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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » If You Have Lyme, You Probably Have Food Allergies

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Author Topic: If You Have Lyme, You Probably Have Food Allergies
chaps
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Based on the lack of discussion on this board about food allergies, I am led to believe that most Lyme sufferers don't know anything about them, and neither do their doctors. I think all Lyme sufferers should be tested for food allergies because I think they all have them.

I expressed the opinion stated in the title of this thread on another thread recently, gave an in-a-nutshell explanation and my post was ignored as though it was a bunch of baloney.

In case there are any credibility issues, I am going to post an excerpt from a book written by a medical doctor entitled "The New Fibromyalgia Remedy." While the book is about Fibromyalgia, the things that cause food allergies is common to Lyme therefore it also applies. Sorry about the single spacing, but it's a little lengthy.

quote:
What Are Allergies?
An allergy is an exaggerated reaction by your body's immune system to allergens, which can be such things as dust and pollen particles invading the respiratory tract, chemicals touching the skin, or foods entering the digestive tract. For most people, these agents cause no problems. But in some individuals, the first contact sets up a process in which the body has symptoms with each subsequent exposure.
The cycle works like this: Substances enter the body and the immune system misidentifies them as harmful allergens. The body forms specific antibodies, which can be found in your skin, upper respiratory airways, and stomach lining, as it waits for a second attack. When the allergen strikes again, histamine is released; this is responsible for your allergic symptoms. In essence, it can dilate your blood vessels, increase your gastric juices, or constrict the smooth muscles of your airways, all resulting in hives- and eczema-like rashes, hay fever, and asthma-like issues, or diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Whatever the response, it's usually so immediate that you can link it to the offending agent. To prevent a second, even more-profound round, you simply need to avoid the food or substance that causes the allergic reaction.
Delayed Food Allergies
Delayed food allergies are different from "regular" allergies. They're difficult to identify because of their onset. You're initially able to eat the offending food with no immediate problems unless you ingest a lot of it. These allergies stay "hidden" until days or weeks later when they finally trigger symptoms. I believe delayed food allergies are responsible for more than 30 percent of a fibromyalgia patient's symptoms.
The majority of the people I treat for fibromyalgia have chronic symptoms not related to their underlying viruses, but tied to separate health problems caused by a hypersensitivity to what they eat. In fact, after treating numerous individuals, I've come to realize that many chronic degenerative and autoimmune diseases are really linked to food sensitivity. Rarely do I see someone with irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux, for instance, who doesn't get symptom relief after we've identified a food offender. People even report their arthritis improving.
So how do we determine that something we ate yesterday might be causing today's migraine headache or that arthritis flare-up. Let's start at the beginning, by learning a bit more about allergies.
How Do Delayed Food Allergies Work?
Probably the most frustrating thing about delayed food allergies is that the symptoms don't occur instantly. The reactions you experience are so well masked that you may actually feel good after eating the offending food; in fact, you may crave the food that is causing problems. But the longer you ingest the food, the more intense the reaction. If you remove and reintroduce it, the response is even worse. In time you feel incredibly bad. The foods commonly fingered in delayed food allergies are ones we consume every day, including dairy products, eggs, soy, wheat, corn, tomatoes, and baker's and brewer's yeasts. In addition to eating them directly, they're ingredients in many processed foods, so we're ingesting them over and over.
There are a variety of theories, from repeated exposure to certain foods to digestive system problems, as to what causes delayed food allergies. I believe they're related to leaky gut syndrome, a problem that occurs when food particles are absorbed irregularly into the bloodstream through a digestive wall. Normally when you eat, food is broken down and absorbed through the intestinal wall; however, if the wall is damaged, smaller particles or proteins can be absorbed directly into the body. Researchers at the University of Maryland have identified a chemical messenger, called zonulin, that helps carry out immune functions; the substance is produced in reaction to inflammation in the intestinal wall. By measuring zonulin, we can actually determine the presence or extent of any problem in the intestinal wall. If levels are high, there's a problem.
In response, the immune system overreacts to what it perceives as invaders and rejects them. Each time you eat that food, the system remembers it as foreign and reacts to it. What makes this situation more problematic is that most people eat the same foods repeatedly. Most of us are constantly reintroducing favorite foods into our intestinal tract where they remain for days. With more particles crossing the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream, the symptoms get worse. Moreover, the immune system rapidly increases the particles it recognizes as foreign, leading to additional illnesses.
What causes this cascading response? Any virus, bacteria, parasite, or yeast can inflame the intestine. But so can untreated or uncontrolled illnesses; they can overstimulate the system, triggering various reactions. With fibromyalgia, it's that virus-and-overstimulated-immune-system connection that I believe sets the stage for delayed food allergies.

