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Food allergies: When and how did you develop them?

I was on a different thread and the issue of food allergies came up unexpectedly. Now I'm rather curious. I know people can and do develop food allergies later in life and lose those they had as children; however, are there any warning signs? Why are you one day perfectly able to eat something and a few days later react to it? I suppose personally I'm more interested in food allergies people developed as adults, but I'm sure there are a fair number of people with questions or information about the origin of their childhood food allergies too!

In my particular instance, I found about my apparent food allergy on Chowhound! I can remember having kiwi make my mouth feel as though it had been torn to shreds right around the first or second time I tried it when I was about 10. It also left a weird, metallic taste in my mouth afterward. I liked the actual kiwi taste, but I usually ate it around my sister, who had the same reaction I did. I never realized there was anything odd about this, so I continued to eat it throughout the next 20 or so years. Now it appears that reaction is NOT how people normally feel after they eat kiwi! However, eating the fruit never caused any of the classic food allergy symptoms (like a rash, redness, breathing problems, etc.) for me, so I didn't recognize it as an allergy. To this day I have no other (known!) food allergies.

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  1. I used to eat skate fish all the time growing up -- roasted, in stews, fermented, you name it. Then one day my dad (who really needs to learn when not to be frugal) gave me a piece of roasted skate to eat. He neglected to tell me that it was in the freezer for over a year. After a few bites I spit it out because it tasted so foul. It was bitter and tasted like ammonia. Then my body got a pretty bad histamine reaction and I was rushed to the ER. All of the doctors there said I just probably developed an allergy as food allergies can come up all of a sudden with no warning and no rhyme or reason. I don't believe this was a random occurrence. I truly believe it was my body trying to protect itself from eating that foul skate because the fish would have been poisonous. After that incident, I've learned through accidental exposure that I'm hypersensitive to it and will react even if I eat food that was on a cutting board that previously had skate on it (even if it has been washed). Luckily, skate has never been one of my favorite foods and isn't super common in restaurants. Oh, the angst I would feel if I ever develop a serious allergy to potatoes!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle

      Isn't skate one of the fish that can produce histamine or histamine precursor when it goes bad? That might explain part of your problem & your reaction.

      1. re: anniemax

        Thank you so much for that information. Yes, when I googled it, I found out about scombroid fish poisoning which is a certain type of poisoning that is mistaken for an allergic reaction because of histamine. Severe cases of it will cause respiratory problems and swollen tongue (which happened to me). Interestingly enough, the skate I ate at that time was definitely bad. But all my other incidental exposures with skate were from fresh fish. So it seems that my first reaction was a case of scombroid poisoning, but subsequent encounters were allergic reactions.

    2. My husband developed an allergy to mussels a couple of years ago. Ate moules frite for dinner, was sick all night. He figured the mussels were bad, even though I ate from the same plate, and was fine. Ordered mussels again, someplace else, was sick as a dog again. After the third time.he decided that there was no reason to eat mussels again.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jeanmarieok

        Sounds more like an intolerance than an allergy. The same thing happens to my mom when she eats crabs.

      2. I once over indulged in chili rellenos - they were so good I ate several orders! (Dos Amigos, Atlanta - now long gone.) That night I awoke with my belly covered in itchy strawberry sized hives. After that even a small piece of bell pepper would cause a breakout in hives.

        I avoided all fresh peppers for 7 years and then slowly reintroduced them back into my diet. Now I can eat normal, occasional amounts of all peppers without problems.

        Dried peppers such as chili powder and cayenne never were a problem during that period. Must be a component in the fresh peppers which dissipates when dried.

        13 Replies
        1. re: meatn3

          Wow, that's bizarre! I'm amazed you managed to somehow reacclimate your body to bell peppers. Perhaps there is some chemical in bell peppers that isn't present in their smaller, hotter cousins....I'm glad you are able to indulge in bell peppers now, though; I would miss them terribly.

          1. re: tonina_mdc

            Allergies last either 5 or 7 years (I forget which) and then they go away. Unfortunately you then get allergic to something else usually. Mom has major allergy problems and I can say this as a fact.

            I just got poison ivy this spring for the first time in my life, even though I used to play in fields of them as a child. Husband who used to be deadly allergic didn't get anything, even though I then realized our yard is full of it. Poor me!

