Wednesday, June 27, 2007

If I don't post tomorrow, you'll know why

Can you develop a nut allergy when you're all growed up already?

I've always had a slight sensitivity to hazelnuts (though not any other nut). They make my throat itch. Last week I ate a whole bowl of them, had a wicked sore throat and itchy mouth all afternoon, and by the evening, was wheezing and coughing like I used to when I had asthma as a kid. (Apart from this, I haven't had problems with asthma for about 15 years, though).

Tonight I had some peanut butter, and now my mouth and throat feel swollen and itchy. And there's some coughing. But no whistley sounds as yet.

In the greatest blogging tradition, I eschew qualified health professionals and instead turn to you, my loyal readers, to provide speculative medical advice.

I should probably just stop eating nuts, right?

28 Comments:

Bardiac said...

Unless you have fantasies that real emergency departments are even the least bit like *ER*, yeah, give up eating nuts.

Or, at the least, eat in very tiny quantities, very rarely?

I bet your parrot friends would like them, though!!!

EA said...

Um... I'm totally unqualified to answer this question... but because my father is a vet, my mother is a nurse and worked for an allergy doctor, and my husband has more allergies than you can shake a stick at... I so totally want to say this...

STOP EATING NUTS!!!

:o)

Psycgirl said...

Yes, you can develop allergies later on that you didn't have when you were younger.

So, I think you're going to have to stop eating nuts :( Or at the very least go see a doctor...

Kate said...

My only qualification is that I was just diagnosed with gluten and casein (the protein in cow's milk) intolerances, which are similar to allergies. With allergies, the symptoms show up right away, and with intolerances (also sometimes called "sensitivities") they show up later, and have long term health effects.

All that said, nut allergies can DEFINITELY show up later in life, and they can get worse/increase with time. So yeah, stay away from nuts (that said, do some research first -- different nuts are in different families, so you may have to stay away from hazelnuts, peanuts and cashews but could eat almonds).

I hear sunflower seed butter tastes as good as peanut butter... you can buy it at Trader Joe's and probably also health food stores.

Geeka said...

You can start to develop allergies later in life. You should stop eating nuts.

That said, (and I don't know if nut trees flower), you can eat single source honey (like clover if you were allergic to clover) to help minimize the allergies.

Nut allergies can be very, very bad. You should see a doctor to see if you should invest in an epi-pen.

I am allergic to lobster.

sheepish said...

Nahhhh, keep eating nuts. They're tasty, right? Just make sure you always keep a pocket knife and straw on hand for doing emergency tracheotomies.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I developed a bunch of new allergies in my late 20s... From the sounds of it, I'd avoid those nuts -- sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I'm one of those crazy moms with a kid who's allergic to peanuts. Yes, you should stop eating nuts, and see an allergist to get an epipen prescription. Food allergies can develop at any age and their severity can change without warning. A significant percentage of deaths are people who only had mild reactions in the past.

A message board I belong to has a section for "Adults with Peanut Allergies" which might be helpful. However, be warned, it's mostly populated with moms like me who'll tell you to avoid nuts, see a doctor, and eat your vegetables (unless they might be cross-contaminated with nut proteins)

http://www.peanutallergy.com/bbpage.htm

Twirly said...

my favorite dr. google friend is webmd.com - but you should consult an allergist because (as others have said) if you really are allergic to nuts you do need to have an epi-pen.

ariberkana said...

Yeah, I'd stay away from the nuts. I have an anaphylactic response to peanuts and tree nuts, and it's definitely not fun.

You can develop allergies as an adult, and every time you have an allergic reaction, it's going to make the next one worse. This is why I started developing hives a few years ago, but it sort of serves as an early warning system.

I'd buy some liquid Benadryl and keep it on hand. It tastes pretty awful, but it will make your symptoms go away quickly. If your throat starts to feel like it's going to close, take some Benadryl and get thee to the Emergency Room! They will give you an IV, most likely of Benadryl, and monitor you closely.

As an aside, they DO make nut-free Peanut Butter in Canada now (it has the ridiculous name of Peabutter), which might be good if you can still have peas but not peanuts. I know that they are starting to get it in the US, but not sure if it's hit Australia yet.

http://www.peabutter.ca

So, you might want to go check this out at a doctor. But, I want to say, good luck, and feel free to ask me any questions!

Kisha said...

I also have anaphylactic allergic reactions.

I was going to say this too: "You can develop allergies as an adult, and every time you have an allergic reaction, it's going to make the next one worse."

So watch out now! Itchy throat is a very bad sign, and means you NEED to see an allergist and get an epi pen.

Good Luck!

shrinkykitten said...

I'm with sheepish - keep eating nuts. Lots and lots of nuts. I think your reactions are simply withdrawal from the flight of the conchords.

itchy throat? how annoying? Do you have to eat something scratchy to relieve it? or ice cream? lots and lots of ice cream.

StyleyGeek said...

I like sheepish's and shrinky's comments best :)

But yeah, I was thinking that the itchy throat and breathing issues were probably not the best sign.

