Sunday, June 6, 2010

Allergy Test Results

Three weeks ago, I posted a photo of Sam's reaction to a pear he ate. Friday, we received some answers from his appointment with an allergist. His diagnosis has two parts, complete with two corresponding treatments.

Actual Allergies

Sam is allergic to many Pacific Northwest trees, apricots, and peaches. The doctor said he could eat apricots and peaches if they are cooked. If we have peach crisp (Scott's favorite), he can have some, but he's not fond of these fruits anyway. For treatment, he gave us two prescriptions: Flonase daily and Zyrtec as needed during pollen season. The pharmacy was out of Flonase so he's only using Zyrtec until Monday, but he says his nose is much better than normal.

Oral Allergy Syndrome

In addition to hay fever, he has this thing called Oral Allergy Syndrome. Anytime a person has hay fever, there is a risk of oral allergy syndrome. Basically, it's when you react to raw fruits, vegetables, and spices that are related to the pollen that you are allergic too. The body confuses the proteins in these raw foods as the allergy and reacts to them when you get them on your skin or eat them. It usually only causes tingling and itchiness in the mouth, but it can also cause hives. Anaphylaxis is rare (1-2%) but it does happen. What makes this condition so confusing is that usually you have been eating that fruit all your life with no problems, until now. Also confusing is the fact that you can eat canned or cooked fruit but not the raw fruit as cooking breaks down the protein. But you don't think of that; you only think that you ate pears yesterday (canned) but didn't have a problem. Then there's the fact that sometimes the raw fruit is tolerated...outside pollen season or peeled or slightly under-ripe.

Based on his allergies, he may have reactions to pears (confirmed), apples (confirmed), cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, nectarines, prunes, kiwis, melons, and oranges. For vegetables, celery, carrots, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes are possible problems. We also have to watch for almonds, hazel nuts, and walnuts. In the spice category, parsley, fennel, coriander,and parsnips could be problems. He may only be allergic to the two confirmed items or he may have reactions to others. New reactions can crop up over time. Generally, cooked or processed foods are tolerated. However, he has reacted to apple juice which is normally tolerated.

Treatment is avoidance of foods that cause symptoms, especially during pollen season when reactions are more likely because your immune symptom is already on alert. Sam is not a fan of most of these foods so avoidance of raw versions of the food he's reacted to shouldn't be too difficult. We'll also carry Benadryl Melt Away Strips with us at all times. I'll be asking for an epipen even though anaphylaxic reactions are rare; that first reaction could be your last, you know.

I'm just glad that we have a diagnosis.

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2 Comments:

Deb the Turtle (slow and steady ya know?!?) said...

I'm so glad ya'll got a diagnosis too! That Oral Allergy Syndrome does not sound like something to mess around with at all!

SaDonna said...

Yay. that's nice to gain some clarity with what is going on. If I may make one other suggestion that I use on my kids, it would be to wash his nose out daily with a neti pot before using the flonase. It cleans out all the allergens and helps them breath better as well. I personally use a bulb syringe (like for babies) and warm salt water to wash mine out daily. My older two (7 & 9) have been washing their noses out anytime they have a cold. Good luck!