Because delayed food allergies can create such a drain on the system, I believe all Lyme sufferers should be tested for them and avoid the foods they are allergic to, and cycle the rest 4 days apart so that they don't develop allergies to them.

The blood tests are expensive, 400 for a basic test and 800 for a complete test, but it's worth it.

I hope this brings a greater awareness among Lyme sufferers here because it seems very few people are aware of them. It's my opinion that EVERY LYME SUFFERER has leaky gut and delayed food allergies.

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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Hambone
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I was tested last July. I found out I am allergic to eggs, almonds, whey, and oysters ( I never eat oysters ).
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the3030club
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Blood testing for food allergies is literally useless. This is from the mouth of a respected allergist.

I've also had several doctors tell me that food allergy blood testing is super unreliable.

Pre lyme i had one, told me i was "highly" allergic to milk and peanuts.

I consume both nearly daily without issue.

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glm1111
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Allergies are most likely caused by an infestation of Parasites/worms which most if not all Lyme sufferers have.

My severe asthma and food allergies that I had for many years went away with tx with antiparasitics.

Gael

--------------------
PARASITES/WORMS ARE NOW
RECOGNIZED AS THE NUMBER 1 CO-INFECTION IN LYME DISEASE BY ILADS*

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chaps
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IMO, to call the blood tests super unreliable or literally useless are exaggerations.

Based on my experience, the tests are not "spot-on." I think that people should challenge the ones involving foods that they did not eat on a regular basis to see.

In my case, there were only a couple of things that I was supposedly allergic to that turned out to be wrong. But for the most part, the test was right. It was enough to give me a baseline to work from. I was able to realize a large reduction in symptoms and joint pain from the food avoidance and cycling techniques.

I agree with glm1111 that getting rid of the gut permiability caused by parasites is the key to getting rid of the allergies.

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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Tincup
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chaps..

Thanks for posting that information.

I hope you don't think EVERY Lyme patient has food allergies, it just isn't so.

Some may have them and if the doc or patient suspects this could be a problem for them it would be good to check it out.

It is also not that you are being ignored when you post.

There have been a number of posts on this topic over the years and many LLMD's are aware of the leaky gut situation. I know it so, as I sent them information on it in detail a number of years ago.

So don't think anyone is ignoring you. Some folks that are newer may not know about it and your sharing is a good thing. Thank you!

[Big Grin]

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Dekrator48
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I think the word "allergies" confuses many.

Sensitivities may me more accurate since it is not the same as having an anaphylactic reaction to a food like some people do.

I had delayed food allergy testing done in 2007 before I knew that my fibromyalgia was a lyme symptom.

For me, it was accurate. I did a 5 month long elimination diet which was very helpful in showing me which food caused which symptoms.

Some caused pain and stiffness, some caused itching, some caused digestive problems, etc.

My symptoms improved at least 50% at that time.

Unfortunately I got much worse in 2008 when I tried Ambien CR for sleep and it must have really stirred up the lyme in my neurological system.

Without delayed food allergy testing, just eliminating all common food allergens, like many here have done, is very helpful.

I showed sensitivities to foods I never would have guessed, like pineapple and sweet potatoes.

Sugar cane and corn (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup) are the very worst "foods" for me.

--------------------
The fibromyalgia I've had for 32 years was an undiagnosed Lyme symptom.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". -Jeremiah 29:11

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canefan17
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I have a 6th sense now where if I eat something I'm "allergic" to - I can feel my body become tense.

Almost like a feeling of being on edge.

I know now that that is a parasympathetic response.

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momlyme
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I heard Dr. K. mention the Coca Pulse Test in a couple of talks on autism regarding food and drug allergies. I found this explanation online and have been using this to help distinguish between allergy and herx for my son. \\\
_______________

Dr. Arthur F. Coca, a renowned physician, developed the Coca Pulse Test for allergy elimination over 40 years ago. It is a simple yet extremely effective and inexpensive way to identify foods or substances to which a person may be allergic, sensitive or intolerant.

