Panic anyone?


I developed pa & tna as an adult & I live alone. I have had a few mild reactions to unknown sources & unlabelled foods recently and I've started to panic every time I eat, worried with every bite that I'm going to die without ever being able to call for an ambulance, buzz them in, etc. Anyone else have this experience? How do you handle it? Meds are not an option.

On May 5, 2001

What products did you react too? It is always so disturbing to hear this. I can totally understand how you feel. Every time I give my son something that has even the remotest possibility of cross contamination, my stomach does flip flops, and my tongue does a strange thing I cannot describe and I get a different taste in my mouth until I am sure everything is going to be ok.

On May 6, 2001

My heart goes out to you. I do not have an allergy, however my nine year old son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. I have this fear every time he eats anything. My heart races and I think the worst. My fear is that I am passing this along to him although I try to hid it as best I can. I am very careful in what I give to him, but being certain that there has been no cross-contamination is difficult. The positive way to look at this is that this fear probably has helped to save your life more than once. There are to many young adults willing to take risks when they shouldn't. Be cautious and safe. Talk to the doctor regarding your panic attacks. I try to count to ten very slowly and tell myself that everything will be fine. Hang in there!

On May 6, 2001

sillyfeline, What if you were to get a lifeline,so that if you were having an attack what you would do is pull the string and it rings into the rescue squad? I am not sure of where you live and if it is an option,but at least if you were unable to speak you could get to the chord. I know that you probably do worry about this a lot,but as far as advise I can not tell you any because lord knows I am a worrrier. Best wishes Claire

On May 6, 2001

Well, the "nice thing" about having pa as a child (if it could be put that way) is that, should you react, someone will care for you & you will get help. As an adult, if you cannot speak or lose consciousness, you die a horrible itchy gasping death. I don't think there is such a "rescue squad" in NYC (unless you're wealthy or elderly) & anyway, what if you go down alone on the street or a subway?

As for the reactions, airplanes aren't clean & nearly all food products are at risk for cross-contamination. I've had more reactions in the last 2 months than I did the first 5 yrs with these stupid food allergies.

On May 7, 2001

Good thread to remind everyone to wear a medic alert type bracelet declaring your allergy and medications you need, and carry your Epi-Pens AT ALL TIMES!!!


On May 8, 2001


I am an adult with PA and I know exactly how you feel. Some days I'm fine, not a worry in the world, however, some days, I worry about the air I breathe, the touch of a person or the bite of food I am about to put in my mouth. You are not alone. A few of my friends have suggested that I see a doctor about my anxiety or what I consider panic attacks.

Sometimes even before I put a bite of food in my mouth, my heart begins to race and I wonder is today the day I'm going to have a reaction. My last reaction was October 13, 2000, however, I have had two small (minor) reactions this month and to what I have no idea. Usually when I have a minor reaction like the ones I have experienced this month, I only had a few hives (no breathing problems) it's usually due to cross contamination.

My best advice to you is to just stay calm no matter what! My allergist said the number 1 thing that makes a reaction worst is our mental reaction. When he said that I knew he was right, but how do you stay calm when you know what the possible outcome is. [img][/img] However, I have found that my last bad reaction was not as bad because I tried to keep myself calm and as relaxed as I could which did slow if not stop the reaction sooner. Make sure to always read labels and ask all the questions you can, but try and not let this rule your life!

We can make it through!! [img][/img]


On May 14, 2001

Thanks, Mel. I know you're right, & it does help to know I'm not the only one who flips out about this. I've had a few weeks of reacting nearly every time I eat. It's making me paranoid.

On May 14, 2001

I have noticed in the last few weeks I have been getting hives and I attribute this to my outdoor allergies I have to be extra careful as to what I eat during this time of year until it freezes again, all of my major reactions have happened during peak allergy season times, was just wondering if this might be part of your problem too??Good luck!!

On Jul 18, 2001

Hi, SillyFeline (and Melanie).

This is exactly my situation as well.

A few weeks back, at around midnight, I had a snack, and began to experience breathing tightness. I took some Claritin and Benadryl. After about an hour on the phone, the reaction (moderate) began to reverse. But we never really know whether it will progress, do we?

It's normal to feel at least somewhat anxious when you know that something as mundane as eating can be dangerous. The flip side is that this wariness can help us stay safe.

