X. answers from Chicago on March 30, 2010
i agree w/dr but maybe something like a baked product w/egg in it first. not just EGGS.
and don't mess w/peanuts.
we had the same thing.
we choose not to do any nuts cuz we've seen peanut and almond positive, then both negative but almost positive, then almond negative... etc... and nuts are a SCAREY allergy w/anaphalexis.
so i'd maybe try a very tiny bit of egg (that's what we did after scratch test said no) and a little bit at a time...
but i wouldn't try the nuts.
B.J. answers from Kansas City on March 31, 2010
Follow your doctor's advice on this one. My son had an anaphylactic (sp?) reaction to tree nuts at home, and it was the scariest thing I have ever been through. His blood pressure dropped and he passed out within minutes of eating 2 pistachios. His face was turning blue and it all happend SO FAST! Thankfully, he responded to medication, but it was awful.
Once, when we were at our allergist's office(in a children's hospital), a little boy in the room next door was doing his oral challenge with peanuts, and had an anaphylactic reaction. He also did not respond to the Epi Pen. Even the allergist was terrified, and said she only does oral challenges at her other office in the bigger hospital now as they are better equipped for this sort of emergency. It was SCARY. Thankfully, he responded to the 2nd shot, but I don't think you can be too careful with this one.
A.S. answers from Chicago on March 30, 2010
I would much rather run the multiple tests than risk a serious allergic reaction. They can be life threatening at times. Just the fact that you know your child is allergic to eggs (because he had a reaction to them) even when the blood test turned out negative would be enough to have me worried. Seeing the reaction firsthand, I would not believe the blood tests, personally. Food allergies are nothing to take lightly. My children do not have allergies so far, but I have a very close friend who struggles with them on a regular basis still as an adult and my brother grew up allergic to eggs, dairy, chocolate and yeast (which rules out TONS of food). I would personally go the cautious route rather than risk a reaction. Him not eating those things and having more testing done is not going to hurt anything.