Allergic reaction: When everything\'s a potential killer

Posted on: Thu, 04/13/2006 - 11:50pm
2BusyBoys's picture
Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

DR. HOOK- Allergic reaction: When everything's a potential killer

Published April 13, 2006 in issue 0515 of the HooK.


Everyone has a comfort food. Oprah, Dr. Phil, Oprah, Kirstie Ally, Oprah, Star Jones, Oprah, Prime Minster Ariel Sharon, and Opr... ooh-- let it go!

Okay, so I will share a deep dark secret. I too have a comfort food. Well, actually a couple of comfort foods. Chinese Family Style Tofu is one. Yes, it sounds healthy, but it does cheer me up. Oh, and hot and sour soup. My parents always said that you can judge the quality of a Chinese restaurant by its hot and sour soup-- like you can judge a Diva by her shoes.

Peanut butter is my big comfort food. Some take it with jelly or honey, but I'm a purist-- straight up on whole wheat bread. A serving of peanut butter is something ridiculously small-- like one or two tablespoons. I use a ladle. Sometime I skip the bread-- like Celine Dion would: "I'd like a pizza without bread, sauce, and cheese."

Would my life change if I became allergic to peanuts? In late November, there was a tragedy in Quebec when a 15-year-old girl died after kissing her boyfriend who had recently eaten a peanut butter sandwich. According to CNN, she took her epinephrine shot appropriately to treat anaphylaxis, but she did not survive. (Anaphylaxis is not a Russian princess. Anaphylaxis is the worst of the worst allergic reactions that include a drop in blood pressure, shortness of breath, choking from throat swelling, and hives.)

Food allergies are due to the body's immune system reacting against protein in certain foods. Common symptoms include a rash, itching, swelling, sneezing, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and malabsorption. Hmmm, I get these symptoms when I listen to Country Music. (Sorry, Kenny Chesney. Hmm, does Renee Zellweger have the same problem?)

Foods that are commonly involved in these types of allergies include cow's milk, soy, egg, wheat, fish, shellfish, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc), and peanuts. (That pretty much eliminates the population of Thailand if they all had food allergies.) There are 5 billion theories why food allergies are becoming more common, and I dread all the emails about to come to me from people explaining their own theories: "It is from all the additives in baby foods," "It is from the lack of exposure of these foods," "It is a plot by the PLO since they can't afford Anthrax."

Researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed 15,000 households to study food allergies and identified only 1.4 percent with allergies to food, though 20 percent of adults perceive themselves to have food allergies. In fact, infants and young children have food allergies more than adults; it's just that adults whine about it more. However, I do have a friend whose tongue blows up like a balloon after eating certain fruits which should be renamed "Blow Pops." Could it be from the delicious pesticides?

An allergist is the best professional to see to confirm food allergies-- and more importantly, determine what foods are involved. Also a diary of what foods cause what symptoms in what time period is what we need to know.

It's too bad airplanes can't even serve us those 3-4 peanuts anymore in those microscopic bags. Now you only get 1-2 pretzels in the same size bag. But with deadly reactions to peanuts on the rise, it's totally understandable. It gives the expression, "That's nothing-- it's just peanuts!" a whole new meaning now. I'm sure people are even scared now to name their kid "Skippy."

Posted on: Fri, 04/14/2006 - 9:35am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

Wow! A Tongue in Cheek article I actually liked [img][/img] Meg

Posted on: Fri, 04/14/2006 - 9:35am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

Wow! A Tongue in Cheek article I actually liked [img][/img] Meg

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

Click on one of the categories below to see all topics and discussions.

Latest Discussions

Latest Post by krisztina Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:49pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by chicken Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:45pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by lexy Tue, 01/28/2020 - 12:21am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by JRM20 Sun, 01/26/2020 - 11:15am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by JRM20 Sun, 01/26/2020 - 11:11am
Comments: 5
Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:03am
Comments: 10
Latest Post by Italia38 Wed, 01/15/2020 - 10:52am
Comments: 2
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 01/14/2020 - 1:03pm
Comments: 1

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

If children begin to eat many different foods at a young age, there is much more of a chance that by the time they are in school, they will eat...

Those with peanut allergies often find that they are unable to enjoy dessert since there's always the...

If you've ever tried to find...

For those with peanut allergies, baked goods present a serious risk. Many baked goods do not appear to contain peanuts, yet were baked in a...

Those who have peanut allergies know to avoid peanut butter cookies, of course – but what about other...

Which candy bars are safe for those with peanut allergies? Those without allergies are accustomed to...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

For those who have wondered whether airport x-ray machines negatively affect epinephrine auto-injectors, the folks at Food Allergy Research &...

Molecular allergy component testing identifies the specific food or environmental proteins triggering a person’s allergic reactions. Component...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Misunderstanding the significance of food allergy test results can lead to unnecessary anxiety and dietary changes. The three tests used most...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

Tree nuts and peanuts are distinctly different. An allergy to one does not guarantee an allergy to the other. Peanuts are considered legumes and...

Welcome to the complex world of being a Peanut Allergy Parent. Get ready to proofread food labels, get creative with meals, and constantly hold an...

Take control of your food allergies! Get results in ten days and change your life forever! If you are tempted to use a home testing kit...

What can you eat if you can't eat peanut butter? Fortunately for people with a peanut allergy, there...

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of five people in the U.S. has an allergy. Because there is a...

Eliminating peanut butter is the best way to handle a rash caused by this food

If your baby or toddler develops a rash caused by peanut...

Nearly all infants are fussy at times. But how do you know when your baby's crying means something wrong? Some babies are excessively fussy...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...