1st Time reaction


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

On Mar 21, 2007

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. Adele

On Mar 21, 2007

Sheryl, 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.


On Mar 21, 2007

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: Nausea 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. Thanks.

------------------ SJC

On Mar 21, 2007

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, Bridget

On Mar 21, 2007

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!

On Mar 26, 2007

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.

On Mar 26, 2007

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!


On Mar 26, 2007

Thank you all so much for your concern and thought to post a reply.

It has taken 2

On Mar 27, 2007

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).]

On Mar 28, 2007

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?

On Mar 28, 2007

Good morning,

Scroggin is a mixture of dried fruit and nuts cut up into fingernail size pieces. Often take this when tramping for energy source.

The peanut butter bread only had bread, butter and peanut butter. I have eaten bread & butter since with no adverse effects.

Last night I had another mild reaction. I accidentally bit into some peanuts in chocolate custard. The pudding was served with peanuts sprinkled on top, so I served my own with only a small amount of custard and NO PEANUTS!, but unbeknown to me some one had spilt some peanuts into the custard and as I was eating the custard came across something crunchy - OH NO! PEANUTS!! I disposed of the peanuts and custard, but somehow that small amount was enough to trigger me off again. It was about 1/4hr later this time and I started to feel this urgency in my head to go and get my adrenaline kit. I took a 25mg phenergan and 2x20mg Prednisone. I was just starting to get THE HEADACHE and feeling slightly out of breath. I found my daughter and told her how I was feeling and that the adrenaline was in my pocket. I just sat beside her for a while and then went and had a shower and lay over the bed. Tummy cramps, short of breath, bad headache and overwhelming tiredness and desire to shut my eyes. Feel heart pounding - pulse racing. Not a nice feeling. I know this was from this minute trace of peanuts. SCARY - I don't like feeling like this. I got my daughter to ring the district nurse - we live 1hr from the Hospital, just to let her know what was happening, but I felt it was under control and I would be OK. I was breathing sort of OK, nothing as bad as last time. Didn't need to use the adrenaline. was in bed for 12hrs and still feeling dopey and tired and sort of breathless today.

The RAST test costs $200 here in NZ which is a lot of money, - I talked to the DR about it yesterday, and he said we both know it is from peanuts. Both my mother and daugther get bad asthma from eating peanuts, so they avoid them - but not the reaction like me - which is good. Thanks for your interest - I'm open to any ideas.

------------------ SJC

On Mar 28, 2007

Hi Sheryl,

I'm glad you're OK. It must have been a scary night.

When in doubt - don't wait - use the adrenaline. ESPECIALLY in NZ where you don't pay for emergency medical services!

You can't risk eating anything unless you absolutely know what the ingredients are. No guessing - no assuming. If you can't be sure of the ingredients, don't eat it.

Make sure you read the thread (under MEDIA) titled: "Food Allergy Fatalities Continue Unabated" . It gives some good statistics about food allergy deaths and what caused them.

Be careful! cheers, Adele

(translation for the Yanks.... tramping = hiking)

On Mar 29, 2007


Originally posted by Sheryl Joy Christian: [b]but somehow that small amount was enough to trigger me off again. [/b]

Even less [i]can[/i] trigger a very serious reaction. That's why many companies are now labelling *may contain trace amounts* or *processed with*. The foods don't actually contain peanut, but they might have touched the peanut protein on the equipment they are manufactured on.

One more Scroggin question, is it just nuts or is it also peanuts?

On Mar 29, 2007

Please don't eat around the nuts. Your reactions are too serious. Stay safe. I'm so glad you found this site.

On Mar 29, 2007

Scroggin: Ingredients Peanuts roasted Sultanas Dried Apricots Dried Bananas Chocolate melts Cashews Marshmallow

I slept for 3 hours yesterday still tired last night. Feel slightly better this morning. It is the pressure in my head and slightly hard to breath that is making me tired. My eyes are puffy today. I don't seem to get the puffiness until a day or two later.

How long do others find it takes to recover from a reaction, 1 not using epipen, and 2 using epipen??

------------------ SJC

On Mar 29, 2007

Oh man! Those things sound good. Maybe I'll just leave out the fruit and nuts and eat the rest. (i.e. marshmallow and chocolate. yum)


Regarding your question Sheryl, for me, reactions usually hit hard and fast -- immediate -- and don't usually last even 24 hours with or without any medication.

My sister's reactions are slower to start, sometimes not starting for more than a day -- but they last longer, up to a week.

