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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 684
Location: Cobourg, ON
We had our youngest tested at 2 years old for all of his sister's allergies (peanut, milk, eggs) and we were happy when all were negative. The allergist also did an oral challenge of PB in his office (a close drive to the hospital). After the testing, he suggested that our son continue to eat PB on a regular basis to keep his immune system in contact with it. Support for this comes from some studies that show that once peanut allergy is outgrown, people should not continue to avoid it. I don't have a copy of this study or a link to it.

Anyways, since our house is peanut free, our son goes to the neighbours for PB every week or two. We only give it on crackers, not on sandwiches, so that he doesn't get too attached to it. He wears a large bib while eating which is left at the house and he brushes his teeth before he comes home.

Has anyone else had the same advice with a non-allergic child and how do you manage this?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
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Very good topic for discussion katec! I've also heard this about kids who have outgrown their peanut allergy (that it's very important to eat it regularly to keep the allergy from recurring). Sorry I can't be of help to offer suggestions -- but I'm very interested to see how others also handle this.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
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Location: Toronto
My experience is a bit different, but I'll post in case maybe it might help.

I developed my allergies after my first two kids were born. The younger one was a pb fanatic. (The kind of kid a parent says won't eat anything else.) Anyway, since I'm an adult (different when it's your child with pa) we originally decided to keep pb in the house. But, my son wasn't careful, and we had to change the rule.

He was probably in primary grades at the time - but older then kindergarden.

What we did was - bought a jar of pb and a loaf of bread and brought it to his best friends house. (The mom once told me that my son would do ANYTHING for a peanutbutter sandwich. She had him laying bricks in her backyard when he was a teenager - all he asked for as payment was some pb. :lol: )

Anyway, I wasn't actually thinking about the possibility of him developing an allergy - I just did this because it was something that he loved to eat.

I now have a third child - born after I developed my allergies. He hates pb. Hates it to the point that for years I wondered if it was an undiagnosed allergy. I don't believe he is allergic - he actually likes those smarties chocolate bars with pb (not the trace amount ones, but the actual pb). It is the ONLY pb he will eat - anything else if he even smells pb he starts to gag.

*********

How old is your son? You said you had him tested at 2 and were told to start him eating pb regularly. But, I thought with a family history of pa you were supposed to avoid pb until age 5. I wish doctor's could agree on these ideas.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
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Location: Cobourg, ON
My son is only 2 and a half now. We had the testing done when I was returning to work and he was going to be in the care of someone else. There was an article in the Anaphylaxis Canada newsletter a year or so ago that suggested that testing be done before children go into care. I have never found a consistent message about avoidance of peanut. The doctors at SIck Kids felt that it was ok to go ahead with skin testing and an oral challenge. I think I remember that Dr. Gold said at the allergy expo last year that he felt that most of the avoidance guidelines for children were arbitrary with little supporting evidence.

We really didn't suspect allergies with our son. He never had eczema like his sister and he had already had egg yolk prior to the testing with no problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
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Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Quote:
After the testing, he suggested that our son continue to eat PB on a regular basis to keep his immune system in contact with it. Support for this comes from some studies that show that once peanut allergy is outgrown, people should not continue to avoid it. I don't have a copy of this study or a link to it.


Hi Kate -

I just wanted to clarify - your son was never allergic to peanuts, right? You just wanted to make sure that he wasn't allergic? So he hasn't outgrown the allergy - it was never there, as far as you know?

I'm asking these questions because this point came up at a recent support group meeting with my allergist as the speaker, and she said that this advice only holds for allergic people who have outgrown the allergy. If you were never allergic, there's no reason to keep it in your system on a continuous basis -- or not.

(Several parents were wondering if they could develop an allergy to their child's allergen because they have cut it out of their diet as well. My allergist said no.)

Just thought you'd want to know what another allergist says on the matter.

Who is right? Who knows? I guess only time and research will tell....

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
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Location: Cobourg, ON
That's right - our son never was allergic to peanuts but the allergist still suggested that we continue to give to him. Possibly given our family history our son (like other non-allergic siblings) is at higher risk of developing the allergy later in life? I'm guessing.

