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Anyone with serious food allergies?

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Old 02-27-2007, 12:01 AM   #1
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Default Anyone with serious food allergies?

Does anyone else struggle with food allergies or sensitivities? I have a long family history of this (lots of people with weird stomach problems) and int he last few years, it started for me. First, it was suggested that I avoid dairy to clear up my skin and deal with my seasonal allergies. It made a huge difference. Then I started noticing I did not react well to certain foods I used to eat with no problems. For example, bread makes me really itchy It didn't used to, and I can still eat crackers and stuff, but loaf bread just is bad.

Last year, I had a really bad flare-up of eczema that would not die, and I got tested for food allergies more thoroughly. I tested positive to tree nuts, which I had eaten in the past with no problems. I didn't like them much, so I was not too concerned about this allergy. But twice, I had really serious reactions to Thai food. Once of them caused hives, and one of them, I almost passed out. My doctor said that was anaphylaxis and I need to carry an epi-pen because it could escalate next time. He thinks it might have been from nut oils, which are often used in that type of food and which are more concentrated than regular nuts (I am okay with peanuts, it is just the tree nuts which are the issue).

Then about a month ago, I had a scary reaction to an apple! I had eaten apples many, many times with no problems. But apparently, people who react to tree nuts can cross-react with the fruits too. It is rarely as serious as anaphylaxis and cooked fruit is okay, but raw fruit can cause hives and rashes. I get really suddenly tight and dry skin on my face and bumps sometimes. A benadryl usually clears it up. I have since reacted to a peach one time.

This is the first time that mentally, I have ever felt hard done by because of these allergy issues. I love fruit, and sometimes will risk it and just take a benadrl if something happens. But what scares me is, once these things start, they evolve and develop over time. So what is safe to eat today might not be safe tomorrow. Sometimes, it might cause a reaction. Sometimes, it might not. Sometimes, something I have eaten my whole life will suddenly go bad on me. And I will be facing an ever-narrowing window of acceptable options.

My doctor does not seem to take this very seriously and told me I just need to accept that I am one of those people these things happen to. But it s quite scary to eat something harmless that you've eaten before and suddenly you feel a reaction happening. And it is annoying not to be able to just grab and apple and go. I have to plan everything so carefully now to always have options with me.

Has anybody else dealt with food allergies? Any words of wisdom you can offer me?
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:31 AM   #2
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My friend's son and husband have bad food allergies. One, make sure you are being seen by an allergist, not just a regular doctor. You are talking a serious amount of allergies that need to be managed and monitored.

One of the things her allergist recommends is that you carry benedryl quick dissolve strips in your pocket or purse. Just in case you dont have your epi-pen with you. (But always carry your epi-pen)

My dh might be having the same thing start to happen. 4 times in the past 2 months he has had an allergic reaction where his face swells up. Problem is we cant figure out what is causing it as he has a delay.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:15 AM   #3
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My son and I have can't eat anything with gluten, the protein in wheat barley and rye. He is also allergic to casiein, the protein in dairy. We get SICK- longterm sick- from eating gluten. It's in my whole family but recently diagnosed. Eating ouside my own home is a challenge.

If your doctor doesn't take you seriously, I'd find one who does.

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Old 02-27-2007, 09:49 AM   #4
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I get hives from huckleberries--so I don't eat them--but I've never reacted to blueberries, which are in the same family. I have a serious "allergy" to clams--more the gastrointestinal type reaction, but really bad. I don't eat them either. I have lots of different allergies to pollen, house dust, certain herbs... really a mixed bag.

Do see an allergist. But consider also that your body could be unbalanced in terms of acid/base. If your system is too acidic, it can make those reactions worse.

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Old 02-27-2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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I'm allergic to fish and turkey. I go into anaphylaxis if I eat it. Food allergies are very serious and you need to find a doctor that takes it serious. You should find a doctor that takes it serious as it is. Find an allergist (now there are general doctors who call them themselves allergist that isn't what you want. You need one that has specialized in allergies.) There might be a different panal for scrach test that they can do to find more specifically what foods you are allergic to (I know my allergist had several different types of food panals.)

My number one suggestion is to avoid allergic foods at all times (I use to be able to eat small amounts of turkey before it got bad and now I go into shock any time I eat any of it.) Food allergies only get worse with more exposer.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:50 PM   #6
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I don't have much personal input on the topic I really just wanted to agree with past posts and say that if you don't think your doctor is taking it seriously enough find one who does!!!
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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Thank you for starting this thread! I too have recently developed food allergies that I didn't used to have -- to raw apples and carrots in particular. I haven't gone to the doctor, rather I just noticed that now if I eat raw apples or carrots my mouth, lips and throat become intensely itchy, my throat swells up and I get a classic case of hay fever (sneezing, stuffy/running nose, watering/itchy eyes, nose and face) to go along with it. Depending on how large a serving I ate before I figured out what was happening, I would sometimes have the hay fever for an entire day or longer after eating an apple.

I have always had hay fever and allergies to dust and cats, but the food allergies are new to me. I Googled and have now self-diagnosed something called "oral allergy syndrome" with (in my case) a birch allergy. Before looking into this a lot of people thought I might be reacting to pesticides or whatever, not the food itself; so I tried organic; but I actually had a worse reaction to an organic apple than I'd had up to that point. According to my Googling, these symptoms are not a reaction to pesticides.

It is a huge bummer to be allergic to two of the foods that in the past were diet stalwarts for me. I used to go through BAGS of baby carrots dipped in a little mustard as a great crunchy guilt-free afternoon snack. No more.
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:54 PM   #8
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Wow, I am really glad to see food allergies being taken seriously. I have a serious allergy to eggs, and it is sometimes incredibly difficult to deal with. But, yeah it's pretty rare, but serious. I am sorry to all of you that suffer from allergies.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:16 PM   #9
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I am allergic to artificial Caramel Color and Flavor. It took me years of trial and error to find out what chemicals in the foods I was eating were causing the problems I had. I'm "lucky" though and can avoid these by eating unprocessed foods and skipping restaurant Chinese food.

My sister is allergic to Maltose and Dextrose. She recently had a sandwich made at an organic food co-op that states clearly what ingredients are in all the foods they prepare. She's eaten there breads many times. However that day one of the workers substituted their regular flour with a variety that had Maltose and my sister ended up in the hospital. She'd had bad reactions in the past but her system finally said no more and she almost died. The ER doc said if they'd gotten her in 20 minutes later she'd be dead now.

Please, like the others have said, find another doctor who will take this seriously. My sister's throat would get tight if she ate Maltose but she didn't see it as anything too serious until the day she couldn't breath. Now she too has to carry and Epi pen with her at all times. It's unfortunate for you that this has happened but now that it has you cannot take the risk with your life of eating something that can cause you great harm or even death. Food allergies are very serious matters!

Best of luck to you!
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:38 PM   #10
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Definitely find an Allergist. It sounds like you need an extended allergen panal done. Alot of docs write allergies off and don't take them seriously, until it's to late. Please, find a qualified professional who is educated in these matters and can help guide you.

Me, no food allergies, at all. My daughter, like Ilene and her family, has gluten issues. All food issues, whether its intolerance or allergies should be treated as a priority, because unlike being allergic to paint, smoke etc, which we can take steps to avoid, there is absolutely no getting around food. Good luck!
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