Is it safe to do a trial of a possible tree nut allergy myself at home?

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2018 - 8:27am
manikaye's picture
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Joined: 01/29/2014 - 15:13

About two years ago, my bottom lip swelled while I was sucking on a Jordan Almond. I spit it out, and within a few minutes the swelling was gone. I had no other symptoms, and felt fine. (I've never had food allergies - just general allergies to some pollens, and once had my hand swell and itch from something while I worked in a floral shop *kept up for days until I got a prescription cream for it*.)

I don't have insurance, and I tried to not think this was a huge deal. (I have OCD and health phobias/food issues, so I didn't want to obsess over anything.) I cut out almonds, but continued eating other tree nuts, peanuts, and items that may contain tree nuts. I even ate several heath bars before I realized they had almonds. No issues, whatsoever.

I mentioned this to a few friends who were retired nurses, and they got terribly scared that I was eating nuts. They insisted I get tested and drop all nuts and may contain items in the meantime. This is really difficult for me, as I'm a vegetarian and rely heavily on nuts.

I haven't had any nuts in over a year. I'm starting to get obsessive about food - constantly afraid I'm going to eat something that is cross contaminated and become ill.

I finally got a skin allergy test at a clinic. I reacted really strong to the control, but had no reactions to any food whatsoever, including almonds. The doctor told me to feel free to eat them, however I've had several other people with food allergies tell me I have to get a blind control test, and a blood test.

I spoke to another doctor at the clinic who told me it was very unlikely the allergy just sprung up (although I have a friend who almost died from a mango allergy springing up on her when she was in her 20s). He suggested I play it safe and go to an allergist and get more thorougly tested. I can't afford that now, though, and avoiding the food is making me incredibly tense.

I have a few friends trying to talk me into just eating some almonds while I am with them, with the understanding that they'll take me to the er if I have a reaction (not that I could afford that...). I'm very scared to do this, but I'm wondering if it's just my health phobias acting up?

Thanks so much for any advice. I know I can't get definite medical advice on here - I'm just curious if anyone has similar experiences. I'm curious if it's oral allergy syndrome, or if there was somethign on the jordan almonds (they were old and in a not overly clean house), or if it could be severe.

Posted on: Sun, 02/02/2014 - 9:57am
rudy117's picture
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Joined: 01/06/2014 - 19:38

Absolutely not! Do not try on your own. Skin tests can even be dangerous. I don't mean to scare you, but nut allergies are nothing to play with. Each time you have a reaction, you run the risk of increasing your sensitivity to the offending item and the risk of a dangerous reaction greater. Nut allergies can be life threatening. You really should see an allergist about carrying an epi-pen. Avoiding all nuts and nut products is imperative especially since you are not sure what you are allergic to. A reaction to nuts can be life threatening in minutes, faster than you can physically get to the ER, even with help. A trip to the allergist would be money well spent.

Posted on: Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:32pm
absfabs's picture
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Joined: 10/24/2019 - 12:04

I agree with Rudy. I do not recommend doing the testing yourself. It's very dangerous. The first time you have a reaction it can be a mild one but the second one can be severe and if you're not prepared with an auto-injector then it can be potentially deadly. I understand the frustration of not be able to eat the foods that you love but it's not worth your life. If you think of it that way then it will start to get easier. I've had severe reactions and it's scary. Luckily there was always someone there and they knew where my auto-injector was, otherwise I may not be here today.

Posted on: Tue, 11/12/2019 - 2:44pm
Italia38's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2019 - 12:01

I'd definitely stay away from doing any self testing like that. It can be dangerous and you don't want to take any chances. If you are able to stay away from these foods while you save money to get the testing done, it'll be well worth the wait.

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