Has allergy testing changed the way you see your food allergy diagnosis? Have you ever wondered can you outgrow allergies?
As you will learn or may already know, the impact of allergy test results not only affects one person but can affect a whole family. The Robinson’s story is an inspiring example of how an allergy test prompted a whole family to take control of their food allergies and become empowered patients.
An #EmpoweredPatient Story
Imagine this. You are a family of three brothers, your dad has a peanut allergy and as a result, you are all skin prick tested as children. All three brothers test positive for being allergic to peanuts and live a life avoiding peanuts, sitting at the allergy table, and having ‘mom-approved only’ snacks in the house.
Fast forward to the present, imagine one brother is accepted into the military service academy of his dreams to play football but learns he is unable to attend because of his peanut allergy. What will he do?
Is it possible? Can you outgrow allergies?
This is the true story of Logan (21), Landon (19) and Lawson (12) and their family’s emotional journey with allergy testing. They were raised to see their food allergies not as a hindrance but as a unique part of their identity.
The Robinson family did not think it was possible to outgrow a peanut allergy, which is why they did not get re-tested after their initial diagnosis. That was until Landon’s future of playing college football and proudly representing a military service academy was in jeopardy. Patrice decided it was time to take her son’s health and future into their own hands and re-test Landon.
“No in my world is just an option. I had heard, and because of my clinical background, I knew that there was an opportunity to re-test.”-Patrice
They wanted to feel confident that they had done everything possible to help pave Landon’s path forward.
Can you outgrow a peanut allergy?
For Logan and Lawson, finding out their brother had outgrown his peanut allergy was very exciting to learn! Indeed, they were super happy for their brother, but at the same time, they both hoped that maybe, just maybe they were also going to be in the same boat.
As their mom, Patrice put it:
They wanted to be able to eat those forbidden foods as well. They really wanted to share in Landon’s journey by eating the same things we had Landon eating at the dinner table to see that it was true he outgrew his peanut allergy.
To know is the win
Sometimes fate throws you a hardball. As luck or better yet bad luck had it, on their way home from dropping Landon off at school, the rest of the Robinson family stopped for food. Before they knew it, eldest brother Logan proceeded to have an anaphylactic reaction after eating a donut hole that had been cross-contaminated with peanuts. He learnt the hard way that he had not outgrown his peanut allergy.
After one set of good news and one anaphylactic reaction, Patrice did not want to live with any more uncertainty so she had Logan and Lawson retested, this time with a whole allergen blood test and an allergen component test. Both brothers learned they did not outgrow their food allergy to peanuts.
There can be a lot of hesitation around being retested for food allergies but think about it this way. You would not go 20 years without getting your car’s maintenance. The same should be applied to your health. An oil check is similar to an allergy test. You leave feeling certain that you will be able to take the highway without any fears. When you know what is happening with your diagnosis, you can hit the accelerator on your life.
Patrice was happy she had the boys retested, it is never too late.
Coping with not outgrowing food allergens
For many people in the food allergy community, the idea of outgrowing an allergen is a hopeful wish, but one that should not be held on too tightly as it may not be the case for you. Learning to let go of that hope is a challenge, especially for adults, and especially if you have witnessed its possibility firsthand.
For Logan and Lawson, nothing changed, despite it feeling like everything had when Landon passed his oral food challenge. Both brothers had to accept their diagnosis, now as older versions of themselves. Patrice famously put it, ‘to know is the win’.
As an adult with allergies, Logan explains how much the testing was a relief because he felt like:
I finally knew for sure and I could be aware of what I was eating without any questions.
Having certainty about their diagnosis gave all three brothers more confidence to live their lives fully.
Learning to live with your diagnosis and gaining empowerment through allergy testing
From outgrowing a peanut allergy to having their peanut allergies confirmed, knowing as much about each son’s unique allergy fingerprint has empowered the Robinson family to celebrate their differences because these are what makes us all very special and unique people.
The two allergic brothers saw the silver lining to their diagnosis, they may not get to dig into mom’s snack drawer anytime soon, but at least they get to continue to see their father as a role model and continue to live like their dad, who has shown the boys that a life with a peanut allergy is only restrictive if you make it that way.
In the words of twelve-year-old Lawson, no matter what your diagnosis is “Be strong and stay encouraged”.
Share your #EmpoweredPatient Story
How did allergy test results impact your life and help you become an empowered patient? We would love to hear from you! Share with us on social media, email us or comment below!
This article and program is in partnership with Allergy Insider. To learn how to share your #EmpoweredPatient story and join the community, check out more about the Empowered Patient Program..
Kortney is your typical atopic triad! She manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!