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 Post subject: tree nut allergies
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:31 pm
Posts: 2
Hi, I am new here. Three weeks ago my son (8) ate a tree nut and had a severe reaction that sent him to the ER. He was allergy tested at 5 for food, came back allergic to nothing. RE-tested last week, now allergic to Almond, hazelnut, pecan,walnut,lobster and crab. He has eaten all but lobster in the past with out a problem. Never eaten a walnut either before the reaction. Can you just suddenly become allegeric? Like I said he had crab all summer with out a problem. Now we carry the epipen. Very worried now that he will suddenly react to anything he eats. Anyone heard of suddenly becing allergic after never have been prior. Thanx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
liz, from what I've read and from others that frequent this forum who have developed adult onset food allergies, it seems that allergies can develop at any time in one's life. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Yes, allergies can develop at any time. One of the mothers of a child at my daughters preschool has become allergic to almost all tree nuts in the last year. She most recently had a reaction to peanuts over christmas. Also there are numerous people who past here with adult onset allergies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Liz,

Sorry to hear about your son--that must be quite worrisome.

It takes at least one previous exposure for someone to develop an allergy. The first exposure, though, could be through breast milk, through contact, or even (so I've heard) through the pinprick test. (It works kind of like the chicken pox---the first time one's immune system doesn't recognize the virus as the enemy and one gets sick. The second time the body is prepared and the antibodies destroy the virus before it becomes infectious. Only with allergies (which are triggered by a different part of the immune system), the second time the body recognizes nut protein or shellfish or whatever as "the enemy" the chemicals released to destroy the protein cause swelling, etc.)

So, yes, allergies can develop. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think it is unlikely for kids to keep on developing allergies as they grow older. There are exceptions (and I'm probably one of them--although I'm not sure about that either since some of my "new" allergies (like wheat) caused problems when I was young). As far as I know, adult onset allergies are another issue altogether--they usually occur without a previous history of food allergy (but often with a history of environmental allergies). I don't know if this is any comfort, but I've never had an anaphylactic reaction to any food that I've eaten regularly for a period of time---although I have had milder allergic reactions to some staples.

Allergy tests aren't all that reliable---there is a chance that your son might not actually be allergic to crab even if it showed up on the scratch test. your son definitely needs an epi because of the nuts, and I'd certainly not want to give him crab just in case. but there is the possibility that the test is wrong. In any case, if he is allergic to lobster that might be reason enough to avoid crab because I hear (and shellfish-allergic people chime in here if this is wrong) that people who are allergic to shellfish should avoid all shellfish. I personally stay away from shellfish because of allergy testing---I got some really big hives--but I don't actually *know* if I am allergic for sure because I've never reacted. I find that sometimes allergists don't explain the test results (at least they don't for me because I react to tons of stuff on the tests and they aren't sure what that means exactly).


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 Post subject: Re: tree nut allergies
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
liz wrote:
Anyone heard of suddenly becing allergic after never have been prior. Thanx


I developed allergies to peanuts and sesame seeds when I was in my 20's. One of my kids developed a latex allergy in his teens.

As Lisa said, sometimes tests are not completely accurate. I wouldn't go just giving your child crab, but you could speak to the doctor about whether he thinks it might have been a false positive - maybe he would be willing to do a food challange.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:31 pm
Posts: 2
Thanx to all. It was soooo scarey when he reacted to the walnut. We will talk again to the doctor. Agian thanx for the replaies. Liz


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:24 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Toronto area
Hi Liz,
I certainly understand your deep concern over the sudden allergies to walnut and other tree nuts. I have always been allergic to tree nuts, with walnut being my worst. I have four asthmatic kids, three of whom are nut allergic. The two middle ones are allergic to peanut, one of them showing positive to walnut but had previously eaten them with no problem - but of course, now I list both of them as allergic to ALL nuts. Our youngest was brainwashed to know that she was allergic to nuts - I expected peanut, same as her two older siblings. But, she ended up eating a muffin that must have had a trace of nuts. She was pulling it out of her mouth (at 3 yrs of age) saying she didn't like it so I had it - when I reacted within moments I knew she was allergic to my spectrum of nuts ( now years later, I'm also allergic to peanut but had eaten it all my life before that). So...if your child reacts to even one nut, I caution you to expect all nuts to be a problem - testing isn't absolutely reliable but it will help to narrow things down. Just never, never, never go anywhere without an Epi-pen and teach your child that its a life-line.


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