Anyone Else Have An Unknown Food Allergy?

Discussion in 'General food allergy discussion' started by james, Jun 7, 2011.

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    james New Member

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    Hello, I was wondering if anyone else has had an experience similar to mine. About 3 years ago when I was 23 I began to have random reactions. These reactions have become more frequent and seemingly more severe. My entire body becomes covered in hives, my chest and neck turns bright red, I have a extreme burning sensation on my face and head, tingling in my mouth and nose. This always occurs during the night, usually around midnite, many hours after eating my last meal. These reactions are accompanied by upper stomach pain and heartburn. I usually chew a couple benadryl and after a hour or so the reaction goes away and I feel fine again. The last time I had a reaction I went to the ER and was told I need to carry a epi pen and return to the ER whenever this happens.Prior to the last reaction, I had visited an allergy specialist and he performed a skin test and told me I was allergic to cats/dogs and mold. He and I both feel like it must be a food that is doing this to me because of the way the reaction affects my whole body. He put me on 30 days of zantac and zyrtec and told me this would probably fix my problem. Also, I was instructed not to go to the ER (supposedly my reactions are not severe) and to take a couple benadryl then begin a 6 day round of prednisone if I did suffer another reaction. My last reaction was 3 days ago and Iam now taking prednisone, zantac, zyrtec. I have made an appointment to get blood drawn and further testing......... Iam scared to eat anything and am constantly worried that I am going to have another reaction. I dont know if I need to go to the ER if it happens again. I have more questions than answers at this point, I hope my blood tests give me some answers. Does anybody relate to this??
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    AllergyGuy Administrator

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    Yep James, I imagine most who have food allergies can relate to this. It does seem like your reactions are getting more severe which is very common with food allergies. The meds you are on will not, in my opinion, "fix your problem". They will only treat symptoms of your reactions. There is no "fix" other than to avoid the food that's causing it.

    It is not uncommon at all to have reactions hours after eating. I would suggest you create a food diary. Just write down the ingredients of all the food you're eating and see if you can't find a common denominator.

    Eat...... Don't stop eating because you're scared. Just create menus of items you know are safe.

    I don't understand any doctor of sound mind telling you not to go to the ER. I've never heard a doctor make a statement like that. I've always, ALWAYS, A L W A Y S, heard doctors say, err on the side of caution. Definitely go to the ER or contact 911 if you feel your symptoms escalating. Things like light light-headedness, trouble breathing, restricted airway, anything that you feel might be a situation that could be life threatening. ER's are there to handle emergencies and food allergies can absolutely escalate to just this situation.

    Watch the video on the home page about Anna if you don't think it can be serious. She's been in a coma for two months and I haven't heard she's come out of it. I'm not saying this to scare you. I just think you need to be proactive and, like I've always heard, err on the side of caution.

    Welcome to the board & happy to help......
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    james New Member

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    Is there anything more that I can do (or take) when I start to have a reaction rather than just take 2 benadryl and hope I dont have to go to the ER? thanks
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    AllergyGuy Administrator

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    "now taking prednisone, zantac, zyrtec"

    Well James, it's my understanding that that drug combo should stop or slow a big reaction. But, when you're having a reaction, taking 2 Benadryl are usually the recommended first steps. Though, if you are having a major reaction that is getting worse, that's when an EPI pen gets used. You might need to use it before emergency response arrives or you get to an ER.
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    melissalester New Member

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    Hi James. In the past 5 years I also have developed an unknown food allergy. Mine originally started off very much like yours. I would get hives on my face, neck, and chest that would burn and last for a varied amount of time. My reactions have since progress and I will have hives in combination with difficulty breathing; however, sometimes I don't even have the hives anymore, only difficulty breathing. Typically they reactions occur within minutes up to approximately 2 hours after eating.

    I tracked my food intake for over a year and have yet been able to determine what is causing the reaction. I was tested for food allergies, and I have only had a false positive for tomatoes, which I eat every day. My doctor believes that I am most likely allergic to an additive or spice, however they are currently unable to test for those ingredients. From what my doctor has told me the only way to really treat a food allergy is by avoidance, which isn't so easy to do in our case. My doctor advised me to take liquid Zyrtec at the first sign of a reaction. I have found that Claritin works just as well, however Benadryl will not slow down my reactions. The reason for taking the liquid is so the medicine will enter your system faster. I carry two EpiPens on me at all times that I use when the difficulty breathing occurs. My doctor also has me taking 1 Pepcid AC, 1 Zyrtec, and 1 Singulair 1 hour prior to eating any foods that I have not prepared myself. I must admit, this does seem to slow down the reactions.