Although the Coca test is simple, it requires the complete co-operation of the person involved. Foods to which you are intolerant are stressful to your organism and will reveal themselves by speeding up your pulse. Laboratory tests which are actually less accurate than this method can cause thousands of dollars!

For the rest of the explanation, follow the link:

http://vitaminlady.com/articles/CocaPulseTest.asp

--------------------
May health be with you!

Toxic mold was suppressing our immune systems, causing extreme pain, brain fog and magnifying symptoms. Four days after moving out, the healing began.

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n2themystic
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My doctor does do blood tests but says to him the gold standard is the fecal test done by this lab. He says it relatively new but the science behind it is strong.

https://www.enterolab.com/

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nefferdun
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Recently my 22 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In my research I found that glutten and milk allergies often trigger this disease.

When infants are fed cows milk their digestive tract is often not mature enough to handle these molecules which escape into the body. The milk molecule resembles the beta cells which produce insulin in the pancreas. The immune system attacks the beta cells.

My son was breast fed and never got cereal or cows milk as an infant. I don't know if an unknown allergy to milk or gluten could have triggered this response at his age.

I asked him to ask his endocrinologist to test for allergies and she refused. I will just have to try again.

I had tests done 26 years ago and was not allergic to any food. Can that change? It makes sense that allergies cause inflammation which we do not need.

Fibromyaglia can be caused by other allergies. My daughter was a smoker. Her fibromyalgia was caused by a nickel allergy which is one of the metals in tobacco. She also developed severe skin reactions to nickel.

--------------------
old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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MichaelTampa
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I've definitely have food allergies (or perhaps sensitivities would be the better word) for many years, long before the lyme got diagnosed, and do believe it is part of the lyme I have had all along.

Before I knew anything better, I had them removed via NAET acupuncture. I was sensitivite to about 95% of foods.

I've had some of the blood tests. My sense at the time I had them was they were completely useless. I tested for allergy to about 10-20% of foods from these blood tests. There was no correlation between that and my known reactions to foods or to what I ate. They showed allergy to those that seemed fine, and vice versa.

After numerous NAET treatments for foods, and some time passed, some of the problems did come back, even though NAET puts itself out as a permanent treatment.

I had the blood tests again, same lab, same test, and again, no correlation to anything. Some additional foods showed as bad, in some cases, foods I had never encountered, certainly not in the intervening time. It all looked like a bunch of useless cr*p.

Could it be lyme causes that much autoimmunity and restructuring of immune system that the lyme bugs were doing all that, making me allergic to new things I had never seen, making me no longer allergic to things I had never treated, and so on? Who knows?

I sure wish there were good tests for allergies, but I tend not to believe much in them any more.

Maybe after lyme is treated, and when I have completed AI therapy as well, I'll test for curiosity, maybe not.

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momlyme
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chaps has an interesting theory on food allergy he explains in this post:
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/102346#000002

--------------------
May health be with you!

Toxic mold was suppressing our immune systems, causing extreme pain, brain fog and magnifying symptoms. Four days after moving out, the healing began.

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chaps
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When I was asked by my doctor to consider the possibility that I had food allergies, I thought he was crazy.

I thought food allergies meant that you eat something, and very shortly afterward, you start feeling your throat swell up, you can't breathe, etc.

I went for a while, declining to be tested thinking that I didn't have any food allergies.

Over time the doctor educated me and informed me that the kind of food allergies caused by the leaky gut do not cause the same violent reactions as the other type of food allergies.

The reaction from leaky gut food allergies is not usually immediate. It can take anywhere from minutes, to hours, to several days for the reaction to show up. That's why when people get the reactions, they don't correlate it to eating a particular food.

Once I got tested and then went on the avoidance/rotation diet, I started feeling better.

My feeling that people ignore or discount what I post on food allergies is based on the fact that I discounted it when I first heard about it. I thought it was a bunch of crap. So I kinda expect people to reject the idea (see glm1111's Schopenhauer quote) just as I did. But I found out differently after I became more open minded about it and I'm hoping some people will be helped by gaining an awareness of these food allergies.

