Question about food allergies

Gabrielle A. asks from Chicago, IL
3 answers

My 9-month old son was recently diagnosed with an egg, peanut and walnut allergy. We are waiting on blood test results to see if he's eligible for a peanut challenge in the doctor's office. Has anyone done this? Apparently babies can outgrow an allergy through controlled exposure. If he isn't eligible we'll just have to avoid trigger foods. How challenging is it to deal with potentially dangerous food allergies? Thanks.

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3 Answers



answers from Irvine on

As long as he doesn't have problems with airborne allergens, like peanut dust from someone eating them nearby, the peanut and walnut allergies won't be too hard to manage at all. Hopefully he'll be able to eat food manufactured in a facility that processes nuts.

The egg one is harder if he has to avoid all egg products whatsoever. Pretty much all baked goods and many breads have eggs in them.

You have to learn to read ingredient lists and labels very carefully and to always carry epipens (2) and benadryl with you. Ask questions at restaurants to make sure his needs are met as he gets older and starts eating more table food. Don't feel guilty about asking people to change their gloves before preparing his food.

If he can't eat baked goods with eggs, plan to keep cupcakes in the freezer when he gets older so you have something to pull out for birthday parties. Always be prepared with yummy treats so he doesn't feel left out on special occasions.

We haven't done a peanut challenge. We have given our son pistachios and almonds - starting with tiny amounts and slowly increasing - and he can now eat large handfuls of both. We haven't given our son any peanut products at all, as every test he's taken still shows he is highly allergic.

1 mom found this helpful

Marda P.

answers from Portland on

When my granddaughter was in first grade she participated in the peanut study before it was available to public. I think We went to the office weekly. Turns out she doesn't like peanuts so I don't know if she's still allergic. She is exposed to peanuts but not eaten them. Never had a reaction. She no longer carries an epipen.

As a baby she was also allergic to milk protein and some other foods. She outgrew those allergies by first grade.

The only difficulty with testing is the frequent office visits.

This test does not involve eating food. The use a dropper to put a small amount of antigen, I think, in the mouth. The doctor/nurse stays in the room with you for a short time. Then we waited in the waiting room for 30 minutes.

I asked my granddaughter who is now 18, about her allergies. She remembers having several allergies when she was young. She outgrew all of them. She's still mildly sensitive to peanuts.

She recommended doing it now while he's a baby. In part because when she was very young she had difficulty to remind others she was allergic. The second, perhaps the most important one, is her mom's fear that she could die. Her mom consistently checked with caretakers to be sure they knew. Her school was on top of it. The nurse had the epipen and always called her mom if she had been exposed to peanuts in any way. At some point, her classroom was made peanut free.

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