As for the epi-pen, it's use is not intended to make a reaction shorter -- it's use is for anaphylaxis. To be injecting it on a regular basis would not be heart-healthy. (Don't misunderstand and think I'm saying epinephrine is bad for your heart. Under normal use, I don't think there's any real risk. But, to be using it unnecessarily could be risky.)

On Mar 29, 2007

Ann Marie When I was asking about the reaction time I was wondering if those that have had to use the adrenaline have recovered faster, or still find the reaction lasts over days. I do understand the use of adrenaline, and wasn't suggesting that it be used willy nilly. I hope I don't ever have to use it, but I have it there in case.

The other thing I noticed last night when I had the mild reaction was that my eyes were crying - tears running out, but I didn't feel I was crying. Anyone else experienced this? Also seemed to lose the ability to think clearly, and inability to even hold my asthma spacer.

Thanks for all your comments.

------------------ SJC

On Mar 29, 2007

First of all, I think you should have used your adrenaline/epinephrine with this last reaction. It's not clear from what you were describing that it [b]was in control.[/b].

It's so hard to know sometimes during a reaction what to do. But you had more than one symptom. That = epipen.

I have an an anaphylactic reaction where I had to use an epipen a year ago (from shellfish), and I had a protracted reaction. I have GI anaphylaxis (so your stomach cramping really resonated wtih me), and I administered the epi once I experienced that second symptom--for me chest pain. The day after I used the epi I developed a new symptom (uterine contractions), and my protracted reaction lasted for four days.

It shouldn't have, and if I had gotten a hold of my doctor later on the day after than when I tried (I called him on the morning after, a Friday, on my way to work to let him know I was fine. Later that day I developed the new symptom and had it through Sunday morning. My doctor would have prescribed a steriod for me if I'd called him on Friday, but I was busy at work . . .

Anyway, what I'm saying is that yes, even after using an epipen, your reaction can be drawn out, but I'd hate to see it w/o the epipen. There are other things to help afterward.

On Mar 30, 2007

Yes, my PA DD had watering eyes when she had her bad anaphylactic reaction. That had never happened to her before, but she had both watery eyes and a runny nose, really bad. I've read that those are possible symptoms that can come with a food allergy reaction.

A racing heartbeat and labored breathing are both really serious symptoms. Add to that stomach cramps (yet another body system), and you had a serious anaphylactic reaction that you should have used the Epi for and gone to the ER. I know it's so hard to know that at the time and it's so hard to decide to make a fuss and decide that you're not OK. But you could have gone to sleep and gone into cardiac or respiratory arrest. And just because you ended up OK this time doesn't mean you would the next time. You need medical monitoring in case it turns worse.

It's such a lifestyle change, but like Adele said, don't eat anything unless you actually know what's in it. You have to read the label. If someone else made it, it's a risk unless you've read the labels of the things they made it with, or unless they REALLY understand your allergy and have checked all the packages themselves and you trust them. That should not be most people! It's hard to understand this allergy unless you live with it.

And never pick the peanuts out of something and eat the rest, or try to scoop a part that doesn't have peanuts in it. With many allergies this causes problems because the substances in the foods mix. Think of how we mix some things in advance or cook them slowly so that the flavors will meld. Obviously then the juices, the proteins, whatever, are soaking into other foods in the mixture. My mom has developed an allergy to mushrooms in middle age, and she discovered that she can't pick mushrooms out of soup and eat the rest, because she still got very ill.

Interesting that your mother and daughter both get asthma from eating peanuts. Sounds to me like they're allergic, too. Asthma symptoms are on the list of food allergy symptoms, and people are different, and each reaction can be different. My DD had 2 reactions that were called "asthma-like episodes" that we later have figured out were from foods with "may contain peanuts" labels.

Good luck figuring this all out! It's so hard at first, but it sounds like you need to work hard to get this under control. I'm glad you're talking to people here.

On Mar 30, 2007

Personally, never experienced the tearing eyes, but I have heard of it as a reaction.


Also seemed to lose the ability to think clearly, and inability to even hold my asthma spacer.

This is scary. My absolute worst reaction included the inability to think clearly. That reaction, even after getting epinephrine, the doctor did not think I was going to survive. I'm not sure exactly what caused the fuzzy brain. I do know that I had multiple internal organs swollen -- I've assumed that included my brain, but I'm not sure whether or not the doctor said that or if it's just what I assumed. The reason this symptom is so scarey to me is that it lead to me making some very stupid decisions. Things that could have cost me my life. There's no way I would have been able to hold anything. I was walking like I was stoned -- staggering all over the place.

On Mar 31, 2007

Thanks AnnaMarie & BethC and all others who have contributed. Thanks because you all probably helped save my life, by giving me the information I needed to act properly.

