First reaction in years


Hi all, I'm 25 and have been allergic to peanuts and all those other nuts my entire life. I developped anaphylaxis as a teen. I had my first reaction Sunday night since August 2000. I cooked at home and had nothing to eat that I haven't had a trillion times. I made it to the hospital and am now fully recovered. It wasn't a bad reaction. But now I'm wondering what I reacted to. And I'm afraid to eat, well, anything. I've never reacted to food I've cooked myself before. And now I'm babbling. Thanks for listening.


On Jan 11, 2005

Hi Annemarie. So sorry to hear about your reaction.

Are any of the foods you cooked with *may contain* items?

For example, if you opened a brand new bottle of spice - same brand as you usually use - if this one particular bottle ran on the line right after one of your allergens, you might react to it.

If you haven't reacted for 5 years, obviously you are very careful. But, I know, sometimes I start to feel safe with a particular food because I've never reacted - then I find out that it's actually a *may contain*.

That afraid to eat thing - it's horrible. Been there - done that - lost to much weight. Try sticking with things like fresh fruit and veggies. Then sort of *branch out*.

On Jan 11, 2005

Thanks AnnaMarie.

If baby oranges weren't still in season I'd probably be starving! The really confusing/scary thing is that I didn't open anything new. I also avoid "may contains" as much as I avoid nuts. I'm afraid that I've picked up some new allergy and now I have to redefine all my boundaries. I've heard (from an allergist) that you can sometimes have a reaction to nothing, if you haven't had one in a really long time. I'm hoping that's what happened, although that's not all that comforting either....

On Jan 11, 2005

Annemarie, I am sorry to hear about your reaction, but even sorrier to hear you have no idea what it could have been. Could you get another rast test done?

As for what your allergist said....that's absolutely frightening. I have never heard of such a thing.

Good luck in finding some answers.

On Jan 11, 2005

Hi AM ~ I understand!! Similar thing happened to me. Severe reaction to the same yogurt I always eat. Probably should have used epi but didn't - would have if it had been one of my kids. Took tons of antihistamine and monitered myself really carefully. Anyhoo, not the point. I was really scared to eat afterward, too. At least I knew (at least was pretty sure) it had been caused by the yogurt so I didn't have to isolate ingredients. I finally got to the point where I tried the yogurt again and have been fine with it, though the thought of eating it still makes me uncomfortable. I'll see if I can find the link to where I wrote about my reaction...


Sorry my writing is so short and choppy - I'm tired and don't even feel like writing in complete sentences LOL!

So sorry this happened to you - glad you're recovered (physically)! Rebekah

[This message has been edited by rebekahc (edited January 12, 2005).]

On Jan 11, 2005

Annemarie, how horrible! I'm glad that you're okay now (as far as the reaction itself). It was queer, at first I thought it was Anna Marie posting, and then I saw the age posted and knew it wasn't her (sorry, Anna Marie [img][/img] )

I found this part of your posts to be extremely disturbing:-

I've heard (from an allergist) that you can sometimes have a reaction to nothing, if you haven't had one in a really long time.

I have never heard that before either, as someone else posted above, and it scares the bejesus out of me.

Do you think you have developed a new allergy?

Do you live alone (or with someone extremely knowledgeable re your allergies) so there was no chance of cross-contamination?

Sorry, was the reaction anaphylactic? What symptoms did you experience?

Do you mind my asking what it is that you did cook for yourself that night EXACTLY?

Anyway, glad you're okay and glad you came here to share your story with us.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Jan 12, 2005


Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b] It was queer, at first I thought it was Anna Marie posting, and then I saw the age posted and knew it wasn't her (sorry, Anna Marie [img][/img] ) [/b]

Maybe I need a little emoticon with gray hair and a cane. lol


Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b] I found this part of your posts to be extremely disturbing:-

I've heard (from an allergist) that you can sometimes have a reaction to nothing, if you haven't had one in a really long time. [/b]

I've never heard it put [i]exactly[/i] that way - but I believe many people believe that when you have allergies you are more likely to break out in hives/rashes that are unexplained. I'm not sure whether most people that have said this heard it from their doctors or not - mine did say I am more likely to have hives then, say, my husband who has no known allergies.

On Jan 12, 2005

Thanks everyone for your support. I'm feeling much better about the whole thing today.

