You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:32 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:42 pm
Posts: 4
I'm 45 and have a new and serious allergy to nutmeg. My allergist never heard of anyone being allergic to nutmeg, and has not been helpful. I am trying to learn how to live a normal life with a severe food allergy. I would love to talk to others who have allergies to spices. I am avoiding almost all foods with "spices" or "natural flavors" listed on the ingredients, unless I have been able to get specific ingredients from the manufacturer. It is overwhelming since this is almost everything out there.

In July I had two severe reactions to nutmeg. I thought it was to tree nuts, but I kept having more reactions. Blood tests were positive for Nutmeg, grass, dust, trees, cat and (peanut). Skin Tests to peanuts, tree nuts, seeds and a lot of other things were all negative. Did not skin test nutmeg, too scary. About six months ago almonds started making my lips tingle and swell slightly. My allergist says its a cross reaction to my pollen allergy. So I'm avoiding tree nuts. In 2010 on a cruise, fresh nutmeg grated on tropical drinks made my lips swell up really badly. I took benadryl and that helped somewhat. Never thought of it again. Then in July I was on a trip overseas and had to be rushed to the hospital because my throat closed up when I had a small piece of baklava. Three days later, I ate a piece of chicken with Arabic spices, almost the same thing happened. The first time I was in a foreign country, the second reaction I was on a plane. Very traumatic. Had several more reactions in the following weeks. At least one turned out to be a panic attack, but it felt so exactly like the allergic reaction, I used my epipen and went to the hospital. For the next couple of weeks, I had a lot of anxiety (physical symptoms) mostly during the night and went to the Emergency Room for tests, which were normal. I was on anti-anxiety meds for about 10 days, and now I'm taking just an anti-depressant. This has totally turned my world upside down.

I'm hoping to find others who are dealing with these issues.

Thanks!
Charla (aka NoNutmeg)

(My 13yr old son outgrew his allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. Now he is getting some hayfever type allergies, and his younger brother is as well. My husband is allergic to dust.)

_________________
Adult Onset allergies: Nutmeg/Mace, grass, dust, Sulfa, Ultracet
Cross react to Almonds


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:17 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Hi Charla, Sorry to hear that you have joined the world of the anaphylaxic individual.

While your Dr may not have known anyone with a spice allergy, mustard was listed as a priority allergen September of 2010 after a review of available literature .
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/pubs/label ... ex-eng.php

I would imagine the cross contamination amoung spices would be high! Many places like to grind their own spices for freshness, other purchase at bulk stores. I know that mace and nutmeg are related.

http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/Articles/E ... htm#bottom

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:33 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Charla, re your
Quote:
This has totally turned my world upside down.


Sorry to hear it. I'm one of several people here who also have adult-onset allergies. The early going can be tough.

Since blood tests can have false positives, is your allergist quite certain (based on your reaction history as well as the test) that nutmeg is the cause? Has avoiding processed foods that say "spices" helped and your reactions abated? Sure hope so.

The trickiest of my adult onset allergies was soy; I had no idea I'd become allergic to it till the allergist skin-tested with foods containing soy. The better news is that once you know, you can get better because you finally know what to avoid.

Glad you found us and hope we can help you on this journey. It gets a lot less scary, trust me. But one step at a time. And as Susan likes to say: there's lots on this website that you'll find helpful, but try not to read too much at first. Just one step at a time. :huggy

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:42 pm
Posts: 4
Since blood tests can have false positives, is your allergist quite certain (based on your reaction history as well as the test) that nutmeg is the cause? Has avoiding processed foods that say "spices" helped and your reactions abated? Sure hope so.

Yes, my allergist is certain I'm allergic to nutmeg. He didn't tell me the number, just that the blood test showed it was "significant." From my history though, he is sure. I'm avoiding Mace because it's also from the nutmeg fruit. I've stopped having reactions and anxiety/panic symptoms. I am avoiding tree nuts because almonds (and anything that says may contain almonds) makes my lips swell up and tingle. However, tests show I am not allergic to nuts, which really surprised me. Dr says it is a cross-reaction to pollen, and if I keep eating almonds I can become allergic. Any swelling will put me into a panic, so I don't take any chances. No tree nuts for now.