            1. re: coll

              Poison ivy is evil, though I can confidently say that I have been allergic to it since I was a child, so I guess that means over 30 years now. My last bout was 2 years ago, and was by far the worst.

              I feel your pain!

              1. re: Cachetes

                I lived 55 years without knowing what it even looked like!

              2. re: coll

                <Allergies last either 5 or 7 years (I forget which) and then they go away.>
                Actually, the body has a kind of 7 year cycle, at which time allergies can appear or disappear as your body chemistry (or something) adjusts itself.
                As a baby I was allergic to dairy. When I grew into a toddler it went away, perhaps my larger body could handle it better. In college, my dairy allergy reappeared and I still have it 20 years later. This allergy was found because I felt sick all the time - dairy is so common in our diets that I was ingesting it constantly!
                I developed a mild nut allergy as a kid, which has grown MUCH worse over the years, in spite of minimal exposure. I have also developed a mild fruit allergy, with no warning signs.
                I have a very good friend who had no previous allergy problems, but as an adult suddenly developed a legume allergy - imagine no soy, or peanut products! As an added pain, he can't have coconut either (and he's Filipino - gave his mother fits!)

                1. re: coll

                  Allergies lasting 5 or 7 years?

                  I've had my egg and fish allergies my entire life. This makes no sense to me. My allergist, as well as other specialists, say that if you don't outgrow your allergy as a kid, you pretty much have it for life.

                  1. re: focioncroci

                    some of my allergies I have had all my life as well. Some - perhaps more intolerance than an "actual" allergy, came on later in life.

                    1. re: focioncroci

                      My Mom, and now I, developed all our allergies after 40. For what it's worth.

                      1. re: coll

                        I have a SIL that developed several allergies in her 40s. She is allergic to soy (but not soy lecithan or soy oil), tree nuts (peanuts are fine), and melons. I had heard her say she was allergic to watermelon so I asked about honeydew and other melons and she is allergic to all of them. Apparently she will break out in hives that last for 6 months or more.

                    2. re: coll

                      Not true for food allergies. I developed a shellfish (bi-valbes--not shrimp) allergy--hives, insomnia, some intestinal distress and throat swelling the next morning. The allergists said this will most likely NEVER go away. As a matter of fact it is possible when getting them at middle age it can just explode. I now carry an EPI pen. NOT something to fool around with. And my husband had terrible headaches a few years ago that turned out to be a yeast overload (candida) and allergy to soy and peanuts!

                      1. re: coll

                        I wish allergies went away after 5 - 7 years. I have a child with a tree nut allergy (not peanuts). I asked the dr if it might go away and he said that type of allergy is usually not outgrown.

                        I have allergies to raw fruit. I avoid many types. I'm not going to take a chance to see if I am still allergic and I would not encourage anyone else to try it either.

                        1. re: Disneyfreak

                          I read about a study this past week or so that links nut allergies (may have been peanuts though) to a specific gene. That would explain why people don't outgrow it.

                      2. re: tonina_mdc

                        generally possible with most TREE allergens. generally not advisable with food because, um, they tend to be more severe.

                    3. I grew up eating PB&J's with the rest of my buddies. Around age 20 I developedd severe anaphylaxis to peanuts tree nuts and a few other non food items. You'd be surpsised how much is fried in peanut oil. Also, Asian restaurants are often difficult to navigate.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: enbell

                        That's horrid. I'll bet you give Thai places in particular a wide berth. It must be hard to tell what to avoid and what is safe - it seems like everything is labeled as possibly containing peanuts or having been produced in a plant and on machinery that could contain peanut matter.

                        1. re: tonina_mdc

                          I thought that peanut oil didn't cause allergies, only peanuts themselves?

                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                            I didn't know, so I checked. Here's some info from the National Peanut Board:

                            "Does peanut oil elicit an allergic reaction?
                            If refined peanut oil is used properly and is not reused after cooking peanuts, it seems to be safe for most people with peanut allergy; crude oil, however, represents a risk. Cold pressed, expelled or extruded peanut oil is NOT safe for peanut allergic individuals."

                            So I guess it depends on what is used and how it is used.

                            1. re: tonina_mdc

                              Yes, and often restaurants use the cheaper version which isn't refined.

                        2. re: enbell

                          Yeah i would. Check soaps. Olives,peanuts,eggs and coconuts hide in everything i know tjis from yrs of label reading and reading allergy sights etc so peanuts and eggs stick in head and sis is allergic to coconut. These are in most products check make up to.

