Saturday, February 27, 2010

Food Allergy Appointment #2

How many people have had to sit and watch their child get their blood drawn over and over again? Well, because of my daughter's food allergies, from time to time I have to go through this process. To think that for the rest of her life she may have to succumb to this just to see if her RAST numbers have changed is daunting for me.

I first had her tested when she was around 3 or 4 years old. The results came out showing she had several nut, pet, and outdoor allergies. What her allergist didn't explain to me was that we had to come back every so many years to keep getting tested. I found this out through the many people I follow on Twitter (thank you fellow twitterers). They were discussing how they were taking their children back in to get tested. So I decided to set up an appointment and talk to my daughter's allergist.

After viewing her old test results, her allergiest came to the conclusion that her numbers weren't as high as I assumed they were. Her allergist then said that she may actually outgrow them. I previously read, once you have a peanut allergy, you have it for life. I thought this was how her life was going to be forever. Knowing that she could actually outgrow them makes me believe that she has a chance to have a "normal" life after all.

Now began our RAST number conversation. First and foremost, a RAST (radioallergosorbent test) test is a blood test that measures the level of allergen-specific IgE (immunoglobulin E) in your blood. She explained to me if your RAST numbers are very high (level 5 and above) then chances are you will not outgrow them. Or more importantly if you are an adult and get diagnosed with a peanut allergy, you will not outgrow it either. Seeing how her peanut RAST number is a 12.80 (level 3), her allergist wants to test her again and see if they have gone down. If her RAST number for peanut is 5.00 or below, her allergist would like to conduct a food challenge.

Right now I am just waiting for the blood test results to come back. And once they do, it will determine where we will go from here.

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