We went to a local allergist for this testing rather than Sick Kids where my daughter goes. This might be a good question for the allergists in the magazine - Should non-allergic siblings or other family members eat PB or other foods regularly to avoid later development of allergy?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
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Location: Canada
This is an interesting question----this isn't going to be much help, but here are my musings:

at Allergy Expo, I asked an allergist about whether I would be likely to be developing more allergies at my stage in life. (I had been diagnosed in the not too distant past with a wheat allergy. about 6-7 months before Allergy Expo, I cut out potatoes and corn to which I was reacting). The answer: in general, no--but if I have a tendency to develop allergies I could start reacting to new foods. (I'm hoping I got this right--there was a lot of background noise.)

I'm kind of going out on a limb here (i.e. this is speculative)..but what I'm guessing is that if someone with a mature immune system is going to develop allergies it is more likely that it will be to foods newly introduced. once the fully developed immune system recognizes a food as "safe" it isn't likely that that will change. (this obviously doesn't hold true for people with adult onset allergies----maybe this has something to do with the fact that allergies to nuts and a host of other things--wheat, etc., often are related to pollen allergies. So it might be different if one is sensitized through the respiratory tract as opposed to being sensitized through the gastrointestinal tract. But wait....that doesn't make sense for shellfish or fish allergies which are commonly adult onset.)

Okay, I'm rambling now....but what I'm wondering is this: if one has cut a food out of one's diet for a period of time, does the immune system treat it as a "new food?" If so, there might be a good reason to continue to consume an allergenic food.

On the other hand, it might be different if, say, katec's son has pollen allergies and his immune system is still developing....i.e. if he eats peanuts, would it be more likely that he would develop an allergy? also, isn't peanuts one of those allergies to which one can be sensitized through pollen? (or is that just for tree nuts like hazelnuts.)
------------
as a side note: my parents have both developed nut allergies as adults after they cut nuts out of their diet for the most part. But they have killer pollen allergies....so I suppose the (undiagnosed) nut allergy isn't that much of a surprise...and one can't generalise on the basis of one example.

another side note: I've read that if one is allergic to something and then one cuts that food out of one's diet that the reaction is likely to be more severe if it is reintroduced.


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
I think the more I read, the harder it is to generalize. Everybody is so different.

I took my youngest daughter to her allergist today for her asthma, and because her older sister (15 years old) had a severe allergic reaction to peanut butter for the 1st time back in February, I asked the dr. to test the youngest for food allergies, as a precaution. Well, her skin test was positive for peanuts and soy!! The hive was as big as the control one. Yet, she drinks soy milk everyday because she is lactose intolerant. As for the peanut butter, the doctor gave her a mouthful today in the office because she has never reacted to it and she used to eat it all the time before February. The food challenge went very well, no reaction. So the doctor recommended that she continue drinking soy milk and eating soy products, and that we feed her peanuts or peanut butter once a week, to prevent her from becoming allergic. The other option is to treat her as if she was allergic and feed her the same way as her sister.

I think we will choose to feed her peanuts weekly, as it is better to live allergy-free, but I think we'll do so with the Epipen nearby, as I can't help thinking that she could very well have a reaction at anytime, like her sister.

This is definitely a double-edged sword. :?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
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Location: Toronto
Image

There are a lot of interesting ideas and opinions in this thread.

Nicole, I don't envy you the decision you had to make. I thought I'd share this with you. My neice (around 30 years old) went for allergy testing about 4 years ago (skin test). She tested positive to milk, pork and strawberries. She hates pork and she hates strawberries, but she has never reacted to eating them. She drinks milk by the gallon. The doctor told her not to change her diet - but, to keep in mind that she might be allergic to milk. If she starts reacting, then she should eliminate it. Well, as I said, it's been about 4 years and she still drinks a lot of milk and she still has no reaction to it. The few times she has eaten pork she has also not reacted.

Sometimes people have false positive results, and that's what we think happened with my neice.

Hope all goes well with your girls. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Thanks AnnaMarie for your post.

I guess in our case, it's once burned, twice shy, but maybe there is a connection with the asthma and pollen allergies, etc. like Helen mentions. Once your body reacts to one thing, it might react to something that is somewhat related, who knows.

We'll just cross our fingers and hope for the best with everything.

I keep telling myself it could always be worse. A friend of mine has 3 sick nieces, one awaiting a kidney transplant (6 years old), and the other 2 have cystic fibrosis (3 and 1), all in the same family. So when you hear that, a peanut allergy is not so bad after all...


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