Allergy Question: Will a High-Sensitivity Allergy Turn Into a Highly Reactive Allergy? | Allergy

Allergy Question: Will a High-Sensitivity Allergy Turn Into a Highly Reactive Allergy?

by Allergy Guy

Sophie asks:

Hi Doug,

My son was diagnosed with a tree nut allergy yesterday with high sensitivity to cashew. He had a 15 mm wheal which I understand is high. He was referred mainly because he has terrible pain in his mouth and ears when he ate these nuts which was only three times, however they were surprised at how mild his reaction was in comparison with the skin prick test.

The one question I couldn’t get answered was if he has had such a mild reaction so far, will he always react like this or could he have an unexpected severe reaction given his level of sensitivity. We have been given an oral antihistamine to carry around and have been told to avoid giving him nuts altogether.

Doug’s Allergy Answer…

Note: This is my opinion and is not to be taken as qualified medical advice.

The chances are the more your son is exposed to cashews, the more sensitive he will become. The reaction may get worse, or it may stay the same. The most likely reason you could not get an answer to your question is because this is impossible to predict. It could be different for each individual.

Firstly, it is not worth taking the chance, so for safety’s sake, best to keep him well away from tree nuts in general and cashews in particular.

Secondly, he may grow out of the allergy if he is not exposed to cashews or nuts for a good long period of time. How long is long? Hard to say. Consult with your doctor and have more tests done in a year or two.

I hope this helps!

Comments welcome if anyone has further advice or for elaboration.

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1 Guest June 15, 2009 at 21:18

Do not take food allergy lightly

The absence of contact may not induce remission of symptoms.
If one is continuously exposed to small amounts of a food and tolerates it with mild reaction there is no indication to remove it from the diet. If he ever accidentally gets in contact with that food again (eg – in food with vestigial amounts of that food) he may have a far more intense reaction than if he had never changed habits.
For a carefull approach, I sincerely recommend you to consult a specialist! Do not take dramatic approachs as abstinence/severe exposure because they can be very dangerous. Our human body is too dependent of a very complex balancing mechanism of immunity and tolerance!


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