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 Post subject: Not sure where to start.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:36 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Oshawa Ontario
I have just spent the last two days in and out of the hospital with an unexplained allergy. We are visiting Nova Scotia from Ontario and on our way here I began to experience an itchy head. By the time we actually arrived in Nova Scotia the next night I was covered in hives. I went to the hospital and they gave me an IV with Benadryl and it seemed to work. They sent me home, then a couple of hours later my tongue started to swell up and I was back in again. This time I was given pretnizone (not sure if I spelled it correctly) and was sent home with a script for that plus a couple of others antihistamines. I had a reaction to the one antihistamine (which shocked everyone). So I was back again today and had all my meds changed but I am still breaking out in hives.

My question really is, where do I start to look for what triggered this. It's been a very stressful year. We had our second baby and four days later my mother in law passed away from cancer. Then 9 weeks later my mom was diagnosed with cancer and we just lost her in May. So I've noticed I've been itchy, but the hives are all new. Can stress cause a reaction like this?

Could there be some tree that I am allergic to here than isn't at home in Ontario?

I just don't know what to do from here. I will plan to go see my doctor when I get home and hopefully he will refer me to a specialist.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Shelley. A mom of two with an unexplained allergy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
Shelley, sorry to hear of this experience.

I have adult onset food allergies, and know the overwhelming feeling when you can't be sure what's causing the symptoms. Above all, get a referral to a good allergist as soon as possible.

You've had a terribly stressful year. And while the experts don't say stress "causes" allergy as such, they certainly now know that it can exacerbate symptoms in asthma (largely triggered by allergies). You'd need to ask an allergist, but there might be a link.

First thing I wonder about as a trigger is seafood, as this has happened in an area known for its seafood. There is plenty of adult onset allergy to either fish or shellfish. Did you eat anything that made you feel afterward?

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6462
Location: Ottawa
I agree with Gwen, see a good allergist as soon as possible.

In the mean time, can you try to think back to the trip to Nova Scotia? Jot down where you went and want you did and ate on your way there? Did you use any new products? Did you eat anything in the hospital or after discharge before the second reaction?

Try to write down as many details as you can remember and hopefully, the allergist will be able to help you figure this out.

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:36 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Oshawa Ontario
Gwen & Susan,
Thank you for your reply. Do you know a good allergist that I can ask my doctor to refer me to. I am in Oshawa so Toronto is not far away.

I wondered about the seafood too but the doctors at Emerg said it took too long to be that. I had a seafood chowder when we stopped in New Brunswick at Fundy to walk on the ocean floor. It was that evening I had the reaction (5 hours later) I also had eggs in the morning for breakfast that day.

I also forgot my shampoo and used my husband's which contains some herbs and tea tree oil. I thought that might have made my head itch since I've only used it one other time.

While I was waiting in the hospital the first time my ears swelled shut and just before that I ate a chicken salad sandwich (1/2) bought at the cafeteria. I will do as you suggest before I forget too much.

The steroid helps a lot. I took it this morning and the swelling has subsided a great deal. My skin still feels crawly but no hives. I am debating whether I should fly home but I am nervous to do that alone in case I have another reaction. We drove down with our trailer so I don't really want to drive back either. Nor do I want to make my husband and kids come home early.

In your experience how long does it take to get rid of the hives and itching. I'm avoiding any more seafood and it's raining here today so the pollen levels shouldn't be so high. Could the pollen have caused this do you know? When I was a kid I helped my dad cut a tree down and ended up with my eyes swelling shut and broke out in hives. It didn't last long though. This has been ongoing now snice Friday.

Thank you very much for your help. I feel so helpless and overwhelmed right now. The drugs don't help my brain function much either since the Benadryl makes me dozy.

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Shelley. A mom of two with an unexplained allergy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
Shelley,

I'm dashing now but will send you a msg. later with some allergist suggestions.
Anyone in the Toronto area might also suggest a good one that they know.

Get tested for foods despite the delay between onset and seafood eating. With the chicken salad sandwich what's hard to know is: what were it's exact ingredients?

Re the skin symptoms and whether it's simply a shampoo ... See the Shampoo column here by Dr. Sandy Skotnicki-Grant. She's a dermatologist who's expert on allergy (she writes a column for our magazine). See: http://www.baydermatologycentre.com/ask ... chyShampoo

You'll notice she says tea tree oil can be a problem.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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