October 11, 2008,
Y.L. asks from Glen Allen, VA on October 06, 2008
Peanut and Sesame Allergies
Hi, my son is 22 months old and a month ago was diagnoesed with life threatening peanut and sesame allergies. We are still feeling very overwhelmed by this. We are overseas now for 3 months and he has already had 3 reactions (not life threatening thank God) just from touching surfaces outside of home that I guess were contaminated by the allergens. Of course conventional medicine has no solutions other than completle avoidance which is a lot harder to achieve than we thought it would be. Has anyone heard of the NAET method of 'curing' allergies. I realize I'm probably grasping at strwas here but I am desparate to keep my son alive. Thanks
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone for their responses. I guess the reason I am even considering something as unproven as NAET is that my son's reactions are so unpredictable. I can pretty much guarantee that he doesn't ingest anything with peanuts or sesame. His day-care is very good about that and we will only send him to schools that can cooperate with us on this. I can make sure family and friends know not to give him something bad and everyone has gotten used in the short time we have known about this to washing their hands and faces after eating or touching anything with the allergens. The problem is that the 3 times he has had reactions since the diagnosis were from touching surfaces at restaurants that have been previously cleaned, but apparently not cleaned well enough. I cannot and will not keep him in a bubble. That's not fair and unhealthy. I want to be able to take my son out of the house for stuff and will take all the necessary precautions. But I thought I was taking all the necessary precautions already and turns out he can get reactions from things we didn't even know could cause reactions. So we are terrified. Absolutely terrifed. I know there are kids/people with worse allergies than my son and with more allergies as well. I know there are people who can go into shock just from inhaling air that has peanuts in it. So I am thankful. But I am also terrified.
I wish the OBGYN had told me to stay away from peanuts and sesame (I eat a lot of things with sesame because I eat a mediterrenean diet because of where I'm from) while pregnant. I had a lot of peanut butten and a lot of tahini while pregnant and nursing. They say nursing is best but that's probably how my son got exposed to so much peanuts and sesame because I nursed him for 21 months. Of course I don't consume any of those things now that the allergy doctor suggested I stay away from those things because of the pregnancy. He also said it has not been proven that the two are connected, but said it's better to be safe than sorry, which I completely agree with. I also wonder if the peanut butter and sesame stuff I've eaten so far during the pregnancy before my son's diagnosis has already caused the damage. But anyways, if anyone else has had any experience with NAET I would still like to hear more about it. Thanks to everyone! Y.
M.W. answers from Washington DC on October 07, 2008
There is no "cure" for allergies, no matter what some people say. There is no credible science that has proven any of the so-called cures that are claimed. Short of shutting down his immune system, your son will always have the potential for a reaction. But the allergic part of the immune system does get less reactive with avoidance, and also children's allergies do lessen as they get older. That is sometimes the basis for the claims of the cures that you see on the internet or advertised for sale, many times the children just grow out of them or the reaction gets better as they avoid the allergen. So only believe well controlled studies that use a larger group, not stories from satisfied customers.
Food allergies are extremely hard to live with, hard to diagnose, and hard to treat. And peanuts have become an ingredient that are used everywhere. I recommend checking on this web site for more information:
This organization is an excellent source of reliable information. They are the organization that most good allergists belong to.
Good luck, and please remember to carry your son's epi pen everywhere, tell people who are going to give him food about his allergy, and when he goes to school, make sure that you discuss your son's allergies with them.
1 mom found this helpful
L.M. answers from Washington DC on October 07, 2008
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T.S. answers from Richmond on October 11, 2008
When my neice was 18 months old she was diagnosed with fatal peanut allergy. If her skin comes in contact with any type of product (detergents, household cleaning chemicals, food) containing peanuts her throat will immediately start closing up. My sister has researched this to the fullest but unfortunately to no "cure". My sister has been to D.C. to speak in front of Congress for more to be done on identifying peanut based products. Before it was mandatory for companies to start putting "May contain peanut product" on labels my sister had to research every single ingredient on labels. If something new comes out she has to research it. There are certain brands she can not use because the companies do not clean their machines thoroughly when making a certain product for packageing and then doing a different product. (I believe it is Pillsbury that is like that). When she had to do allergy testing on her the doctor made sure they were at the hospital to make sure that if anything happened something could be done immediately. Watch out nurses don't always read charts. My neice was in the hospital one time a nurse was going to give her a shot of medicine in her IV and my sister stopped her just in time and asked the nurse to double check that it had no peanut product in it and come to find out it did. When my neice started school my sister fought with the school board for 2 years for her school to take appropriate action to allow my neice to be able to ride the bus and attend class like the other kids. It has been a hard road for not only my sister but the whole family we have all made lifestyle changes but we don't mind at all because she is very loved and cherished. She has an epi pen she keeps on her at all times. Yes she has had to use it but saved her life every time. We have also just learned that she does have an allergy to sesame as well. Sorry to write so much but just wanted to let you know I understand how scary it is and that it is not only an allergy but a lifestyle change as well. My neice is now 12 years old and leads a very happy life as any other kid. She has many friends who know about it and accept it and know what has to be done if she is out with them and she has a reaction. So watch out it is not only food but household cleaning products and laundry detergent too that you need to change. Best of luck to you and your family.
