Is it worth drawing blood to allergy test 12 month old? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 06-21-2012, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! My son is 11 months old and has had eczema since he was about three weeks old. He clearly has food allergies- when I gave him a bite of yogurt at ten months old, his first dairy, he got red splotches on his face and broke out in hives on his hands and feet. I suspect wheat may be an issue, too, as well as who knows what ( he's still nursing and I have tried various elimination diets to help his eczema with no success). Anyway, pediatrician recommends testing his blood at one year old, but I have also heard it isn't accurate to test for allergies before three? Does anyone know if this is true? Anyone tested a one year old before? Thank you in advance for any responses, I am new to food allergies and don't want to put my baby through a painful ordeal if it isn't necessary.

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#2 of 14 Old 06-22-2012, 05:48 AM
 
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While immunity is constantly changing, I still am unsure where this 2 or 3 years for accurate testing comes from.  We testing at 14 months.  Please keep in mind that a positive test at ANY AGE is 50% accurate for a positive test so if it's positive but something your child has been eating with no issue there isn't a reason to take it out of his diet.  Do you have epipens?  I would be sure to have them with a reaction of hives.  

 

Eczema is only food related about 20% of the time. 

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#3 of 14 Old 06-22-2012, 02:37 PM
 
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I was told allergy tests before two are less accurate. You know dairy is an issue.

Allergy tests at any age have a high false positive rate. For that reason it's a really bad idea to use them to "go fishing" for foods that might be causing problems. They are much better used to verify there is an allergy when symptoms already suggest a specific food or to rule out foods (negatives are much more accurate than positives).

I'd probably watch for symptoms with specific foods and eliminate if you see things like you saw with the dairy. You might look into balsam of peru allergy (not a typical allergy but a common cause of eczema). It might be worth testing wheat since you have reason to suspect that (and dairy maybe to confirm since you're poking anyway). I suppose you could run a top allergen panel and eliminate any positives to see if there is improvement. If there is you could trial the unsure positives to see if there is a reaction. It's really, really hard to find eczema causes with allergy tests though. It's much easier to find those immediate reaction (hive type) allergies.

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#4 of 14 Old 06-22-2012, 02:45 PM
 
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I tested both my children at one year with blood.

 

With my son-- it confirmed something I thought-- that he was allergic to something more than milk. Turns out it was milk and eggs.

 

So, to me, yes it was worth it. Awful to have to do? Yes. But it gave us answers.
 


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#5 of 14 Old 06-22-2012, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the helpful responses. I think we will go ahead and test for the top allergens at some point in the next few months. I am just worried that he will have an anaphylactic reaction to something (since his reaction to dairy was so strong) so I want to see if he tests positive to the things that tend to cause the most severe reactions, like peanuts. I will also talk to the pediatrician about having an epi pen on hand, especially since we live in the middle of nowhere. Thanks again!!

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#6 of 14 Old 06-23-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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It was much more expensive than I liked but it tested so many more things than the skin prick tests could (you only do so many at a time for toddlers). My son vomits to Milk, Eggs, Soy, Peas & Tilapia. Nuts are TBD. I think it gives you a good starting point to begin further testing with a pediatric allergist. 

He tests positive for many more foods (on both the blood test and skin prick test), but does not have a significant physical reaction. For his health, he still eats those foods. You need to know what you can and can't feed your child over the next few years. You can either do it trial by fire or do the testing and have an idea what you should look out for.

 

Make sure the blood is drawn by someone who specializes in pediatric blood draw. It'll help reduce the tears. 


Momma to a weaning nursling DS1 (8/10) and expecting #2 pos.gif (EDD 9/12). DS1 currently Milk, Soy, Egg, Peas, Peanut, & Tree Nut Free (hives/vomiting).mdcblog5.gif lactivist.gif

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#7 of 14 Old 06-23-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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I think a reaction like hives gives you good reason to test and "go fishing" if that eases your nerves.  I can understand the argument for not testing as well, just eliminating the food that was causing trouble, and when we tested at 2 there were no surprises, except shellfish which we never challenged (or ate, so it just never mattered).  

 

To echo what scsgirl, eczema is not necessarily caused by food or other allergens.  If you find a culprit, great, but don't tear your hair out about this.


