I\'m new... newly allergic... and full of questions!

Posted on: Sun, 03/09/2008 - 9:00pm
rtp3's picture
Joined: 03/10/2008 - 00:09

Hello everyone, first I guess some background would be appropriate. I am self-diagnosed, mostly because being diagnosed means I have to find a specialist. So how do I know? Well, six months ago is when I finally stopped eating peanuts. This was one of many things I tried to do in order to identify what was causing this horrible rash I would sometimes get. Long story short, after trying no-peanuts for a week, I ate a bag of M&Ms one day (not peanut, just regular - but they are made on the same assembly line), the rash came back. Ever since Ive been checking labels, not trying anyones home baked anythings, and staring longlingly at snack food isles that I used to ransack with no concern.

I feel you pain, people! This is like a spell or a curse someone put me in, I used to love peanuts so much, eat nuts and PB everyday. But its not even that that bothers me as much as the ignorance and the constant vigilance. Usually, no big deal, but, apparently even doctors are ignorant about this sort of thing.

I get a rash, I sometimes have fever symptoms, and I get incredible, incredible abdomonal pains after eating peanuts. These are all recognized signs of peanut allergy. Three years ago, I had a stomach problem so severe that I couldnt eat normal food for months and months. I saw specialists, nutritionalists, everyone under the sun. I got medicine, I got tubes put places inappropriate for this form, but still, I couldnt eat, I would reject anything I ate through one end or the other. Except rice and occasionally steamed veggies on a good day. This lasted until one week when I quit my job and laid in bed waiting to starve. Magically, I woke up happy and healthy. I took up a grave shift job, and a few months later, the stomach thing slowly crept back up. But this time, it came with a rash and insomnia. The rash was so bad, that even though I could stomach food, I couldnt sleep once a day, more like once every three or four days.

This whole time, I'm exhibiting signs of PA. But everyone is telling me, "It's just stress". I've learned, it's never "just" one thing. Anyhow, I have yet to go to a doctor, but, I just ate something that may have had peanuts in it, and that's what prompted me joining - my stomach is killing me and Im red all over. But I can breathe fine, thank goodness. When I avoid peanuts, I feel fine. I feel better now than I ever have in my whole life, and that's sad. I'm 23, so how long has my body been trying to tell me this?!

I typed waaay more than I bet you ought to on a forum, but, too bad, I wanted you to know my history before asking a few questions:

- Help! What do I look out for? I can find the allergy statements, I can read the ingredients, but what sneaky things are lurking that I have to look out for? For example, can I trust "Product of Mexico"? What's this about shea butter I hear?

- Doctors - I dont like em, but I need to see one. Any pointers on getting accurate results and finding a specialist that can help?

- I am thinking of one day moving to Canada or Europe - any from there? How are their laws about allergies?

- But for now, Im trapped in NJ. Anyone from around here that wishes to share some good resturants that are allergy conscious? Anyone want to get together and complain about this stuff? hahah

I'm new so bear with me. Thanks.

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2008 - 1:19am
MommyOfTwo's picture
Joined: 11/08/2007 - 09:44

While I personally do not have a pn/tn allergy and my DS does, I still wanted to say WELCOME to the group!
Sounds like it has been a long journey for you. Seems to make sense from what you say that pn and possibly even tn could be the reason for your illness. Where you work, was it around pn/tn?
Most of your questiosn I actually cannot answer, but I know for my DS who is just over 1 year old we keep our house pn/tn free and that includes all products with "may contain, manufactured, etc...." warnings/statements on them. When eating out I always ask to talk the manager or cook and verify there are not pn/tn around where my DS's food is being prepped/cooked. We do stay away from all bakery items and I don't let him eat foods that other people have prepared at pot-luck type events. Not sure about food from Mexico....
I would look for an allergist specifically, who will probably do a Skin Prick Test (SPT) on you. They say SPT is more accurate than a blood test, but both can still have false-positive/false-negative results.
Not sure on the Canada/Europe stuff either.
As for food places in NJ I think I've seen a couple threads on the "Travel" board for places in NJ and you can check out the "Support Groups" to see if there is a local support group in your area.

