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My name is Kate. I'm a 20 year old college student and have had a peanut allergy since i was two years old. I would love to give advice to anyone who is new to the allergy or looking for advice because i have been dealing with it for my whole life. I am also looking to learn more about what is safe and not, as things are constantly changing.

On Oct 13, 2008

WELCOME Kate! So happy to have you here and I bet you will be a wonderful source of information for many of us. A lot of us here have children with pna (peanut allergy) and it is nice to hear some viewpoints from someone who has been-there-done-that. Welcome! :-)

On Oct 14, 2008

Hey Kate,

I'm also a 20 year old college student. I was diagnosed my freshman year of college, so having PA and TNA is still relatively new to me. My family is not the most supportive when it comes to my allergy. Actually, my fiance and his family have been more supportive. Do you have any advice on how I can talk to my family about it.

On Oct 15, 2008

Because I have grown up with the allergy, I might not be too helpful on this one, But i know that when I first talk about it to a lot of people they think that I will be fine as long as I don't eat a peanut which is not the case. Maybe if you give them more information on reactions so that they understand how severe the allergy can be and show them some labels on food of "May contains" so they know what to watch out for. I think that the main thing that people who are not allergic don't understand is how severe it can be and the many ways that you can have a reaction.

On Oct 16, 2008

Thanks. They're biggest problem is that it will inconvenience my two younger sisters who both LOVE PB&J! I will try that the next time I am home.

On Oct 17, 2008

my younger sister also loves peanut butter. So when i am at school they have it in the house but when I come home they put everything in one cabinet so that I know not to go in it or eat anything in that cabinet. Also if anyone eats anything with peanuts they wash their dishes right away and also their hands because I will have a reaction from touching them, I don't know how serious your allergy is so this may not be an issue but I hope this helps!

On Oct 17, 2008

Triple whammy... I'll react to ingestion, contact, and airborne. My family keeps the PB&J in a cabinet that I never go into, but they always just toss the PB knife in the sink and leave it. I always do the dishes when I'm home and almost picked up a PB covered knife (it was covered by other dishes). My family also never washes their hands after. I'm terrified of touching anything when I go home for fear of nut residue.

Thanks, its nice to know that there is another 20 year old college student on here. :-D

On Oct 17, 2008

Oh yeah. I don't react to airbone but the other two are really bad for me. I guess you just really need to get across that they have to be as careful as they can around you. It will take some time but hopefully they can learn to help you out. I see youre in Virginia! me too where do you go to school?

On Oct 18, 2008

James Madison University. You?

On Oct 22, 2008

I go to Virgina Tech.

On Oct 22, 2008

Nice...I have a bunch of friends that go to VT and Radford.

On Oct 24, 2008

Both pheonixrising and KC -- Hi, I

On Oct 24, 2008

I asked a lot of questions and found foods from on campus dining that were as safe as campus food can get, some of it is pretty sketchy, and I didn't divert from those few foods. I was diagnosed at the end of my freshman year of college. I lived off of the same 3 food choices my entire sophomore year because my school decided to add peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the sandwich shop. I would suggest talking to your daughter's school's disability services to see if they can help you. Hope this helps!

On Oct 24, 2008

Before I came to school my dad set up a meeting for me with a woman on campus who works as a dietician. So when I got to school I met with her and she informed me on what was safe and what was not. She was very informed about the oils used and what goes into all of the food here. If there is anyone you can schedule a meeting with about the dining halls I highly reccomend doing that as it helped me out a lot. In my dining halls, everything is labeled if it includes nuts. I do stay away from dessertsbut I have a meal plan and there are only a few things that I know I need to stay away from. Every school is different so I'm not sure what her dining halls will be like but I haven't had a huge problem with it. One of the most important things is making sure her roommate and her RA if she has one understand the allergy. When I lived on campus my RA knew I was allergic to peanuts and knew that I had an epi-pen if needed. My roommate was also very understanding and did not bring any peanut products into our room But it is important for them to know what is going on becuase in my case they were the people who were around me the most in my dorm.

On Oct 24, 2008

Also, I just read your other posts about the frozen dinners. I am having the problem of cooking this year. I now live in a house with 4 roommates and they do use peanut butter occasionally so I am hesitant to cook anything a lot of the time. I have been buying a lot of frozen meals and they really work out great. Personally I like the lean cuisine ones. They do make some with peanut sauces but it doesnt say anything on the boxes of the other ones about May contains so that depends on how comfortable you are with those. I make a lot of frozen pizzas, frozen vegetables, mac and cheese. There are tons of frozen dinners that I have found that I love and would sometimes actually prefer them to cooking. I also buy individually packaged snacks such as 100 calorie packs so if anyone eats anything with peanuts and then eats my snacks there wont be the risk of a whole open bag.

