Posted by: The Saffa Mom | June 13, 2011

I am allergic to what?

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor with gunky sinuses and a sore throat. However, the real reason why I was there was because the previous four nights I had been suffering with a seriously itchy skin. In fact, I could claw myself out of it (my skin), if I was able to. My tummy was covered in a rash that resembled hives, and every morning it would be gone. Not a sign at all.  

And no everyone, it was not dry skin!!!  

The doctor put me on anti-biotics to try and clear my sinuses up, which said could have caused a food allergy to rear its head. That as well as hot baths and exercise. “A food allergy? BUT I AM ALIVE. DON’T YOU DIE IF YOU ALLERGIC TO SOMETHING? BUT I have never been allergic to anything. Shouldn’t you swell up- need to get to the hospital to make sure that you can still breath? ”

I quickly realised those were not the only ways that your body showed signs of allergic reactions. It could be asthma, eczema, hay fever and year-round nasal symptoms. I didn’t need to be allergic to anything before, to be allergic to it today.   

It would explain the fact that I had been on three different anti-biotics this year, and more than a couple of boxes of Anti-histamine tablets….My sinuses feel like they are constantly at war with the air, and the amount of snot that can be created by this one pair must be something that should be recorded for the Guiness Book of Records.

Hoping that once the course of anti-biotics was done, all would find it’s happy medium again, I left it at that.

Two weeks after that- still suffering from sore throats, sinuses and now ears- with anti-biotics long gone, I decided that I was going to look into this whole “Allergy” thing. If my body is not coping with something, perhaps I need to figure out what it is? My sinuses are only one sign. The sign that I can actually feel. How does it affect every other cell?

I did some googling and came across a allergy clinic in a close area who then referred me to another doctor that specialised in adults.

I went to see her last Friday. What I thought would be a quick twenty minute appointment turned into an hour and forty five minutes! I also went in with expectations that if she was going to tell me anything it would be the standard stuff- grass, wheat, diary.

(In fact, my knight made me out to be quite dilly stating that it would be all of those things and a thousand things more (everything), and then I may as well not live! He believed that because apparently he had been tested  as a child and it was all of those things, and/but he needs to live!! (His words! Promise.) Let’s not bring up the fact that his sinuses are constantly clogged up, and he suffers from nose bleeds way too often. He has not been able to see the connection yet!!)

She asked me about my lifestyle, where I live, what I do, and what I eat. I realised very quickly that it was not about how healthy I tried to be at all. In fact, many of the decisions I make based on the fact that I think they are healthy, are actually probably contributing to my health in a negative way. Living on a small holding, in an equestrian estate, and really eating most foods….. I didn’t leave her with TOO Many options. Haha.

Next step was SKIN PRICK TESTING. A nurse worked on the inside of my forearms, and drew a grid up both my arms. She indicated what each block would be for, and from there dropped a drop of extract in each block. On one arm we dealt with outside external things, perhaps things that I could be inhaling. The other arm was allocated to things I ingest. While the droplet was sitting on my skin, she pricked my skin slightly so that the liquid would actually penetrate a little.

It was not a painful process at all, however after two minutes my arm was very itchy, and I became very uncomfortable. (One of the initial requests before she started was that I hold back from rubbing or scratching… I could distort the results.) From the way I was feeling- I was allergic to everything. What was I going to do?

Amongst the tests were a positive and a negative. The positive being a histamine (which everyone should react to unless they have taken antihistamines, and the negative being a saline solution, which you should not react to.)

There I sat for twenty minutes, trying to hold back from scratching like it was my last responsibility on this earth. Grateful I had my kindle.

Once my sleeves were lifted, the really itchy bits had turned into swollen red mosquito like bite marks. This was not all of them…. only the ones that my body had formed anti-bodies against. The nurse measured the weal (centre swollen piece), and then measured the redness around this. Those figures were all tabled and given to my doctor.

It turns out that I am allergic to dust mites (which I am positive is common); cockroaches (who wouldn’t be?); Bermuda grass (one grass out of many); cats (apparently you don’t have to have cats to react…just be anywhere near someone who does) and horses (our home vicinity would not be a good place then). These are things I cannot really control, and are a part of my everyday life although not all directly.  For all of those the doctor has prescribed a Cortisone nose spray that I will use EVERYDAY forever!

What I can control, and surprise surprise, what are some very different things to what I believed could be the allergy…. are the things I ingest. 4 key food players arose.

