Would You Have Allergy Testing Done? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-11-2006, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Environmental allergies are on both sides of DD's family. She's almost guaranteed to have them. I'm also allergic to some foods. She is 1 now and I'm debating whether or not to take her to an allergist to find out what she might be allergic to. My reasons for taking her are that I would rather know what she's allergic to rather than have an emergency situation on our hands. My reasons for not taking her are that I worry what the next step would be. If she has a lot of allergies, would we have to do allergy shots? If so, how does that jive with no vaxing? What's in the allergy shots? Anything disgusting like in vaccines?

She hasn't shown any signs of food allergies yet...but I have not introduced her to the highly allergenic stuff yet.
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#2 of 5 Old 10-12-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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Both my husband and I have environmental allergies, but no food allergies other than my husband's childhood lactose intolerance, which isn't a true allergy.

My 15 month old ingested peanut butter and had hives, so we had him tested both with the skin prick test and with the RAST test to see if he also had tree nut allergies as well as to gauge his likelihood of reaction, something the RAST can tell you and then you can retest later on to see if the reactivity is going up or down.

I was surprised to find that in addition to a life-threatening peanut allergy, he has an allergy to dust mites and cats. We have cats! He hasn't really had bad symptoms other than some eczema as a baby and occasionally a sniffly nose. But I'm really glad that I found out because left untreated and given his allergenic predisposition, he's at higher risk of developing asthma. Now that we know, we are electing to give our cats away (sad about this but it's for the best in our situation). And we bought protective coverings for our mattresses and pillows to ward off the dust mites. We'll also vacuum much more diligently now.

The doctor also put him on Zyrtec. He said that there's some research indicating that it may prevent the onset of asthma if taken as a young child. Since he's at risk, we've put him on that.

All of these preventative measures may help prevent a serious illness... and knowing exactly what to do regarding his food allergy was comforting. Your allergist won't necessarily recommend shots I'd think, especially at this young age. They may just have you take certain precautions with your baby.

I don't have a lot of info regarding the vaxing. We've vaxed on schedule so far but I've treaded a little bit more carefully since my son's skin test. He had a very very small reaction to egg. He's never had any reactions when he's had egg in things that I can tell but some vaccines do contain egg. I have read that the MMR isn't supposed to be problematic for those with allergy to egg, but if you had a very sensitive child I imagine you might have some concern. The flu vax contains egg I believe.

I have no idea what is in allergy shots. That would be something to read up on.

I was afraid that my 15 month old would have a lot of pain from the skin test but he barely made a peep, and when they drew blood for the RAST he didn't even cry, he just stared at the nurses who were cooing at him. I think I was more traumatized than anyone.

Some allergies won't develop yet, and some may be outgrown, but I don't see why it would be a bad thing to have him tested if you are anxious about it. If the allergist thinks it's not a good idea they'd hopefully tell you to wait.

Since you do have a history of allergies in your family I'm assuming you're not giving your baby foods from the groups that tend to give serious problems. I'm pregnant and the doctor advised me that given my son's allergies, we should avoid milk until age 1, eggs until age 2, and peanuts until age 3.

I hope this helps a bit!

Good luck,

Amy
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#3 of 5 Old 10-12-2006, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by amyd View Post
Since you do have a history of allergies in your family I'm assuming you're not giving your baby foods from the groups that tend to give serious problems. I'm pregnant and the doctor advised me that given my son's allergies, we should avoid milk until age 1, eggs until age 2, and peanuts until age 3.
Thank you, Amy, for your feedback!

Strangely, at today's pediatrician appointment, she said eggs were fine now. She told me to hold off on nuts until 2. I had planned to wait on eggs until 2 and nuts until 3. We did hold off on milk and she's only had a touch of goat's milk (she's 1). We did cheeses and yogurts made from cow's milk earlier than that, though, and she showed no signs of milk allergy.
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#4 of 5 Old 10-12-2006, 01:01 AM
 
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If there is no reaction to anything yet (like amyd's dc getting hives from peanut butter, which can indicate a potentially life threatening allergy) it might be hard to find an allergist who will test on a kid that young. Most allergy tests are not reliable until after age 2. So unless there has been a reaction already, most won't do any kind of general testing till 2 or 3 years old. I'd just keep a close eye on her when introducing new stuff, and get testing if there's a problem. But if there's not a real problem right now, I would just wait.
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#5 of 5 Old 10-12-2006, 09:53 AM
 
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I waited until ds2 was about 2 before introducing eggs. I personally disagree w/ your ped, but s/he was probably giving the "right" medical advice. KWIM? Personally, I *would* insist on having testing done before introducing the biggies, like eggs and nuts/peanuts (they're more commonly anaphylactic.) My ped gave me the referral for ds2, even though he showed no signs of food allergy, but some peds are not as accommodating/cautious. He did insist on making us wait till age 2, though, b/c of the accuracy.
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