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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 6
I am completely taken aback by these newfound allergies. I just found out I'm allergic to black pepper and shellfish. Xmas eve I ate clams marinara and my mouth, tongue, and gums swelled for 9 days. I had blisters too! I never had food allergies as a child and am shaken to think that food I ate and enjoyed all my life is now poison. How in the world do you avoid black pepper! I asked my allergist and he said I have to avoid it forever, it's not something I can take out and put back in gradually. I just don't know what to eat anymore. No more prepared food from jars for anything. How in the world will I ever go out to dinner again or eat at a friends house? My allergy test also revealed I'm allergic to every tree and weed and mold they tested for. I have read online that spice allergies are rare and can be caused from sever allergies to trees and pollen and such.

Any advice for this newbie would be greatly appreciated.

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Allergic to shellfish, sulfa meds, black & bell pepper, pointsettias, every tree, weed, dust mite, feather, pet & mold tested for. Food & med allergies are adult on-set. Suffered from asthma & env/outdoor allergies since childhood.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1117
Welcome... Knowledge and time both helped our family when dealing with the food allergies.

For eating at friends, you either have to make sure they really get it or bring your own food. In my experience, friends often try a lot harder than family... If you can eat fruits and vegetables that helps a lot. You will learn which foods typically have pepper and avoid them. e.g., my daughter is allergic to celery which is often in soups, stuffing mixes etc. She is also allergic to tree nuts so desserts are the biggest culprit.

The line "No label, no thank you." will be repeated often and honestly, we trust few people to read the label since others simply don't remember our list of allergies. You learn to take snack packs with you since you may not be able to get safe food or you just don't feel like asking many questions. Pepper is also more difficult since it would likely be labelled as "spices" which means calling companies to find out the specific spices. I find that asking "does it have pepper?" will get a better response than asking for the list of spices.

First step we did with the nut allergies was to remove everything from our cupboards. If it had "May contain tree nuts" we donated it. If it didn't have "May contain" warning then we called the company to check if they labelled for May Contains (it is not mandatory). The food that was left was returned to the cupboard. I used to try new foods all the time but now we try new recipes with a smaller number of foods :swing

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


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 797
Location: Vancouver, BC
Welcome and sorry to hear about your experience. Pepper does sound like a difficult one to avoid in packaged foods, when it's not one of the top allergens and so often things like labelled 'spices'.

When I found out about my children's allergies, we found suitable recipes and started making a lot of things from scratch - cakes, cookies, bread, muffins, etc, plus the majority of our meals.

It's really hard at first, but it does get easier with time, when trying to figure out what you can and cannot eat. I can imagine it would be very difficult with adult onset allergies since you used to be able to eat these foods and now cannot. There are some adult onset folks on this forum, so hopefully you can get some help and support on here.

Regarding the cross reaction with tree pollens, I personally don't know anything about this, but if your current allergist can't provide info, perhaps you can research online and/or get referred to another allergist in the area who might be more experienced? Also in the Allergic Living magazine, there is an 'ask the expert' section where you can send in a question that they will answer.

Good luck!

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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: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:43 pm
Posts: 3
Its very hard to suddenly be allergic to 'ordinary' things. Doubly so if it's not covered by the labeling laws? do you know if its just black pepper? I ask because for home cooking there are some other things I might use to kick it up a notch. I defer to the other ladies/gents on the site when it comes to taking allergies on the road... Im not quite brave enough.
hugs.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Do not eat anything with ingrediets such as "spices". Also, do not eat anything made with ingredients from a bulk bin. The risk of cross-contamination is too high!

