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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
Hi everyone, I am new and wanted to say hi. My mom sent me the magazine a year ago and at the time I scoffed thinking I was not a serious enough case to bother. I have asthma and general seasonal allergies (and a really obscure drug allergy caused by a genetic defect that otherwise would not affect my life). And eczema is the scourge of my life!

Recently, however, I have found things adapting or progressing or whatever it is they do, and my storied family history of weird food issues is kicking in. I started noticing last year that bread made me itchy (although I seem okay with tortillas and crackers). Then I started finding that my pet allergies improved a lot if I cut out dairy. Then I had an anaphylactic reaction to some thai food, demanded food allergy testing (my doctor thought it was not necessary) and found I am allergic to almonds, brazil nuts and hazelnuts. I never liked these anyway and didn't much care, until...

My mouth swelled up when I ate a raw apple. I am in my late 20's and have eaten these my whole life with no problems. Now, it seems it is an issue. The consensus so far (I am still awaiting a follow-up with the allergist) is oral allergy syndrome. So far, apples have been the only issue, but then again, they have never been an issue before. That's what scares me: what is fine today might not be fine tomorrow, and there is no way to know it is no longer okay to eat something unless or until I have a reaction to it. I am tempted to just cut out all potential problem foods right now, but that won't leave me much to eat!

The funny thing is, when I found this site in a Google search on safe foods, I remembered my mom giving me an issue of the magazine, and my first thought was 'okay, NOW I am actually afflicted enough to be worthy of registering.' I know, that's silly. I mean, I did have the asthma and eczema before. But now, it feels like it is actually going to be affecting my life in a more onerous way, and I am scared at the thought of never knowing if a food will be okay for me. This is a hard thing.

I would love some suggestions btw for how to talk to my doctor more effectively about this. His last word on the eczema stuff was to tell me that I just need to accept that I am one of those people these things happen to. He does not seem to take this very seriously.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
You're doing the right thing is being referred to an allergist.
General practitioners don't always get it.
Can you get on the cancellation list? You might get seen sooner, but you'd have to take any available appointment and there would be little notice. Some employers might have a problem with this.
Good luck!

_________________
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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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 9:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Not sure if this will help you at all, but when I first developed allergies I was in my late 20's. Things I had always eaten suddenly were poisonous to me. And it seemed more and more foods were causing it -- as well as animals which had never caused me any problems before.

When I finally managed to figure out what I really was allergic to (peanuts and sesame seeds) and I eliminated them completely from my diet, the other things stopped bothering me. It was kind of like my system was *full-up* and just couldn't cope. I was eating so many things with trace amounts of sesame seeds, and not knowing it, that my entire system just went wacko! Now, many years later, I rarely have reactions to anything. And when I do have a reaction I can trace it to some product that ran with one of my allergens.

This life does get easier.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hi ficbot, and welcome to the forum.

What I thought when I saw your phrase "eczema is the scourge of my life" is that it's very possible that you have been consuming something to which you are allergic for a long time, and this has been causing the eczema. A lot of people that I know have eczema as a symptom of food allergy (including my own son).

Believe it or not, whether or not food allergies cause eczema is actually kind of controversial, even among allergists. A number of allergists whom I know and respect do consider eczema to be a symptom of food allergy. I am also in this camp - I've seen too many babies and young children who looked like burn victims from their eczema before their food allergies were diagnosed to think any differently. Once they stopped eating their allergens, their skin cleared up a lot. This also includes my own son. I simply do not believe that the eczema just happened. I think the food allergies caused it. (But it took awhile for us to figure things out, and our own family doctor just treated the symptoms, which basically didn't do any help. We needed an allergist to diagnose the allergies before things started to improve, because at that point we removed wheat and milk -- his allergens -- from my son's diet.)

But amazingly, some medical specialists (including some allergists, sadly) don't think food allergy is a significant cause... Some dermatologists don't even suggest that food allergies might be a problem to their patients with food allergy, which I find really frustrating. So this may be where your own doctor is coming from. I'm assuming that it's your family doctor who thinks you should just have to live with your eczema? What does your allergist think?

Anyway, I agree with Anna Marie that it's possible your system has just become overloaded. If it were me, I would start with a food diary pronto, and see if you can pinpoint some foods that are causing you problems. There is a diary template at http://www.webmd.com/content/article/61/67478 .

You might also want to get more informed about Oral Allergy Syndrome. There is some good info at the following links:
- http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fss ... rale.shtml
- http://allergies.about.com/cs/cross/a/aa052801a.htm
- http://allergies.about.com/cs/oas/a/aa052499.htm
- http://www.allergysa.org/html/oas2.html

Is it possible for you to find another family doctor who seems more allergy aware? It can make such a difference to have a medical professional who is "on your side" and tries to help you rather than pooh-poohing your very valid concerns. I am again assuming that it's your family doc you're talking about and not your allergist...

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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