                        3. Shellfish allergy developed in my 20s. I noticed one day that after an evening of eating mussels, I woke up with a rash on my face and in my mouth. Each time I ate them or scallops, etc after that, the rash especially in my mouth would be a bit worse. Don't touch any of it anymore.

                          1. Your reaction to Kiwi sounds like OAS (Oral Allergy Syndrome). Its not a true allergy to the fruit itself, but a cross reaction from a similar protein found in some common pollens. It usually only causes itchiness in the mouth & throat, but not swelling or any of the other common symptoms you associate with a true allergy, and only in the rarest of rarest case can OAS go on to cause anaphylactic reactions.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: anniemax

                              This is interesting. I definitely get this reaction to some fruits (too much pineapple, unripened mango), but I wonder if this is what I am getting to bivalves also. I've never had the closing of my airway, just the swelling and rash in my mouth. Thanks for the information.

                              1. re: Cachetes

                                It does sound like a dead ringer for what you were describing, doesn't it? I'm getting a crash course in food allergies on this thread!

                            2. My sister developed an allergy to shrimp when she was in her 30's. At first I thought she just didn't like peeling them, then I saw her lips swell and face break out in hives. She can still eat all other seafood, including crabs and lobster.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: mojoeater

                                Now, that's a new one! I have never heard of someone being allergic to one type of shellfish without being allergic to all of them. How did she find out that she wasn't allergic to other types? Did she just chance it or did she have an allergy test done that broke down different types of shellfish? I'm curious because my husband's brother has a very strong allergy to shellfish. We've never had my husband tested (our insurance is awful!) and it's too early to test my almost-four-year-old son according to his pediatrician. If we need to ask for a test that specifies different shellfish, I'd like to know.

                                1. re: tonina_mdc

                                  She lives near the ocean and eats crab all the time and lobster on occasion, with no ill affects. Has even had crawfish and no reaction whatsoever. After discovering that she could eat all these things she again tried shrimp and had a terrible reaction.

                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    That is just incredible! Does her doctor have any explanation why she has such an awful reaction to shrimp and only shrimp?

                                    1. re: tonina_mdc

                                      Apparently its not that uncommon. She was told that shrimp are the most allergenic of seafood and is one of the most common food allergies in the US.

                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                        Yet another lesson for me! I always thought if you were allergic to shrimp, you were allergic to all shellfish, period. Thanks for the clarification.

                                        1. re: mojoeater

                                          Yeah, I can't eat shrimp, but have no problems with any other shellfish.

                                          1. re: Naco

                                            And I can't eat lobster but can eat all other seafood and shellfish. Go figure.

                                2. All allergies can come on suddenly - I have taken antibiotics over the years as needed, and suddenly I am allergic (hives, wheezing) to them. Saw an allergist who basically shook his head & said it happens. I keep Benadryl handy, and an epi-pen for when I absolutely HAVE to take antibiotics.
                                  My daughter has oral allergy syndrome. From her first raw banana, she got swelling & itching. With other raw fruits she gets a rash around her mouth & itchy mouth. Tests showed her allergic to melon . . . .which she ate frequently as a baby with no apparent ill effects. Go figure. Cooked fruits are fine, but raw makes her break out. Allergist suggested avoiding foods that provoke a response (really? I never would have guessed!) but that it is related to seasonal allergies and she is allergic to pretty much every tree in the known universe. And we live in the woods :)
                                  I think many more reactions are called "allergic responses" these days, which leads to there being more people with stated food allergies. Not fun, but just the way it goes.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: elfcook

                                    @anniemax and elfcook: Food allergies are largely unknown territory for me, so I had never heard of oral allergy syndrome before now. That sounds pretty close to the mark! As food allergies or semi-allergies go, it sounds like I've gotten off pretty lightly.

                                    @elfcook: How odd about your daughter's reaction to raw but not cooked fruit! Is there any possibility it could be caused by pesticide residue or a preservative? And that's rotten about her tree allergies. I grew up in the country in a town with tons of old-growth trees and I was allergic to several types of tree pollen and grass pollen when I was younger. My allergies were mild, but still enough to make me miserable, especially in spring!

