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December 21, 2005

Mayo Clinic on Outgrowing Peanut Allergy

An online Mayo Clinic article discusses growing out of peanut allergies.

According to the article, about 20 - 25 percent of children with peanut allergy will outgrow it but there is a risk that the allergy may return. It is estimated that peanut allergy affects 1 - 2 percent of young children.

Even when a child appears to outgrow peanut allergy, there is a small risk it will recur. A study published in November 2004 suggested that the way to reduce the risk of recurrence is to encourage the child to eat peanuts on a regular basis. This may seem odd advice to parents who have drilled a fear of peanuts into their children. But the study found peanut allergy was much less likely to return in children who ate peanuts at least once a month after developing a tolerance for them than in children who largely avoided peanuts.

Now, that is a scarey thought, feeding my daughter peanuts on a regular basis. I understand the theory but what a huge shift in thinking that would take from both her and us! I look forward to that day.

Remember kids with known peanut allergy (or any other child food allergy) should only be tested by a board-certified allergist before making any conclusions about them outgrowing a food allergy.

Because peanut allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, your child should still continue to carry epinephrine, even if it is determined that your child has outgrown peanut allergy. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by David at December 21, 2005 7:46 AM