EAT => Food Allergies => Topic started by: happy mommy on August 04, 2005, 20:38:17 pm

Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: happy mommy on August 04, 2005, 20:38:17 pm
This is about me rather then my kids.  Is it possible to be allergic or sensitive to only one kind of nut?  I've noticed lately that I don't feel as well when I've been eating cashews.  Yet, I seem to be able to pack away the honey roasted peanuts and not feel the same way.  My dad seems to think that if one is allergic to nuts it would be to ALL nuts...but that just doesn't make sense to me. 

Anyone know?

Holly :wink:
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: Kayna on August 04, 2005, 21:06:51 pm
I know when testing for nut allergy's there's a Peanut and Tree nut catagory. If one is allergic to peanuts that doesn't necessarily mean an allergy to other nuts. Not sure how the "tree nut" catagory works. A nut allergy can be very serious be very careful if you suspect you've had a reaction. Our allergist told us that reactions can get worse the second, third, etc. time. HTH.

You might also wanna post this on the allergy board. :wink:
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: happy mommy on August 04, 2005, 22:32:24 pm
Well I TOTALLY overlooked the allergy board!  Can someone move this or copy it or should I just ask again overthere? 
Here is what I'm experiencing...I've always loved nuts and have never noticed a reaction to any of them.  Earlier this year I started consuming cashews in LARGE quanities cause I like them and I was too busy (lazy) to look for a snack that required more then opening a lid!  In February, allergy season took off big time here...have been told it is one of the worst ever.  My biggest complaint is post nasal's driving me mad!!!  I've been to the dr. ever so many times for it and finally got on a combination of medicine that seems to do the trick.  One day, a couple months back I was feeling moody wondering if I was ever going to feel normal again when I started thinking about the amount of cashews I'd been fact I was having them in my chicken fried rice as I was thinking this.  That's when I began to wonder if I wasn't having a bit of a reaction to the nuts.  It causes a thick/almost kind of swollen feeling in my throat....very similar to how the post nasal drip feels.  So I stopped eating them for a few days then tried some again.  My throat felt irritated pretty quickly.   I tried this every few days and experienced pretty much the same thing.  I called my dad, who has some food allergies, to ask his opinion and he thought maybe it was the salt that was irritating me.  I didn't eat any for a couple months...until recently.  I still had some in the house and  wanted them.  They didn't irritate me right away so I kept eating them...for 2 or 3 days I ate them by the handful ( :oops: Okay, I'll confess, I was just eating them out of the jar with a spoon! :oops: )  I've noticed that thick/swollen feeling again.  BUT that could entirely be because I've forgotten to take some of my meds lately...but I thought I'd ask anyway.  When I was taking a break from the cashews I was bienging on honey roasted peanuts and I never felt that way...
I am going to have myself tested for allergies (had it done once when I was a kid) as soon as I feel good enough to go off my meds for a week.  I was supposed to do it in June, but I wasn't ready to stop the meds for that long.  Blech!  I hate having allergies!

Holly :wink:
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: carolyn on August 04, 2005, 22:37:51 pm
It sounds to me that you have done a pretty good job of narrowing it down to the cashews.  I would definately lay off them and call the doctor.  The "thickness" in your throat could be a swelling reaction.  You really don't want to mess with that.  Anaphylaxic (sp?) is the reaction that is so dangerous because it swells up your throat and can basically strangle you.  And from what I understand, though I may be mistaken, reactions can worsen the more you are exposed.  So something that used to cause a minor reaction may suddenly be a horrible reaction.

So, drop the spoon and stop eating those cashews!! Call your doctor for an appointment. 

BTW, peanuts are not really nuts; they are legumes, more akin to soy beans than cashews.
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: happy mommy on August 05, 2005, 03:51:58 am
Wow, Carolyn!  Thanks for that!  I had no idea about the peanuts...that's awsome!  So, is it "normal" though to be able to eat something my whole life (I'm 26) and then suddenly begin to have a reaction to it?  I'm thinking to myself now....Is it possible that I've always had a slight reaction to them and just never noticed...and never ate them in large enough quantity to cause a more noticable reaction?  I mean, come on, nuts are kinda on the pricey side so I'm sure my parents didn't let me chow down on 2 pounds of them by myself as a kid...which is pretty much what I'm doing now...2 pounds can be gone in less then a week!!

If the cashews are causing a reaction, should I be weary of other almonds and walnuts?

Thanks again!

Holly :wink:
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: happy mommy on August 05, 2005, 04:19:48 am
Okay, this is the sort of question you can expect from me.  Now that I've had a few moments to think (and worry) about it I'm a little concerned.  If it's true I'm reacting to the cashews do I have to worry about anaphalaxis (sp?) RIGHT NOW?  I haven't had any cashews since probably at least 24 hours.  I haven't felt like it's a severe enough reaction to feel like my throat is going to swell shut and no trouble breathing.  The longer I go without a nut the weaker the reaction is going to get until I feel normal again right?  Does that make sense?  I know, I worry to much! 

