Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Susan | 2009-02-25


High allergy levels

Hi there doctor
I hope you can help me! My daugther (2 years, 8 months) has been tested for allergies when she was 18 months old. She showed high allergies for dairy, nuts and egg white.
We had her tested again two weeks ago. Our paediatrician phoned me yesterday to tell me that her allergy count is 950, and that she still shows a high allergy for nuts and egg white, and a medium allergy for dairy. She has also developed a medium allergy for soy (we' ve replaced her yoghurt and milk with soy after the previous tests.)
Since my conversation with her I' ve thought of a few concerns, if you can please help me:
1) I' m worried about the high allergy count. Does this mean that she eats products containing the allergans, without us knowing it (eg at school)? We do our best to keep her away from this. Why is this count so high, then?
2) What symptoms will such a high allergy count cause? She' s a very healthy and happy little girl, although she coughs during the night. (The ped prescribed 1 shot Venteze before she goes to bed.) I' m worried that she' s actually not feeling very good without complaining. Could the allergies cause tiredness etc? (She has been complaining of sore arms the last few days.)
3) She' s been admitted to hospital two weeks ago due to acute vomiting and diarrhoea. The stool sample tests showed nothing unusual. Could this have been a result of the allergies maybe building up over a long period of time?
4) As I understand, especially a nut allergy can cause a very severe, acute reaction. Is this always the case? What precautions should we take (in terms of keeping medicine on hand) in case she consumes nuts?
5) As she has not outgrown these allergies yet, will it be sensible to test again in a year or two? Or is a nut/egg allergy something that she will have forever?
6) Does " standard"  food allergy tests include testing for preservatives, colourants etc? I was thinking that the high allergy count could maybe be the cause of an allergy to such products, although it was maybe not tested? Will it make a difference to put her on a very healthy, organic diet? (She doesn' t eat lots of sweets and processed foods.) Should I see a dietician about this?
7) Is it safe to give her a shot of Venteze each night before going to sleep? I read that it' s quite a shock to a child' s heart. How long should I continue with this?
8) Is it possible that she will develop other new allergies, as she seems prone to allergies? I suppose she developed the soy allergy because of her high intake of soy milk.
9) Will the fact that she' s prone to allergies cause her immune system to be weaker than it' s supposed to be? If so, can I give her something better than multivitamins to boost her immune system?

Thank you so much. I' m quite worried and want to manage this as good as possible.


Expert's Reply



1]Your daughter is indeed highly allergic . The test you mention is the IgE test which is a measure of her allergy level.
2]Your daughterr has the typical night cough of asthma and should be on proper preventive treatment for asthma,not Venteze which is called a reliever medicine,
3]The recent illness is not due to an allergy but to an infection probably Rotavirus.
4]Do you mean peanut allergy or tree nut allergy? Both are potentially life threatening allergies in children.You must have a rapidly acting antihistamine such as Zyrtec syrup with you at all times in case she accidently eats nuts.Read more on the Allergy Society's web page:
5] She must be re-tested every year.
6]The Rast tests done here do not test for colourants and preservatives.This can be done with a new test called the CAST.
7]I am not at all happy to use only Veneze for your child's asthma-see above.
8]She may well develop other allergies such as new food allergies or allergic nasal problems. as mentioned she already has asthma
9]Use a good probiotic regularly such as Probiflora for children once daily.
NOTE: Your daughter should be treated by a paediatric allergist.

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