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2008 - 6:18am
niche's picture
Joined: 02/05/2007 - 09:00

Hi and welcome,
Yes I would get to an allergist asap. They can test you for PA and confirm for you. If you are Ige allergic to peanuts you need to have an Epi pen prescription - I didn't see where you talked about having one?
With all that you have going on It seems like it might be something in addition to a Ige allergy to peanut. Perhaps the allergist can help you figure it all out.
I do believe that Canada is somewhat ahead of the US interms of labeling laws etc. Europe I'm not sure.

Posted on: Thu, 03/13/2008 - 10:12am
Mrsdocrse's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Hi There
Welcome... First I definately would see an allergist. From what I understand Skin test are more accurate than rast test. But allergic is allergic. In January 2007 ( i think) the US passed a labeling law that states that manufactures have to clearly label if there is any of the 8 common allergens inthe product. That is why you see a lot of " may contain" statements. We don't eat them.
good luck

Peanut Free Store

More Community Posts

create a new community post
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20
Latest Post by absfabs Wed, 12/04/2019 - 12:29pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by absfabs Wed, 12/04/2019 - 12:25pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by absfabs Wed, 12/04/2019 - 12:22pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 12/03/2019 - 4:46pm
Comments: 9
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 12/03/2019 - 4:43pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by sunshinestate Mon, 12/02/2019 - 2:34pm
Comments: 5
Latest Post by absfabs Mon, 12/02/2019 - 11:17am
Comments: 482
Latest Post by Italia38 Fri, 11/29/2019 - 1:38pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 11/26/2019 - 4:31pm
Comments: 7
Latest Post by sunshinestate Thu, 11/21/2019 - 10:31am
Comments: 172
Latest Post by william robenstein Mon, 11/18/2019 - 10:35am
Comments: 1
Latest Post by sunshinestate Sun, 11/17/2019 - 1:16pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by absfabs Fri, 11/15/2019 - 5:32pm
Comments: 2

More Articles

Are you craving sweets? Those with peanut allergies must be especially careful when indulging their...

So many wonderful recipes call for peanut butter. These recipes can still be enjoyed by experimenting with peanut butter replacements.


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...

For anyone who has had a peanut allergy diagnosis, it is necessary to avoid eating peanuts entirely. However,...

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

Do you know what's in the face paint often used for Halloween costumes, school carnivals, and other events? If you're worried about smearing...

Vegetable oil is healthy before it is hydrogenated and a process that requires adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. Oils that are often...

Peanut allergies don’t begin to cause problems for people the first time they are exposed to peanuts. Rather, the immune system first develops...

Anxious food allergic kids, understandably concerned about avoiding allergens, can become so restrictive in their food choices that weight loss...

The relationship between anxiety and food or other allergy is a complicated and puzzling one. Research has shown that stress can exacerbate...

Welcome to PeanutAllergy.com. Before you begin you must verify your email address. Please check your email and click on the link and you will...

If you have a food allergy, you will probably need to make some changes to your diet...

When love is in the air we can get caught up in the moment and throw caution to the wind. However, if you have a...

Just 30 seconds of mindfulness, of quieting our thoughts by being attentive to the present moment, can help manage stress and anxiety.


Those affected by peanut allergy might have heard about basophil activation tests (BATs), a potentially accurate tool for diagnosing food allergy...

When your child has a food allergy, you want to make sure they are safe in school...

It’s the time of year when holiday parties, and family gatherings can make allergen avoidance more problematic. Whether you celebrate Christmas,...

Food allergies and sensitivities are on the rise. Almost everyone knows someone who has problems with at least one food. The most common food...

Peanuts and Nuts Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI), more than 3...