1st Time reaction

Posted on: Tue, 03/20/2007 - 6:53pm
Sheryl Joy Christian's picture
Joined: 03/21/2007 - 09:00

Dear All,
It is now two weeks and 2 days since my first reaction to peanut butter. I am 48yrs old, so this seems a bit strange - I've eaten peanuts all my life with no noticable reaction up until 4 weeks ago, when I ate some scroggin at night going to bed and started to feel like I was getting asthma, but put it down to feeling tired and went to sleep. I had this feeling on and off at night when I ate the scroggin going to bed for two weeks. One lunch time I ate a peanut butter sandwich, and within 5 minutes of eating it felt really tight in my chest, hard to breath, bad headache, felt like I was going to vomit - but didn't. I felt so tired, I took a antihistimine tablet and went and lay down and slept for 1

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 12:11am
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Hi Sheryl,
Welcome to the club! Not a club that we would choose to join, but here we are.
We have lots of similarities too. I am a 57 year old Kiwi living in the U.S. with adult onset peanut allergy. I found out two years ago with a similar type of onset....though my reactions are primarily GI. Like you, I didn't realize I was having a reaction to peanuts so I kept eating peanut products until I had an anaphylactic reaction.
Did your doctor prescribe an epipen? If not, make sure you get one and know how to use it. Your doctor is reluctant to give you a skin test because that exposure may cause another reaction...but there's no reason why you couldn't have a blood test done (called RAST or CAP RAST).
But you've had more than one reaction, so you KNOW you are allergic to peanuts, so why test? None of the tests will tell you exactly HOW allergic you are or predict how severe a reaction can be. Even if someone tests low for peanuts, they can still have an anaphylactic reaction.
At first, it is pretty scary. You'll feel uncomfortable eating anywhere outside of your home and grocery shopping is an eye-opener. But you'll reach a point (it took me about a year) where it becomes second nature and no-big-deal.
PA is most definitely life changing - but your diet will be so much healthier! Basic foods are safe. There's only one ingredient in carrots, potatoes, fish, etc. Processed food complicates things because of the many ingredients.
It seems that everything in the grocery store in NZ is labelled 'may contain peanuts' or 'manufactured in a facility that produces peanut products'. Most of us stay away from these products because you're not sure if there is peanut protein in it or the manufacturer is just covering his derriere.
Wheatbix and marmite are safe. So there you go.....the basics of Kiwi life! But check labels every time you shop. Products change.
NZ is more allergy aware than the U.S. Many Kiwi restaurants post signs asking that you inform them of any food allergies before ordering. In general, Kiwis seem more informed about food allergies than here. The statistics show that PA is as common there as here.
It seems that NZ pizza restaurants always offer a peanut sauce so I would stay away from them. Even if you ordered a plain pizza, you've got to worry about sloppy cooks that may have peanut sauce on the surface where
yours is being prepared. This is cross contamination.
I eat at fish at chip shops in NZ but only if that is all they serve. Some that are Asian owned will use the same oil to deep fry Asian food with nuts in it. I've heard that some even offer deep-fried Snickers bars!
If you spend a lot of time here reading archived and current posts, you'll learn a lot. And we're all here to help you.
What part of NZ do you live? I was born in Hawkes Bay but lived north of Auckland in Warkworth. I've been here for years but Aotearoa is still home.
kia ora.

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 12:33am
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Make sure you do some reading of the old posts in 'Adults Living with Peanut Allergy'. There is good information there about alcoholic drinks and other adult topics.

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 5:30am
Sheryl Joy Christian's picture
Joined: 03/21/2007 - 09:00

Thanks Adele,
Yes the DR has given me Adrenaline. I'll definitely be visiting this site to learn all I can.
Out of interest,the symptoms I've had are:
Extreme tiredness/exhaustion
Need to lay down and sleep every day
Racing pulse
High B/P
Tightness & wheeziness - similar but different to Asthma
Headache- pressure in head & eyes (feel like I need to keep shutting my eyes - they feel very heavy)
only after two weeks swelling in my face around my eyes.
Vertigo feeling - still after two weeks.