                                    1. re: tonina_mdc

                                      I suffer from adult onset OAS (always had terrible allergies, just none to food). Very sadly for me, I get reactions (as described by elfcook) to so many varieties of raw fruits and veggies that I generally avoid them entirely. Luckily as elfcook points out, cooked fruits and veggies are ok. @tonina mdc... the reason for this is because the reaction is really from cross-pollination with other allergens during the growing process. For example, I'm not allergic to the "peach," but to the birch pollen that gets on/in it while it's growing. Cooking the items denatures the allergens and so people with OAS can eat them without discomfort. I thought this was all in my head- how could I be allergic to raw fruits and veggies but not cooked ones?- until I saw several allergists and did a little research.

                                      1. re: jdinsf

                                        So basically if I wanted to eat stewed kiwi, I'd probably be fine? Interesting, if unappetizing! That's rotten luck for you about the raw fruits and veggies. Is there a certain temp the produce has to reach to denature it? I'm just curious as to whether you can cook fruits and veggies lightly, still leaving some crispness to them, or if you have to bake, steam, or stew them pretty thoroughly to make them safe for you.

                                        1. re: tonina_mdc

                                          About the "allergic reaction to raw fruit" thing....it might not be a true allergy but rather a toxic reaction to some oil or substance on the fruit peel or leaf. Remember, if EVERYONE gets a reaction to a substance, and if it happens on the first exposure, its a toxic reaction, not a true allergy. Knowing this can help you avoid the reaction. For example, there is an oil of some sort on the peels of mangoes (especially the green ones) that will cause a toxic reaction (rash) in humans. Its also on the leaves of the mango tree. My husband grew up in India, and used to climb the mango trees and eat the fruit. He would get this rash all the time....but it was from exposure to the peel and leaves, NOT to the mango itself. He's fine eating the mango itself....so he isn't allergic to mangoes. This isn't cross-pollination, because it happens only with the mango tree, not with other trees just adjacent that would presumably have been exposed to the same pollen in the air. It is simply a toxic reaction to something on the leaf. I have known many people who have reported a rash when eating mangoes, and when I've questioned them carefully they have realized that the rash indeed came after exposure to green unpeeled fruit or to the tree itself. A toxic reaction can be just as bad as an allergy, but at least if you can identify the reaction as such you can totally avoid it and still enjoy the food.

                                          1. re: janetofreno

                                            NOT toxic. IRRITANT, like poison ivy.
                                            Toxic implies a WHOLE lot of things, but mostly "will continue to build up inyour body" ANDwill kill you!

                                          2. re: tonina_mdc

                                            I find a fruit salad that has marinated for a while is usually safe, although I try not to take too much of my problem fruit, and consume them cautiously.

                                            It's really a complicated problem:

                                            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/17/hea...

                                          3. re: jdinsf

                                            Cooking any food your allergic to partially denatures the protein. I can eat cooked cow milk, but raw cow milk will give me a horrible stomach ache. However, I can only have a moderate amount. Some of my more severe allergies, doesn't allow me to even touch or breath the food, cooked or not.

                                          4. re: tonina_mdc

                                            my mother has a similar problem with stone fruits (peaches, apples, pears, cherries) they are fine if cooked, but she gets the itchy mouth and throat if she eats them raw.

                                        2. Boyfriend mysteriously developed horrible allergies to so many foods out of nowhere!
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654495

                                          Had hives, swelling, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, headaches, fatigue. Every kind of medical test you can have and 3 months later we find out its allergies.

                                          1. I have allergies to several foods, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, chocolate, excess sugar, and nearly 50% of foods I eat will give me an immediate reaction to my face (chin, near my lips and on forehead, small bumps appear and my skin will feel very bumpy)

                                            It goes away within 30 mins or so.

                                            I was a vegetarian for 10 years, and so fish and seafood was my main protein, one day I seemed to have developed an allergy to cat fish after trying it for the first time. Now practically all fish make me sick and I feel that I can't digest them.
                                            Salmon used to be the worst so I avoided it, however any sashimi fish (raw) is perfectly ok.
                                            I love fish and hate how I can't eat them. I'm no longer vegetarian so I'll eat some chicken, lamb and beef, quail...etc.