At the grocery store, I read every label and try to find products that don't say "spices" or "natural flavors." I can usually find something, it just takes a long time. And its not just food. Nutmeg and mace are in beverages, cosmetics, fragrances, toothpastes, cough syrup/medicines, and are never disclosed on the labels. I have been emailing and calling companies to find out about the products I use. I found out the perfume I used for 20 years has nutmeg components. Possibly that was how I got sensitized to it, I don't know. I am now "fragrance free" as much as possible. I can't give up my hair products though, so I'm just hoping they're ok. No reaction so far. I'm waiting for a call back from Coca Cola to find out if I can have any soda. I am guessing no on coke/diet coke, but hoping that I may be able to have diet sprite, ginger ale, minutemaid lemonade or powerade. Pepsi said they won't confirm or deny the presence of nutmeg oil, it is proprietary info. No pepsi products for me.

Yes, I am concerned about cross-contamination among spices. I called McCormick (a big spice manufacturer in the USA) about their cinnamon. They said they could not guarantee trace amounts of nutmeg could not be present. I have been using some savory spices (oregano, garlic, basil, salt & pepper), but I am afraid of the sweet spices, since it just seems more likely to me that they would not clean the line as thoroughly for similar flavors. I had a reaction after eating some homemade muffins that had cinnamon. I felt bad for about 5 hours, took antihistimanes but it never got anaphylactic. I am still not sure whether it was cross-contamination or just anxiety. So I'm not eating cinnamon, allspice, etc.

Anyway, it is really good to find this forum. It is great to be able to talk to other people who understand.

_________________
Adult Onset allergies: Nutmeg/Mace, grass, dust, Sulfa, Ultracet
Cross react to Almonds


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 129
'............Dr says it is a cross-reaction to pollen,...........'
Sorry to hear what you are going thru.

Just wondering...is pollen desensitisation an option for you...and could this then possibly help your current allergies???

My son is nearly at the stage of being able to start a desensitisation program to rye grass (and others)...we hope this may have a flow on effect to his barley (ingestion/anaphylaxis) allergy as rye grass and barley are very similar genetically.

Good luck-allergies that are non top 8 are very difficult to deal with.

xx

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:42 pm
Posts: 4
caz wrote:
'............Dr says it is a cross-reaction to pollen,...........'
Sorry to hear what you are going thru.

Just wondering...is pollen desensitisation an option for you...and could this then possibly help your current allergies???

My son is nearly at the stage of being able to start a desensitisation program to rye grass (and others)...we hope this may have a flow on effect to his barley (ingestion/anaphylaxis) allergy as rye grass and barley are very similar genetically.

Good luck-allergies that are non top 8 are very difficult to deal with.

xx


I don't know. That's a good idea. Does your allergist think desensitization could help the barley allergy? Eliminate it? Make it less severe? I have only heard of clinical trials for peanut desensitization. It does seem like most people with food allergies also have pollen allergies. Let me know if you have a link to any kind of research like that. I will ask my allergist at my next appointment. I don't think desensitization to tree pollen would help with my spice allergy, which is already anaphylactic. But it might possibly prevent my developing a tree nut allergy. Couldn't hurt. I would certainly be willing to try it.

I did get good news from Coca Cola today. The products I asked about do not contain any nutmeg! So I can have a diet coke again. I am excited about that. It is depressing to only be able to order water at a restaurant.

_________________
Adult Onset allergies: Nutmeg/Mace, grass, dust, Sulfa, Ultracet
Cross react to Almonds


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Charla, I am in a rush but wanted to say hi and glad you found us. Hopefully you won't feel so alone. :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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:42 pm
Posts: 4
BC2007 wrote:
Charla, I am in a rush but wanted to say hi and glad you found us. Hopefully you won't feel so alone. :huggy


Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. :)

