Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peanut Allergy: Outgrowing It

A funny thing happened at B's annual checkup yesterday.

Her pediatrician was going through her health history and mentioned "Oh and you have the peanut allergy.  B, you know you're probably not going to outgrow that?"

So I said, "It's not out of the realm of possibility.  She has a negative RAST and her allergist has offered a food challenge."

She looked shocked.

Now, I've read all sorts of stories about kids outgrowing their allergies, or passing a challenge only to redevelop the allergy, or kids with stats like B's failing the office challenge.  That's life with a peanut allergy.

And I know the likelihood of B outgrowing her allergy is slim.  But the likelihood of a treatment to ease accidental exposure isn't.

But why dash her hopes like that?

Hope is something that keeps me going (selfish, I know) - hope helps ease the fears of what she might face down this long road.

But I want to know how you feel about it - are you resigned that your child will never outgrow this?

Or are you hopeful, like me?


Jennifer said...

Hopeful, he is so young, almost 2, at least to the point of easing an accidental exposure.

trifitmom said...

my dad always says or asks about my girl growing out of it. i don't believe it is likely.....but i might just chat wtih her allergist about it.

Kelly A. said...

There's always hope. And there are some exciting possibilities of treatments. My son recently began treatment with sublingual immunotherapy. I am very hopeful that it will at least help reduce his allergy enough that we won't have to worry about cross contamination issues, if not allow him to outgrow it altogether.

Deb {Confessions of an Ugly Mom} said...

Always hopeful! And I don't think it's selfish at all -- the goal is to give them knowledge.

My little guy is 5 and was diagnosed with egg and peanut allergies when he was 6 months old -- since then we've had two anaphylactic reactions due to cross contamination and inlaw error, and in both cases there was no way to definitively say if it was the egg or peanut.

If I have the opportunity to rule out one or both of these allergens for him, or if his allergies can be a nuisance rather than life threatening, I will continue to pursue that until he decides enough is enough. He failed an oral challenge to egg in January with bodywide hives, but he said he will try again if his body thinks it might be ready (via levels).

And if his allergist ever offers an oral challenge to peanut, we'd try that as well, so that someday he might not have to be afraid of a cookie.

I think hope is wonderful gift.

jane said...

I'm realistic and I know my daughter probably won't outgrow her peanut allergy but that doesn't mean I'm not hopeful. You never know:)

Babyswiss said...

I actually try not to be hopeful, as I don't want to be let down some day. Every doctor who's seen my little Peanut has said she'll outgrow her allergy, but what if she doesn't? I often feel as if they're getting MY hopes up and also not fully addressing HER needs as an allergy sufferer...never thought of myself as pessimistic till now, though...maybe I should look on the bright side once in a while...

Babyswiss said...

Oh...I should add that she DOESN'T test negative for egg, but will break out if she eats it...so my money is NOT on the testing, rather what happens in my own house...probably a good reason to be skeptical, right?