I've known I was allergic to peanuts since I was five years old. Up until a few years ago (I'm 24 now), I generally had the same type of reaction to them - mild swelling of the mouth and lips, an extremely itchy throat, and a lot of vomiting.
The last couple of times I accidentally ingested peanuts, however, I've had very different reactions. On one occasion I only felt sick to my stomach, accompanied by a milder version of the itchy throat. On another occasion there was no sore throat at all, but my nose erupted in a fountain of mucus (it was disgusting) for about an hour non-stop. This had never happened before, so it took me a while to work out that it had been another allergic reaction. I'm fortunate that I've never experienced anaphylaxis, but I'm worried that if my reactions continue to vary, it might happen the next time!
I'm wondering if I'm getting different reactions lately because I've been very careful. I've only had tiny and very mild doses of peanuts lately, in which case perhaps my allergy might be getting worse, since such mild doses never used to affect me. The "sick stomach" case didn't even come about from a food with peanuts in it - it happened because I ate a non-peanut dish at a restaurant which cooked my dish in a pot that had cooked something else with peanuts in it earlier. The "runny nose" incident happened after eating a Japanese curry at another restaurant, and Japanese curries are not supposed to contain peanuts (I've never had trouble with them before), so I suspect that perhaps it was also peanut residue that time. Either that, or the chef used peanut oil in the recipe somewhere.
I also wonder if these latest ones mightn't have been peanuts after all, but a different kind of nut. I know it sounds weird, but I'm not sure whether I'm allergic to other nuts or not. I avoid them all as if I am allergic, because I had a couple of bad experiences when I was little and I'm scared to try them to find out for sure, to be honest. If I ate a different kind of nut by accident, it might explain why my latest reactions were so different. I'm more careful to avoid peanuts than regular nuts, so it's possible I could have asked the staff if there were peanuts in the dish but forgotten to check for other nuts as well. But what nut would they put in Japanese curry? It isn't supposed to have any nuts in it at all! And the other dish I ate was a plain-looking egg dish at a Chinese restaurant. I'm not sure I could miss a nut in that, but they assured me there were no peanuts in the recipe. They admitted to using the same pot to cook peanut dishes earlier, but could I really have become so sensitive as to pick that up even after they cleaned it? (Even if they didn't clean it very well?)
Or was I right in thinking that both reactions were caused by peanut residue, after all, and it's just one of those weird, unpredictable things that varies over time?
By BestAllergySites on Nov 27, 2009
skylark-welcome to peanutallergy.com! Sorry to hear you've been experiencing these weird symptoms as of late.
First thing is first. It sounds to me like you need to make a visit to the allergists office. Do you have one or have you been going?
It also sounds to me like you need to be carrying and epi pen. If you don't have one-all the more reason to see an allergist.
That being said let me tell you that 1. not all allergies are the same 2. not all reactions are the same 3. allergies can get worse and better at any time.
My point being that the reactions you've described above are actually cause to use an epi pen because those reactions could have progressed to something much worse. No-they were not anaphylactic. But they could have been and you had no way of knowing whether they would have gotten to that point.
Most allergists advise using an epi pen for multiple symptoms like itchy throat and runny nose, or itchy tongue and hives, etc.
Your reactions at this point could have been from anything. From what you wrote I get the feeling that you are not 100% cautious when ordering. You can't "assume" that a curry doesn't not have peanuts or nuts. You really have to ask when ordering and make the wait staff aware of your allergies so that they can 1. use a clean plan and 2. avoid your allergens.
Regarding peanut and tree nut allergy. Many people who are allergic to peanuts are allergic to tree nuts too and many are not. Again-another reason to see an allergist.
For those of us that are not tree nut allergic-we still avoid them because they are often processed with peanuts and may have peanut protein on them.
I hope this has helped to clear up some issues and I hope you can make your way to an allergist. It sounds as if you've been a little risky and unsure. You've experienced some severe reactions that could change at any point in time to much worse.
Any other questions-feel free to ask. No judgment here in any way--just trying to help. :)
By Angela23 on Nov 1, 2012
My niece had a reaction to peanuts to a Japanese curry dish. It very well could have been. I didn't realize they put peanuts in curry either and I'm of Japanese ethnicity.
My reactions to peanuts has changed as well. I don't get hives as quickly, but I do get horrible stomach discomfort, tightness in my esophogus/chest, chest pain, itchiness in my back of throat and then hives secondarily. I wish I could throw up whatever I'd eaten, but my digestive system feels like it just clamps shut and feels horribly acidy.