Holly :wink:
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: carolyn on August 05, 2005, 12:19:49 pm
Holly, read this source for information on nut allergies:

I'm not an allergy specialist so I can't really answer your question.  I have a friend with bee sting allergies.  He didn't start having bad reactions until after he had been stung several times.  Then his reactions were life threatening after that.  So I think the reaction doesn't necessarily diminish if you stay away from the toxin, it can actually build in your body to the point where the next one may take it over the edge.  Or at least this is how I understand it.

Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: Kayna on August 05, 2005, 12:24:21 pm
Holly, I'm sure you are fine since it's been 24 hours but you can take oral Benedryl if you are worried. It is very effective as well for allergy's but an epi-pen would be best if you do have swelling. Your allergist will know the best method for you but until his appt. you could take the Benedryl.
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: happy mommy on August 05, 2005, 17:01:46 pm
Thanks for the website Carolyn!  Kayna, is benadryl suggested because it is an anti-histimine or for another reason?  If it's because it's an A-H I won't worry as I've been taking otc claritin lately as I'm between bottles of my rx zyrtec. :lol:

Holly :wink:
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: carolyn on August 05, 2005, 17:29:18 pm
Holly - something to think about is what else is in the cashews? Sometimes they are prepared with different oils or might have MSG added to them.  And you might have MSG in Chinese food too.

I think I misread your other post.  But Kayna answered it well.

If you have medicine questions you can call your pharmacist.  They have always been helpful for me with questions like that.
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: Kayna on August 05, 2005, 17:37:25 pm
If you're taking Claritin then nix my suggestion of Benedryl. Our Pharmasist told us we could not use both simutaneously and since Claritin works for 24 hours you're covered. The only reason I suggested the benedryl is because our Allergist told us we could try Benedryl first for ds peanut allergy if we just suspected he was exposed but to use the epi-pen if we knew for sure he was exposed and swelling had begun. Sorry!
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: happy mommy on August 05, 2005, 19:01:39 pm
No don't apologize Kayna!  It was something I didn't think about until you mentioned it!  Is it hard to keep him from eating peanuts?  It seems nuts are in everything...just like milk!!!  Carolyn, excellent suggestion.  I did read the ingrediants as I was throwing them away (so I wouldn't be tempted to eat more!).  I didn't see anything that seemed suspious.  Do either of you happen to know if the allergist would test me for a nut allergy without making me go off my meds? (I would have to stop my anti-histamine and my nasal spray :( ) I was thinking about waiting another month or 2 before being tested.  We are moving in 2 weeks and I am hoping against hope that the climate change helps my seasonal allergies.  I was beginning to fear that in my current environment they would last all season...which seems to last all year long!!!!!
But, being the anxious worryer type I know I'm going to worry now about whether or not everything I eat has nuts in it...until I know for sure.
However, I've got my fingers crossed that the reason I feel worse is because I've forgotten to take my nasal spray A LOT lately!  (I didn't realize how much I'd forgotten until I looked back through my notebook...yeah, I have to write it down or I forget!).  I certainly am hopeing to avoid having to add to my food "issues" with ANOTHER food I can't eat !!!!
Thanks for your help ladies!
Holly :wink:
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: Kayna on August 08, 2005, 12:22:45 pm
Hi Holly, sorry didn't catch this until now. We've known ds has had an allergy to peanuts since before he was one so we've really gotten used to watching closely. DS is so good about it he always asks if there's peanuts or nuts in anything anyone gives him. At first I was super paranoid about it but since have gotten used to it and just make sure I always have a plan of action in place when we go places. He has a medical bracelet (he doesn't wear much anymore since he can talk) and we carry a "meds" bag with us at ALL times. It has his epi-pen, benedryl, zyrtec (he's also allergic to trees  :cry: ), hydrocortizone, and a contact sheet (dr's #'s, er's in the area, etc). It's a very scary and serious allergy but easily detected in comparison to milk, soy, wheat, etc. I guess you just learn to live with it and don't know any different after awhile  :) .

Also, I'm pretty sure you can't get tested if you have taken Zyrtec, Claritin, etc within 48hrs of your appt. DS had to be off of everything! Good luck, I know how miserable it can be without your meds.
Title: A question about nut allergies....
Post by: Livvismum on August 08, 2005, 20:19:05 pm
Hi Holly

You've had brill advice from all the girls but just to confirm what Kayna has said, I'm pretty sure (following a documentary on TV about allergies) that you cannot have any form of anti-histamine in your system when you are tested as even the smallest amount may be affective enough in reducing a severe allergy and then when the test is undertaken something that would have rated high enough to warrant an epi-pen may come put really low and less of a risk.