Take care!

[This message has been edited by Anna (edited September 02, 2001).]

On Oct 5, 2001

Dear SillyFeline- I had panic attacks before I became allergic to nuts, fruits and veggies. I have been taking med. (very low dosage) for years. Still, it doesn't really help with the nut allergy. I do relate to the panic almost everytime I eat something. I cook all my own food and won't touch anything someone else has made. I just read some posts on Manufacturer Board about Flours being unsafe and that just about did me in. My diet is so limited I'm a little concerned about wasting away. This is a very difficult thing to deal with as an adult. It limits your life in ways other people don't understand. I think our best hope is that science will come up with a treatment and nuts will eventually lose their "gourmet-health-glamour". It wasn't like this 20 years ago. You could actually get a plain cup of coffee. Who'd of thought of putting nut flavor in coffee!!!!!! It's a tough battle, but we have to have faith that we will get through it. -C


On Jun 13, 2002

i just want to thank everyone for sharing thier expiriences... i just signed up for this website and for the past 6 months I have been struggling badly with thinking I'm having a reaction and from panic attacks, the wierd thing is that-now i know some people may want to shoot me- but I have never suffered from a serious reaction except for when I was about 2. I think its the unknown thats killing me, my biggest fear is dying from it. I know that im just being overly paranoid but I cant seem to shake it. I know that i will eventually deal with it, but just wanted any advice and again to say that it really helps to know that im not the only one.

On Oct 15, 2002

Silly Feline,

I totally understand your anxiety. I get anxious when people offer me stuff and insist that it has no nuts. I always tell them that I HAVE to see the ingredients and if I don't know what's in it I won't eat it. I inspect food that I am pretty sure doesn't have them in it too. But I am more anxious when I see people eating stuff with peanuts in it. I am airborne allergic, and I never know when a reaction will start or how bad it will be. (I haven't had an ingested reaction for over 8 years, but I've had 3 airborne reactions in the past 2 months). It's annoying b/c people don't understand what it feels like to be allergic-anaphylactically allergic. Some people think I am playing a game. I once saw a sign that a kid says having asthma is like being a fish on land. I relate to that quite well.

I am not sure what to tell you to help you, b/c I am a classic worrier/anxious type myself. I just make sure i have the EpiPen on me and i NEVER take food from anyone that has the remote possibility of having peanuts in it. Be safe!

On Oct 16, 2002


I know how you feel too. Right after I had my BIG reaction as an adult I was living in NYC with a roomate - if she wasn't home I was afraid to eat - sometimes I would just wait for her to get home. Very sad. Then I moved to Queens into an apt. alone - one night after settling in I freaked out - OMG! What if I have a reaction and I can't get to the phone....I lived in a 3 family house, so I decided to tell the other two tenants in the building. It made me feel better to know the other people in my building knew about it and if I really needed help I could knock on their door (i.e. if my throat was closing and I couldn't talk but could get to them they could call the paramedics).

I still struggle with anxiety about the allergy. I noticed lately that I freak out when I am stressed out about other things in my life.

A medic alert bracelet is a good idea, but I have to admit I don't have one - my DH keeps bugging me, but I still haven't done it.

Good luck!

On Jan 10, 2003

Hi everyone,

I mostly never really think about my allergies, I have them, I read labels, I don't eat thai food, and that's that. But somedays I am constantly worried, even when I'm not eating anything. Like today. Just walked into the lunch room and some one was making a pb&j sandwich, with exceptionally fragrant peanut butter! I have to eat the stuff to react, but now I'm all paranoid, counting down the minutes until I know I can't react anymore. Someday, the world will learn that peanuts are evil!

On Jan 12, 2003

One of the symptoms of anaphylaxis is "a feeling of doom." I have seen that every single time my son has reacted.

When we are educating school personell about his allergy we always make sure that they know that he is correct in his feeling of doom. I think you get that feeling of doom so you can act quickly.

I also think that once you feel "doomed" it is very difficult to erase that feeling. It seems natural to have panic attacks associated with eating. Horrible but natural and maybe even self protective.

Everyone above me have given wonderful advice about epi pens, medic alert and some sort of life line alarm system. Go for it.

Good luck! Many of us walk in your shoes.