As far as my "theory" brought out in the other post is concerned, it's not really a theory. It's a factual account as explained to me by a doctor on how delayed food allergies work. To sum it up:

A. Lyme creates a terrain in the gut for parasitic and fungal overgrowth.
B. Parasites bore little holes in the gut and the gut becomes leaky.
C. The little holes allow undigested food to permeate the gut.
D. The immune system doesn't get to upset the first time it sees a particular type of food entering the body through the gut. But if it sees it again on a separate occurence between 24 and 120 hours after the first occurence, then it thinks it's a pathogen and reacts.

Unfortunately, the foods that we like the most and eat most frequently are the ones to which we will develop allergies.

I did find however, that some foods for whatever reason (probably has something to do with their nutritional makeup) don't cause food allergies no matter how often you eat them. For instance for me, it was certain vegetables. I ate salad daily containing carrots, onions, greens, cucumbers, red cabbage and tomatoes. Of all those things, the cukes and the tomatoes are the only things that I developed allergies to. I also became allergic to the dressing.

I had decaf coffee and with soy milk every day. I became allergic to soy, but not to the coffee. Of course, now I don't even drink decaf because I can feel the toxins from it after I drink it.

Chicken is another one. I ate chicken every day for years leading up to my discovery of food allergies, yet I never developed an allergy to it.

Anyway, my theory that everyone with Lyme has food allergies is based on some pretty solid premises:

Lyme does not discriminate. It creates terrain issues in EVERYONE's stomach.

If the terrain is there for parasites to thrive, they're gonna thrive. There are parasites in our environment and in many of the foods that we eat. We're not going to avoid them. If the terrain is optimum for their survival in the gut, they're going to stay there and thrive.

So I think it's a safe assumption that everyone who has Lyme will have parasites, providing that they've had Lyme long enough. What "long enough" is, I don't know, but I'd guess that it might be several months or more.

If a person has parasites, then they're going to have the leaky gut. How would they not?

And if they've got leaky gut, they're going to have food allergies.

I have a theory on why people pooh-pooh the notion of having food allergies. It's because the reactions to the food allergies are too delayed to be easily correlated and secondly, the symptoms are not distinct. It just places a drag on the immune system and makes the symptoms of what eles you're suffering from more pronounced. So too many people probably just pass off the food allergies as Lyme symptoms.

Anyway, I just thought that if someone could be helped by this information, great. If not, that's fine, too.

I'm grateful for the help and the great information I've gotten from others on here. I'm just trying to reciprocate.

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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'Kete-tracker
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One must be careful to differentiate between food sensitivities & true allergies.

If you suffer from celiac disease, for example, you will react to the presence of wheat gluten, but you may also have a wheat or egg or nut allergy. Each can cause different symptoms.

Allergies can affect circulation (i.e: "hives"), cause inflammation (bug-bite area swelling, throat constriction) or irritate the sinus & nasal passages (congestion & runny nose from seasonal rhinnitus). Food sensitivities can cause G.I. tract issues, blood pressure irregularities, nausea & exhaustion.

Contracting Lyme can knock the immune system into over-drive & bring out, or suppress, the body's own reaction to materials in the surrounding environment.

For me, becoming accutely sick with Lyme eliminated my seasonal hay fever but increased my sensitivity to cigarette smoke.(!)
My hayfever returned, though not as strong, after I managed to get the Lyme knocked down & well into "remission".
Now I Need to take very few antihistimine pills come June (I react to the 'grasses') but my doc says I HAVE to take a tiny thyroid pill Every morning for the forseeable future.

I don't have any known food allergies except to certain nuts, & those are as strong as ever... as I found out this last X'mas. :-(~`

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Myfirsttry
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How did you people find you have Lyme? I was completely healthy until 2006, when I had a chronic cough which has been either ignored or treated as just that for 5 years. A cough is not enough to send me off the deep end and suspect Lyme.

1/2007 I had a flu like disease that required a lot of breathing treatments and ER visits. That was the start of the medical bills piling up.

Since then I been having breathing problems that make me feel like I cannot get my breath, cause me to wear masks, and send me to the ER. They have been reduced in frequency to pretty much seasonal. The doctors call them panic attacks, but the panic does not start until after the breathing problems get pretty well established. The breathing issues caused me to start allergy shots.

In 2007 and 2008 I had gastric problems which was diagnosed as GERD. Later tests indicated celiac sprue. (No gluten does help, but does not solve the problem.)