I'm not such a big fan of peanut butter than I will bother trying to find substitutes. I only eat it melted on top of things (like ice cream or muesli).

And I will mention it to my doctor next time I'm there.

PS. Americans: Benadryl? Trader Joe's? You are so cute.

twirly said...

Benadryl is merely an antihistamine

for the chemists/pharmacist in you it is

Diphenhydramine hydrochloride

shrinkykitten said...

ummm.... amewicans not cute. we speak da truf. twader joes is duh bestest yummy making pwace. you jus be jellus.

so, you are not so fond of peanut butter - but you melt it on everything? AND you eat it even when you think you might be having a reaction to nuts??? something just doesn't jive, babycakes.

I say this as I savor a reeses peanut butter cup.

I know, I know, so cute, me american.

StyleyGeek said...

Thanks Twirly: I think you looked that up for me once before, and then I spent hours on google trying to find out what we brand it as, and still don't really have a clue. But I have antihistamine tablets somewhere for hayfever.

Shrinky: not everything. It's just a good substitute if you don't have ice-cream sauce. And the muesli thing is weird, I give you that, but it was more a sort of experiment, and one I can live without. The point about not being fond of peanut butter is that I don't like it cold. Or in sandwiches (because cold). And I've only started putting it in baking or using it melted since I discovered Reese's PB cups a couple of years ago and they gave me an incentive to try it at all. Before that I hadn't eaten peanut butter since I was about three, so I'm sure I can go back to not doing so.

Anonymous said...

My allergy to brazil nuts and certain GMO soy started out this way. Itchy mouth, esophageal pain, wheezing. I was real careful to avoid the nuts but then found out the hard way by spending Xmas eve in emerg hooked up to a zillion different bags of med and getting shots of epinephrine when I got hold a something with occult brazil nuts in it. Not fun.

Re: the Diphenhydramine hydrochloride, most of the hayfever tablets don't do the trick as quickly as far as I know. I was told to have the liquid on hand and in my case, the time I did have a full on reaction I would never have gotten a pill down my throat!! Not meaning to scare you but, yeah, don't mess with it. I also occasionally have allergic reactions involving the itchy mouth thing in response to smooth skinned fruit like apples but only at time of the year when certain families of trees are flowering and thus the pollen is in the air. Strange thing these allergies. The immune system is so funky. (cooking the fruit makes it okay... apparently because it denatures the protein that causes the issue).

StyleyGeek said...

I don't even know if you CAN get liquid antihistamine in this country. I'll have to ask at a pharmacy.

Geekman used to have a reaction like that to apples when we lived in Germany, but not in NZ or here. The pollen story would explain that.

twirled said...

For the general knowledge of everyone - do you have in Aussieland and "nighttime pain releivers" - like an ibprofen with something to help you sleep (in the U.S. tylenol PM or advil PM) - the ingredient to help you sleep is the same ingredient as in Bennadryl (Diphenhydramine HCl) - in the same dosage.

StyleyGeek said...

Um, not that I know of. At least, they maybe exist, but I've never really looked into it. I'm a straight-up Ibuprofen kind of girl :)

Jana said...

StyleyGeek - the New Zealand name for Benadryl is Benadryl, or at least it was when I was a child. I doubt they've withdrawn it. What did your mother give you when you had a cold with a sore throat and a cough when you were little?

StyleyGeek said...

A kick in the bum? (Just kidding.) I think we only ever had paracetamol for all ailments when I was a kid. But I shouldn't extrapolate from that to that being all that was available :) I just haven't noticed Benadryl in pharmacies here, but admittedly I haven't looked very thoroughly.

StyleyGeek said...

Jana---don't think I don't believe you, but I wonder whether your mother had a secret supply. I just looked on www.kiwidrug.com under allergies and pain relief, and then did a search on the Consumer Medicine Information database of NZ medicines (for diphenhydramine) and neither turned up Benadryl. The only thing they had that had diphenhydramine hydrochloride in it was Unisom sleeping pills.

StyleyGeek said...

Oh, actually, I take it back. It seems they have it in Australia too, according to the Aussie version of the Pfizer website. And you are right, it is marketed as a cough syrup. I never would have thought of it for allergies. But in the small print, it does say it contains an antihistamine.

fake doctor twirly said...

I just looked at the formula on the website - it's different in the States it's strictly the DHCl not the other junk....

Badaunt said...

I developed an allergy to bee stings when I was about 25. My advice is to get a cat.

Re the peanut thing: is it a Kiwi thing, do you think, not to eat them so much anyway? We hardly ever ate peanut butter when I was growing up (none of us liked it much) and I think the only time we ever had peanuts was in peanut brownies. But most of the Americans I know seem to have grown up eating peanut butter every day.

StyleyGeek said...

Maybe, Badaunt. Certainly I don't know any NZers who ever ate much peanut butter. But that doesn't mean there aren't any. Maybe all my friends are weird.

wwwmama said...

I had a near lethal allergic reaction, and you don't want to go there. No more nuts!!