                                            1. DH used to adore seafood and ate it often without any hint of a problem... then one day when he was about 30 he was sitting in a rawbar sucking down bivalves and he started to not feel very well. Five minutes later he was on the floor, and fortunately somebody there had an epipen because he needed it! The docs at the ER said 'congratulations, you're allergic to seafood don't eat ANYTHING that's been in the water or it'll probably kill you...' Later on he had actual allergy tests that revealed that he can eat most fish but not shellfish, shrimp etc. Major allergies often come out of the blue, but other people are born with them.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Kajikit

                                                when I was in my 20's, I bought some shrimp/scallops/lobster to make a coquille st jacques and while cleaning the shrimp, noticed my hands were red and swollen. Then some liquid got in my eyes and the membrane around my eyes started to droop. I flushed it out, thinking big deal and went on cooking. Well the coquille went down nicely and came back ugly. I was tested and yes allergic to shrimp and lobster, but I can eat crab. Just a suggestion, but the emergency room staff said it's a good idea to carry 2 Benedryl pills, you could end up helping someone who is having a first time attack. It could help them at least until they get to a hospital.

                                              2. There is a rumor/theory going around the kitchen at work that there are only 7 foods that trigger true allergies, the definition of a true allergy being the throat closes up. I don't have any experience with allergies but am quite skeptical of this claim. Can anyone debunk this? Also what is the technical difference between an allergy and an intolerance/sensitivity? I don't want to give anyone an itchy rash any more than I want to send anyone into anaphylactic shock so to me it is splitting hairs but curious if my chef is full of sh$t or not about the 7 foods thing.

                                                13 Replies
                                                1. re: babette feasts

                                                  My wife developed an allergy to shellfish when she was in her 20's. She'd always eaten lobster, crab, etc. and then she started having problems. By the third time in the hospital, they figured it out. The doctor said that it was more of a sensitivity than a true allergy and that she likely could eat shellfish "without legs" like clams, mussels, etc. I don't know why that would be true, but she's never been willing to chance it.

                                                  I hate it, because she is always nervous (rightly or wrongly) about going to a place where shellfish is prominent, for fear of cross-contamination so I never get to go to places where fish is the primary thing on the menu.

                                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                                    Wow, that doesn't sound accurate at all. I'll do some checking tonight to see if I can find some information either way. However, we many folks on here who are far better informed on this topic than I, so if anyone else can confirm or deny that rather odd assertion, that would be great.

                                                    1. re: babette feasts

                                                      I found this link:

                                                      http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/...

                                                      I suspect the info in the second paragraph may have been misinterpreted by your chef:
                                                      "Although an individual could be allergic to any food, such as fruits, vegetables, and meats, there are eight foods that account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions. These are: milk, egg, peanut, tree nut (walnut, cashew, etc.), fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat."

                                                      1. re: babette feasts

                                                        That's totally mythical. There are a few common substances which are very common allergens (ie. peanuts, shrimp/shellfish, etc.) but it's possible to be allergic to ANYTHING if you're unlucky enough to develop a sensitivity to it. One of my uncles developed an allergy to hazelnuts and almonds when he was over 50. He'd never had even a hint of a problem an one day voila, he had a full-blown allergy. Funnily enough, he was fine with pecans and walnuts...

                                                        1. re: babette feasts

                                                          So to debunk the myth, are we trying to find a food that is not one of the 7 that causes the throat to close up? Years and years ago a family friend's throat closed up from a spice and he went to the ER.

                                                          But something can most definitely be an allergy without the throat closing up. The doctor can do an allergy test to prove it. I believe (but may be totally wrong) an allergy mimics an autoimmune disease but in a much lesser form. It is similar in that the immune system attacks what it thinks is harmful (the trigger) when it enters the body by reacting in a certain way. An intolerance/sensitivity on the other hand I don't think affects the immune system in the same way but produces a reaction nonetheless.

                                                          1. re: Yes Please

                                                            In addition to the usual suspects, my Mom is allergic to lettuce, chocolate, tomatoes, corn (and that was a problem, what with HFCS in everything) and even to herself (actually to the mites that live on everybody's body). Plus a million other things. All confirmed at Princeton University after she couldn't stand it anymore. Then she said well I'm not giving up wine, and chocolate, and tonic water and Entenmanns cake, and Kahlua, so she did some desensitizing program they taught her, that if you eat each thing only once every four days, you will be OK. Like Day 1, fish, peas and potatoes, Day 2, chicken, corn and pasta, and so on. It got her started on the road to living with it anyway, even though she gets terrible asthma attacks all the time.

