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Do kids *really* outgrow allergies like peanut/nut allergies?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My dd is allergic to chickpeas, peanuts, and cashews... It is not a severe allergy, but she does break out into hives if exposed. Her allergist suggested that she might "grow out" of these allergies in time. I am starting to wonder whether that is really true, though, that she will just "grow out" of them on her own. I have a friend who as an adult has had an onset of nut allergies recently. I guess I have concerns that even if she has appeared to have outgrown the allergies say 5 years down the road, that they could just reappear suddenly in a more dangerous way (anaphalaxis, etc.)

Can anyone point me to a book or resources that could help explain this "growing out of it" theory or share your own experiences if you've had a child grow out of an allergy like this?

Thanks!
post #2 of 14
Here is an article talking about outgrowing nut allergies... you might search more online
http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/1f1e56.htm

I realize they're not nuts, but I had allergies to beets and nutmeg and broke out in hives when I was around 10. I acidentally had nutmeg at age 22 and no prob and I ate beets recently and no prob either. Good Luck!
post #3 of 14
According to my kid's allergist, some kids do outgrow peanut allergy, and it's more likely if they were young when diagnosed and if they don't have asthma (the third leg of the allergic triad). DS's blood and skin tests are now negative, and the next step is a peanut challenge in office.

Even if he's outgrown the allergy though, we're not going to feed him peanuts. We just won't have to worry about an accidental exposure.
post #4 of 14
Ds1 and my nephew both outgrew mild peanut allergies.
post #5 of 14
Man I hope so! I know the allergists around here don't want to see children until about age 5 because the allergies can be outgrown. They'll only see younger children if the child is not thriving (not growing, meeting milestones.)
post #6 of 14
i hate to seem argumentative, but the ONLY time an "allergy is out grown" is if it was infact NOT an allergy just an intollerance.

One reason i say this is... a TRUE allergy means your body does not posess the enzymes and other chemicals needed to break it down properly. You CAN get enzymes(some) to assist with digesting certain things but not fully since your body also has chemicals which need to react approprietly with enzymes in the food itself(which are only present if the food has not been heated above[its] "body" temp)

Also, many people THINK they have "outgrown" an allergy simply because they didnt react badly to a small amount on a single occassion or didnt have the same reaction as previously. Most allergies which DONT have Hive or asthmatic/anafalactic type reactions will be slower coming on and often noone pays attention until the reaction is actually to repeated exposures. Additionally, if we dont "listen" to our body about something, it can change the message system and the brain will even send a signal as if from another are as another problem to get our attention.

For example, as a child i discovered I was allergic to dairy, I got very ill shortly after drinking milk or even a little bit of ice cream. in my late teen years, believing maybe i'd grow out of it, i tried some milk, no ill effect besides i thought it tasted horrid!!! so i had some icecream, and pizza (over a few days) and I had the worst stomach cramps, fever etc, i went to the hospital thinking I had appendicitus! in my mid 20's (not thinking about it much) i had icecream a couple days in a row on hot summer days and pizzza possibly with friends never thinking that they would have had normal cheese(i use "fake" cheese) and suddenly I realized i had been miserable with everyone, for no reason, I was snapping for no reason, nit picking and on everyones case CONSTANTLY. I stopped having the dairy and it went away, I was fine! a few days later to test the theory(warning everyone first) i ate cheese with everymeal and topped it off with icecream..... I was sssooooo miserable i sent myself to bed so i wouldnt ruin everyones evening, had to stay clear the next day too

My point being, allergies dont necessarily PRESENT the same all the time and not necessarily with a random "oops" exposure

SOOO.. if you think you or a family member may have outgrown an "allergy" , be hopeful, and watch for OTHER changes, they could be ANYTHING, physical, mental, emotional, developmental...ANYTHING.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappingmom View Post
i hate to seem argumentative, but the ONLY time an "allergy is out grown" is if it was infact NOT an allergy just an intollerance.

One reason i say this is... a TRUE allergy means your body does not posess the enzymes and other chemicals needed to break it down properly. You CAN get enzymes(some) to assist with digesting certain things but not fully since your body also has chemicals which need to react approprietly with enzymes in the food itself(which are only present if the food has not been heated above[its] "body" temp)
Allergy has nothing to do with enzymes. It's an immune response to a foreign protein. Allergy can indeed be outgrown; it's the basis for treatment with allergy shots (that the immune system can be taught not to overrespond to the allergen).

Food intolerances and allergies have very different symptoms. My son's anaphylactic response to peanuts isn't a food intolerance, any more than my anaphylaxis in the presence of penicillin is a medication intolerance. Both are examples of an inappropriate immune response to a generally benign protein.
post #8 of 14
My 5 y.o. was dx with tree nut allergies. The allegist said he would likely outgrow them in 10 years or so.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappingmom View Post
i hate to seem argumentative, but the ONLY time an "allergy is out grown" is if it was infact NOT an allergy just an intollerance.