Charla

_________________
Adult Onset allergies: Nutmeg/Mace, grass, dust, Sulfa, Ultracet
Cross react to Almonds


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 6
Hi charla! I too just found out about my adult onset allergies. Besides the shellfish, flounder, and all peppers (there is some form in pepper product in all my favorite spices), I'm also allergic to black pepper. Even just a few grains make my mouth, lips and gums swell up horribly. I think I must be a glutton for punishment bc I tested out a salsa that had no hot peppers in it. It did have bell peppers in though and the bite I had didn't even have a piece in it. Immediately after eating it I got a huge blister on my lip and inflamed gums. I had no idea how many pepper type products I was eating till I couldn't have it anymore. No more cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, salsa, pizza seasoning, chili powder and pretty much every salad dressing. Even ranch with the tiny little pepper flakes make me swell. Every prepared food has 'spices' in it. I've pretty much resigned myself to never eating chili again, or spaghetti sauce. What else is there to eat? Pepper is in everything and every spice is made in a factory that processes it. I did just find something called Grains of Paradise and it's a pepper mimic but in the ginger family. It tastes similar, a little more earthy, less spicy, but still has a little bite to it.

I think nutmeg must be just as hard, it's one of those spices that you don't even think about. I didn't even think about not having chai tea till I read the ingredients (black pepper). I can offer condolences bc I still haven't found many things I am willing to eat. Mostly sandwiches, raw food and homemade ranch dips. I had chicken soup tonight I made with a prepared soup base and so far I'm not swelling.

I think I'm operating on dumb luck and a healthy dose of fantasy by continuing to eat food and experimenting. I just don't how else to work around it.

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 919
Location: Oakville, Ontario
It is SOOOO hard adjusting to a new way of eating... our whole family eats our sons diet (in the home), so we've had to adjust tremendously. BUT, after 9 years, I don't find it difficult anymore... so it DOES get easier and becomes a natural way of living. We make most things from scratch (including bread) at home as prepared foods can have a number of unsafe ingredients (for our son). But over time, we've been able to find a few safe foods in the aisles - we only buy from the very large companies so that we can call the 1-800 number on the box/package (Kraft, Christie's, Dare, Dempsters, etc.) The large companies are very allergy aware, and almost always have great customer service, so when you call, they will get the information you need. Because you are dealing with non-priority allergens, it can take a few days (or even a little more than that) to find out if a non-priority allergen is in the food. A few of our sons allergens are non-priority allergens, so we've encountered this. For pizza sauce, we use plain tomato sauce from the can, and add our own spices if we like.

Here are 3 salad dressings we make in the home:

Basic Oil & Vinegar Dressing (adjust to your liking)
(I use this for Greek salad or just a regular salad - make it one day ahead of time)
1/2 cup canola oil (or any oil you prefer)
1/4-1/2 cup white vinegar
fresh garlic
1/8 tsp dry basil
1/8 tsp dry oregano
1/8 tsp parsley
1 tsp Real Lemon
salt and black pepper (don't use if you are allergic to pepper!!)
(you can adjust to your personal tastes, don't add something if you don't like)

Sweet Oil and Vinegar dressing
(this can be used on a regular salad and can be good for children if they like a little more sweetness in their dressing)
1/2 cup oil
1/4-1/2 cup white vinegar
1-2 tsp white sugar
dry parsley
garlic
any other spices you might like

Caesar salad dressing (we are dealing with egg allergy, so needed to develop our own recipe)
1 (or 1.5) heaping tablespoon(s) PC lactose free sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup parmesean cheese
3 tablespoons RealLemon
1 clove garlic
black pepper (for those not allergic to pepper!)
Blend in a mini-food processor (if you have one) and leave overnight. Blend again just before serving.

We make our own croutons (most breads contain sesame, which is not safe in our home)
-cut up your own safe bread into cubes, toss lightly with 1 - 2 tablespoons of oil, put under the broiler in the oven (I use our toaster oven) for 2 minutes (maximum!) until brown, turn once, and brown the other side for 2 minutes (maximum). Take out of the oven and leave on the tray to stay crispy. You can also add garlic, if you like, or any other dry spices. You can also pan-fry the bread cubes, but I find the toaster oven is very quick.

We have lots of other ideas I would be happy to share (if it helps). If a recipe calls for an unsafe ingredient, I just leave it out. We've made lots of interesting discoveries along the way, but we've had 9 years of this now. In the beginning, we stuck to the real basics, and food wasn't very enjoyable for awhile. Now we're enjoying trying to adjust existing recipes to suit our own families needs.

:huggy to you. We all know it isn't easy, but we're here to help!

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group