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Two girls, Caroline and Emma, were both diagnosed with a birch allergy at the age of 6 when they had a stuffy nose and itchy, red eyes during pollen season. Skin-prick tests to birch were positive.
Now, at the age of 16, both girls experience local allergic reactions when eating peanuts. Using a combination of skin-prick test and a whole allergen blood testing – the results led to the diagnosis of a peanut allergy. Both girls received allergy management plans that include strict avoidance of peanut. Their healthcare professionals also recommend that both Caroline and Emma have their allergic reactions investigated at a more detailed level.
The results of an ImmunoCAPTM Allergen Components test show that Emma has a clinical peanut allergy. Emma runs the risk of a systemic reaction to peanuts and needs to continue to strictly avoid peanuts and carry epinephrine.
But Caroline’s test tells a different story. Her results indicate a birch pollen-related reaction, which make sense since her symptoms happen during the spring. Birch-pollen associated peanut allergies may cause unpleasant reactions in the mouth if she eats small amounts of peanuts, because of a similarity between a birch protein and a protein found in peanuts. Caroline may even be tolerant to peanut and her healthcare professional suggested she undergo an Oral Food Challenge (OFC). Caroline passed the OFC with no symptoms, and with the successful re-introduction of peanuts into her diet, Caroline no longer needs to carry epinephrine.
Many people are so used to living with their allergies that they never even think that they should have their healthcare professional reassess their initial diagnosis. But just because you know what you were allergic to a year ago doesn’t mean you know everything you’re allergic to today. Since your reactions can change over time—particularly to foods like egg—retesting can play an important role in your quality of life or the life of someone you love,1 by reducing unnecessary food avoidance and the fear of an adverse reaction. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional.
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