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Allergy testing under 2?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Can I?  Should I?  I mean, I have the feeling I should, but how reliable are they at this age?  How reliable are they in general? 

 

What tests should I ask my ped for?  Do I need a referral to an allergist? 

 

We obviously know there's an issue with dairy - I guess I need to figure out if it's an allergy or an intolerance.  Is there a way to know that without getting a test done? 

post #2 of 8

I am in the same boat. My almost 17 mo is reacts to dairy but I don't know if its an intolerance or an allergy. Plus I think there is something else as well but can't figure it out. Everything I have read, including stuff here, has said that under age 3 the tests aren't accurate. I had a homeopath here tell me that she was too young as well. 

 

I don't know hwo accurate the tests are in general but it would just be nice to know.  

post #3 of 8

Allergy testing (blood test) was extremely accurate for my 14 month old ds.  He'd had eczema from about 3 months of age.  His pedi suggested a problem with dairy but an elimination diet didn't do a thing to help.  He had a horrible reaction to drinking cow's milk at one year--that is what prompted the pedi to refer us to an allergist for testing.  The tests revealed other allergies as well and those test results turned out to be extremely accurate. 

post #4 of 8

We did it for matthew at 17 months.  We did NOT do the skin test.  We opted for the blood from the vein test only.  We were referred to a pediatric allergist by our ped, went to see her, I gave her the run down.  She stated that since it sounds very convincing with just the evidence that he had a dairy allergy, she didnt want to put him through the skint test (I would have fought to skip that step anyway, since he was SOOO little) She gave us a form with certain allergens she wanted him tested for.  Its a HUGE list, and she checked off what she was most intersted in.  She told me I could check off others if I felt it necessary.  Then I just picked one of the labs and took him in.  It was very quick, and with the results, we were perscribed an epipen, and I was able to shoot family memebers down who doubted my mama instincts.  (I am sure we ALL have some of those who take matters into their own hands and just give kids whatever when mama isnt looking) it also felt good to be able to tell my husband, LOOK, HES ALLERGIC TO MILK.  Not that my husband would argue with me, but i think he had a hard time getting out of denial about it without solid evidence from a DOCTOR.  Some people just need that added proof i guess.  SHRUG

post #5 of 8

Because the immune system is ever changing, the tests are not overly reliable to begin with. I have heard under the age of 2, they are even less reliable.

 

Skin tests tend to be "more accurate". 50% of + tests are false for any age. It's a good guideline/jumping off place but not really great. Most Dr's like to have both to try and put the pieces together. Having just the skin or just blood are only part of the story. DS was 14 months for his first skin testing (just had a new round in September) and first RAST (blood test) at 24 months (which was also repeated in Sept).

 

Clear as mud ;) That's how we allergy people roll! lol Sorry.

post #6 of 8
Our allergist does a skin test to start and if the skin test shows concern, he does a blood test. He is an old man with a bow tie and he's hard to deal with. No one at my allergist office utters the word "intolerance". DS' intolerance was referred to as a "reactionary stimuli". It seems all allergist are different. Clear as mud, as a pp said.
post #7 of 8

Our allergist tested ds at 12 months.  He did both the skin prick and RAST (both tests have weaknesses, so this allowed him to compare results).  There were some surprises, but it was accurate.  At 24 months, he got the skin prick again to test for changes.  Wheat didn't show up on the skin prick, but he definitely reacted so the allergist did the RAST for wheat.  His #s were high enough on the RAST that he needs an epi-pen for wheat.  While there are problems with the tests, it has been helpful in pinpointing triggers for ds's reactions.

post #8 of 8

We did a RAST test at about 9 mos. It was reliable, in that the SPT we did at 14 mos came up with the same results.

It was also accurate, in that when we removed the 3 positive foods from my diet and his, his eczema cleared up a LOT. (not entirely, so we were missing some things, but they tested for only 3 things with the RAST test and about 8? 10? foods with the SPT)

 

RAST test at 27 mos showed the same 3 food (and same 3 environmental) allergens, for what it's worth.

 

SO, he had at least 3 IgE food allergens that were reliably and validly tested by RAST under 12 mos and SPT under 18 mos.

 

BUT, he has never shown a positive RAST or SPT or in-office-challenge to dairy, yet he does react to dairy. I believe the reaction is lessening over time, but it's still there.

 

I think a RAST test is a fairly easy test to do - it's only one prick - and it CAN give you a starting point. It will also give you a value that you can track over time, so you can see if things are getting worse or better. The problem comes when it's negative - indicating no IgE allergy - but, we all know that the child can still be reacting - intolerant or IgG - to foods, so you have to fight the relatives, DH, doc, if that comes up negative.

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