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#8 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 07:06 PM
 
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Blood testing for any function of the immune system is inaccurate under the age of 2yo.  Allergies are a function of the immune system.  Somewhere between 18-24mo the maternal antibodies (passed at birth--regardless of whether a child is breastfed or ff) wash out of the system and the child's immune system becomes mature/stable.  As a result, if you happen to get results that confirm something, you got lucky.  But you can't even fully determine that a child of a Hep C positive mother is absolutely clear until those antibodies wash out--so at the earliest, 18mo (they can test virally positive before then, but you can't clear them as negative until 18mo at the earliest).

 

The bloodwork is so inaccurate that BC/BS decided that they are no longer covering a lot of them (IgE for sure, which would pick up intolerances).

 

A good immunologist will tell you that the gold standard is to remove a suspect and look for a reaction.  But that's not quick and easy--so they go with what looks efficient and makes everyone feel like they're doing something.  :/

 

If it would make you feel better to do it, great.  But don't bank on it being accurate.

 

Also, you noted he reacts to dairy.  When you tried your various elimination diets, were you ever simultaneously free of every trace of casein (the milk protein) and every trace of soy?  Dairy is a common eczema culprit and 80-85% of children that react to it also react to soy.  So if you don't remove them both (every trace) for 2 weeks, you can't be sure of eliminating either of them as an irritant.

 

Hope this helps.


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#9 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 07:25 PM
 
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Just subbing as we are needing to have my baby tested as well...
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#10 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

 

  So if you don't remove them both (every trace) for 2 weeks, you can't be sure of eliminating either of them as an irritant.

 

 

There needs to be a challenge at the end of this period.  Elimination alone is often not enough to notice a difference.  Not sure if you meant that, but a lot of people new to allergies aren't aware of that part of an elimination diet. 


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#11 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 08:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

There needs to be a challenge at the end of this period.  Elimination alone is often not enough to notice a difference.  Not sure if you meant that, but a lot of people new to allergies aren't aware of that part of an elimination diet. 

 

Sorry.  Yes, I did mean that.  upsidedown.gif   And by "challenge" I mean that you need to go whole hog because if you have an intolerance, it could take days of buildup to see the backlash/regression.  Also, it's REALLY rare that I would ever recommend someone to eliminate two things at one time because it doesn't tell you which thing made the difference.  In this case, you have a high coincidence rate of reaction--so you can't really do it well any other way.  But during the challenge, you would only reintroduce one at a time (and for me, it would be soy first since not everyone that reacts to dairy also reacts to soy--most, but not all, and so that's the one I would start with)


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#12 of 14 Old 06-27-2012, 07:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

Blood testing for any function of the immune system is inaccurate under the age of 2yo. 

 

The bloodwork is so inaccurate that BC/BS decided that they are no longer covering a lot of them (IgE for sure, which would pick up intolerances).

 

 

That is not what I have read/been told over the years.  May people I know have tested as young as 6-8 weeks via RAST. 

 

Also, IgE is not for intolerances.  IgG is what many people test for with those.  IgE is what RAST tests look of and more indicative of something that could cause an ana reaction.

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#13 of 14 Old 06-28-2012, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the information- really makes me realize how little I know about allergies and allergy testing. Going to have to do some research!

:yawning: SAHM in with dd : 11/08 and ds joy.gif 7/11
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#14 of 14 Old 06-30-2012, 06:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post

 

 

That is not what I have read/been told over the years.  May people I know have tested as young as 6-8 weeks via RAST. 

 

Also, IgE is not for intolerances.  IgG is what many people test for with those.  IgE is what RAST tests look of and more indicative of something that could cause an ana reaction.

 

Sorry... they're not longer testing IgG (and I think IgA--which isn't commonly done anyway but I honestly don't remember).  Sticky fingers.

 

And what they actually DO and what is likely to produce an accurate result are two different things.  I know PUH-LEN-TY of immunologists that will test kids under 2yo and not even issue the warning that it could be inaccurate.  Likewise, I see kids dx'd with autism at 1yo, ADHD at 3yo and Asperger's at 4yo.  Just because they do it doesn't make it right OR accurate.  

 

Also, I'd love to read what you're reading that would say otherwise about allergies being a function of the immune system and stability under 2yo because I've been researching this crap for 7 years, dealing with my own child, my clients, and my former foster children mostly for food allergies/intolerances but occasionally for infectious diseases (mostly Hep C).  Plus studying for an interview I did with NBC's NYC affiliate on vaccination (and breastfeeding "immunity" vs. maternal antibody interference).  So if you have new information that contradicts it, I am truly interested in seeing it. 


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Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
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