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              one of my allergists explained it this way:
                                                              the histamine levels in your body build up like water filling up a glass. the more you expose yourself the closer you are to a reaction, the fuller the glass. A reaction is the glass spilling over. If you limit your exposure, you keep the level in the glass low and don't have as many reactions.
                                                              this makes a lot of sense to me and helps me manage my food sensitivities and allergies in a way to avoid bad reactions (for the most part).
                                                              Sounds like your mother is getting a handle on it - good for her! I hope she is able to get them under control, asthma attacks SUCK!

                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                As a side note, you might want to tell your mom that she may not be allergic to non GMO corn. My husband avoided corn for years because he swelled up like a balloon, We met several people who were allergic to corn, all of which could have non GMO corn. After he got up some courage and did a cleanse, just to be sure. He tried the non GMO corn and now has been eating it for 2 years with no ill effects.

                                                                1. re: cabruce

                                                                  She developed the corn allergy in the 1970s, was GMO around then? She also thought she was allergic to wine, but turns out it was just the sulfites, boy was she happy to find that out. And that champagne didn't bother her either, it's absorbed through the mouth and not the intestines which made a difference for some reason.

                                                                  She is really bummed out now that she recently developed a sensitivity to tomatoes. She can eat a bite or two and no more. Lucky me, I just raided her garden of dozens of beefsteak and cherry tomatoes that were ready to go bad. She always tells me I will be like her someday, but I just got intensively tested for everything and to my shock, despite symptons that suggest otherwise, I'm not allergic to anything at all! So weird.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    think that's about the time of roundup ready corn...

                                                            2. re: babette feasts

                                                              It does sound like your chef has wrong information. Allergies have to do with the immune system (as opposed to the digestive system as in intolerances) and results in inflammatory responses. While your throat closing up can be one response (and probably the most serious), other responses include hives, asthma and skin issues. And you can definitely be allergic to almost anything. I'm allergic to skate. I've got a friend allergic to cinnamon. Doesn't necessarily have to fit into the "Big 8" food allergens.

                                                              Here is a short article that describes the differences between allergies and intolerances.

                                                              http://www.webmd.com/allergies/foods-...

                                                              1. re: babette feasts

                                                                I'd say the official call on this is your chef is utterly incorrect. And Miss Needle, that link you posted was a very clear and concise explanation of the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. Thank you!

                                                                1. re: babette feasts

                                                                  It sounds like your chef needs to be better educated and the best person to turn to would be Chef Ming Tsai, who had to become a food allergy expert because of his son's food allergies.

                                                                  Here are a couple good overview articles from Resturant & Institutions Magazine on Chef Tsai:
                                                                  http://www.rimag.com/article/CA652068...
                                                                  http://www.rimag.com/article/CA662769...
                                                                  For further information, you can find how to keep his recommended food allergy binder at his website: http://www.ming.com/foodallergies.htm

                                                                  FAAN (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) has a free training booklet, "Welcoming Guests With Food Allergies" that would be useful anyone in food service to read on their own:
                                                                  http://www.foodallergy.org/downloads/...

                                                                2. Thanks fr the confirmations. This is not the only issue on which I suspect he may be full of it : )

                                                                  So ANYTHING can possibly trigger a true immune system reaction? Wow.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                                                    I figure it's a good reason to expose kids to lots of different kinds of foods and not go nuts trying to keep a perfectly clean house. The hygiene theory really makes sense; if you keep people insulated from any dust or other allergens, your immune system will start picking on perfectly innocuous particles.

                                                                  2. I had severe food allergies as a child--from infancy until about age 9-10 I could not tolerate any type of dairy products at all. I had to drink soy milk way before it was trendy and the stuff back then was nasty! No cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt, chocolate (milk), etc. Also was allergic to peanuts, honey, and several other things that I loved. My reaction was severe excema. Not as bad as hives and not anaphalctic shock, but I had an acute reaction so it just wasn't worth the risk. Thankfully I outgrew those allergies by my pre-teen years, but the byproduct of having my life ruled by food allergies is that I was quite a finicky eater, which stuck with me through my 20's.

