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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
I hear you. I didn't become shellfish allergic till 30, and since then my body has decided it wants to anaphylax to soy and peanut. And if I drink any wine or spirits at all, my face breaks into hives.

I've become pretty good at label reading, and spelling out to waiters, but it's definitely a transition as adult. I remind myself that at least these things are avoidable - this is still preferable to a lot of health issues one could have.

If you don't mind me asking, what food allergies do you now have?

Gwen

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
I don't mind you asking :) To be honest, it is really nice to be able to have a reasonable conversation about this. It's either "go to the emergency room every time you use the asthma puffer" (aka conversations with my mom) or the "we don't really know what it might be or why it's happening, just carry some benadryl with you or something"(aka conversations with my doctor, who imho does not know much about allergies and doesn't seem to take me all that seriously, which is frustrating). So, the tally so far:

- Bread makes me itchy. It doesn't seem like it's a full-on allergy, and I am fine with crackers, flat breads and the like. But loaf bread makes me really itchy, both on my skin and in an unmentionable area :)

- Dairy makes me really stuffy, and when I avoid it, my per allergies and deasonal allergies are much less severe. I am fine with it in baked form, like in cookies or something, but I avoid milk and cheese whenever possible. Lately, I have had a few cheats with no dire effects, but I do notice a difference when I avoid.

- Two years ago, at age 28, I had an anaphylactic reaction after eating Thai fd. They were not able to pinpoint the cause. I had the skin tests and tested positive for almonds, brazil nuts and hazelnuts though. Since, I have had several less scary reactions (mostly manifesting as skin things, like bumps around my mouth and swollen lips/bumps around my mouth) but have not had another passing out kind of reaction. I did get an epi-pen.

- Two months ago, I had am extremely severe reaction to an apple. I almost used the epi-pen. It was quite terrifying.I had almost immediate bumps pop up around my mouth, my mouth got swollen, my eyes were itchy and my heart was racing. I got really chapped lips right away and they did not dissipate no matter how much chapstick I put on them. I went to work anyway, and a co-worker marched me over to the drugstore where I bought some Benadryl. The pharmacist had me chew it for an immediate hit, and I was fine a few minutes later.

- I have come to recognize the itchy eyes and bumps sprouting up around my mouth as my warning signs and thinking back recall several other times I had these symptoms, thought it was just dry skin or the eczema, and ignored them. I also had another episode involvilg fruit (which, again, is something I have eaten for years and years and years problem-free) and am being cautious with fruit now, buying only one piece at a time so I am not stuck with lefotvers if something goes wrong :)

- Three days ago, I had what I would consider to be a moderately severe reaction and I suspect the culprit was corn. The only different variable in my diet that day was a package of frozen mixed vegetables. I was on a campaign to try and get more vegetables in my diet. I am pretty sure the corn was the culprit, and the skin around my mouth and eyes is still showing effects (bumps, cold sores) a few days later such that when my mother saw me tonight, she noticed them unprompted. The corn is another thing that, thinking back in hindsight to days when my skim has been off, I recall it being involved. For example, weekends seem to be bad for me re the use of the asthma puffer and the feeling like I should have a Benadryl feeling. I was chalking that up to being home more and maybe my apartment is too dusty or has mould or something, but now I am wondering if the popcorn I take with me when I babysit every weekend might be the factor.

I have seen my GP and been to the allergist but I did not find either of them terribly helpful. The allergist did not even run the skin test for the tree nuts until I insisted. He was just going to run "things they might use in Thai food" but I said that since I had travelled pretty out of my way for this appointment and had to wait a long time for it, I wanted him to test me for every single thing he possibly could, just to cover all the bases. He reluctantly agreed and then was all like "Oh, okay, so you did test for the tree nuts." And he never warned me that fruits could therefore be an issue, which apparently he should have warned me about. Oh, and he told me that it was a myth that what I eat might affect the eczema, even though I am sure there is a link (and I am more and more starting to believe that the "eczema" is just my body's preferred way of manifesting things. And trust me, these recent things now that the can of worms has been opened, that is NOT eczema! I am talking about literally feeling bumps pop around around my mouth as my lips swell up! That is NOT "eczema" at all!)

Wow, I did nto mean to go on so long :) I guess what I find hard about it is the whole 'what is safe today might not be safe tomorrow' aspect of it. And I am not used to thinking abotu food in this way and I think there might have been other times I had a reaction and did not recognize that was what it was (for example assuming that my weekend skin problems were from being home, and not realizing that food might be an issue there). It's a bit of a new world for me :)

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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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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Would it be possible for you to see another allergist? I would be seriously looking for a second opinion, and a second round of testing. You are experiencing a lot of reactions (in my opinion) and it would be good for you to know what is going on. (I know YOU realize that - but it would be good for you to have a true diagnosis to back you up.)

Apparently eczema is one of those areas where the experts do not agree. I personally feel that eczema is a very valid symptom of food allergy. I'm not saying that all eczema is caused by food allergy, but my own son and other kids of my support group members have all had very bad eczema that cleared significantly when their allergens were removed from their diets. I personally find it irresponsible for any health care provider to say that eczema is never caused by food allergies. Eczema can really affect a person's quality of life, and to not try to find ways to remove things that could be causing it is, as I said, irresponsible. (The fact that we have to debate it at all makes me REALLY angry!!!)

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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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I have a *lot* of food allergies too. If my experience is anything to go by, you can expect some skepticism from allergists at least initially if you are reacting to a *long* list of foods (if there is a long list they tend to wonder if some of the "allergies" are psychosomatic). My current allergist agreed that I had multiple food allergies, but he suspected that I was avoiding too many foods. I had some frustrating appointments . . . and at one point, I considered not going back, but I'm glad that I stuck with this particular doctor--he has been very supportive.

If I could have done things over again, though, I would have initially requested RAST tests for some of the allergies my allergist seemed skeptical about. The first time he suggested doing RAST testing, I wasn't enthusiastic about the idea because it costs money, and I knew I was allergic so what was the point. The skepticism vanished (at least for the allergens I was tested for) after I had positive RAST tests (in addition to positive skin prick tests.)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:53 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Thought I'd update the where to buy component of this thread.

Allergic Living is available by subscription in Canada and the U.S.

A single, current issue of Allergic Living may be purchased in Shoppers Drug Marts and London Drugs with sizeable newsstands. Also in Chapters and Indigo in the health/yoga section.

Past issues of Allergic Living may be purchased online - go to Subscribe/Renew on the red bar and follow the links. They are available to both Can. and US residents.

To scan the contents of older issues of Allergic Living, just hit the "all issues" button on the red bar.

Happy reading! Gwen

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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