Well it happened again!

I spend all of yesterday in the hospital after having another reaction - and I didn't even eat anything! I hadn't really got over the reaction on Wed night (which after reading your message - yes I should have used the adrenaline)I spent a restless night on Fri night didn't sleep well and when I woke I had swollen eyes and upper face. I was meant to take the prednisone for three days, but I didn't on Friday because I felt better. I was really tired on Fri, but was very busy with my work and didn't get to lie down. It seems like my body needs sleep to get over reactions. Anyway, on Sat morning when I felt like this I used my spacer and ventolin, then took 2 prednisone. Still didn't feel good and went in to the kitchen to tell one of the ladies I wasn't feeling well and could someone else look after the children for me in the morning. (we run 3 early childhood centres and I work at one of them on Sat mornings) Anyway the lady I talked to was my best friend and she had just been grinding peanuts to make peanut butter. She gave me a hug and hoped I'd feel better. I walked out and sat down for breakfast and was starting to feel tight to breath. Someone asked me a question and I couldn't answer. My daughter came and I told her I felt terrible. She took me out and I told her to get the adrenaline. By then I had layed down on the floor myself (because I could feel myself collapsing) They got the oxygen, gave me the phenergan and then the adrenaline. It definitely works! I was feeling really terrible. So I'm very grateful for what I had just read 1/2 hour before from your notes.

It seems like I have become extremely sensitive to peanuts. We have had a big talk about all the areas peanuts are used, and about keeping boards utensils etc clean from peanuts for me.

We found out that on Fri lunch they cooked the potato croquettes in the trays the peanuts had just been roasted in, so was getting traces to keep my reaction going.

I came home last night, and was feeling great and all night and half this morning, but now I'm really tired and have the same overwhelming urge to shut my eyes.

I couldn't open my eyes until 4.20pm yesterday and I had the reaction at 8.00am. I was very lethargic, could hear and understand everything, but not make my body respond in any way - except I could talk in a slow manner.

At the hospital they weren't sure about it only being a peanut reaction, thought there might be some other sinister underlying cause, but I know from reading all your notes that it presents in different people in different ways. The GI upset was confusing them, but I don't think they must have dealt with many anaphalxis that wasn't redness and swelling of the face, which I don't seem to get until a couple of days later. I was tight in my chest and got tight in my neck this time.

An interesting thing that happened, and I've noticed it the other times now that I've reacted, is that I have to go to the toilet and urinate lots - and I mean lots - over 1 hour I went 4 times and each time was at least 400mls!. It just seems to be part of my body's reaction.

I hope I don't have any more reactions, but it seems like it is the unaware peanuts that are getting me.

Do any of you still have reactions now that you are aware of what not to eat?

Thanks again. Look forward to hearing from you all. It does help to know someone else has experienced this.

------------------ SJC

On Mar 31, 2007

Oh SJC--wow. You seem to be okay now. I'm very glad about that.

First of all, did you get your epipen refilled? You need to. Do you carry two of them around with you at all times? I would.

And I strongly encourage you not to eat anything that is not prepared by you for a while. You've got to get comfortable with your allergy and discover some baselines with how you react environmentally when you can be absolutely positive reactions aren't coming from ingestion.

Did I say it above (I can't remember) many protracted reactions started off as GI.

I don't know that yours was protracted--more like your sensitivity is protracted. And others here have said that they were extra sensitive following an anaphylactic reaction.

This has seemed to just slam into you. I'm so glad you found this board--and, oddly, I'm glad others around you have had the opportunity to see how severe this is (that you weren't alone and that others can see what this allergy means for you). I think that will make it easier for them to allow you to establish some rules for living--and for their role in complying with those rules.

Good luck in the next couple of days.

On Mar 31, 2007


I have been following your posts, but have not posted since you are getting the best advice from McCobbre and Adele and others already about adult PA reactions. But I wanted to add to please print out the Anaphyaxis Symptoms and Grading Chart. It is a great guide for yourself (when you're questioning a reaction) and for family/friends/coworkers.

Glad to hear you're ok, but please be careful. I have reacted to hugging a good friend, too. Didn't touch a thing in her house, but hugged her when I walked in for the tour of her new home. Went through all 3 floors...did not touch a door knob or countertop.

Then when DD and I were leaving, I started feeling "funny" ('spacey,' as McCobbre says). I was rushing DD along to come out of the potty, thinking, "Uh-oh, what am I reacting to now?" My friend started heating butter in a skillet. I asked what she was cooking, and she said, "Shrimp scampi." [i]I froze.[/i]

Of course, I asked her to wait until we left to start cooking. [i]She had peeled/cleaned them earlier before we arrived. They were in the refrigerator (and I could not even smell them) when I was touring the house after dropping her daughter off. [i]And I can usually smell them a mile away![/i]

I have had several incidents involving cooking seafood, but also a few involving just being *near* it. They get worse if you are not careful, so please rid your home of all offending peanut products and "may contains".