                                                                    1. I have a similar reaction to kiwi as you do. Actually, I get it with many fruits; apples, plums, peaches, cherries.... it STINKS. I haven't been tested in years but the last time I was I discovered I was allergic to almost everything besides air:} Thankfully fruit doesn't kill me, although I want to hit myself as my throat will be killing me for up to 30 mins afterward. I actually would rather have these reactions to chocolate.
                                                                      Some people with poor immune systems like my mom have serious sensitivities to food that can develop from eating a food too often. These may not necessarily be "allergies" but they can still be very serious. Unfortunately I've found over the years with myself and even more with my mom that many allergists simply are not that good. She had an allergist who was incredible (almost 30 years ago) and who practically cured her of all allergies. When he passed, no one has even come close.

                                                                      1. When I was a kid, I was allergic to wool and chocolate. I'd break out in hives over either. Raw wool was fine, and I always helped shear the sheep and bundle the wool.

                                                                        I outgrew both allergies, but still won't wear wool if I can help it. Even the smallest amounts make me itch, but no hives.

                                                                        1. When I was in my 20's I went on a pretty strict diet. I ate broiled flounder and salads - nothing else. It was bikini season after all. One night, at the end of the summer, I'm on a date with this super cute lifeguard. In fact, it was the Lifeguard Ball or some such thing. Of course, I order flounder. I remember nothing else until I woke up in the hospital. Apparently, I had a severe allergic reaction to the fish and almost died. I had to stay away from flounder for years.

                                                                          Now the flounder allergy is gone, but I've developed one for soft shell crabs. Again, out of the blue and at a very inconvenient time. I can eat hard shell crabs until I burst, but one soft shell, and I'm on the way to the ER!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Whinerdiner

                                                                            I have a friend who's only allergy is also soft shell crabs. You would think all shellfish, but no only that.

                                                                          2. The first time i found out about food allergy i was 8. I was in big sister mode. We had for about a year been eating mulberries sister and I i figure sis got stung as recognised her hives. I didn't relize till after all was said and done that i was in as much danger as sister. I remember the jab but rest of thoughts were not on me. However recently at funureal was made wware that even now just smell of plant causes me to feel hitch in my breath i am glad i played it safe all these years i knew i was anaphylactic but didn't know that much so.

                                                                            The 2nd allergy i was about 22 it was determined eventually that it was olives wear the cause. I ate Marconi salad mother made with black olives(im allergic to all) so i ate some and half my face swelled I was never big on olives but had them occasionally but this makes sense looking back why old school pizza hut use to make me barf they use to swipe their crust with olive oil i don't think they do that anymore idk i order papa johns with bbq sauce its safe. At least for now till they screw with their crust recipie way little cezars screwed with their sauce recipie. With olives it always starts with tingle on tounge i have had couple accidents and sometimes makes me itchy. If i get benadryl quickly usually keeps face from swelling.

                                                                            I am glad other then plant at funeral i haven't come across another mulberry incident as it could just you know. I do my best to keep self safe but i am human.

                                                                            1. I've had food and other allergies (and other sensitivities as well) since I was a small child going back as far as my memory goes back. I also, though, have a genetic protein defect that is known to be highly associate with such.

                                                                              My allergies/sensitivities have only gotten worse as I've gotten older. My list grows ever longer and new allergies show up every now and then while old allergies never go away.

                                                                              1. I developed my first food allergy at the age of 30. About five years later I developed another. Since then I have become allergic to a lot of different foods to the point I have to carry an Epi Pen. It is driving me crazy. None of my doctors seem to find it odd for someone to develop allergies like these in the third and fourth decades of their life.

                                                                                1. I had never had any allergies in my life until I was 28. I got very sick with any seafood. To the point that not any kind of nausea relief or stomach upset medicine made it go away. I had to just fall asleep and hope it was gone by morning. I was tested to see if it was an actual allergy, but it came back negative. Still, I can't eat any kind of seafood, unless it's prepared at home. But since I obviously don't want to get sick, I'd rather not test all seafood, but salmon and tuna seem to be okay for me as long as I make it myself. Which makes me think perhaps it's the preservatives they put in the fish in the restaurants?

                                                                                  1. Not an allergy, but an intolerance...

                                                                                    After being stuffed full of antibiotics for most of my childhood, I unsurprisingly was lactose intolerant by the time I hit my early twenties. It was pretty bad. A bite of ice cream could affect me for 2-3 days.

                                                                                    Of course, the mother who stuffed all of those pills down me (probably unnecessarily - anyone heard of Munchausen by proxy syndrome?), thought the whole lactose intolerance/good bacteria thing was silly. This was the same mother who blew cigarette smoke into my lungs for my entire childhood. That's all another thread on a different website!!!

