My son, who is almost 5, has a peanut allergy. We discovered it when he was 8 months old and had a reaction when he ate peanut butter. We had him tested at 18 months by having his blood drawn. They came back and confirmed it was a peanut allergy. Ever since we've had a epipen, but thankfully have never had to use it.
My questions are as follows:
1. Is it possible that he can outgrow it?
2. Is it possible that the test yielded a false positive?
3. I've read about the testing Dr Edmond Chan has done about a possible treatment. What is your opinion about that, and is it a viable option to lessen the severity of a reaction for my boy?
The reason I ask about the false positive or the possibility that he can outgrow it, is that, although we've been EXTREMELY careful, it is surprising to me that he hasn't had a reaction yet for the last almost 4 years.
Thank you in advance.
You raise some very important points.
1. Yes, it is possible to outgrow a mild peanut allergy in 25% of cases. However severe peanut allergies tend to persist into adult life.
2. There are 9 different peanut allergens in a peanut, some are associated with anaphylaxis (Ara h2 & Ara h6). Other peanut allergens are only associated with mild oral symptoms (such as Ara h8). The basic blood RAST test for peanut doesn't differentiate these, and its best to have these peanut IgE components individually tested.
3. Peanut desensitisation immunotherapy is a viable possibility these days and many paediatric allergologists are now desensitise peanut allergic children successfully. The process involves slowly inducing peanut tolerance by slowly introducing peanut incrementally. This should never be done at home but must always be done under medical supervision. Unsupervised it may result in life-threatening anaphylaxis.
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