And please consider staying out of the kitchen at your job!

Take care, Daisy


>>Remember to keep several Epi's with you if you are far from a hospital.

On Mar 31, 2007

Thanks Daisy & McCobbre,

I do have two adrenaline phials here. I have not yet got an epi-pen, so am reliant on others to administer as I am not capable at that stage. It costs $180 here in NZ to buy one, so I want to get a bit more information first.

Also want to get a medic alert bracelet.

I and everyone else around me is feeling very sensitive about this peanut issue and we are thinking about everything that is affected. I am only going to eat what I know is clear - I know fruit & veges are OK - might be a good opportunity to lose weight!

Yesterday at the hospital my daughter came back from the shops with a pkt of crispy chips (My most favourite food) and said do you want some - I said - have you read the packet - she hadn't and of course - MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUTS - Now that's not nice! Fortunately, I often make my own crispy chips here, so I'll be getting some clean oil and making myself a bucket of them - because there is no way I'm eating anything that says MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUTS - no matter how much I love it. I just really don't like feeling how I do after a reaction - which seems to take me days to get over.

McCobbre - can you explain more fully what you mean by a protracted reaction - do you mean it keeps lasting over a longer period of time?

Daisy, I had already printed that chart, but I don't know where I put it so, I've printed it again and have put it in my kit. Thanks. Thanks again.

------------------ SJC

On Mar 31, 2007

I've reraised my protracted anaphylaxis thread in Main, and here's a link, too:


And this one is worth a read, too: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/008936.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/008936.html[/url]

[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited April 01, 2007).]

On Mar 31, 2007

You might also want to get tested for mycoplasma. I have just had it and experienced all of the symptons that you described. You will need a blood test and a 14 day course of antibiotics. It took over 2 months for my diagnosis to come through, doctors seem relatively clueless about it. I actually ended up at a cardiologist, as it also triggered an abnormal heart rythmn. Most people only experience mild symptons but an unfortunate few have a range of symptons, especially the tiredness. When I had it, red wine, coffee made symptons worse.

On Apr 1, 2007

Thanks Beagle,

I have previously had viral pneumonia, which is very similar.

The exhausted feeling relates very much to pneumonia, but this is quite different too.

Also, it is being aggrevated definitely with peanuts.

I was just reading your thread McCobbre about protracted reactions - thanks. I'm positive that once you have had a reaction you seem to be super sensitive to any peanut presence.

Last night when I came home from the hospital I went over to see my kids and grandkids and my daughter in law was eating something that smelt very much like peanuts and I backed off from her and went into the room and said wow are you eating peanuts - but it was corn chips. I said hi and bye really fast and got out of the room and started to feel tight in my chest again. I walked outside in the fresh air. Tonight I investigated further - the Corn chip pkt said PEANUT OIL!! - so there you are. That is scary. Tonight I was washing up dishes and walked over to the stove and the girls said go away we are cooking peanuts. I walked straight away, but I could feel the smell/fumes go straight down into my throat.

My Doctor told me that it can take at least 2-3 weeks to get over a allergy reaction from peanuts, and that is what I've experienced. After reading some of the different postings it seems that you are more vulnerable to setting of another reaction within that time.

Thanks again.

------------------ SJC

On Apr 2, 2007

Hello Sheryl, So sorry to hear you've had such a hard time of it!

The reaction will make you very tired but the meds will also make you sleepy. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) will put you to sleep - and this is the standard med given in hospital in addition to prednisone and epi.

I can't remember if Benadryl is available in NZ? If not, what med have you been told to take if you are having just a mild reaction?

I hope you're feeling better. It sounds like you cook and eat in a community? If so, you would be much better off preparing your own food, as McCobbre suggested.

Keep us posted. Adele

On Apr 2, 2007

Thanks Adele,

I'm feeling much better, just very tired, and I have not been taking Phenergan. The same happened last time, and I just had to go and have a sleep every day.

Congratulations to all of you that have and are surviving with PA. At the moment it seems very overwhelming and daunting, but I know I'll get around it.

Everyone here at our Community is being very careful and cooking separate food for me where needed, so there is no contamination.

I know I have read about this PA and the extent of it, but it doesn't hit you until it is you in the king seat having to avoid.

There is just SO MUCH that contains, or may contain peanuts.

