I'm Maddie and i'm 16 years old and i've been living with

I'm Maddie and i'm 16 years old and i've been living with PA my entire life. When I was younger my reaction wasn't very sever, I would have nausea, throw up and my breathing tubes through my nose would close up, so kind of half of anaphylaxis and a benadryl would revive me. In October, after consuming a hershey's chocolate bar (which i always eat) I began to become paranoid and kept looking in the mirror at my throat which appeared to be closing, which it wasn't. I began to feel like I couldn't breathe so my mom drove me to a nearby clinic and they said I was fine and I was just having an anxiety attack. After that happened every time I ate anything I would begin to have a panic attack thinking that there were peanuts in everything I ate.I would normally have up to 3 to 4 panic attacks per day. I began to grow depressed and went to a doctor. My parents and I thought I was barely allergic to peanuts, but turns out when I got tested for it, the results came in that I was highly allergic to peanuts. I saw a therapist to help with the panic attacks, which helped, but I look on ingredients labels on everything I eat even if I've already eaten it just to make sure. I refuse to try any new foods and I no longer consume any deserts. The panic attacks stopped in December, but last night my dad got my sister and I a milkshake at sonic. I usually get the oreo milkshake which I had eaten before thinking it was safe. I was sitting in my room and I had a taste in my mouth which tasted like a peanut. I panicked and spit it out searching for peanuts. I didn't see anything so when I tried another spoon full I tasted it again and when I spit it out I saw a small brownish orangish nut. I again panicked and ran to my moms room thinking I was going to have anaphylaxis. My mom gave me 2 benadryl's but I was still flipping out and having a major panic attack. I felt like my throat was closing up, but my mom told me that I was fine. I eventually calmed down and resumed to normal activities. I have never experienced full anaphylaxis with the throat before, and needless to say it is my biggest fear. I want to know how to prepare myself to actually knowing if I have consumed a peanut . I fear for a day in my life that I may suffer this reaction. The last time I had a peanut reaction was when I was in the 1st grade which I can hardly remember. If anyone feels this way I am here to discuss it. Thank you.

By Shaelyn May on Thu, 06-26-14, 14:10

Having peanut allergy is really a bummer, you need to check on food labels to make sure they do not contain anything that contains peanut. My sister's daughter is allergic to nuts and they just discovered it recently. Rashes appeared all over the her body and it won't disappear even after taking antihistamines. They took her to the doctor and she was given an allergy test, that's why they discovered she's allergic to nuts specially pistachio nuts.
If you know you are allergic to nuts, just avoid it completely. because some say that attacks are sometimes fatal.

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By toryadub on Sun, 06-15-14, 00:18

You sound exaclty like me. My jaw dropped reading this, I've never found anybody who's fear of anaphylaxis is as bad as mine like that. I am literally just as bad if not worse. (but probably just as bad).
I too have had a mild allergy my whole life and haven't had a reaction since I was in like 1st grade as well. I am 16 also...My fear came out of absolutely no where as well.
I got over this fear a little bit but not entirely. It's been almost a year since mine started. First of all, it will take some time. I thought I would just snap out of it, but I haven't. Eventually I just got fed up with it and just stopped caring so much. It took too much energy. Trust me, with time, you will eventually just get bored of panicing and over-thinking and you will eventually do it less, if at all.

BUT another thing is, is that I looked at the statistics. In the US, only 200-300 people die from food allergies a year. Over 40,000 in a car accident a year. You're even more likely to get cancer, struck by lightning, die in a fire, choking, or falling.

Also, there are 300m people in the United States. 300 out of 300m is only 1,000,000.

It's literally a one in a million chance. I mean LITERALLY literally.

That's something that made me feel a lot better.

And guess what? You have an epipen. Almost all of the people who died from allergies didn't have the epipen or just weren't aware of the allergy. SO thank God you are aware and have an epipen(at least I'm assuming you do).

It's just not gonna happen.

SO. As far as panicing about foods you eat, JUST READ THE LABEL. It will NOT lie to you. It just won't. It's a fact. They are required by law to list if something may contain or DOES contain peanuts. So if it doesn't say it does, it doesn't...it just doesn't. That has never happened and never will.

As far as eating out, well...I'm still getting through that part myself.
Just ask about allergy information anywhere you go, and don't eat at places with high risk of cross-contamination. You should be careful since your allergy became severe. Or just eat at completely peanut free restaurants to keep from having a reaction OR a panic attack.

Whatever you do, DO. NOT. EAT. LESS.

I lost a lot of weight because of this fear and it's a terrible thing. Don't let that happen to you.

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By Ihatepeanuts123 on Wed, 06-18-14, 16:53

Thank you so much for the advice! I too am trying to overcome the fear but its kinda the same, i'm just extra precautions at all times, I eat a normal balanced diet and thank you again for the advice!

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By mjpreuss on Thu, 05-29-14, 03:32

Hi Maddie! I'm Meghan, I'm 21, and I've also had severe peanut and nut allergies my whole life. High school was really difficult for me with my allergies because I developed anaphylactic allergies to many more things (soy,sesame, fish and shellfish) and I have definitely had my fair share of anaphylactic reactions. It's definitely scary, but I always have Benadryl and my Epi-Pens with me. If I start feeling like I'm having a reaction after eating, I take a couple Benadryl right away, and if that doesn't make it better/I'm having difficulty breathing or I feel like my throat is closing up, I take my Epi. It's always better to be safe rather than sorry. My usual symptoms are nausea, hives, hot/cold flashes, difficulty breathing and I get a strange feeling that something is 'off' or 'not-right'. I've only had one or two reactions where I have felt that my throat is closing, and I used my Epi right away and called 911. It helps me not fear it as much knowing that using my Epi can save my life and won't hurt me if I take it even if I really don't need it. It also helps to know that I can administer it to myself if I am ever in that situation. I'm not sure whether you have already done so or not, but practicing with the practice Epi-Pen (the one without the needle &medicine) might make you feel more comfortable as well. I hope this helps! If you need/want to talk more, I'm here!

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