It wasn't actually MY allergist who told me the scary reaction story, it was a friend of mine's. She had a serious anaphylactic reaction a few years ago after having had a glass of water. She had been feeling a bit off that night, and was worrying about her allergy. Then she had the reaction. HER allergist told her it may have been induced by her worrying. I'm terrified that I've developped a new allergy. I had a lentil salad. I've eaten lentils (and lots of them!) all my life with no problems, so I *really* hope it's not that. I'm off them until I see an allergist and get tested again (next week!). We also had a loaf of white bread from the store. (Which I have decided contained traces of something.) My roommate's younger sister also has anaphylaxis (and much more serious than mine) so there's no worries of anything entering the house that could be bad for me. As for my reaction, it was anaphylactic, though probably my least serious one. I start out by getting hives, turning red, and getting all swollen. Then my sinuses clog up, and eventually I have trouble breathing, even through my mouth. (Not asthma, it's the sinus problem migrating.) I didn't get to that point the other night. My throat was feeling scratchy, but I got the adrenaline into me before it was very bad.

On Jan 12, 2005

Anna Marie, you posted:-

Maybe I need a little emoticon with gray hair and a cane. lol

Well, he**'s bells woman, if you need that emoticon, can you imagine what one I would need? I can't. I mean imagine it. Unless it was gray hair, stooped over, with cane.

And dammit all this morning if when walking the kids to school, I go out the side door of my building and take the garbage to the dumpster (on my way on this giant hill we walk up on to get to school - but a road hill with no sidewalk and traffic, so very scary) and I hit a patch of ice and my whole body was on the ground except my head, thankfully. I barely managed to walk the kids to school I was in so much pain.

Funny thing was, I had looked out the window and seen it was pouring rain. Then about half hour later I saw a salt truck literally dumping salt on the hill road and I couldn't figure out why.

Well, once I got out there I did. At any rate, I limped my way to the school with the kids and still feel off kilter (more than normal [img][/img] ) to-day. Just shaken up quite a bit, body wise, which my aged body doesn't need!

Annemarie, I wonder if it is lentils because they're part of the legume family? I know some time ago, we did do a search of this board to find out how higher a percentage of PA people had of developing an allergy to another legume than say someone that doesn't have an allergy at all. It's on here somewhere - I'll try to look later.

I still think that whole other thing about reacting to nothing is quite scary.

I can understand an allergic person being more prone to hives, but having a reaction to absolutely nothing? Wow.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Jan 13, 2005

Hi Annemarie, So sorry to hear about your reaction. I noticed you said you had white bread from the store that you think it may have been cross-contaminated. I've noticed something strange about seeminly innocent bread products over the summer. I was in Peoria IL visiting my parents, and we went to a Schnucks grocery store for some hot dog & hamburger buns. Almost every package of buns in that store had a cross-contamination warning (plain white buns). I'd never seen anything like that before. Then I looked at the loaf bread - same warnings. I was in Peoria again in Dec and noticed warnings on the plain buns again. In general I feel very unsure about factory bread products. Many bread types contain nuts, and I bet those production lines are shared. I've never called a bread company to ask. I did get a breadmaker awhile ago thinking I should make all DD's bread - but haven't actually used it much.

Anyway, again, so sorry - hope you can identify the source and will be back to feeling safe soon.


On Jan 13, 2005

Hi everyone,

ATM - I too am wondering about the legumes. The thing that worries me about that is that I've always eaten lentils. If I'm allergic to them now, than are beans and peas far behind? All these foods are staples of my diet, and I've never had to cut anything out before. I think I'm allergic to chick peas, and I developped that allergy shortly after I discovered the tastiness of hummous. I could accept that one though - I hadn't really eaten chick peas until I was an adult. How likely is it that I would become allergic to something I've always eaten? JND - I've never seen may contain labels on white bread before! That's frightening. (And most likely a result of the "cover your ass" labelling policy of most food producers.) I heard back from the bread company, and they do make breads with almonds and walnuts. They also use the same machines for all their breads. It's becoming more and more likely that the bread was the culprit. (For those of you in Toronto who don't already know - avoid the ACE bakery!)

Thanks again everyone for your support! For some good news, I now have an appointment with Dr. Peter Vadas (those in Canada will recognize the name) to help me figure out what it is I'm allergic to....

On Jan 14, 2005

Annemarie, As far as developing an allergy to a food you've eaten for years, my mom is allergic to shrimp - she developed her allergy around 50 yrs old. She ate shrimp all her adult life before that and loved the stuff. Then little by little she started getting hives, worse and worse, after shrimp. It is now confirmed that she's allergic, and the reactions get worse w/ each accidental exposure. So that's a case where someone developed an allergy after eating something for years w/o problem. I hope that hasn't happened in your case!