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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Barrie Ontario Canada
Hi everyone
I have some questions regarding a possible tree nut allergy. For a few years now I have noticed that when I eat something containing nuts I get a strange feeling. My mouth gets tingly and itchy, I get a rash on my arms, and my chest feels tight or heavy like someone has me in a bear hug and wont let go. I have never been to the point where I thought I needed to go to the hospital and Benedryl has always worked to reduce the symptoms. I have an appointment to see my GP next week but I know he will just shrug me off like he always does. :verymad
My questions are:
How do I get him to listen to me?
Are my symptoms similar to anything you have experienced?
Will this get worse? Could I have a severe reaction without warning?
Do I need an epipen? (I know everyone on here can't diagnose me but from your experience)
If I get an epipen how will I know to use it? Do I try Benedryl first then the epi?
I am probably getting way ahead of myself but any advice would be greatly appreciated. I feel out of my league right now. :confused All of my past sensitivities have been mild compaired to this.

_________________
Sarah
Outgrew: Wheat, corn, egg, chicken, to name a few
Sensitive to Milk/Dairy products
Allergic to: Tree nuts, percocet, toradol, environmental allergies and chemical allergies
Migraines caused by scented products, barometric pressure


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:58 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Pickering
If it were me I would just tell him it's escalated to a serious allergy and that you and your family are very concerned about it. You need to tell them you want to take every necessary step and precaution. If they still don't take you seriously it sounds like you need to find a new doctor that will because it's a very serious issue.

I was always allergic to tree nuts and only became allergic to peanuts at 14 after eating them forever, it started off as just an itch and then escalated every time I tried peanuts ending up with me spending my 14th birthday in the hospital and getting a shot IN MY BUTT. (Sorry for the TMI lol).

Allergies can definitely escalate. I'd say you for sure need an epi-pen. I get hives a lot anyway, but if breathing is ever compromised I'd use the epi-pen when in doubt.

_________________
Cassandra 24 years old.
Allergic to peanuts/most treenuts, cats and dogs.
Grew out of lactose intolerance.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Barrie Ontario Canada
Cassandra
Thanks for you reply. You TMI made me :rofl
I have joked around that if my doc doesn't take me seriously maybe I should eat a bag of walnuts in his office and make him deal with the consequences :lol: (of course I wont but docs can be a pain in the butt at times).

More questions...
Do I need to stay away from all tree nuts and peanuts? I have heard that there is a high risk of cross contamination btwn the two families. So far I have only reacted to pecans and walnuts and I can eat peanut M&Ms (my fav) without any problems.
What about others eating around me? I work at a school and the other teachers frequently eat nuts in the staff room (really makes me :verymad bc they know my situation) So far I seem to be fine but is there a chance of them touching a door handle then me touching the same handle and having a reaction?

_________________
Sarah
Outgrew: Wheat, corn, egg, chicken, to name a few
Sensitive to Milk/Dairy products
Allergic to: Tree nuts, percocet, toradol, environmental allergies and chemical allergies
Migraines caused by scented products, barometric pressure


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:58 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Pickering
You don't NEED to stay away but I would because your allergy seems to be getting worse and I wouldn't want to take a chance. At one of my old jobs someone ate a cookie with nuts and then touched the register and I didn't realize and used the register and then got hives all over.

I would just let them know your allergy is getting worse and worse and maaaaayyybee even just tell them that you've had minor reactions from staff room nuts and things and make them feel a tad guilty. Sounds bad but I've done it because people don't realize how selfish/rude they're being and inconsiderate of someone else's health. :roll:

_________________
Cassandra 24 years old.
Allergic to peanuts/most treenuts, cats and dogs.
Grew out of lactose intolerance.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Vancouver, BC
Hi there,

I would start looking for a new family doctor! Someone who doesn't take allergies seriously is bad news.

In the meantine, I would go to the current dr and insist on a prescription for an epipen (or two) and carry that with you everywhere, being careful to store in between 15 and 30 degrees, and ensure you and those close to you know how and when to use it. I would also ask to be referred to an allergist and while waiting lists can be long, ask the allergist's office to put you on the cancellation waitlist.

I would get a medicalert bracelet that states you are allergic to nuts.

I would definitely avoid the nuts you have reacted to in the past, and also when it says 'may contain traces to nuts'. Shelled nuts/peanuts are generally thought to be cross contaminated with each other, so I would avoid those, but if you have eaten peanuts with no problem, I would still eat them, but only if not cross contaminated, ie peanuts in their shell, or other nuts you are not allergic to, also in their shell. This is going to be more restrictive than what you are used to, but if the reactions are getting worse, then you probably don't want even traces in your system. Call companies to ask if their labels are unclear.

