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 Post subject: Allergy testing
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
My husband has allergies, asthma, and eczema. We've got the asthma under control, but my poor husband still doesn't sleep very well (and hasn't practically his entire life) because he's always so itchy. He's asked his doctor about allergy testing and his doctor has said that it isn't an exact science and has said my husband doesn't need to go for testing. I, on the other hand, believe that it would be beneficial to go for testing to see if he is allergic to something in his diet on a regular basis so that we could take it out and see if his skin improves. I have set up an appointment for my husband to see my doctor instead of his own. I'm really hoping that he gets sent for allergy testing!!!

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
Because allergy testing isn't an exact science and there can be false positives, some Dr's are hesitant to test a certain food unless it is to confirm an allergy after a reaction has occured. They feel that there is a risk of avoiding a group of foods when there is no allergy and that is a unnecessary hardship as well as a potentially unhealthy diet.

If your husband is itchy and has been his entire life. I would suggest he see a dermatologist to start with. He may be allergic to a certain food or it could be something else. Skin is our largest organ and it can react to many things.

Keep an "itchy diary" recording not just food eaten but time of onset, where he was and what he was doing. What type of soap you use...

I hope he can figure it out. Has he concidered a mild antihistamine to deal with this symptom?

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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: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
My husband has been on so many many things over the years to treat his eczema (he's almost 45). Everything from natural remedies to medicated treatments with little to no success. He's almost at the point of giving up. It is so hard to see him like this because he is soooo itchy he has trouble sleeping and is irritable. That's why trying to get to the root of the problem is so important to me. There has to be something else we can do.
We use unscented products and 'sensitive skin' products... Tide Free, Bounce Free, Dove Unscented, and Glaxal Base.
He has also tried antihistamines and it helps a little, but not much.
We are at a point of desperation.

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
Hi Kmommy,

Sorry to hear things are going so badly for your husband. I agree with Susan - a derma. may be your best bet. Don't know where you live, but one of the best in Canada for dermatology/allergies is Dr. Sandy Skotnicki-Grant (she writes a column for AL, was highly recommended by two top allergists). I think she dispenses very good advice.

Dr. S-G is in Toronto, but if you're elsewhere in Canada, her office might know of a colleague who also specializes in allergic diseases of the skin. Check her website: http://www.baydermatologycentre.com

If you want to try her office for an appt./referral, the contact info is:

416-515-8808 voice
info@baydermatologycentre.com

Best with it. Gwen

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
I'm not sure if this is helpful (I'm assuming at this point you've tried pretty well everything already :( ) but neither my children nor myself can tolerate fabric softener of any type on our skin. Even though the Bounce free has no scent, it may still be leaving an irritating residue on your clothes and bedding. We use a little vinegar in with the rinse or nothing at all.

My sons also find Tide particularly irritating (even Tide Free), although I don't know why? We currently use Sunlight for sensitive skin, but it has to be in liquid form. The powder doesn't rinse cleanly enough away and creates problems for my sons. So you might want to try a different detergent?

I'm not sure which Dove unscented product you are using? But any bar soap is too irritating for my sons. And we only use soap where absolutely necessary (especially not over the parts that get eczema, except hands) and rinse really, really well and moisturize after the bath or shower. We also moisturize our sons' skin twice a day, and only wear breathable cotton clothing (without hard seams or tags). We have to be scrupulously careful with their skin and follow their eczema regime religiously or they both flare up horribly.

I would also echo Susan's suggestion about the dermatologist. If antihistamines aren't helping that much, then it may not be an allergy problem, but an irritation problem (sensitivity to a product, chemical etc.) or a different skin condition.

Good luck. Being itchy all the time is so miserable.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
I'm on the other side of the country, Vancouver Island, B.C.

I'll talk to the doctor about doing both. Seeing both the allergy specialist as well as a dermatologist. Although I'm not sure if my husband will agree to see yet another dermatologist, he's been to so many over the years.

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Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I don't think antihistamines will help if you are constantly ingesting an allergen and never get it out of your system.