                                                                                    So, I changed my diet gradually, began putting back the "good" bacteria, etc., and within a few years could eat dairy again. Now at 55, I can eat dairy just fine, but I pick and choose according to what I care for. l have completely lost my desire to drink milk, for one thing.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      I've been lactose intolerant since I was about 11 or 12. I can't say that it is the cause of abx, though I did and still do take quite a few of them - asthma, compromised immune system and all sorts of ugliness.

                                                                                      Luckily, of my food restrictions (I have several life threatening food allergies) the lactose intolerance is the mildest. I can eat most cheeses and some yogurt without issue. If I am going to eat something that has a lot of a soft cheese in it, I'll take a Lactaid. I have no idea what would happen if I drank a glass of milk, but I haven't had a taste for drinking milk since I was 3 or 4. Ice cream always causes major issues for me, but luckily I tend to prefer a good sorbet anyway.

                                                                                      1. re: jw615

                                                                                        Mine resolved itself when I hit a certain age, but ice cream was always the worst.

                                                                                    2. dunno whether you'd call it an intolerance or an allergy, but when i left home for college i found out that i got sick when i ate walnuts.

                                                                                      truthfully, i may have been sensitive to them as a child, but no one in my family ate them and my mother never cooked with them so maybe i just didn't know until i went out into the larger, walnut-consuming world.

                                                                                      i am fine with all other tree nuts and with peanuts.

                                                                                      1. My wife's mother is allergic to dairy, but only in its cheaper forms.

                                                                                        1. I agree with you on that because it's crazy my Mom ate fried chicken around me as she was eating it I felt funny first a Welp appeared on my hand. My throat feels tight. I just took 1 tsp. of Benadryl my moms friend who bought the chicken works at food land in the deli part and she declares that they fry they're food in vegetable oil but I don't believe her because I never felt like this when my mom was eating Popeyes fried chicken. I have a peanut allergy and I'm allergic to a whole lot of other things and right now I'm going through health issues I can only eat certain things that doesn't have oil spice or nuts. Then on top of that I have Anti Acid which is genetically passed down to me so I'm going through some crap. My mom keeps on wanting me to try this food and try that food I keep on telling her that I will eat all that I want when I get to heaven because my body is only agreeing with lasagna, froot loops and milk, pizza, chicken and rice. If I keep on eating this stuff I will surely die because my body needs fruits and veggies. As far as drinks I can only drink water and soda to get my sugar for my body. I can't drink all soda either I can only drink coca cola. I feel like an elder I just turned 13 last month my Family thinks I'm going through puberty and I'm changing. I have went to every doctor they said nothing is wrong with me they just said I have anti acid. A family friend went through the same thing as I am when she was beginning her teen years. The family friend said she suffered with all of this stuff for a couple of years after that she could eat everything now. I'm just really confused is it puberty or is something wrong with my body?

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: CupcakesForeve1

                                                                                            I don't see where you are having definite problems with fruits and vegetables.

                                                                                            Can you eat some plain steamed vegetables? Maybe with some brown rice? How about applesauce?

                                                                                            1. re: CupcakesForeve1

                                                                                              No such thing as having "anti acid", AFAIK. An antacid is an oral medication which neutralizes the acid produced by the stomach as part of the digestive process. It sounds like it would help you to consult a physician or nutritionist so that you can better understand your problem. That will help you determine what is and isn't safe to consume, and in the event of a severe reaction, it's information that a hospital emergency room needs to know in order to treat you correctly and promptly. You may need to wear a medic-alert tag or carry in your wallet a card with the necessary info.

                                                                                            2. I have had really bad reactions to pepperoni. Thankfully it is not something I like. One time I got hives and my eye became swollen, another time my face broke out in splotches and the last time I got very sick to my stomach with symptoms similar to food poisoning. It has come to the point I don't split a pizza with some folks because I have found pepperoni on combo pizzas that was ordered w/o pepperoni. Luckily I have a few friends who dislike pepperoni or even meat on their pizzas.

                                                                                              1. I became allergic to Avocado at age 46. I have eaten it for years. Had guacamole one day had the worst pain ever for 4 solid hours. I felt like my kidneys and all my organs were going to burst out. Didn't realize it was guacamole and ate it again, same thing happened. Then I got it by cross contamination. I was tested and yes I am allergic to Avocado after all these years.