On Oct 27, 2008

Pheonixrising and KC, thanks for your replies!

Pheonixrising, since you were diagnosed at the end of your freshman year, I can

On Oct 27, 2008


I had minor reactions through out my childhood and absolutely refused to eat anything with peanuts as a young child. My parents, never having to deal with a before, just attributed my refusal to eat nut products as pickiness. I started noticing that something was going on when I would get really bad stomach cramps and headaches after going to Logan's Roadhouse, they have a free appetizer of peanuts. I tried telling my parents that something was going on, but they didn't believe me, saying I needed to stop being picky. *eye roll* I wasn't exposed directly much after I was three because I down right refused to eat nut products or even be near them. It wasn't until my town got a Logan's Roadhouse when I started noticing something wasn't quite right.

I react to contact with nuts, airborne nut proteins, and ingestion. The tiniest amount will set me into a reaction, severity of the reaction depends on how much contact with nut proteins was made in either of the three ways.

Thanks. I pretty much live on my own now, only going home on holidays, and after the third time they get a phone call from my fiance saying that I was in the ER due to an anaphylactic reaction that they have finally started to care. :D

On Oct 28, 2008

Shelley, I first found out about my peanut allergy when I was three years old. My grandma gave me a reeses peanut butter cup and I immediately spit it out and broke out in hives all around my mouth. Since then I have only had one other reaction when I was about 12 years old. I touched something that previously had a Peanut butter cup on it and broke out in hives. I have been very lucky in the fact that I have not had many reactions. When I went to college nothing changed for me at all. I did find myself being a lot more careful and cautious which is probably a good thing. I am also a little more paranoid about peanuts which is also not a bad thing I am just a lot more careful. I think this is because my parents arent around to help me out but I haven't had any major problems.

On Oct 29, 2008

Pheonixrising and KC,

Sounds like you are doing a good job of avoiding peanut, even pheonixrising for the most part, except you've had 3 ER visits as an adult?!? -- what's up with that? What triggered them and where were you when you had the accidents? Both of you: Have you ever seen an allergist or just a family doctor about your allergy? Do you also have asthma? Do you carry epipens? With you ALL the times? (be honest!) How often do you eat out and when you do, where do you tend to eat out at? At what point do you tell your boyfriend or other friends? Do you have a list of "rules" for helping you decide if you should eat something or not? if so, what are they? Also, just curious, but do you like peanutbutter substitutes like Sunbutter? I'm just curious b/c my dau thinks they taste "bitter". Yeah, I know I ask a lot of detailed, annoying questions. Hope you don't mind! Oh, and good luck with Halloween -- stay safe!

On Oct 29, 2008

-I have seen an allergist twice. Once when I was first diagnosed but my parents said he was not helpful at all and said simply, " She is allergic...stay away from peanuts." So we never went back. I recently have been again for seasonal allergies. They did test for peanuts again and it still showed up. I do not have asthma but I do have seasonal allergies and am allergic to cats, dogs, grass, dust but not severely. - I do carry my epi pens with me most of the time. If I am going somewhere around town I tend to not bring it sometimes but for the most part I am very good. I have become a lot better about having them all the time in college. I would have expected it to be opposite but I am much more careful now. - I do go out to eat frequently. When I was younger my parents always took me out and we had no problems at all. I do avoid menus with peanuts and ask what type of oil they use but I don't stop myself from going out to eat. I go to a lot of chain restaurats not so many smaller ones just because in the area where I am the majority are chains. I have never had a problem at a restaurant so that is probably why I am so comfortable with it. - I have been dating my current boyfriend for 3 years and we were friends before that so I can't remember when I told him but I think it just was known with all of my friends since we grew up together. When I was younger I was very embarassed about my allergy. I didn't like to tell anyone and if someone offered me something with peanuts I would just say I wasnt hungry. This has changed very much. I ususally don't tell anyone right away. I will if it comes up in conversation or if something with peanuts is around. My roommates I told right when we decided we were going to live together. - I do not have a list of rules about what to eat... I usually just read the ingredients and if there are no May contain Peanuts or anything in the ingredients I will eat it. That would probably be a good idea to have one, but I have always just gone by the ingredients list. The one thing that I will never eat is baked goods from someone else. Even if they say they are only chocolate chip cookies I won't eat them. I will only eat baked goods that I make or bagels, rolls, etc. from a bakery. - I have never tried Sunbutter or anything like that. I'm not sure if I would like it or I would freak myself out because it looks so much like peanut butter but I personally do not have a desire to try it. - I hope I answered all of your questions!

On Nov 25, 2008


I just wanted to let you know that many food allergies do not present themselves until a person reaches their early 20's. I never had a reaction until I was 20.