Next, I was diagnosed with thyroid problems (Graves disease) and found out what it was like to take the tiny white pill for years. (I am now off of that.)
Now I am having grand mal seizures at night. The doctors are saying they think it is stress or depression related, but it occurs when I am at my least stressful.
And recently, I have been having speech problems, which the doctors are saying are stress related, and which I concede the possibility because the seizures are coming more frequently, and who wouldn't be stressed from that?

I find it odd that a previously healthy person suddenly has such high medical bills. I am guessing at the possibility of Lyme, but there are no LLMDs that I can find in this area Central NY near Cooperstown/Binghamton/Utica/Syracuse.

I had pretty much let my neurologist and primary care physician talk me out of Lyme until I saw you discussing Celiac and gluten sensitivity.

Can anyone tell me where to find an LLMD? Can anyone tell me what to expect in getting diagnosed? How do I know whether to push or drop the Lyme diagnosis? When do I accept a negative Lyme diagnosis?

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seekhelp
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Myfirsttry, I suggest going to Seeking a Doctor forum here and posting for help. I feel it would be a wise move!
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tickled1
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I whole heartedly believe in delayed reactions to food allergies/sensitivities after what happened to me today. I also now believe that blood tests for food SENSITIVITIES are accurate. I was tested a couple of years ago and came back as very sensitive to walnuts.

Well, 3 days ago I ate something with nuts in it and a lot of it. Didn't have any immediate problems so thought I was good to go. Today I thought I was going to die. Out of the blue I got tingly all over, face turned beet red, got itchy all over, lightheaded, heart racing, lips itchy, just a big old mess. Retraced my steps of pretty much everything I did over last few days including products I used on my skin and things I ate and it had to be the nuts.

I also came back positive on a lot of other things on that blood test but walnuts were the biggest offender with 3 stars. Everything else was 1 star except for egg whites which were 2 stars. LOTS of one stars though including turkey, watermelon, cantaloupe, egg yolks, gluten, milk, soy, cashew, coconut, mustard, and yeast.

Conincidentally, I stopped taking my Allegra about 5 days ago b/c was planning on getting another food allergy test done. My insurance actually covers it now. I did pop an Allegra today though out of desperation.

I totally believe in leaky gut too. I came back very positive for candida antibodies which causes leaky gut and sometimes I notice widespread body pain after eating certain foods like red meat or tomatoes. Delayed food sensitivies are no BS.

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raw vegan runner
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The other thing to remember is that many 'sensitivity' symptoms mimic the symptoms we are already feeling. You may not have GI issues or breathing problems which would be tell-tale signs. It could be bloating/swelling, aggitation, headaches, etc, etc...my hands swell and I start sneezing if I eat wheat/dairy, I vomit from coconut, get nauseous from some things, spacey from others, wheezy from the rest...I have 25 foods I am sensitive to, and I carry an epi-pen as my allergist (who did skin AND blood testing to get a full picture) told me that its not a matter IF I will react, its WHEN unless I avoid those foods.

I have challenged some things, but honestly...why chance it? My body is so messed up from the Lyme, why give it something else to fight?

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tickled1
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OMG, I'm still a mess today after that reaction yesterday. Face still feels kind of irritated and lips. Nose is runny and itchy and I just feel yucky.

If someone has an allergic reaction but it's not anaphalactic do they need to see a doctor. I'd rather not. I'm hoping someone will tell me this will pass. How long should I expect this to last. I've never reacted this badly before.

I quickly googled how long a reaction can last and it said could last days but one of those people had to take steroids due to reaction. I know we can't take steroids. Am I going to be ok if I just take Allegra and wait this out? Kinda scared here.

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tickled1
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OMG, I'm still a mess today after that reaction yesterday. Face still feels kind of irritated and lips. Nose is runny and itchy and I just feel yucky.

If someone has an allergic reaction but it's not anaphalactic do they need to see a doctor. I'd rather not. I'm hoping someone will tell me this will pass. How long should I expect this to last. I've never reacted this badly before.

I quickly googled how long a reaction can last and it said could last days but one of those people had to take steroids due to reaction. I know we can't take steroids. Am I going to be ok if I just take Allegra and wait this out? Kinda scared here.

Posts: 2541 | From Northeast | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sheryl777
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I was just tested for allergies, including 60 food allergy tests. Then I was given a list of foods I MAY be allergic to. She instructed me to eliminate all the foods I may be allergic to for a month and then start adding them one at a time for a week and notice whether I reacted to them.
Posts: 258 | From Spokane, WA | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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