Allergy Update: Advance in Testing Gives Us Hope
About two weeks ago we visited the allergist again for the third round of testing in the last three years. Thankfully, Lil D has not had any reactions since the initial incident (read about it here). The absence of reactions gave me hope that perhaps there was no more allergy.
Lil D was not stressed about this appointment which reduced my own anxiety. We grabbed his Star Wars sticker book and we were off.
After a brief consultation, we went into the exam room for the drops and picks, which this time would include environmental allergies. Shortly after the nurse dropped and picked, Lil D began to feel uncomfortable itching in his arm.
He reacted strongly to cats. We don’t have a cat. No biggie.
He reacted to peanuts, not strongly but still significantly.
He did not react to any tree nuts – Woohoo!
The allergist explained that in the last year, there is a new (privately funded at $180) blood test that can help to type the allergy and help predict the likelihood of a systemic (i.e. anaphylactic) reaction. The test isolates the different types of protein in the peanut and the reaction to each.
In studies, there are certain proteins which have little association with anaphylactic reactions and certain proteins which have very strong associations with anaphylactic reactions.
If Lil D did not react to those with the strong reaction to anaphylaxis, we could give him a food challenge (have him eat peanuts in a controlled environment) and see what happens. Perhaps it could even mean that he wouldn’t react. Or perhaps it could mean that we could just feel a little less worried when he is eating outside our home.
Hope! Maybe this was it. He hadn’t had any reactions because he has this more mild allergy and now we could identify it.
Two weeks later the call from the allergist’s nurse…
He only reacted to one protein, the one to which 90% of those who have had anaphylactic reactions were positive.
F _ CK
I guess we have been doing a good job of keeping him away from peanuts.
And we will continue with the NUT-F’in-FREE diet; we will have epipens weighing us down wherever we go; we will ask servers to “check with the kitchen” at each restaurant meal; and we will carry nut-free treats (Coffee Crisp is the current fav) in our bag for the times the server comes back with that disappointing news about the ice cream in the kid’s meal dessert.