I would start making a point of washing hands thoroughly before eating and avoiding touching your face in public.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 129
Hi-have you considered getting some basic alllergy testing done as a first step? Rast or spt will give you and your dr a good starting point as to what you may or may not be dealing with.
good luck

_________________
twin boys-
c-eosinophilic oesophagitis
j-avoids peanut, sunflower, pineapple all ana-sensitised to maccadaemia.pecan.Passed barley (previous ana) last year...out grew egg ana and peanut at 3 years..became re sensitised with ana at 6 years to peanut.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
For years my daughter often had stomach aches after eating and was just simply sick often. Before showing obvious signs (stomach pain, throat itchy hives etc) she often just stopped liking a food - and every time it was later confirmed she was allergic. She is allergic to over 25 fruits and vegetables plus more non-food. At 12, she had a mild reaction to peanuts and the allergist tested for peanuts and tree nuts --- she was neg to the peanuts but positive to most tree nuts. That was by skin test. A blood test (RAST) gave the same results.

The day of her skin prick test for the tree nuts, we had lunch at home and unfortunately I did not check the bread label because she had eaten out of that bag already (checked the other foods we ate). Within a minute of eating it, she had an anaphylactic reaction. Needed epi-pen, called 911 - had paramedics and went to hospital. The paramedics and emergency staff kept telling us good it was that she was given the epi-pen quickly. #1 - learned she is clearly allergic to tree nuts (label was May contain) and #2 learned that May Contain means may have it one piece of bread and not another; she doesn't ever eat May Contain.

Her stomach pains and frequent illness all went away as soon as we eliminated the tree nuts from her diet and are very cautious at restaurants (only go to a few that we know are allergen aware). The only time she has had that stomach pain again was on a bad judgment call we ate at a restaurant that had changed its menu and now included nuts throughout (often just salads and desserts which she won't eat out) and instinct told us to walk out but we were all starved and it was late. I hope we always trust our instincts because never know if next time will be more severe reaction.

Two years after the skin and blood tests, she did an oral challenge to peanuts and was successful which means she can eat peanuts. However, she only eats peanut butter or peanuts in the shell --- and only if we have called the plant to make sure it doesn't process tree nuts. We have never found peanuts in a jar that are not cross-contaminated with tree nuts. She cannot eat peanut M&Ms because they may contain almonds. She does eat M&Ms since she is not allergic to peanuts (which are a may contain).

Absolutely, 100% I would say get an epi-pen. My daughter's doctor prescribed one after a serious reaction to a vegetable on the premise that With such a harsh reaction, you never know when she will react to something else and have anaphylaxis.

Unfortunately, a lot depends on where you live and the knowledge around you!

YOUR QUESTIONS with answers based on my opinion which is only my opinion :swing :
How do I get him to listen to me? If what you have told us here does not register with him as being allergic then you need a new doctor.
Are my symptoms similar to anything you have experienced? Yes.
Will this get worse? Likely.
Could I have a severe reaction without warning? YES. Very much yes.
Do I need an epipen? YES. Again, see doctor's comment above.
If I get an epipen how will I know to use it? Learn the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Better to use it. See the tragic story posted this week of the 17 year old who did not use the epi although signs of anaphylaxis. See also the tragic story of Sabrina Shannon. Learn from them. Educate yourself. And then educate others.
Do I try Benedryl first then the epi? Talk to a knowledgeable doctor about that one.
Do I need to stay away from all tree nuts and peanuts? Until you talk with a knowledgeable doctor, I would stay away from ALL.
What about others eating around me? As an adult, it can be difficult to get accomodations. Could you ask for a nut-free table as they do for students? I also work in a school and the ignorance from teachers about allergies is appalling. If you cannot get a nut-free area, wash your hands well and do not touch anything before eating your lunch. Never put your food on the table. (gross anyway :pipe ) Think Emma on Glee but not as obsessive :thumbsup
So far I seem to be fine but is there a chance of them touching a door handle then me touching the same handle and having a reaction? Learn to wash your hands often and don't put your hands in your mouth or eyes unless just washed. If you do get hives or other reaction while in the staff room, share that with your administrator. I have worked in a dozen schools and there was only one that had restrictions in the staff room as one teacher had had multiple anaphylactic reactions to fish.

