confused about allergy!

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 11:47am
mattymonster's picture
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Joined: 04/06/2003 - 09:00

Hi, ive known i've had a nut allergy since i was very little and managed to avoid them pretty well! ive always assumed i was allergic to all nuts but recently started getting curious as to whether i'd lost my allergies! i had a blood test when i was younger but was never contacted in response to it, as i was told i would be if i needed an adrenaline pen (thingy)! anyway recently i tried rubbin certain nuts on my skin to see whether they reacted and ive found that my skin reacts very violently (itching, redness and lumps) to tree nuts and not to peanuts! ive not eaten a nut for years (about ten) but last time i did i reacted very badly and was badly sick, had swollen eyes, difficulty talking, tickling/tingling in my throat, etc! my mums recetnly told me ive never actually eaten a peanut and infact it seems to appear (although ive not tried eating one) that im not allergic to them and infact am allergic only too tree nuts! i think years ago the hospital only tested me for a peanut allergy, therefore possibly im thinking i should get this followed up! is it common to react from just rubbing the nut on my skin? is this common or does it mean i have a bad allergy which i should get checked out! id not really considered it much until i read an article saying allergies can be very unpredictable and many people with mild allergic reactiopns in the past can suddenly suffer bad reactions, although the few times ive eaten nuts, which were cashew, brazil and almonds (the ones i remember that is) i reacted quite badly anyway! i know ive been sick having had cashew nuts before and when rubbing it on my arm it reacts very mildy in comparison to brazil and walnuts! the last time i reacted badly i had a very small amount (sprinkled on a quality street chocolate that i didnt' notice) and spat most of it out before i ate it, yet i still reacted very badly! i think ive avoided nuts for this long so well because tree nuts are in far less things! does this sound like the sort of alleryg which would need any kind of medical guidance or do u think im safe to leave it?
sorry my message is probably a bit confusing im tired :-)
any advice anyone has would be great
cheers!

matt

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 11:58am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

matt
first welcome aboard.
Second, the medical community has changed its stance in the last 10 years about who should have an epi (the seringue thingy).
I was tested 10 to 15 years ago for a severe allergy to shellfish. The doctor told me to avoid all shellfish or suffer possible death, yet I didn't get an epi.
My son turned slightly red when eating peanut sauce and he got an epi right away. Yet peanuts and shellfish (and nuts!) are all allergies that are unpredictable.
I would say get tested again, by a knowledgeable allergist.

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 12:13pm
hannah mom's picture
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Joined: 10/12/2001 - 09:00

Matt
As darthcleo posted, I would get proper testing done if I were you.
It is possible to be tree-nut allergic but not peanut allergic. When I was younger, I babysat a boy who was in this situation. He ate peanut butter regularly, but had anaphylactic reactions to even trace amounts of certain tree nuts.
Sarah
Edited to add this note: I am not suggesting you start eating peanuts without getting tested, just letting you know it is possible you may not be allergic to them.
[This message has been edited by hannah mom (edited April 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 11:21pm
beansmama's picture
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Joined: 10/03/2002 - 09:00

Matt, welcome aboard.
PLEASE do not continue to expose yourself to nuts! With an allergy, the reactions tend to get worse each time the person is exposed. You are bambling with your life!
Get tested by a reputable allergiest. Both of my children have suffered the beginning stages of anaphylaxis - it's not a pretty sight, and it's horribly scary for the parents, and even moreso for the child.
Getting tested will help both you and your parents... and can answer all those questions, and provide the means to keep you safe.
Best wishes,
Kris

Posted on: Mon, 04/07/2003 - 1:49am
LisaMcDowell's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2002 - 09:00

Hi,
To answer your question about rubbing a nut on your skin...it may be the easiest & quickest way to determine if you are allergic. For my dd, a tactile reaction is far better then an ingestive reaction!
You've obviously done quite well for yourself by practicing "avoidance", however you & your parents may want to consider getting you an Epi-pen (the thingy) for your own safety.
And since you appear to know that you are in fact allergic to tree nuts, then testing may only be necessary to prove to your parent's medical insurance company that it needs to cover the cost of Epi-pen(s).
My praise for coming here on your own to ask!
I forgot to mention that a "peanut" is a "legume" like a green bean. Easiest way to remember is that it is grown in the ground (w/mold spores). Nuts grow on trees.
[This message has been edited by LisaMcDowell (edited April 07, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 04/07/2003 - 3:37am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I know two adults who are severely allergic to walnuts (a tree nut) and neither one has ANY allergic problems with peanuts. One of them carries epinephrine.... and the other one is my DH.
He (like you, it seems) has never needed rescue medication because most of the time, it is easy for him to know when walnuts are in something. It sounds like you have allergies to more than one tree nut, though.
He's a grown man, so I leave it alone, though I respectfully disagree about his need for epinephrine. (Then again, he leaves me alone about my yellowjacket sting allergy, which I also don't carry epinephrine for.)
It is definitely worth getting checked by your family doctor (who can certainly order a "blood test" for antibodies) or better yet, evaluated by an allergist.

Posted on: Tue, 04/08/2003 - 8:51am
mattymonster's picture
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Joined: 04/06/2003 - 09:00

hi, thanks all for your replies! is that true that the more your exposed to the allergen the worse it gets?? also although i react badly to them when i do eat them, small traces dont effect me really! some people dont even seem to be able to breathe near the nut they're allergic to! ive had swollen lips when ive put bread down on te counter my dad had put nuts on, or if someone whose eaten them kisses me, but nothing really bad! my throat also went a tingly when i was testing for the brazil nuts cos i think i touched my mouth or something but still its like the slightest reaction! i think i will go get tested by my doctor if only so i know for sure what i can and cant eat! avoiding peanuts is annoying cos their in everything so if i can eat them that'd be a lot easier! is the epi-pen somethign that you just have the one of, as in it doesn'#t need replacing all the time cos im on other medication for hayfever and my prscription bills are getting pretty expensive with the nasal spray, antihistamines and eye drops (and a few other things i have to take) which run out each month, so i could do without any additional costs!i live in england by the way, not sure how it works in america but i know its different from here!
anyway ive waffled enough!
thanks a lot
matt

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