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Allergy Testing Next Week

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We have DD's allergy/immunology appointment next week. I'd love to hear experiences from others on what to expect, what I should ask, etc. I also don't know what all they will be testing for or what I should request. We suspect problems (though not necessarily allergy...) with corn, beef, chicken, strawberries and oranges. I just don't know how it works and if they can specifically test for things I have concerns about.


Mom to 3 girls

DD1-diagnosed by allergist 10/2006

DD4 & DD9-diagnosed by Mom 01/2007

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I had ELISA testing for my family. Is that what you are doing?


Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.

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I'm not sure what exactly they are planning. Her doc has mentioned both skin prick and RAST, maybe they are planning both? The letter from the med center said "plan to spend several hours with us" so I'm assuming it's much more than a blood draw.


Mom to 3 girls

DD1-diagnosed by allergist 10/2006

DD4 & DD9-diagnosed by Mom 01/2007

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OUr allergy dr. explained that they usually do the skin test first and based on what they find, do blood tests. It would require a lot of blood draws to test for everythign that they do on a skin test, so basically they will use the blood to confirm or get better results on anything you were allergic to on the skin, but won't have to waste blood on things that came up as negative on the skin.

It's my understanding that if you have specific things that aren't "normal" allergic foods, that you should talk to them ahead of time to see how you should go about this. We are going in Monday for additional skin testing for our son. They told me that they will test for whichever things I want, but if it's something that's not a typical allergen, they would need to know ahead of time. The smaller the kid, the less blood they can draw and the fewer tests that can be done with it. They are basically using the skin test to eliminate unecessary blood draws. Hope that makes sense.

The actual prick for the skin test shouldn't be too bothersome, but if your child is allergic, the itching can be very uncomfortable. All 3 of our children have gone through this over the past several months. The one thing I would suggest is to bring something that would be a big distraction as they are not allowed to itch and it will consume them unless you can get their mind off it somehow. For our tests, they had to wait 18 minutes after getting the initial prick and then the nurse would check the results. They put anti-itch cream on immediately after that, which worked wonders. For our 2 year old, we brought his favorite toy, a miniature basketball game that he can bounce the balls in. It was a perfect distraction. For our 8 and 10 year olds, we had to try different things. We mostly played rock, paper, scissors, which surprisingly worked great. When they were through with that, I told them to count backwards from 100 to 1 without getting distracted from what they were doing. It made them focus on that and forget a little about the itching. Two of our kids didn't seem to experience any more discomfort after getting the anti-itch cream; however, our older son was seriously allergic to some things and his welts didn't go away for a week. He had to take zyrtec, singulair and benadryl, along with using icepacks to relieve the discomfort. The allergist said this was not a typical response, but not abnormal either. Hopefully, yours will have the normal response, but wanted to let you know that they all handle it differently so you're prepared either way.

Personally, if you suspect any allergies or have food allergies in the family, I would have them tested on all the biggies, (wheat, milk, eggs, soy, peanuts and tree nuts, corn.... and I'm sure there are others), plus the ones you're concerned about already. I also had my kids tested for environmental allergies as I knew this was also an issue.

Good luck and hope some of this helps.

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How old is the child?

I've been through allergy testing with all three of mine, and the approach often depends on the age.

If the child is really young (and small) they will do a RAST panel for most allergens. It actually doesn't involve "alot" of blood. My 13 month old just had a "complete" RAST panel - environmental and food, and they only took one vial.

The skin prick testing isn't nearly as bad as the intradermal testing, where they inject a tiny bit of the allergen into your skin. My two older two, as well as myself, have had that done. Basically... if the doctor "suspects" an allergy but it doesn't show on the skin prick test, they'll inject the allergen into the arm. However, if there is an obvious skin reaction, they won't further test it. An example... I had a tiny wheal where they tested for cat dander... but it wasn't big enough to be a positive. So, they injected me with it. And, it was very positive at that point. However, with feathers... my response to the scratch was so severe that they would not even consider injecting it.

It'll be the longest 15 minutes of your life, while you are waiting for the reactions and recheck. But, once it's all over with, hopefully it'll provide you some necessary answers, and can help you be proactive in your child's health!

Good luck!


Jayhawkmom -

Mom of three....

Jay - 11

Bean - 8

Ian - 3

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Thanks so much for all the info! It helps to hear from someone who's been there.

She'll be 1 in two weeks so I'm glad we are finding all this early. I think the suspense is killing me the most. We already avoid most things we suspect, but I really want to know what she actually can eat.


Mom to 3 girls

DD1-diagnosed by allergist 10/2006

DD4 & DD9-diagnosed by Mom 01/2007

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Thanks so much for all the info! It helps to hear from someone who's been there.

She'll be 1 in two weeks so I'm glad we are finding all this early. I think the suspense is killing me the most. We already avoid most things we suspect, but I really want to know what she actually can eat.

If your allergist is anything like mine...they'll do a RAST test first. It's actually quite a bit easier on the child to have a 20 second blood draw, instead of the pricks on the back - and the waiting.

If there are issues that aren't addressed AFTER the rast, our allergist will then investigate further. Thankfully, with our little one (who had just turned 1 a week before his testing) the items that we "assumed" he was allergic to came back positive. And, we didn't need to go any further with the testing.

Lots of luck to you. Let us know how it goes.


Jayhawkmom -

Mom of three....

Jay - 11

Bean - 8

Ian - 3

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