So I have known I was PA since I was 1/2 years old and I am now 20. I carry epipens and have quite a severe allergy but have never really been too worried about it, obviously to an extent but if there were peanuts in a room I could just leave and be quite relaxed. However I went to a restaurant, Wagamamas, and had a Pad-Thai not realising it had peanuts in, I was fine but had to go to hospital and just took an antihistamine not needing my epipen. Since this happened I have been incredibly paranoid, even when I haven't eaten anything I get worried my throat is closing/lips swelling. I worry that people could be eating peanuts in lectures (I'm at University) that I'm in and become very stressed and paranoid and take an antihistamine, just in case. Just wondering if anyone else is like this? Also whether you kind of outgrew this 'phase' and became slightly more laid-back and less stressed about it?
By raye on Mar 18, 2014
First off, I am so happy that you have never had a serious PA reaction in your 20 years. But I am frightened and concerned for you that you seem to not know a lot about how to deal with your allergy, after so many years. You should simply NOT ever eat in an Asian restaurant, because peanuts or peanut oil abound in these eating places. You should ALWAYS ASK the supervisor of any eating place, be it a nice restaurant, a coffee shop, your school's cafeteria, or even McDonalds, if they have peanut oil in their kitchens, and explain why you are asking: Tell them of your PA and that you could die within an hour if you ingested so much as a tiny particle of peanut protein. This includes even a bit of peanut butter left on a table or a utensil, peanut sauce in your order, food cooked in peanut oil, or ANY speck of peanut protein. A note from a doctor (allergist) would be helpful, too. And as for taking an antihistamine, please Google "Do antihistamines like Benedryl help in an anaphylactic shock?" You will find the answer to be "No, antihistamines only relieve some ugly symptoms (itching, swelling of lips, etc.) of an allergy, but have no effect whatsoever in stopping an anaphylactic reaction (the throat-closing, etc. that causes death). So, DO NOT RELY AT ALL ON ANTIHISTAMINES! I am an RN and grandmother of a PA allergic little boy, but don't take my word for it--ask the allergy doctors, and you can find this information on the web, as well. Do not go by the word of "regular" MDs--peanut allergy was likely not a wide-spead problem when they trained, so you must ask an allergist, not a pediatrician or an internist, for the latest, correct advice. You should definitely make an appointment with an allergist soon to have the latest information on PA allergic reactions explained to you and to have your own allergy re-evaluated. And as for becoming "laid-back," again, No! Those are the young people who end up dead, when they think "What the heck!" and take that bite of cookie or whatever. Kissing your date after his/her having eaten a peanut and not yet brushed teeth can introduce enough peanut protein into your own mouth to cause a severe reaction. There are so many facts you need to check out. Find Dr. Scott H. Sicherer's book, "Food Allergies" and read the section on peanut allergies. Dr. Sicherer is a leading authority on the subject and you will find the answers to many of your questions in his book. There were several deaths among young people just last summer for this very type of "laid-back," lack of concern that you mention. You must remain vigilant throughout life, until a cure is found. But I think a refresher course from an allergy doctor would be your next best course of action. Good luck, and please take my words seriously in order to prevent a serious reaction to peanuts.
By sarah.kempton on Mar 21, 2014
Thankyou! It helps to hear that from someone who actually understands the allergy.
By Mrsdocrse on Mar 20, 2014
I am glad that you are ok. I think it is normal to be "paranoid" after having a reaction. It will take some time to build your confidence again about eating. But it isn't healthy to live life afraid of eating. You have managed to live a long time without reactions so it is possible to do it again. Just learn from your mistake. Wash your hands often and with soap and water before you eat and always ask about ingredients in foods. Check with the chef before ordering. Make an appointment with your allergist and have a conversation about ways to keep safe.