oral allergy syndrome

Is anyone dealing with oral allergy syndrome? I had a reaction to peanut butter (I'm in my 40s and have eaten it all my life) and then also to an orange, a tomato and a bell pepper. I'm waiting on blood work now. I've been told that I'm probably allergic to a pollen and that each pollen is associated with certain foods, mostly fruits and vegetables but also peanuts, some tree nuts and also spices and kinds of lettuce. Apparently, the body mistakes the foods for pollen b/c they are structurally similar. Just wondering how people go about eating at all when you don't know what you're allergic to - is it all trial and error or should I insist that I get skin tested, too? (My pepper blood test has come back negative, so it's not a "true allergy," but I definitely had an allergic reaction to it so I'm supposed to stay away from it. I'm wondering if a skin test would show different results.) Allergist's office says that they can't predict if reactions to non-true allergens will be life-threatening so I should just avoid whatever I react to, but I'm afraid to eat anything other than meat and vitamins at this point. Any suggestions? Thanks.

By MamaD on Sun, 03-23-14, 12:58

Cara,

My son has multiple severe food allergies & on top of that, oral allergy syndrome. Your description of it sounds very similar to the one given by our allergist except that I was under the impression that oral allergy reactive foods' reactions are non-life threatening. However, I'm not a doctor, so please defer to your allergist for that information. Unfortunately, figuring out OAS triggers is trial & error. We skin & blood tested my son's triggers & all came back negative, which is why it was deemed OAS. We avoid them for him now, but our allergist mentioned that when he is a little older & can receive allergy shots (he's only 2 1/2 & has wicked seasonal allergies too) he may receive some relief because of the pollen/protein cross-reactivity. Our allergist even said she grew up with OAS but doesn't have any problem with it now thanks to allergy shots. Might be worth a mention to your dr. Good luck!

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By Cara Lena on Mon, 03-24-14, 13:58

Thanks for your comments. I found on the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology that anaphylaxis, while rare, can happen with OAS, so trial and error seems frightening. If blood and skin tests come back negative, it seems like every food you try to eat may cause a life-threatening problem. My allergist mentioned the possibility of oral challenges, in which I'd eat a food in his office and they would observe me to see what happens. I think that's going to be the way to go. Thanks!

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