(I have been avoiding my blog the past week. I've been having really angry feelings and misdirecting this anger at my husband (mostly my husband) and kids. And when I'm unbalanced emotionally everyone here seems to be off. So trying to recognize where I am and move on.)
3 for me asked why we challenged egg with Owen instead of testing. My husband actually asked the same question when I called to tell him what had happened. It's a good question.
I'll start that with a brief history of Owen's egg allergy. Having an older child with food allergies, I watched for ANY signs that Owen might have an allergy. He was a very colicky infant. So when he was only weeks old I did an elimination diet on myself (I was breastfeeding exclusively). I slowly added things back in by eight weeks he was a happy baby and the only thing I hadn't added back in my diet was eggs (interestingly enough toward the end of my pregnancy I couldn't tolerate eggs and threw up everytime I ate them.) We were on a trip the time Owen was eight weeks old and I had an Egg McMuffin one morning for breakfast. By evening Owen was a miserable baby. The connection seemed clear to me. So I steered clear of eggs until he was around 17 months old. By then he was only breastfeeding once (okay most of the time twice) a day and my diet no longer seemed to be affecting him. Some eczema but otherwise fine. He had by now exhibited allergy symptoms to dairy.
We did have Owen tested. Skin test at 9 months was negative for milk, small positives for egg and rice. At 17 months he was skin tested again, small positives for milk and egg. When I say small his wheals were 4 or 5 mm compared to Max's tests at this age which were 10 and 12 mm. Rice was negative we added it back in his diet.
After his reaction to sunflower seed we did a RAST. Milk was 2.6 (moderate level) Egg yolk was negative and egg white was only .55 (very low). On the same RAST sesame was .44. The doctor asked if he was eating sesame. I said yes. She said to continue to give it to him if he was tolerating it. He loves hummus and sesame crackers and eats them all the time.
Based on all these low test results the doctor suggested we challenge egg. I actually waited 8 months before I followed through with her suggestion.
So, what does all this mean? I think it means that the numbers don't always matter. Someone with a low RAST score can still have a severe reaction to a food. The number indicates that someone MIGHT react. It can't predict severity. And these tests are not perfect. They are performed by human being in a lab and errors do occur.
More than one allergist has said to "History trumps test results."