    I hope that this helps some, and I hope that you are able to find the cause of the reactions.
    AllergyGuy likes this.
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    AllergyGuy Administrator

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    Good info Melissa.....

    I hope you find the allergen.
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    ccat1998 New Member

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    You might consider asking your doctor to test you fire alpha-gal allergies. It is an allergy that is triggered by tick our court bites. It makes you allergic to mammal meat. It has a delayed reaction - up to 4-8 hours after you eat. It doesn't happen every time you eat meat, only sometimes. For me, personally, it causes hives, incredible itching, vomiting, diahrea, swelling of my face (eyes, lips), swelling of my tongue, and some swelling in my throat. The blood test took me a week to get results back.

    This allergy had been discovered in the past 2ish years and is currently being researched at the University of Virginia.
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    AllergyGuy Administrator

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    Very interesting info. I didn't know anything about alpha-gal. I'm going to post something in the forum so it's more prominent. Thanks and welcome to the board.
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    jacob7777 New Member

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    Many people as they age develop allergies that they never had when they were younger. One of the main factors that causeses this condition is your digestive process. A little physiology: when you eat nutrients, some of the nutrients are boken down by amalaise, produced by the salivary glands in the mouth. The major breakdown of foods happens in the stomach. Food entering the stomach is mixed with hydrochloric acid (HCL), pepsin and a host of other enzymes. To adiquately break down the food, the strength of the acid must be in the 1.0 to 1.5 pH range. The peptic enzymes responsible for conveting proteins are most active in this range. Many proteins are allergens and will cause allergies and many other symptoms not normally considered as allergies. In many instances, as a person ages the parietal cells responsible for producing the acid, start to wane in their ability to produce sufficiently strong acid. When the pH of the acid moves toward the neutral side, there is diminished sterilization and conversion necessary to break down the food. At pH 5.0 there is no sterilization and converion by the peptic enzymes. When this occurs the peptic enzymes become less active in the conversion of proteins, resulting in raw proteins entering the small bowell. Note: antibiotics, antihistimines, proton pump inhibitors and other acid reducing medication will inhibit the acid producing cell from producing sufficiently strong acid, necessary to promote good sterilization and conversion of the nutrient consumed. When unconverted proteins enter the small bowel they result in an alergic reaction (allergies). This condition is called Hypochlorhydria, in extreme instances, where the parietal cell are not producing any acid, the conditions is called Achlorhydria. Both of these conditions will cause allergies and allow bacteria, fungal and paracites to flurish in the digestive process. Hypochlorhydria and Achlorhydria are not limited to any age group. If you have allergies, it would be well advised to get a pH diagnostic test to determine the condition of your digestive process. If you search the web for pH diagnostict test, gastrogram, pH capsule test, you will find a lot of useful information the will help you with your allergies.
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    AllergyGuy Administrator

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    Interesting Jacob, where are you getting your information from?
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    culhaneboys New Member

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    I had the same symptoms and ended up taking prednisone, antihistamines, and still going to the ER for IV steroids. It turned out to be Celiac disease for me. Hives are not a common symptom of Celiac so some Dr.'s don't think to test for it. I didn't have gastrointestinal symptoms which are the more typical symptoms for Celiac disease. I also had food allergy tests and tested negative for everything even wheat because Celiac disease is not a food allergy it didn't show up. Hope this helps someone! It took six months for my hives to stop even after a gluten free diet as it takes a while for the gluten to get out of your system. They didn't completely go away until I eliminated dairy. Celiacs sometimes have problems with dairy too.
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    AllergyGuy Administrator

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    Well that's interesting & thanks for posting.... Hives are typically thought of as a histamine response which would indicate an allergy. How did they determine Celiac?

    Congrats on getting better.
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    7even New Member

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    As some members already know, that I'm senstive to histamine and I can give you some tips. One tomato was enough for having strong headache and I didn't know whats going on! Then I started to read a lot on the internet and I've read sth about a dietary supplement called Daosin. It's a dietary supplement which controls your histamine level and avoids your allergic reaction. I really can recommend it to everyone having a histamine intolerance!
    Best of luck!
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    TeddyCan New Member

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    I have had the same issues with milk products. Once I have been diagnosed I stopped taking milk completely though I sometimes take yogurt and it doesn't cause any problem.

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