Allergy Test / Skin Prick Test - how to prepare?

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leechbabe
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15 Jan 2009, 3:45 am

We did the peanut challenge at the hospital today.

All went very smoothly.

Heidi had refused to eat breakfast in the morning, then we went to Hays Paddock in Kew for a 3 hour play before heading over to the hospital.

To prepare Heidi I simply told her we were going to the hospital to eat spaghetti - we've been practicing eating spaghetti since Christmas and she has done well at it. I brought her own bowl and spoon from home and the tinned alphabet spaghetti from Heinz (Heidi loves the word-getti, as she calls it).

As I was expecting her to eat at the hospital at 1pm I hadn't given her lunch, that combined with no breakfast and 3 hours play made for a very hungry and very lethargic little girl.

We got admitted to the hospital, Heidi got a little "Cabrini Nurse" teddy bear. Given a seat in the post op recovery lounge - Heidi had a big comfy reclining chair, I got to sit on an instrument of torture.

First up was smear of peanut butter on her lips.

No reaction so 30 min later she got 1/8th teaspoon of peanut butter mixed into some spaghetti sauce.

Again no reaction so 30 min later she got 1/4 teaspoon of peanut butter mixed in spaghetti sauce.

Almost immediately she got hives all around her mouth.

Challenge over.

They waited to see what would happen next, within 10 minutes she was scratching her head and there were more hives.

So give her some zyrtec and wait some more.

Hives disappear, scratching stops, no vomiting.

Heidi can eat - she'd not had breakfast or lunch, it was 3pm, she was hungry.

She ate two whole tins of spaghetti and there was no vomiting or diarrhea so we were allowed to go home.

Can keep peanut butter in the house but Heidi is not allowed to eat it. We have to keep utensils used for peanut butter separate from all others and wash in boiling water. Also wash hands, face and brush teeth after eating. Seems like a lot of work and just easier not to have it around.

A relief that it is not an anaphylactic reaction and the rash shows up pretty quick and disappears just as fast when treated with zyrtec.



Mage
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15 Jan 2009, 11:51 am

So, she had no reaction to the peanut butter alone, but then a reaction to the peanut butter/spaghetti mix? Sounds like she's allergic to whatever's in the spaghetti sauce to me.

Don't take these tests too seriously, I don't see a whole lot of good science behind it. Peanut allergies are extremely rare, and if she's never had a reaction to peanuts in the past then I wouldn't worry about a possible positive from the prick test.

IMO hives are nothing to worry about anyway. I would break out in hives every single day if I didn't take my zyrtec. I'm not willing to live in a bubble just to avoid taking zyrtec every day. You should just be very grateful your daughter does not have any serious allergies, keep zyrtec on hand, and not worry about all this avoiding peanut butter and any utensil that has ever touched peanut butter nonsense.



EvilTeach
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15 Jan 2009, 12:44 pm

I'm glad it all went well.



annotated_alice
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16 Jan 2009, 9:49 am

I'm glad it went smoothly, but sorry your daughter is peanut allergic.

Mage wrote:
IMO hives are nothing to worry about anyway. I would break out in hives every single day if I didn't take my zyrtec. I'm not willing to live in a bubble just to avoid taking zyrtec every day. You should just be very grateful your daughter does not have any serious allergies, keep zyrtec on hand, and not worry about all this avoiding peanut butter and any utensil that has ever touched peanut butter nonsense.


I'm sorry, but this is not sound advice. There are different reasons for hives, the ones caused by environmental allergies/chemical sensitivities are usually nothing to worry about, but the ones caused by food allergies can be an indicator of severe symptoms to follow, and should be taken seriously. A peanut allergy always has the potential to become serious, and past reactions are not necessarily indicative of the severity of future reactions (reactions can become more serious with repeated exposures). So please follow your allergist's instructions as far as avoidance and cross contamination carefully.

Has your daughter been prescribed an epipen Leechbabe?



leechbabe
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16 Jan 2009, 2:40 pm

No epipen yet, her breathing was okay throughout, the nurse was repeatedly checking that.

I worry about the hives because once Heidi starts scratching at something she does not stop scratching at that spot, the skin can be raw and painful to touch and still she scratches. So I need to avoid that happening in the first place. Thank goodness for Zyrtec. :)



2ukenkerl
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16 Jan 2009, 4:10 pm

Mage wrote:
So, she had no reaction to the peanut butter alone, but then a reaction to the peanut butter/spaghetti mix? Sounds like she's allergic to whatever's in the spaghetti sauce to me.

Don't take these tests too seriously, I don't see a whole lot of good science behind it. Peanut allergies are extremely rare, and if she's never had a reaction to peanuts in the past then I wouldn't worry about a possible positive from the prick test.

IMO hives are nothing to worry about anyway. I would break out in hives every single day if I didn't take my zyrtec. I'm not willing to live in a bubble just to avoid taking zyrtec every day. You should just be very grateful your daughter does not have any serious allergies, keep zyrtec on hand, and not worry about all this avoiding peanut butter and any utensil that has ever touched peanut butter nonsense.


Actually, the tissue inside the mouth, and ingestion, is ****FAR**** more likely to cause an allergic reaction. All the test above the lip proved is that her breating of the vapor, and skin, are probably safe. If she failed THAT test, the doctors would have certainly said to keep her away from peanuts TOTALLY, and given the mother an epipen, etc....

Hives ARE something to worry about! They can get WORSE as you get older, and similar inflamation internally can be DEADLY! Besides, it was obviously uncomfortable.

The jury is STILL out, last I heard, about how alergies react. Sometimes they get better, sometimes worse! Sometimes WITH exposure, sometimes without! Is it REALLY worth the risk?



leechbabe
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17 Jan 2009, 12:48 am

2ukenkerl wrote:
Is it REALLY worth the risk?


In my opinion - NO.



Mage
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19 Jan 2009, 4:12 pm

Then you should consider having her tested at a more scientifically sound facility to see if she is allergic to the spaghetti sauce. If you are concerned about the hives and think it could develop into something more, you need to be absolutely sure about what she is allergic to.



leechbabe
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19 Jan 2009, 5:36 pm

She does not get hives when she eats that brand of spaghetti sauce on its own. Is only when the peanut butter was added that she gets hives.



BellaDonna
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20 Jan 2009, 12:01 am

Those tests are not accurate and medically doctors will take no notice of them. My daughter had a blood test done by A GP that confirmed her allergies/sensitivies.



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20 Jan 2009, 10:12 am

But you said in your original post that eating a meal with tomato sauce was one of the triggering incidents that lead you to seek an allergy test in the first place. It makes absolutely no sense to me that if she has an allergic reaction while eating spaghetti sauce and peanut butter, that anyone would look to the peanut butter as the source. Especially considering you have not said she has previously had a reaction to peanuts, but you have said she had a reaction to a meal with tomatoes in it.