  1. Peanuts (for this she has sent me for further blood tests which I should receive results for in a few days). My good doctor requested that I do not touch anything with peanuts in it. Every day last week, my breakfast consisted of peanut butter on a slice of toast. My lunch on Thursday was a Thai wrap filled with cashew nuts, and my favourite ice cream contains chocolate and almonds. It is the only ice-cream I really like. This is a bummer. Nuts are a part of my everyday life!
  2. Egg White and Egg Yolk. She asked that I avoid these products, and handed me a list of foods that may contain egg protein as well as label ingredients that indicate the presence of egg proteins. My first thought of “no longer having fried eggs with breakfast” became a drop in the ocean once I realised how many products actually contain egg.  ( There are 16 names that are used currently on labels that all refer to an egg protein.) I can confidently state that there is a long list of foods I eat, that according to this, I should not. This is bummer number 2.
  3. Apples. That is fine… I hate apples! Oh wait, what about the fruit juice I sometimes drink? Might have to check that closely…. has it been diluted with apple juice? And apple pie! Apple strudel! Hot apple puddings have me wrapped in a bag of gargling slober in seconds. Bummer number 3.

Considering I am on day 3 of knowing what I should be avoiding…. I have not done too well.

The vegetable pizza I had on Friday night after Pilates would have been okay, however the feast I ate with friends at our house on Saturday was a step in the wrong direction. My knight created a chicken masterpiece that he makes with mayonnaise, and my tiramisu dessert (will post that simple recipe tomorrow) contained finger biscuits- which are both biggies on the list.

It is quite difficult to decide how seriously I want to take this. If I don’t- will full blown asthma develop? Will my sinuses become infected constantly, more regularly, and will other side effects develop. Will that itchy skin I feel, become daily and not only after Pilates or a bath? Will My Knight think I am the biggest pain if I start checking every label? (Do I even need to ask him that?)

And more importantly, who makes egg free puddings?

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Responses

  1. You might still be able to enjoy your almonds. A peanut allergy is quite often different than a tree nut allergy, I know this because I’m completely allergic to almonds, walnuts, all tree nuts and I can eat peanuts and cashews without any reaction. I’ve never met any one who couldn’t eat both. Peanuts are a legume and grow sort of underground, or near enough to the ground to not be considered a tree variety.

    It sounds like you have moderate symptoms, like you said – you’re not dead 🙂 Do you have any homeopathic doctors that could help you build your immune system to fight the regular exposure to the irritants?

    There are “allergy shots” here which are supposed to help your body kick start a defence and over time reduce the symptoms.

    Hope that helps
    xxx

    • Thanks chef. From teh blood tests it seems like it is only peanuts…. and i shouldn’t die. Yah!!!
      I am not a big homeopathic lover. Although i should try healthier options.
      Going to cut the most obvious out- and work from there.
      xx

  2. Oh my, your doctor sounds a misery … live without eggs and peanuts? Never!

    • Shocking hey. Thinking i woudl have done better with wheat and dairy. Haha.
      Thsi morning i found a recipe that replaced the eggs with apple sauce…… was excited, until i realised that wont do either.
      xx

  3. Maybe my wife should get the same tests. She always has something going on with her sinuses. I sure hope you can get this figured out for the best. We need you alive and kickin! Big Hug!

    • Your wife must definitely go!!! Not expensive, and comforting to know what coudl be causing it all.
      xx

  4. Better to find out what is going on than to not know at all. Perhaps your doc will allow you to re-introduce one item at a time to determine what you are not allergic to.

    • I am worrying more about avoiding them all to begin with…haha. I am thinking that i will just avoid teh most obvious for now, and then slowly if need be…. avoid more and more. Never mind new introductions. Haha.
      The positive thing is that if you do avoid something strictly, your body can fight past that allergy, and it can go. Then introduction can take place again, and no symptons will appear.
      xx

  5. Interesting comment from Midnitechef above. Our son is allergic to tree nuts but can eat peanuts and peanut butter all day long. That never really made any sense to me but now it does. Sorry you’re having to deal with this. Thankfully I’ve never had any allergy problems with anything. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I think we could all probably choose to make better food choices, apparently sometimes its forced upon us. Keep us posted!

    • Although you say better food choices, these foods are not bad n the “health” world. In fact, probably the opposite. I must admit i am frustrated…. and freaking itchy all the time. This means that i need to probably look at it all much more seriously. Yah!!! Haha.

  6. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask! Flammable storage

    • Hi, I have used WordPress…but honestly have not tried any of the others.
      Good luck!


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