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 Post subject: Unknown reaction
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 6
Let me start off by saying I have never had an anaphalctic reaction to food, though I am severly allergic to insect stings. I am intolerant of the following foods

Apples all sorts except for Macintosh and Granny Smith
Cherries
Kiwi
Peaches (raw)
Cerlery and carrots (raw)
Mango

The other night I was at a wedding and all of a sudden my eyes were very itchy then my palms and my ears and head. As my mother is allergic to nuts and I to stings I am always paranoid of developing food allergies and I panicked and made my boyfriend rush me to the hospital.

Because of my mothers allergy, which she developed around the age of 50, I have ceased to eat nuts since 2001 and I did not eat at the wedding and am not sure what caused the reaction, but now I am terrified to eat and am suffering from panic attacks every meal.

Any suggestions on how to cope?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2950
Location: Toronto
Hi Dara,

Welcome to our Forum. I know it's tough when you think you're "developing" allergies as an adult. Been there.

If I were you, I'd try a few things:

1. Get a referral to an allergist who will do proper allergy testing. It will likely take a while to get.
2. In the meantime, eat simply. Don't eat foods with a lot of different ingredients or a lot of prepackaged foods (which have many ingreds and preservatives). That way, if you have some symptoms, you may be able to tell what food (foods?) is causing you a problem.
3. Write down what you ate when you have a problem, and how long after you ate do the symptoms show up. This will help the allergist in trying to figure out what you're reacting to.
4. You mention some raw fruits and vegetables. There is a fairly common syndrome called "Oral Allergy Syndrome" in which people get itching in the throat and mouth but don't usually anaphylax. See this basic info on that, and the chart of how some foods are related and can "cross-react". http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fss ... rale.shtml

Try not to panic. If reactions appear to be getting bad, go get yourself an auto-injector - it's like having a security blanket. In Canada you can get one through a GP or even right at the pharmacy counter.

Life gets back on track pretty fast once you know what you've got to watch out for. Hope we can help you to get there.

:) Gwen

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 6
I actually have 2 epipens at all times for my stinging insect allergy. I am terrified of using them though. Has anyone had to use theirs?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Hi Dara,

Gwen has given you some good advice. I'd like to clarify her third point though. Write down everything you eat - whether or not you have a reaction. That way, you have the list of foods that didn't cause a reaction too. Also, by the time you react, you may not remember what you ate. When I did this, I also wrote down what time I ate things.

As for the epi-pen, I've never had to actually use it. I was given a shot of epinephrine in the hospital once, and I have no fear of them.

I carry two for my food allergies, and my youngest son carries one and has one in the school office for his insect allergy. His very first reaction, I sat in the back seat of the car while my husband drove us to the hospital (no 9-1-1 service where we were and very patchy cell-service). I had my adult epi-pen in my hand -- my two year old reacting -- my husband hollaring that I couldn't use that on him, it's for an adult.

I just kept saying "what's the alternative?" My feeling was, if the reaction turned anaphylactic he would die with nothing. To much wouldn't be worse then death. Fortunately, our little guy did not have any breathing problems -- but I do know that if needed, I will use it.

Have you ever practiced with expired epi-pens? Pick a fruit that you don't react to (I prefer to use oranges) and inject it with the epi-pen. It's a little bit different then using the trainer -- just a slightly different feel. Using the *real thing* is kind of empowering. I never really had the fear, because it had saved my life before i ever started carrying an epi-pen. But, it did help my son. He was afraid of it -- and I thought actually seeing the needle would make it worse, but it didn't. I guess it's kind of *the devil you know vs. the devil you don't*.

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
I've had to use mine. My mom gave it to me although I regularly practice with expired ones as well. Surprisingly, it hurt less than I had expected but to be honest, whether it hurts or not, you really don't care at the moment. The fact that it pretty much saves your life is more reassurance than you'll ever need. Once it's actually pushed in, you don't feel it afterwards...just the effects of the meds. I guess it depends on the different symptoms you're having but for me, after 60 seconds at the most I felt 100% better..although we still went to the hospital where they observed me for a couple of hours to make sure I didn't have another reaction. But really, like Gwen said, it's a security blanket and to know that it really works should make you feel a lot better. And as I said, the pain isn't all that bad.

_________________
Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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