Reactions w/o hives


I was thinking about DS's allergic history - VERY sensitive to ingestion, but not to airborne or contact - and it suddenly hit me that the reason I'm not seeing non-ingestion reactions is that he doesn't get hives.

In other words, he COULD be having low-level reactions, but since there are no "objective" symptoms (to use my least-favorite scientific term) they aren't registering.

I don't want to start quizzing DS about possible subjective symptoms - he is anxious by nature - but I thought I'd check to see if others have experienced this.

On Oct 4, 2006

I have adult-onset PA and I don't get hives.

On Oct 4, 2006

(edited), I could touch a peanut to my skin, pick up a pb sandwich, get it on my skin - and no - it wouldn't bother long as my skin is intact! I used to get giant hives from unknown allergen (s) but I don't anymore.

My reaction is from ingestion or, lately, from inhalation (on peanut airlines). I get GI/uterine/bladder contractions from ingestion.....from inhalation I cough, get hoarse and sometimes my eyes itch.

On Oct 5, 2006

My son Wade has had at least two reactions that were serious, one in fact was his worst and he had no hives at all. He did have gastro symptoms (vomiting) and his mouth and tongue were itchy. His voice was strange as well. Took us some time to clue in but we had to give the epi. Doctor told me that sometimes some of the worst reactions do not present with hives...Makes me extra cautious now.

Take care,


On Oct 5, 2006

I only raise this to give you something to ponder. My allergies and their diverse reactions:

[b]shellfish[/b]--spaciness, GI reactions (and all that you can imagine that to entrail, oops, I mean entail), after a few hours, chest pains, (small headache in the beginning too--not sure if it's a symptom), and finally uterine contractions after the anaphylactic reaction in January. The only exception is that airborne reactions tend to make me feel faint. But no hives. No blowing up. Nothing immediate upon ingestion.

[b]peanut[/b]--(negative immunocap, postive SPT, some reactions I think)--all GI--just not sure if there's a real allergy there, but if it is, I'm GI

[b]chamomile[/b]--ana reaction after having wine and trying on hand lotion. Runny nose like a faucet!, swollen lips, tongue. Throat started to swell. Hands swelled up. I did not know I was allergic to chamomile before this but have since put 2+2 together with itchy scalp and shampoos, runny nose after certain teas, etc.

[b]sesame[/b]--typically spaciness and my eustachian tubes swell. That's pretty much it. [i][b]Until last night.[/b][/i] I ate about 5 pretzels at a bar (cosmo could have exacerbated reaction like wine did the chamomile one). It turns out they contained sesame flour (thanks to the dear folks here who investigated this for me I found out). My lips swelled up. Tongue swelled a bit. Red splotches on face and chest and back and arms. Hives all over arms and back. I've never seen the red splotches and hives like this on me before (nor on PA DS).

Okay--here's what I conclude. Food allergies are not predictable. Perhaps most of the time. But not all of the time. They're crazy. I tend to have different reactions for different allergies, and they are more or less consistent, but experience has proven to me that I shouldn't always expect that.

Your child may have an airborne reaction w/o hives. But that could change. I just would not ever be comfortable with things (like it's possible to be comfortable with PA!!!). I didn't quote but must say this post was in partial response to Adele's post about GI only reactions. I get that (in more ways than one :-) ) I just don't think this thing is that predictable.

One thing I should add: DS' airborne reactions are asthma, but usually the coughing (not wheezing) kind.

I didn't mean to go on so long, but I have found this strange and interesting.

[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited October 05, 2006).]

On Oct 6, 2006

Thank you everyone for your perspectives!

I'm still not sure about what to do about it besides keep an eye out and keep my comfort zones tight.

I spent a long time (2 years) in denial about my son's allergy, and I recently realized that part of it was the fact he didn't have many "observable" symptoms. Just a cough, and a little tiredness. Sometime he'd get hoarse. But never any hives or other swelling. So I thought it couldn't be the "bad" peanut allergy. (my poor baby)

My denial was aided and abetted by the pediatrician, but I can't really blame her. Because I should have known better. Somewhere under that denial my mommy instinct was screaming. I didn't heed it because I didn't want it to be true. (But at least it got me to the ER in five minutes when anaphylaxis hit).

So today I ask myself, is the lack of hives still tempting me to denial? With "no reactions" in four years it's tempting to loosen up my comfort zone, but I think with my son's history there wouldn't be many "warning" signs of increasing sensitivity.

On Oct 6, 2006

My son has had 5 or 6 anaphalactic reactions over the years (none in about two years I think). I don't think he has ever had hives with any of the anaphalactic reactions that he has had. However, he HAS had hives, horrible, horrible hives in non-anaphalactic reactions! The last time was a little over a year ago and he looked like a burn victim they were so bad!

On Oct 6, 2006

I have had an anaphylactic reaction without hives. Not everyone gets them consistently.