Driving through a remote part of a neighboring state we gave our son a handful of organic peanuts as a snack. We expected our young boy to get hungry during our family trip- what we didn’t expect was (after eating peanuts), “My mouth feels itchy. My throat feels weird.” Yikes! A slightly sketchy convenience store later and a dose of Benedryl, our son was groggily enjoying the passing scenery, and I was making an appointment with an allergist.
Turns out the allergy scratch test revealed many allergies- peanuts included. Hello EpiPen! We began carrying an EpiPen with us everywhere, underwent allergy shots, and loaded up on local honey. He mastered the food conversation of “Does this have peanuts or tree nuts in it?” and label reading.
7 years later when he was about to begin high school (where the EpiPen would become more his responsibility) we heard about a new test for peanut allergies that was more conclusive. This new test screens the blood for a panel of specific peanut proteins, not just a general category of peanut protein. Some of the proteins have a low allergenic quality while others are severe. Which means you could possibly test positive for a peanut allergy, but really not be fully allergic.
This summer his blood was tested.
He tested positive for only one of the proteins- a low allergen one! Under the close supervision of his allergist he completed an in office peanut challenge. He ate small doses of peanuts while his vitals were closely monitored. No reaction! He was deemed, “Not allergic.”
Making up for lost time he has been consuming peanuts in every fashion imaginable. His allergist recommends keeping peanuts plentiful in his diet – no problem!
It was a fluke that we learned about the specific peanut protein test, but I’m glad we did. Help spread the word about this test. Results could ease a parent’s worry!
Learn more about this test and peanut proteins here. Please note I am not connected with the practice in the link, but rather I found their site to offer a clear explanation of peanut proteins.