How do doctors decide when a person needs an EpiPen?


Q: I am wondering at what point do doctors decide if a patient with a food allergy needs an EpiPen or not? I ask this because I am allergic to peanuts and have been for around 18 years. After recently visiting an allergy clinic and going through an oral allergy test, I made it all the way to the end but discovered I had a hive on my body, so I gathered that I was still slightly allergic. In response to this I started eating a little bit of peanut butter everyday, no reactions, in the hopes that I build a stronger tolerance towards this allergy.
So since I can eat a good amount of peanuts without getting a reaction, why is my allergy doctor still saying I need an EpiPen? I have never had a serious reaction to peanuts and don't understand his reasoning. I am attempting to get employed with the army but they do not allow people with an EpiPen or those who are anaphylactic.

Symptoms:  Very few hives

A:   Hi
Thank you for the question.

The EpiPen Auto-Injector is a disposable, prefilled automatic injection device that administers epinephrine in the event of a severe allergic reaction. EpiPen contains epinephrine, a medication that can help decrease your body’s allergic reaction by:
-Relaxing the muscles in your airways to make breathing easier
-Helping to reverse the rapid and dangerous decrease in blood pressure
-Relaxing the muscles in the stomach, intestines and bladder. Discuss with your Doctor if you're not ready to undergo the treatment. He may suggest something better.

I hope this will help you. Take care.

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