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 919
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Welcome to the forum Sarah388. You've asked some very good questions, and everyone has given you some very good answers! I don't have anything further to add to the comments because I think everyone has covered it so well. With regards to there being nuts in the staff room... it's my understanding that once kids move onto high school, the peanut/tree nut allergy awareness posters are no longer around? My understanding is that high school kids, and beyond, are considered to have the knowledge to care for themselves and guard against their allergens. Our son is currently 9 years old and in grade 3. At his school, only peanuts and tree nuts are not allowed at school, but in his classroom are many of his other allergens on a daily basis (sesame seeds, eggs, fish, mustard, many fresh fruits, etc.). We have had to educate him SO diligently to protect and guard against the allergens we know are around him everyday. He must wash his hands before eating, we provide him with wipes in his lunch bag, and he eats on a piece of wax paper. Believe me, it's stressful as parents trying to teach this, and remind, remind, remind. But there is no way a school can ask that no allergens be brought to school because there are so many. Because peanuts/tree nuts are the most common, they can ask for these, but the other allergens are no less dangerous to the allergic individual. I can say that in the nearly 6 years my son has attended school, he has not had an allergic reaction when all of these safeguards in place, BUT, he had one reaction when he accidentally grabbed someone's lunch bag that was the exact same as his in the first week of school in grade 1, and he reacted to their fresh watermelon. That was a lesson to us that we need to put extra marking on his lunchbag - we attached a special keychain to his bag so he could quickly identify that it was his. As much as we don't like to hear that peanuts/tree nuts are in the staff room, if you are able to put these types of safeguards in place for yourself, you will be able to eat safely there as well. But, if the school is supposed to honour the no peanut/tree nuts, the WHOLE school, including the staff room, should adhere to this.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Barrie Ontario Canada
Thank you everyone for your advice. Although I don't want this to be true is does feel better that I'm not over reacting. I think if my doc doesn't take me seriously I will have to start calling allergists in my area and see what kind of response I get.

_________________
Sarah
Outgrew: Wheat, corn, egg, chicken, to name a few
Sensitive to Milk/Dairy products
Allergic to: Tree nuts, percocet, toradol, environmental allergies and chemical allergies
Migraines caused by scented products, barometric pressure


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
Julie - excellent input and suggestions! :thumbsup

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:52 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Alberta
Sarah: agree with previous posts but thought I'd throw in another 2 cents...

really just wanted to concur that I think you do need to take it seriously. My almond allergy started off so mildly it took me years to clue in. It started just as stomach pains and then progressed SLOWLY over time. Pregnancy seemed to bump up the severity of my reactions quite a bit so I noticed the cause & effect immediately.

Get tested to find out specifically which nuts you are allergic to.

_________________
DS 1: anaphylactic to peanuts, allergic to fish
DS 2: asthma


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
Jennifoo wrote:
Get tested to find out specifically which nuts you are allergic to.


The challenge with tree nuts and peanuts is that, in our experience, unless they are in the shell they always "May contain" other nuts. Often, even peanuts in the shell may contain tree nuts.

As well, most companies say "May contain tree nuts" and few specify which nuts.

Given that plus the allergist's advice, my daughter doesn't eat any tree nuts at all even though her tests really ranged from minimal to very high allergy.

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Quote:
I have an appointment to see my GP next week but I know he will just shrug me off like he always does. :verymadMy questions are:How do I get him to listen to me?
:frightened
I agree, get a new dr.. Even if you have to see a walk in Dr. for the time being, EVERY AND ANY Dr. should be taking this seriously.

I won't add anything else as I agree with Julie that Walooet has given great advice.
Glad you found us on A.L.!
:huggy

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
BC2007 wrote:
Quote:
EVERY AND ANY Dr. should be taking this seriously.


Unfortunately my daughter's pediatrician ignored her "itchy mouth" etc from raw fruit. Sadly I did not seek information elsewhere and one time despite her saying it bothered her, I made her eat it (where is the bad mommy emoticon?) until she had multiple reactions and wsa then prescribed an epi-pen.

I know now that if our instinct tells us something is a problem we research it and share that with the doctor. If that doctor doesn't listen then we would go elsewhere. Many doctors now don't mind patients doing research and bringing it in to them - they are human and cannot know everything!

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Barrie Ontario Canada
Great news! (well kinda) My doc took me seriously. I now have an epipen :frightened and he is sending me to an allergist! I was so surprised at the way he reacted. He actually told me that I shouldn't have waited so long (which he is right). Hopefully the wait wont be too long for the allergist but in the mean time I am protected if I do come into contact with nuts. Now for changing my habits and stop taking chances.
Thank you all for your help and support :huggy

_________________
Sarah
Outgrew: Wheat, corn, egg, chicken, to name a few
Sensitive to Milk/Dairy products
Allergic to: Tree nuts, percocet, toradol, environmental allergies and chemical allergies
Migraines caused by scented products, barometric pressure


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