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Tim is a curious 4-year-old boy who is getting ready to start preschool. When Tim was 2 years old, he had a reaction after eating a chocolate chip and peanut butter granola bar. Tim’s parents assumed the reaction was a peanut allergy and removed peanuts and all foods containing peanut from his diet. Tim’s healthcare professional agreed and recommended that Tim strictly avoid peanut in all forms.
Tim’s new preschool has peanut-free tables, but his mom is still nervous that he will have an anaphylactic reaction because of someone else’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 78% of patients sensitized to peanut may not be at risk for a systemic reaction,1 but Tim’s parents agree that he should undergo testing to know if he falls into the other 22%.
The results of the ImmunoCAPTM Peanut Component test show that Tim is likely to have localized reactions to peanut, like itching and tingling of the mouth and lips, but that he’s at a low risk for a systemic reaction. Tim may actually be allergic to birch pollen, which is cross-reactive with a protein found in peanuts. Tim’s healthcare professional suggested that he undergo an Oral Food Challenge (OFC) in her office. He passed the challenge and now it’s okay for him to eat foods made with or around peanuts. When he starts preschool, Tim doesn’t need to sit at the peanut-free table after all.
Sometimes allergy symptoms seem to come out of nowhere. Understanding what’s causing your symptoms can help you get relief now, and avoid more serious issues in the future. Testing can play an important role in your quality of life or the life of someone you love, by reducing unnecessary food avoidance and stress. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional.
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