Sunday, February 28, 2010

Divvies are Peanut and Tree Nut Free

Buy Divvies Here

They have chocolate bunnies and yummy cookies. And no need to worry about the ingredients if you have a child allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sean and Amanda at the zoo today

At the zoo.

Peanut free and tree nut free!

These cookies are loved by my whole family. Amanda loves it when we eat them too because it makes her feel like we like "her food" too. She gobbles these up.

Amanda is 10 and is allergic peanuts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Amanda's grade for anaphylaxis to peanuts is a 5

Amanda had a blood test a couple of weeks ago for an issue involving her enlarged lymph node. I asked at that time if she could also be test for tree nuts because although we've known since she was 2 years old that she is allergic to peanuts, we have not known if she is allergic to tree nuts because we were told to stay away from those also.

The blood test revealed that she is, on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 being the most severe, that she rates a 5. Of course I already knew that in my heart because of how she has reacted with even a trace of peanuts. Full anaphylaxis.

This is from the FAAN (Food, Allergy, Anaphylaxis Network

TABLE 2. Grading of Food-Induced Anaphylaxis According to Severity of Clinical Symptoms

Grade Skin GI Tract Respiratory Tract Cardiovascular Neurological
1 Localized pruritus, flushing, urticaria, angioedema Oral pruritus, oral "tingling," mild lip swelling
2 Generalized pruritus, flushing, urticaria, angioedema Any of the above, nausea and/or emesis x’s 1 Nasal congestion and/or sneezing

3 Any of the above Any of the above plus repetitive vomiting Rhinorrhea, marked congestion,sensation of throat pruritus or tightness Tachycardia (increase >15 beats/min) Change in activity level plus anxiety

4 Any of the above Any of the above plus diarrhea Any of the above,hoarseness, "barky" cough, difficulty swallowing, dyspnea, wheezing, cyanosis Any of the above,dysrhythmia and/or mild hypotension "Light headedness," feeling of "pending doom"

5 Any of the above Any of the above, loss of bowel control Any of the above,respiratory arrest Severe bradycardia and/or hypotension or cardiac arrest Loss of consciousness
All symptoms are not mandatory. The severity score should be based on the organ system most affected, eg, if grade 3 respiratory symptoms are present but only grade 1 GI symptoms, then the anaphylaxis severity score would be "grade 3." Boldface symptoms are absolute indications for the use of epinephrine; use of epinephrine with other symptoms will depend on patient’s history.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In reference to my previous post...

I am not interested in putting my daughter through something like that where they would give her small amounts of peanuts over time to help her overcome her severe peanut allergy. I know she wouldn't interested in it either. I have spoken to an adult who is 47 and has lived with a peanut allergy since he was a kid, say he would not be interested in doing that either.

Are you interested in having your child go through the process to get desensitized to peanuts?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Food Allergies and Airlines

Southwest Airlines still serves peanuts, but will advise the boarding agents of (that) flight to suspend the sale of peanuts. Southwest also encourages all passengers with food allergies to book a flight early in the morning due to cleaning schedules.

Delta and Northwest Airlines have not eliminated peanut products, but do offer a buffer zone. The zone requires the passengers of three rows in front and three rows behind to not have any peanut products or be served peanut products during the flight.

American Airlines serves no peanut products in flight, but may serve products with other nut ingredients. Also the snacks they do serve, even though they may be peanut free, be sure to read the label because it could say "may contain traces of peanuts", or "processed on a plant that also processes peanuts".

We pack our own snacks and then we don't have to worry about it.

This is for anyone who may have started reading my blog and saw my last post about Amanda getting a blood test. I know it is a little confusing.

Amanda did not get a blood test to see if she is allergic to peanuts. I have known she is anaphylactic to peanuts since she was 2. She got a blood test because she has an infected and swollen lymph node. I asked the doctor if they could also test for a tree nut allergy at the same time because she has a tremendous fear of needles and it would save her from having another blood test - especially when it can be done at the same time.
The blood test was strictly for the ENT to see what is going out with her white blood cell count. I wanted as a side to find out if Amanda is allergic to tree nuts because it would off she and I some peace of mind. One less thing to avoid.