One reason i say this is... a TRUE allergy means your body does not posess the enzymes and other chemicals needed to break it down properly. You CAN get enzymes(some) to assist with digesting certain things but not fully since your body also has chemicals which need to react approprietly with enzymes in the food itself(which are only present if the food has not been heated above[its] "body" temp)

Also, many people THINK they have "outgrown" an allergy simply because they didnt react badly to a small amount on a single occassion or didnt have the same reaction as previously. Most allergies which DONT have Hive or asthmatic/anafalactic type reactions will be slower coming on and often noone pays attention until the reaction is actually to repeated exposures. Additionally, if we dont "listen" to our body about something, it can change the message system and the brain will even send a signal as if from another are as another problem to get our attention.

For example, as a child i discovered I was allergic to dairy, I got very ill shortly after drinking milk or even a little bit of ice cream. in my late teen years, believing maybe i'd grow out of it, i tried some milk, no ill effect besides i thought it tasted horrid!!! so i had some icecream, and pizza (over a few days) and I had the worst stomach cramps, fever etc, i went to the hospital thinking I had appendicitus! in my mid 20's (not thinking about it much) i had icecream a couple days in a row on hot summer days and pizzza possibly with friends never thinking that they would have had normal cheese(i use "fake" cheese) and suddenly I realized i had been miserable with everyone, for no reason, I was snapping for no reason, nit picking and on everyones case CONSTANTLY. I stopped having the dairy and it went away, I was fine! a few days later to test the theory(warning everyone first) i ate cheese with everymeal and topped it off with icecream..... I was sssooooo miserable i sent myself to bed so i wouldnt ruin everyones evening, had to stay clear the next day too

My point being, allergies dont necessarily PRESENT the same all the time and not necessarily with a random "oops" exposure

SOOO.. if you think you or a family member may have outgrown an "allergy" , be hopeful, and watch for OTHER changes, they could be ANYTHING, physical, mental, emotional, developmental...ANYTHING.
You have that completely backwards. An intolerance is when you're lacking the enzymes, like LACTOSE INTOLERANCE, the lack of lactase. An allergy, like a pp stated, is when the immune system attacks a protein b/c it thinks it's a bad foreign invader. And yes, you CAN outgrow a real allergy. My ds had an anaphylactic reaction to soy as an infant (how much more of a REAL allergy can you get?) and he is no longer allergic to soy.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I really really hope that my dd outgrows her allergies... she asks me all the time, "Mommy, can I eat peanuts when I grow up?"

She also had an intolerance for milk, but that corrected itself over time. But she could not drink milk "straight" until she was 2.5 yo, because her gut was not fully mature and didn't have the enzymes to digest all the milk sugars. She does not have any problems with milk now, and generally digests all the food she eats much better than she did at 2.5 yo.

My allergist suggested she might outgrow it by 5 or 6, since it is a relatively mild (not milk!) allergy (the peanut one, chickpea is a bit more I think.) I guess we'll cross that bridge about how to find out if she's outgrown it when the time comes. My dh works with someone whose children had the most severe form of peanut allergies and as they have approached their teen years it has lessened in severity so that is good.

I guess it just scared me that my friend suddenly developed a nut allergy as an adult, and started making feel worried for my dd.
post #11 of 14
The whole thing scares me. :
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy View Post
The whole thing scares me. :
Add me to the list:
post #13 of 14
My son was dx'd with an anaphylatic peanut allergy at 22 months. The only exposure prior to detecting the allergy was through my breastmilk and most likely through traces in foods. After his dx, we avoided all nuts as a safety precaution and I was VERY diligent about it.

We had him retested this past summer (skin and blood tests) after his 5th birthday. His peanut allergy was still anaphylatic and also found out that he was anaphylatic to cashews, allergic to almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts. At this age, the allergist told me that it would be highly unlikely that he would outgrow his nut allergies.

From what I understand, the more severe the allergy at onset, the less likely you are to outgrow it.

I've also read about children who seem to have outgrown their nut allergies, but have had allergic reactions as an adult.
post #14 of 14
wow, I am sure Scrappingmom went well, but her information is actually completely backwards so I hope it doesn't throw anyone off.

If your body is truly allergic then the allergen is treated as a "foreign body" that your body fights. nothing to do with enzymes.

Allergies can be outgrown, our pediatric allergist says that nut, shellfish, peanut allergies are much less likely to be outgrown, but it can happen.

My son was truly allergic to dairy (IGE reaction, RAST, skin tests, etc), and he did outgrow it at around 23 months. He test numbers for soy and egg have come way down, so we are hopeful on him outgrowing those as well. But dairy, he did outgrow, and it wasn't just an "intolerance" or enzyme issue.

good luck to everyone battling food allergies!
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