------------------ SJC

On Apr 5, 2007

Sheryl, How are you? Any more problems? Adele

On Apr 5, 2007

Good Morning Adele,

I am well. Yesterday was the first day I haven't had to have a sleep!

Last night I came down with a flu, but I'm fighting it with Vitamin C. I think your resistance must be lowered after having a reaction. Do you find this?

I was invited out for tea with a family, and they were very aware of PA and cooked accordingly. I had a great night - no reactions.

It is sort of scary even eating when you are not sure what is being done, but everyone here is being really really good and cooking separately for me where needed.

It is horrible having to be made a fuss of.

There seems to be so much packaged food that is unedible - may contain.

I cooked myself some crispy chips yesterday, so I know I can eat them!

Thanks for your concern.

On Apr 5, 2007

Hi Sheryl, I don't know if it gets easier or if we just get used to it.

We're better off without all the processed foods anyway, but unless you like to spend lots of time cooking, so many special treats are off limits.

No more Jaffas, * sniff *

I'm glad you're feeling better. Keep us posted. cheers, Adele

On Jun 27, 2007

Late to the party, but just chiming in to say I am another Kiwi expat who just started (I think) having a reaction to nuts. The first time was about a week ago, when I ate some hazelnuts, and had a sore throat, cough and asthmatic wheezing for the rest of the day. Then I ate some peanut butter last night, and had a cough, sore throat and stomach cramps. That made me recall that I've often had stomach cramps after eating peanut butter, but had put it down to all the fat in it (I used to have gallstone problems).

I haven't seen a doctor yet (not covered by insurance here in Australia, so am trying to put off the expense of allergy tests and maybe an epi-pen). But your story makes me think maybe I should.

At no time with these two reactions did I seriously think I was in danger, but it wasn't very pleasant, and I'm guessing it could be worse next time round.

On Jun 27, 2007

"An interesting thing that happened, and I've noticed it the other times now that I've reacted, is that I have to go to the toilet and urinate lots - and I mean lots - over 1 hour I went 4 times and each time was at least 400mls!. It just seems to be part of my body's reaction."

Just saw this and it reminded me that I had to get up every hour or so to pee all night after I had those hazelnuts last week. And each time it was a huge amount. I hadn't connected it with the nuts, but I did think it was pretty weird at the time.

On Jun 28, 2007

Hello Geekgirl,

You need to treat this very seriously as I have experienced how terrible you feel and how quickly it happens. The symptoms you describe sound all TOO FAMILIAR. Please check with your doctor and get it sorted. Life is too important! Let us know how you get on.

------------------ SJC

On Jun 28, 2007

Sheryl, are you positive it is a nut allergy and nothing else going on with you? Do you have an epi pen? I am not saying in any way that it isn't an allergy to nuts just hoping you have been tested and know exactly what foods it is you should avoid. Best of luck to you and hopefully under control now. Claire

On Jun 28, 2007

Hello Claire,

I do know that it is a peanut allergy without a doubt. I have a medi alert bracelet and carry adrenaline. As yet I don't have an epi-pen as the cost in NZ is $189 single shot. I am highly aerosol allergic to the peanut dust from grinding also - this seems worse than actual eating.

I have not had any reaction now for a couple of months which has been wonderful. This is thanks to all of you on this site that have made me aware of all the things to avoid and be careful about.

Also a lot of care by those around me and avoiding all contact with peanuts and peanut traces - even zinc & castor oil ointment!

Thanks alot everyone.

------------------ SJC

On Jun 28, 2007


Your symptoms could very well be symptoms of a reaction. You should go to a doctor and be evaluated--and get an epipen if you are allergic.

I raised a thread called "Anaphylaxis Grading Chart" for you in the Main Forum. The second link with "The Clarkes" in the address might be especially helpful.

Welcome, and good luck.

On Jun 28, 2007

Yes, Epi's are expensive here too (although not as much as where you are). Not all insurance will cover multiple pens.

Have you tried any reputable online NZ or AU pharmacies to shop around? Some folks here in the US have used some Canadian pharmacies because the meds are cheaper on some items.

Just a thought, Daisy

PS. Sheryl...glad to hear things are under control!

On Jun 28, 2007

I do agree about the epipen. I have ordered one today!!

Just so you don't fret too much (edited)I have been carrying adrenaline injection with me at all times as there are lots of qualified people here capable of giving me the injection.

I was just told today that in Australia now they will give one free epi-pen a year.

US has cheaper epi-pens but you need a script.

NZ you don't need a script but more expensive.

Have a good day everyone and thanks Daisy for your thoughts.

------------------ SJC