Amanda has avoided peanuts and all tree nuts since she was first diagnosed at age 2.

It just struck me in the doctors office that there was great confusion with the nurse and what she was being tested for as far as the peanuts/tree nuts go. I had really regretted even asking for them to test for tree nuts because it created so much confusion because the nurse thought a peanut is a nut.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So whatever is going on with Amanda (which i still don't have an answer for) she is still tired, very tired in fact. Friends call to play and she says she is too tired to play. She is also always complaining that she has a headache and doesn't feel well.

One thing that was evident today, even in a doctor's office, is that a peanut allergy is so misunderstand. And most people don't even know the difference between what a peanut is and what a tree nut is. I must admit, I would not be so educated on this subject had I not had a child who almost died from ingesting a minute amount of peanut butter on a tiny piece of bread when she was 23 months. I have had to learn a lot since that day in 2001. But still, if you are professional you would think you would know the difference and then therefore not make the mistake of testing a child for only 1 tree nut. That didn't really help me. I can't assume that because she tested negative to pecans that she won't go into anaphylactic shock by ingesting one of the many other tree nuts like walnuts, cashews, almonds and pistasios.

My book on peanut allergies clearly defines the difference between the two and hopefully it will help to educate people who know nothing of peanut or tree nut allergies.

Confusing test results

I called the doctor today to see if the results from Amanda's blood test are in. It got very confusing and here is why. When I took Amanda to see the ENT last Tuesday, he said the lump on her neck is still cause for concern and ordered a blood test. Amanda hearing about having to have a needle put in her arm started to feel very anxious about it. I mentioned to the doctor that her Allergist suggested she get a blood test to determine the severity of her peanut allergy and to see if she is allergic to tree-nuts. The doctor said that they could test for all of this with this one blood test. Yay, kids two birds with one stone.

Amanda, got through the blood test somehow. I don't know how she became so deathly afraid of needles, but she is. My suspicion on this is that when she went into anaphylactic shock at age 7 the doctors had to stick all sorts of needles in her, including the Epi-Pen, just to save her life. It had taken three grown men (all doctors) to hold her down! It was a bad experience for her and now the mere mention of a needle sends her into full blown panic mode.

So after waiting over a week, I called the doctor a little while ago and spoke to the nurse. She started off by telling me that Amanda is allergic to peanuts (duh) and that she is not allergic to pecans. Eager to hear about the results of her white blood cell count related to the swollen lymph node, I asked about the rest of the test and she went on and on about what Amanda is allergic to, which I already knew. Remember, this part of the blood test was just for convenience. I really wanted to know about the other stuff. In a very confusing way she said that Amanda's lymphocytes are high at 51% but that she thought that was no big deal even though the high end is 48%. Then she said they tested her CRP but that she doesn't know what that means! Arggg! I'm not in the medical field and I don't have a clue either. I think she knew she was being vague so she said she'd have the doctor call me tomorrow.

Before we hung up and I wanted to ask her one more question about tree nuts. I said, since Amanda is not allergic to pecans does that mean she is not allergic to any tree nut? And her response was, well she's allergic to peanuts. I know she's allergic to peanuts! What I need to know is if she is allergic to walnuts, cashews and all tree nuts. I guess she doesn't know the difference between a legume and a tree nut and she didn't know enough to put the correct code on the form to test for ALL tree nuts. She put the code to just test Amanda for pecans, which doesn't make sense to me at all. Her solution? To send Amanda back to get another blood test and on this one she'll put to test for all tree nuts. Oh, ok. That will be like trying to dip a cat in water. It is no easy task. I hate mistakes like this and all the while, my main concern is I want to know if the test came back normal for her swollen lymph node. That's really all I wanted to know when I called today because Amanda has lived without eating peanuts AND tree nuts since she was two years old. It wouldn't hurt her wait a little longer. My main concern is what is going on with this lymph node?