M.A. answers from Washington DC on October 07, 2008
I just wanted to add a little suggestion ... since you're pregnant, I'd stay away from peanut products myself, if I were you. I don't know of any medical facts supporting this, but I can tell you from personal experience, since it happened in my family. I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter and I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, when all of a sudden my son (who was 3 at the time) asked for a taste. I already knew he had shellfish and wheat allergies, so in hindsight, I shouldn't have let him try the peanut butter. But to my regret, I let him taste it with a minute amount on his index finger. In a matter of seconds, he was in full anaphylaxis. But the point of my story is really about me and my daughter, who was still in utero at that time. Because of my son's reaction, I omitted peanut products from my household and from my family's diet from that point on. The interesting thing is ... my daughter has tested positive for the peanut allergen. She has never tasted nor touched peanut products. Her only exposure was at 5 months of my pregnancy. I don't know if there's any medical explanation to that, I only caution that you should probably want to play it safe with your unborn and omit peanut products from your own diet. Best of luck. Oh and if NAET works for you, I'd love to hear more about it!
M.G. answers from Washington DC on October 07, 2008
I don't have food allergies, but I have a ton of other allergies. I'm not sure what NAET stands for, but I have been seeing an allergy immunologist for the last 6 months and I am finally improving. As I said, I don't know if they can do anything for food allergies, but...
I go in every week for a short of my allergens. Initially it's a tiny dosage and then they increase it over something like 18 weeks. After that I just get a 'booster' shot with my maximum dosage.
The theory is that our bodies can produce too little histamines to certain things, so if they put if they expose you with small doses and continually increase it you'll eventually build and immunity to it. It's apparently about 75% effective. Of those who it is effective for some people still have mild reactions, but it lowers their reactions. I hope you can find a solution.
C.F. answers from Washington DC on October 07, 2008
I don't know about whether what you're eating while you're pregnant matters that much, (other than sheer nutrient value) but while you are nursing is another matter. Studies have shown that intact peanut proteins are present in breast milk.
I ate a lot of PB while I was pregnant, but cut PB out of my diet entirely while I was nursing.
I sympathize with you - the situation you are describing is definitely alarming. You don't mention what country you are in now, but if it is one that uses peanuts or sesame seeds regularly in it's cuisine, I would be extremely worried as well.
The only thing I can think of, outside of the 'bubble' you mentioned, is eternal vigilance. Carry wipes with you everywhere and wipe down surfaces before he touches them. You'll have to teach him caution as well, a hard trait to teach a young one. = )
I don't believe allergies can be 'cured', but they can be outgrown. I'll be hoping for that for you.
In the meantime, here's another website to support you:
C.B. answers from Washington DC on October 07, 2008
My oldest is 4 and also has severe peanut and nut allergies. He was diagnosed at 20 months old after going into shock. He has not had an episode since because of the diligence of my husband and I. I would not put too much into the NAET method. Nothing has been proven to cure food allergies. The number one thing you need to do is be proactive and make sure no peanut or sesame products are in your house. Everything in my home is safe for my son to eat. At 4, he understands his allergy now and started preschool this year. The school has been great as well. He also has had reactions when outside if he picks up a tree nut, but this happened when he was younger. Now he understands he is not to touch them. I also carry wipes with me and I wipe him down right away if he does accidentally touch something. I agree with the other poster. Stop eating peanut products while pg. It can reduce the chances of your other child having a peanut allergy. My second son is not allergic to peanuts but is allergic to milk. This one is not life threatening and is easier to deal with though.