Black pepper is related to white pepper but not bell peppers.
Black pepper is a peppercorn simillar to a berry. http://www.kew.org/plant-cultures/plant ... ofile.html

Peppers are fruits of the nightshade family.
Nightshade: Brinjal, Cayenne, Capsicum, Eggplant, Ground Cherry, Banana Pepper, Bell Pepper, Chili Pepper, Green Pepper, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Paprika, Pimento, Potato, Tabasco, Thorn Apple, Tobacco, Tomato.
http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/Articles/E ... al.htm#TOP

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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 Jan 08, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1117
www.allrecipes.com is our favourite site for recipes. Just today I wanted to make cinnamon bread because lately the raisins in store loaves are bothering my daughter. We use the ingredient search http://allrecipes.com/Search/Ingredients.aspx and put in what ingredients we want and don't want :happydance

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 6
As it turns out bell peppers and other pepper forms were also included in my new allergies so I am kinda steering clear of anything with pepper in the name. They tested me for jalapeños and that came back negative.

I also came back with a mild reaction to tomatoes but the doctor said that if I avoided it for a while I may be able to work it back into my diet. I grow tomatoes and live off them during the summer so this very heartbreaking. I lived on salsa prior to this so I'm having a hard time finding the desire to eat anything. I ordered some Grains of Paradise which mimics pepper but is in the ginger family (also tested negative). I'm just at a loss as what to start eating again. I so tired of eating bland food.

My allergist said to take a couple grains of pepper and eat them to get a baseline of how strong the allergy is (he was sure it wouldnt cause ana. shock). Well I counted out 5 grains and nibbled. One big swollen lip later.... and that was while I was still on Prednisone for the initial swelling. Needless to say I have advoided peppers in all forms since. I haven't tried potatoes but I think I will tonight. I have had hash browns with no I'll effects. I really don't want to cross the nightshade family off my list. I'm Irish, I can't loose potatoes!

On a side note, I really enjoy wine. Would the pepper notes in wine effect me or do you guys think that bc it's alcohol it won't really matter. I love the dry peppery wines.

Thanks for all the help, this is all so incredibly new to me.

_________________
Allergic to shellfish, sulfa meds, black & bell pepper, pointsettias, every tree, weed, dust mite, feather, pet & mold tested for. Food & med allergies are adult on-set. Suffered from asthma & env/outdoor allergies since childhood.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:02 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Hi Meg,
It's the protein in the food (yes, plants have proteins) that causes the cascade reaction. Alcohol does not break this down so it will not make something that contains your allergen safe. Similarly, hand sanitizers do nothing to prevent a reaction as they render germs and viruses inert but do not actually remope them.

_________________
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: Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:22 pm
Posts: 5
Meg I can totally relate.
Two years ago at the age of 36 I became ana to an unknown food. Allergy testing revealed nothing. I was told it was possibly a preservative or spice. I still do not know what it is that I am allergic to. My allergy is so bad that I cannot even enter Sobey's Supermarket as whatever I am allergic to is in their in-store prepared foods. There are also numerous fast-food places that I cannot eat from. My gp suggested taking an allergy medication everyday. I have chosen not do this as I won't know if I am allergic to something new that I eat. So I eat everything and if I have a reaction I just add that item to my do not eat list. I may never know what I am allergic to. I now carry three EPI-Pens with me everywhere I go.

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me: ana to unknown food, mutiple prescription allergies, 1 over the counter med allergy and allergy to ct scan dye.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Toronto
Hi Meg, My allergies are adult-onset too: shellfish, peanut and soy. It is an adjustment, but still way better to know and be able to avoid.

One thing I'd recommend: speak to your allergist about whether you're a candidate for immunotherapy for the enviro allergens. I used to be off the charts for the whole list and since having the shots, most of those allergies are much better.

Few other things to mention:

• AL mag recently did an article on the rise of spice allergy: http://allergicliving.com/index.php/201 ... t-to-spot/

You may want to check out our site's section on seafood allergy.
http://allergicliving.com/index.php/cat ... allergy-2/
• Few people are allergic to both shellfish and fish. But you do have to be mindful that any fish you eat wasn't stored with shellfish (we call this cross-contamination). http://allergicliving.com/index.php/201 ... allergies/

• We have a lot of great recipes (always shellfish free) on Allergicliving.com and in the magazine. http://allergicliving.com/index.php/cat ... recipes-2/

For substituting pepper in the recipes, I'd just eliminate it and in some cases you might want a dash of extra salt to compensate.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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