I guess I have to wait until tomorrow to find out the results regarding what is making her lymph node swollen. Waiting it the worst!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Can showers cause the itchy's?

Lately, something in the shower is causing Amanda to have an allergic reaction. Not anaphylaxis, because she's not ingesting anything. But a rash all over her body. When she gets out she is red and has welts and hives. I have read the labels and none of them say "may contain peanut or tree nut products". If they did contain peanut traces, would that be disclosed on the list of ingredients? Could the Aveda Rosemary Mint be the problem? Or is it the body wash?

Not sure what is causing this reaction lately.

Did you know?

That a Peanut Allergy is the most prevalent food allergy in the US, where as many as 1.5 million people suffer from the disease (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology). Peanut Allergy is the most common cause of food related death. (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

If this could be true one day...

ALLERGIC reactions to peanuts could one day be as mild as hayfever, say Deakin University researchers who have established that peanut proteins form ''super allergens''.

With his team from the school of life and environmental sciences, Cenk Suphioglu has taken a novel ''whole nut'' approach - looking at the peanut's allergens and its non-allergens to establish how the proteins interact with the body's natural immune system.

''Good proteins can turn bad and play a very devious role,'' he said. ''We're trying to reveal their true identity at a molecular level.''

Peanut allergies affect about 1 per cent of the population and can be deadly.

In a paper to be submitted for publication in the US-based Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dr Suphioglu outlined the structure of peanut proteins, which were sticky because of their carbohydrate content. This meant they could clump together, probably in the stomach and intestine.

''We have now shown that they form these super allergens, which for the first time explains how they interact with the immune system,'' he said. The body overreacts to the ''super allergens'' by producing more histamines, which brings about the anaphylactic reaction.

''It's a fault in the system, it's a hyper-reaction,'' he said.

The next question for his research team was how to reduce the release of histamine by the body's immune system.

''If we can do this then we can take away the life-threatening element of the peanut allergies and make it more like a pollen reaction,'' he said.

Dr Suphioglu, of Deakin University's Allergy Research Laboratory, said the signs were promising. His research has already identified a novel molecule that reduces the interaction between a major peanut allergen and human antibodies, cutting histamine release and minimising the allergic reaction.

This could lead to the making of a special peanut extract, to be used for safer diagnosis of peanut allergies and treatment.

The Blood test

Dr. Moe had Amanda take a blood test to test her white blood cell count and her liver. I asked if they could also test to see if she is allergic to tree nuts. We have always stayed away from tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts etc.). So it will be good to know. I think they can also test the severity of her allergy to peanuts. Her Allergist wanted her to have a blood test last year to test for tree nuts, but Amanda is so afraid of needles, that the mere thought of them drawing blood from her gave her an anxiety attack.

I was able to talk her into it on Tuesday by promising to take her sonic and give her a Valentine's Day present early (was was a huge red and white stuffed dog). She agreed and off we went into the clinic. She was fine until the moment came and her anxiety kicked in and she realized what was happening. It took me and two nurses to hold her down to get that blood! Phew, glad that is over. Now we await the results to see exactly what is causing the lump on her lymph node.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Working on the edits for Peanuts

Just finished the edits for Peanuts my children's book. That was one long process!

Update on Amanda's lymph node

I took Amanda to the doctor on Jan. 25 and he said her lymph node is infected and that it was probably related to her chronic sinus problems. It seems as though she is always stuffy and has to breathe through her mouth most of the time. He prescribed antibiotics and said the infection and swelling should go away. I got her the antibiotics and started her on them right away and didn't think more about it. I went out of town that Thursday and was shocked when I returned Monday and the lump was still noticeably there. I called the doctor first thing Tuesday morning and he was able to see her that afternoon. He prescribed a second round of antibiotics and told me to call an ENT doctor.

The ENT was able to see her on Feb. 9 and he measured the lump on her lymph node at 2 mm. So he ordered a blood test and now we wait on the results. Her follow up appoint. isn't until March 11. I hope I find out the results from the blood test soon.