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Hi everybody - my name is Olly, and i'm form London like my username suggests! The reason for my posting, is that like many other forum users I am overwhelmed and anxious. However unlike many others who seem to be concerned about the health of their children, it is my own health that concerns me. I have just spent 15 months in hospital with an unrelated lung condition, and prior to this I was the primary carer of both of my sick parents (one of whom is disabled). Upon release, I now suffer from a state of perpetual anxiety regarding my diet, and the possible contamination of foods. I haved suffered many serious reactions to peanuts in the past, but now I am 22 I have to admit I know very little about the allegy, particularly cross contamination. I would appreciate it if anybody could enlighten me, and perhaps allieviate some of my worries - I particularly worry about physical contact with people who eat nuts. I give you an example - I was in a book shop two days ago, and upon being presented with my change I noticed the cashier was eating roasted peanuts. Not only did I refuse my change, I also disposed of the book I purchased. I feel this was an overreaction, but with my current health being so poor, and my responsibilities being so great, these factors played a great part in my actions. As mentioned I would be greatful to anybody reading who could advise me.

On Apr 12, 2007

Someone with a peanut allergy him or herself will have to answer some of your questions. But as the mother of a child with MFA (peanut, milk, egg, and rice) I don't blame you for refusing the change. Do you carry wipes? How you feel about cross contamination depends on your comfort zone. There is to high of a probability that bread could be contaminated with one of the things my daughter is allergic too so I bake all her bread. I do live in fear for my daughter with everything that she eats. I am afraid every time she tries a new food even if I have called the manufacturer. I try not to let her see that because I don't want to pass that on to her. As you study all the information here I think you will know how to manager your allergy better. Then you can put together a string of good days feeling healthier and then you won't have to feel so afraid. I hope you feel better soon - my daughter and I will keep you in our prayers. Cindy

On Apr 13, 2007

I know what you mean. Living in that state isn't easy. Eating is always a stressful event for me. I know that there's always a chance. I try to rationalize it in my mind. Why, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow! Ya know? I suppose I just try to take each day on its own. Get through each meal as best I can.

It's never easy.

I had my first reaction at 27. I passed out and woke up in the hospital. I don't really remember everything that happened. I don't know if I really want to. I've had a few mild reactions since then, but until I recently found this board I lived in a state of ignorant fear. Now I can at least learn about what I'm dealing with.

The first allergist I went to told me "There's nothing I can do about food allergies, so we don't bother with them." When I expressed my concern about the reaction I had (waking up in hospital) after eating a peanut butter sandwhich he didn't even suggest an epi pen. I never went back.

I still have trouble dealing with it all, but I also know that if I'm careful and aware... I'll at least be doing everything I can to deal with it.

I would have done the same thing you did. Please just stay safe... and hang in there.

On Jun 6, 2007

Hi Olly I'm new to this board, actually I only found it tonight. I'm 37 and have a peanut allergy. I went to the allergist yesterday as I hadn't been since I was 12 so thought I'd better go and see if there is anything new happening in the way of cures or something, unfortunately there isn't at this stage. I have lived with this allergy for as long as I can remember, maybe 30 years and I haven't had a reaction for 12 years. Yes 12 years, I am the queen of avoiding peanuts, (touch wood). The key is tell EVERYONE you know, every restaurant, food outlet, friends, family, your friends friends, and not a fluffy version, the "I WILL DROP DEAD IN MINUTES,I ONLY NEED TO TOUCH SOMETHING THAT HAS TOUCHED PEANUTS AND THEN TOUCH MY MOUTH AND THEN LICK MY LIPS TO HAVE A REACTION OR THE I ALMOST DIED FROM THE STEAM COMING OFF A PEANUT MEAL ONCE" version. Whenever you are going to someones house for dinner, lunch, breakfast, you call and remind them about your allergy and get them to call and remind their friends who are coming (if they are bringing food). Once you are there, you ask again, "there isn't anything with peanuts, peanut oil, pesto here is there?" If you go out to a restaurant, ask them what oil they cook with, ask about every meal you order, "does this contain any nuts, peanut oil", if they say I don't know, ask them to go and check with the chef, if the chef doesn't know then you don't eat it. Don't go to Thai restaurants, they almost always us peanut oil. Always ask about the oil they use, at every restaurant. Bakeries, Cake Shops, Bread Shops, again, ask, do you use peanut oil, almond meal, any nuts, get them to check with the baker. If they don't know, don't eat it. Cocktail parties or functions, always remind the host when replying about your allergy, then go one step further and call the venue and check with them what items on the menu for the evening if any will contain nuts, peanut oil or any nut products. You would be surprised just how helpful most people are and they really don't mind checking for you, you just always say that it is a life threatening allergy and the tiniest trace will cause a reaction. If in doubt (I usually don't eat at cocktail parties where they have walk around food), I eat before I go and then just have a few drinks and chat at the cocktail party. Supermarket shopping. Read EVERY LABEL, you will get to know what foods are ok and which are not. There are some things that may be ok but they make other products with peanuts so I alwayS avoid them, museli and museli bars for example. At a hotel or restaurant for breakfast, never eat a cereal or pastry unless you know for sure what is in it. Never eat food from a buffet unless you know exactly what it is and again, ask if there are any nuts, nut oils etc. Friends and family. They are the key, they must be trained and the only way to train them is to educate them. If you don't live with this allergy or have a child that has a severe allergy then they just don't understand and it is up to you to make them understand. It can take a little training. If they are organising a dinner at a restaurant (all my friends love thai food), I just say, sorry we can't go there, peanut oil. None of my friends will order a satay meal if we go for asian food anymore as they only do it once, I hear them order it and I just explain that the steam going up my nose is enough to cause a reaction and they choose something else and you will find that they will start telling others, if you are further down the table, your friends will start saying to people, "oh, it's best not to order that because .... has a peanut allergy". We don't have anything in the house with nuts, my husband was banned from eating nuts from the day he met me and the poor guy, he loved peanuts. But as I said, "peanuts are an ingredient of dynamite" so they are not good for you anyway. I tell my son's school teacher every year, that he is not to be given any nut products (he is not allergic)just incase he transfers traces to me. I live quite easily with this allergy really, I am just so used to asking, reading, checking, reminding, it is second nature, I do it automatically and if I strike someone who does not seem to get it, I make them get it (in a nice way of course). Wash your hands!!!! always wash your hands before you eat and maybe take some of those wipes with you whereever you go, I always have some in my handbag. Hope this has been of some help. You will really find that is is not too bad living with this allergy, don't be afraid to explain to people about your allergy. All the best. Moni

On Jun 6, 2007

Sorry, Me again, like I hadn't written enough before. But with the cross contamination thing. When going to a butcher, icecream parlour or anywhere else that there is a product containing peanuts. If the peanut product is at the front of the display, eg: at a butcher, they have a front row of meat and a back row of meat. If there is a product containing peanuts in the front row and they lean over and bring the food over the back row don't ever buy the food from the back row or from the containers to the side as tiny drips may have dropped into the back rows as they were getting the food out or over the sides. My butcher always kept the satay chicken in front of the bacon. I can never order the bacon just incase a little of the satay has dripped on the bacon as he got the satay out. Its the same with all outlets, don't ever buy food that is not prepacked that is sitting beside, in front, behind something containing nuts. Moni