Before my son was diagnosed as allergic to dairy and wheat (at 5 months), he was a mess and so itchy that he couldn't sleep. Nothing worked - Benadryl gave him about 2 hours of relief and creams, etc. did nothing. It wasn't until we got the food out of his system that he got better. (At that point he was ingesting the allergens through my breastmilk, so I cut his allergens out of my diet.)

So given the fact that your DH has seen a lot of dermatologists, I would certainly second your idea to see an allergist. It might not be food - but it might. And if he finds out he is allergic to something and can completely remove it from his diet, he might find some relief.

It might be worth it for your husband to tell the doctor that he is not having a very good quality of life, and that seeing the allergist is just one thing that he is trying to do to figure out what is going on. If your husband is willing to go through the allergy tests, why on earth wouldn't his doctor be willing to give him a referral??? (AUGH!!! It makes me so mad when docs are not willing to give referrals!!!)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
KarenOASG wrote:

It might be worth it for your husband to tell the doctor that he is not having a very good quality of life, and that seeing the allergist is just one thing that he is trying to do to figure out what is going on. If your husband is willing to go through the allergy tests, why on earth wouldn't his doctor be willing to give him a referral??? (AUGH!!! It makes me so mad when docs are not willing to give referrals!!!)

K.

That's exactly why I took my husband to see my doctor instead of his own. My doctor has been treating our son who also has these health issues and it was through the allergy testing that we were able to find out what our son was allergic to and eliminate it from his diet. My son used to look like something out of a horror movie (he was sooo itchy and would scratch until he bled), his skin is now almost all clear :D !
My doctor has agreed to refer my husband to an allergy specialist. She also made sure that we knew the allergy testing is not an exact science, but she agrees that it's worth a try, especially since my husband has almost exhausted all the other resources.

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
Kmommy, I had TWO YEARS of eczema so bad that pharmacists would physically recoil when they saw the rings around my eyes, and I was convinced it was a food allergy. Nobody believed me and they kept saying it was 'just' eczema. I had eczema in the past and know what it looks like, I knew this was something more. Finally, I kept a food diary and had an epiphany about what it was. I went back to my doctor, demanded testing, and sure enough, I was right. Now, my eczema is 99% under control as long as I avoid corn products. I just can't believe I suffered for so long with it and nobody would believe me when it turned out to be such a simple thing to fix. Good luck! I hope your husband can get to the bottom of things.

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
i also believe in the food diary when your skin is going insane, because it's harder to get an accurate result from allergy testing when you are having skin reactions, but i do understand what you're going through where you are just so itchy you can't even function, you can't even seem to think about anything and no one seems to understand. i know for me limiting sugar (as well as a lot of the same stuff you are doing with senstive creams, and lotions, tide free, dryer balls ect) has helped a lot, when i treat myself to cotton candy at the fair i pay for it for days after.

another company who's products i have recently come to LOVE is "alouette" it's expensive but after i use it i have a full where my skin is almost normal. it stinks from all of the plant stuff in it, but's totally organic, no chemicals (at least the spa collection) so despite the smell of it really doesn't effect me like other scented products

my last food for thought on this, are you on city water where they use chlorine? i live in a town where i swear i am drinking pool water they use so much chlorine, and i discovered recently i am very senstive to chlorine, the only thing i've found (affordably) to help with that a filter for my shower but it definatly makes my skin happier

_________________
allergies - penicillin, benadryl, dust mites, enviornmental & chemical
conditions - dermatographism, eczema, well contorolled asthma
dietary - lactose intollerant, vegatarian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2946
Location: Toronto
KMommy,

Re allergists - Vancouver Island doesn't have many, I realize.

If possible to organize, you might try to get a referral for Dr. Donald Stark, a very good Van. allergist.

To clarify - I wasn't suggesting going to just any derma. - but rather one who is specifically strong on allergic disease and the skin. Skotnicki-Grant is one of those. There might be one similar to her in Van., though not as likely on Van. Island. Perhaps her office or your doctor would know.

Best with it.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 120
Location: UK
Is this a stupid question......................I take it you have eliminated as much as poss the dustmite factor?

if you have it, and slap on the creams at night, without sleeping in a bed with covers, ezcema is dreadful.

Just a thought.
like previous posters ideas as well.


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