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 6:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

After two weeks and still having problems - is it possible you are still ingesting trace or residue? For instance - are you eating jelly on toast? Jelly that you previously put a PB knife into?
You need to re-think everything going in right now. Cut back on all processed foods - add foods gradually once under control.
It is possible you are allergic to something else as well. However if you are still flaring, testing would not be accurate right now.
I HIGHLY recommend testing as soon as you are under control and no longer on any meds.
Good luck and have a blessed day,

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 2:24pm
Sheryl Joy Christian's picture
Joined: 03/21/2007 - 09:00

An interesting thought, as I went through the remaining scroggin I had and removed all the peanuts thinking it would be OK to eat the rest - which I did over the next week! Looks like I've got a lot to learn!

Posted on: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:17am
CorinneM1's picture
Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

Hello and welcome Sheryl--
What was posted earlier is probably the most common mistake made by those that have just be diagnosed or the parents of those children that have just been diagnosed.
Pick up a copy of "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book". After my son was diagnosed, we tossed out the peanut butter and started tossing out everything labled with contains or may contains. We didn't think about the jelly or other products that "we" caused to be cross contaminated, like the jelly, butter, fluff, cookie jar etc.
After we got the book and I poured thru it in 1 day, we tossed out these items (butter container, cookie jar and all) and purchased new ones.
We also washed our utensils at least 2x by hand then sanitized in the dishwasher and scrubbed the **** out of the countertops.
And I know this may sound manic or obsessive, but we didn't know exactly what we are dealing with and a little elbow grease and scrubbing was worth it. And we are not neat freaks in the least.
Anything that the trail mix has been in (bowls, sealing jars etc) also need to be washed and santized or tossed.
Please keep us posted on your results and status.

Posted on: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 4:31am
April in KC's picture
Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

Welcome, and sorry about your newly developed allergy!
You might ask your doctor about a RAST test, which is a safe test that can be performed on your blood after it has been drawn.
If you don't have one already, you might want to consult with a board-certified allergist for this test.
Good luck, and stick around!

Posted on: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 6:43am
Sheryl Joy Christian's picture
Joined: 03/21/2007 - 09:00

Thank you all so much for your concern and thought to post a reply.
It has taken 2

Posted on: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:42pm
momll70's picture
Joined: 09/26/2006 - 09:00

I'm sorry about your allergy. I became allergic when I was 26. I'm 37 now.
You will learn a lot from the people here on these boards.
Watch out for cross contamination when you go out and there may be peanuts on the table and other things like fruit on the same table becareful not to eat anything because the safe stuff becomes contaminated from people touching the peanuts and getting peanut salts and oil on the fruit, etc.
Also watch out for bakery products. I stay away and if you bring a safe cake over someone's house make sure that you use a separate knife to cut the cake.
Many Italian restaurants/pizzerias use peanut oil so always ask and let them know about your allergy. I was surprised when I found out how many pizzerias in our area use peanut oil.
Also vegetable protein is an ingrediant that can be from peanuts. Real all labels. I read the ingrediants and the allergy info. I don't just read allergy info as sometimes they put peanuts at the end of the ingrediants and you won't notice it.
You will get used to it and it really isn't hard to avoid peanuts.
A reaction can really take a toll on you. I'm glad you are feeling better.
Also, read everything from vanilla ice cream to pasta. You'd be amazed what may have traces of peanuts.
[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited March 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 2:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I think you should get some testing done -- RAST if that's what your doctor feels is safest for you -- but some testing. There are two reasons.
Firstly, you may have developed more than one allergy. I eliminated peanuts, but kept eating sesame seeds which then developed into an anaphylactic reaction. Both allergies suddenly appeared when I was 30-ish.
Secondly, it is [i]possible[/i] it's not actually a peanut allergy you have, but rather an allergy to something else you are eating at the same time. (Admitting here that I have no idea what scroggin is. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] ) To explain what I mean, if a person had a reaction whenever they ate a peanutbutter sandwich they might assume a peanut allergy -- but what if the allergy was actually to an ingredient in the bread? or the jam?


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