Anxiety over possible reaction - Peanut Allergy Information

Anxiety over possible reaction

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I've seen a few topics about this but they were a few years old so I started a new one.. I'm 23 years old and have had my severe peanut allergy since '97 when I touched a peanut butter ball dessert to my lips and tongue and it swelled like crazy (thankfully I really didn't swallow it). Since then I've become a lot more informed and have stopped eating in restaurants (I can't believe I used to eat at places like Friendly's and Ralph's Ices and just ask them to wash the spoon..) Thankfully I've never had a reaction since that first one. But lately I've been seeing people and companies that are just so ignorant when it comes to life-threatening allergies and it's leaving me with such anxiety. Who knew that Sensodyne toothpaste contained peanut oil derivatives? (Now I'm feeling like I need to be extra careful at dental exams..) I worry about which companies tell the truth on their labels and which don't..Like I just saw that the Fleishmann's unsalted margarine I use added flaxseed oil to it's ingredients (I'm lactose intolerant too) and all I keep thinking is Well, where does this flaxseed oil come from? Do the manufacturers of that practice safe practices? I'm scared to try new foods like other types of beans (I can handle peas, green beans, and cannelini beans fine, but does that mean other legumes are okay? I'm not a big fan of meat so I'd love to try some if I wasn't so freaked out.) I'm sure a lot of you feel this way..Lately I just feel like it's so hard to trust food/drug/beauty product companies when it comes to sever allergies. Do you all contact companies to double-check always or do you go with what the labels say? How do you deal with anxiety related to food allergies?

By ang153555 on May 15, 2010

One last thing.. Anyone have a fear of having a reaction when they're alone? Has anyone ever had that? Are you usually able to administer an epi-pen even when you're in an anaphalyactic state?

By Mach5AR on Jun 2, 2010

Hi Ang,

I have had my peanut allergy for 36+ yrs and I understand your anxiety. I do read every label, research products, parent companies, call them and refuse to eat it, use it if I can't verify it.

I have had 2 reactions and both times I could function well enough to have taken myself to the hospital, but there was someone else around to help. It is also good to be able to know and recognize your body's response so that you react as quickly as possible.

By Bassball23bb on Jun 14, 2010


Personally I tend to avoid the smaller food manufacturers/brands. I have 2 reasons for this:

1. Because traditionally these types of companies have the most recalls for cross-contamination and/or mislabeled products;

2. Smaller companies don't always have the same resources as the bigger ones (i.e., state of the art manufacturing equipment, allergen testing capabilities, and the ability to keep raw ingredients separate.)

For me this is more of a guideline then a rule since manufacturing practices vary amongst even the big companies.

Although it can be a tedious process, it's a good idea to contact any company whose product you are thinking about trying and ask as many questions as necessary for you to feel comfortable with your decision of whether or not to consume their product.

Also, when contacting by telephone ask to speak with a supervisor from the beginning as they usually have more accurate and specific information regarding production and allergen policies than the customer service representatives that answer the phone.

I hope this helps!