View Full Version : Some questions about Anaphylaxis?
So glad you are all here.....my 17mth old DS was diagnosed with a peanut allergy on Monday but I walked out of the doctor's office feeling a little confused.
He has prescribed two epi-pens and explained we needed to avoid all nuts.
But it all seemed quite casual and kind of like...."better get you the epi-pens in case you need them" as opposed to "because you definitely need them".
Can you tell how severe the allergy is, or is it the unfortunate situation where the first attack demonstrates the severity?
Do we just assume that he is at risk of anaphylaxis?
(The reason we went to the Dr was that he chewed on a crust with some peanut butter on it and he immediately broke out in hives all around his mouth - so is that as bad as it gets or does each exposure make the allergy worse?)
So many questions - but would love to hear of your experience or get your advice.
My husband has anaphylaxis. We were told that each exposure to the allergen often causes a more serious outcome and generally within a shorter period.
He probably said "in case you need the epi-pen" as no doubt, you will be doing your best to avoid all exposure to nuts in the future. If you do need it though, it will be important that you have one - you will need one or more at home, one in your handbag, one in his schoolbag when he gets older and one at the school just in case.
Anaphylaxis is life threatening. My husband stopped breathing with it once and had to have a boost of adrenalin (simiilar to what is in the epi pen) and oxygen, the allergy affects the body severely and the swelling reduces the body's ability to function.
Take it seriously but hopefully you will never need the epi. If in doubt, always rush him to the nearest emergency room. It is possible that his allergy will just remain an inconvenience but it is great to be prepared.
My thoughts are with you.:)
My DS also has peanut allergy and an epi-pen for 'just in case'. So far he has had what the hospital described as mild analphylactic reaction, mostly presented as hives all over his face. His allergist said that whilst it wasn't considered a severe reaction in terms of breathing problems, there was the potential for it to get worse with each accidental exposure to peanuts. Hence the just in case epi-pen.
But he did say each child is different and not all children go on to have progressively worse reactions, some stay the same every time. The Dr can't give really an answer on severity or will it get any worse, you just have to wait and see and keep getting them retested or challenged. I always ask every appointment about what he thinks of severity and he sits on the fence :rolleyes:
I have given an epi-pen to daycare andwe have one and we are really vigilant about nuts, but accidents do happen so we try to be prepared for the worst reaction. Good luck, I hope you get some answers you are looking for. If you need to chat PM me. Try the Analphylaxis Australia website for information.
I've just been to a training session on anaphylaxis... so i'll try and answer your questions :)
It is definately a good thing that you have the epi pens. the last thing you want is for your son to have an anaphylactic reaction and you have nothing to help treat his symptoms... as it is life threatning. Unfortunately a peanut allergy is at the top of the allergens list and it is the allergy a person is least liekly to grow out of in their lifetime. A small reaction to an allergen is hives.. it's the first reaction you can have... whos to say if your son had consumed more peanut butter he could have had more of a reaction.... the symptoms then go... vomitting... diarreha (sp*) and then respiratory distress.... at the vomitting/diarrehea stage he must have an epi pen.. you want to avoid respiratory distress as this can all happen quickly it is essential you call and ambulance and give the pen right away. this can all happen in less than 10 mins, more like 3 minutes. the lasy fromt he ambulance service told us as soon as they mention needing to go to the toilet say - I'm sorry but you need your pen right away- as much as you don't want to have to clean up a toileting mess.. it's more important they have the pen". it's essential you call an amulance as the pen lasts for an average of 13 mins (only!) plus after the pen has worn off , patients can also deteriorate and need monitoring. You can not tell how badly your son may react... people do not normally react to an allergen until they have had it 3 times... (so i was told) although- people can now develop allergies on the 50th time they have tried something... so you just can't tell about severity of reaction. better safe than sorry... treat it as serious... if he has nuts again ever... try not to let him swallow the material... get him to spit it out. you can normally tell if children are having a reaction as they get a burning sensation in their mouth... may start rubbing their mouth.. and hive slike your son got.. in a severe reaction sometimes hives dont show until after the vomitting... so do not assume he has not reacted. Hope this helps :D
have a look at this site
http://www.allergyfacts.org.au/ - they have a membership - you might find other people in your area who can help through experience.
the other thing is to look on the net for support groups.. LOTS of people have reactions to foods/ animals - and there are so many different levels of reactions.
- keep those epi pens handy - you never know when you might need one.. and it really can save bubs life.. ALWAYS have one in the bag that goes whereever bubs goes... it is scary ... nuts are in nearly EVERYTHING...
you'll have to get used to reading every label- often common foods are made in factories with other nutty items (for a common example... snickers are made in the same factory as mar... therefore mars bars have a possible nut warning...)
- I really dont want to worry you - but often the second allergic reaction can be worse than the first one - so keep an eye out for possible foods
- and make sure that you DOCUMENT all info given to child care etc.. so if something DOES get eaten you can prove that you notified staff of the allergy..
all the best ... big :hugs: to you and bubs..
Hi. My son was diagnosed with egg and peanut allergy last week too. I thought the allergist was pretty casual as well. He recommended that we just buy zirtec at the chemist, he didn't think we'd need an epi pen (I hope he wasn't being too casual!!)
When I left the appt I still felt unsure of a few things, but a couple of days later I received a copy of the letter he sent to ds's GP, and that explained everything MUCH better. Try ringing the receptionist and see if you can get a copy of the letter too (I presume one would be sent to your sons GP?)
I have a feeling us mums with allergic kids are going to be on the increase.
Hi girls, my 9 yr old has a peanut and walnut allergy as well, it started the same as your little one Tracie, someone gave him a chocolate with a nut in it and he went all red and itchy around the mouth and said he couldnt breathe properly, I think he was about 2. so we avoided nuts and then a couple of yrs ago he was accidently exposed to walnuts and then peanuts (once at my mums and once at a friends) both resulted in him having an anyphalaxtic reaction.
I now have an epi pen at home and one at school, and his canteen is completly nut free, which i think is so great.
So anyway, in answer to your question I noticed that yes, with each new exposure his allergy worsened, so best to have the epi pen on hand, and some phenergen or zyrtec for less severe reactions.
Hope this helps a bit.
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