Allergists at Kaiser

Parent Q&A

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  • I'm new to the world of pediatric food allergies (my infant recently had an anaphylactic reaction and we still aren't sure to what) and looking for advice on pediatric allergists. I'd like to hear any positive or negative experiences others have had with Kaiser's allergy department when dealing with a child with food allergies. I'm not confident in the information we've received thus far, so would love to find out if anyone with a child with a food allergy has an allergist they'd recommend through Kaiser and find out what you like about him or her. Likewise, I'd like to hear about negative experiences with any specific allergists. As open enrollment nears, I'm trying to figure out whether to stay with Kaiser (which I've otherwise been happy with pre-allergies) or possibly switch insurance to have more choice over who we see. 

    Hands down, Dr. Chen Kaiser Shadelands in Walnut Creek.  He is thorough, informative and solution oriented.  I can't say enough good things about him.  He figured out my daughters sleep issues with her allergies.  Kaiser Oakland identified the basic allergies much earlier in our childs life, but did not connect the allergy connection and difficulty breathing.  A turbinate reduction allowed her to breath through the night and get a good nights sleep.  Lack of sleep was so much worse than I knew. We had been told it was asthma, but it wasn't.  

    He is a Chief at Kaiser. Very, very, thorough.

    Shadelands is small and very friendly.   My good friend saw another allergist there that she thought very highly of as well.

    I concur! Dr. Chen figured out a very longstanding (a decade+!) allergy issue for my husband. He was seen prior by private practice allergists in Berkeley, who kept just adding on more and more medications!

Pediatric allergist (May 3, 2020)

Yikes.  Please do NOT "sparingly" expose your kid to a known IgG or IgE allergen.  It does not build tolerance without other medications/treatments being involved (this is not the same as allergy shots which don't exist for food, or desensitization protocols which happen alongside drugs that suppress the reaction), and in fact can severely worsen the allergy. Every exposure in a shorter season gets a more severe reaction, and can actually aggravate the system enough if you don't get back to baseline that you fail other foods....which might actually be your problem here.  DO follow the trial protocol of single ingredient foods (none of the BLW they eat what you eat), 3 days on, then 3 days off with no other new foods, if no reactions, then it's a pass.  If you fail, you wait to get to 100% baseline (no rashes, reflux, etc.) before you try another food. 

If your child is truly having IgE symptoms (anaphylaxis, hives, swelling, vomiting, etc.), you absolutely need to fully avoid - you don't want to make an unnecessary ER trip right now.  If your child has IgG symptoms (upset stomach, bad diapers, rash - or FPIES - vomiting to mild or moderate shock), you need a GI, not an allergist.  Our son has MSPI and FPIES so our core team has been a pediatrician, GI, dietitian, and feeding therapist, and we've worked with an allergist to do a skin test to rule out IgE allergy. (Skin tests are both reliable and accurate under 2 - though kids can outgrow which changes the results and is not a sign of prior inaccuracy.)  If you are unsure of the difference, please consult the plethora of info on re: IgE allergies, and has lots of info on IgG intolerance allergies that cause rashes, colitis, vomiting, shock, etc.

If you need a great allergist, Allergy + Asthma medical group is great - I have IgE allergies personally and saw them when we had PPO insurance.  I felt like the rare adult there - their focus is definitely kids.  Just FYI that if your kid does show signs of increased IgG or IgE allergies, I'd highly recommend a switch to Kaiser Permanente.  It's life-changing to have your entire care team in one network, seamlessly communicating and sharing information, no need to transfer files or notes constantly.  And the cost control is incredible.  Allergy shots are a few dollars vs. a $20-30/co-pay at the PPO places.  Office visits are free to $20, and telemedicine is free.  Sameera Mian is a great GI, and Debbie Lin is a great allergist at Oakland Kaiser.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Allergist Asthma Specialist at Kaiser?

Feb 2014

My previously very healthy, athletic 18 year old missed a lot of school this fall due to a virus with a wicked cough that just didn't go away. She got better, then worse, was very tired, coughing, and sometimes wheezing, and a couple of times had what seemed like an asthma attack while exercising. Said it felt like an elephant on her chest. Very scary.

She just graduated out of pediatrics, has a new doctor at Kaiser Oakland who says it's either Reactive Airway Disease or Asthma and gave her an inhaler. She has a referral to Pulmonology, and her doc also suggested she consider cutting out gluten and other inflammatory foods and possibly see an Allergist.

So does anyone have a recommendation for following this up through Kaiser - are there specific specialists to ask for, anything else we should be aware of? All and all we have had very good experiences with Kaiser, but in a few cases wish we'd had a bit more guidance as to what to ask for / push for / expect.

It's scary to see her developing this at her age, especially when athletics are so important to her. I want her to have good guidance with this! - concerned Mom

I went through the same cycle: internist, pulmonologist and then allergist. I was very happy with Debby Lin, M.D., in the Oakland allergy department. She really listened to me and empathized with my struggles (which counts for a lot!). Happy Asthmatic