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Adulthood sudden-onset food allergies, anybody?

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Unread 09-04-2008, 06:25 PM   #1
MaracaSalesman
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Default Adulthood sudden-onset food allergies, anybody?

hey all, back again (though new to this subforum)...

As a lifelong sufferer of allergies towards mold, cat dander, ragweed (honestly that one's the biggest reason I hate living in the Midwestern US), and general large particulates (e.g., house dust and pine pollen), I was never actually expecting anything *new* to pop up suddenly at my current age (a hair under 25). My 'childhood-onset' allergies are pretty much almost always rhinitis/itchiness/stuffiness/etc. du jour, but this one wasn't.

A couple weeks ago, I was out of town (to see a tertiary clinic for my neurology issues, incidentally) and at dinner one evening, ordered a mixed drink that I do recall contained some sort of cantaloupe/melon flavor.

As my father and I were having our appetizer (and I was sipping my drink), I started to feel full very quickly. This was counter-intuitive for me, as normally mixed drinks tend to up my appetite. I barely touched my main course, feeling too "full" to deal with it.

When we returned to the hotel, I took a look at myself in the mirror and noted that my face was quite puffy. I thought I must have somehow gotten fat the two days I was out of town, and I was also starting to have trouble breathing. I have had on and off trouble breathing as it was anyways the past several months (not associated with any sort of food or even eating, it actually comes on when I bring my knees towards my chest), so I assumed that nothing out of the ordinary was happening. My first sip of the "offending" drink was around 6PM, and the episode was completely gone by 10PM.

The next week, my father had cut up a cantaloupe, and I was eating a few pieces. My mouth started burning a little, and the same sequence of events that went down the previous week occurred again. This time I realized something was Very Wrong(TM) (my mother is allergic to cantaloupe/honeydew and gets burning around her lips if she eats it) and all the logic fell into place: I was having a sort of anaphylactic reaction.

Having never had such a reaction before (save for the prior week), I never carried around an epinephrine pen, so I took the closest possible alternative, a few puffs from my albuterol inhaler (that one is on hand for my rare once a year asthma attack). I then took my typical rhinitis dose of generic Zyrtec, and figured, hey, let's hit the H2 receptor as well... and a good dose of generic Zantac (an antacid I'm on high doses of anyways due to gastroparesis+acid reflux).

The breathing issues went away quickly (no surprise, inhaler and all) and the fullness/swelling were gone within 30 minutes (had they persisted, rest assured I'd have had one of my parents take me to the ER!).

Anyways, that's my story... but what I really want to know is that if anybody else here has had a "new" allergy suddenly pop up on them in adulthood. As far back as I can remember, I have had a very cordial relationship with cantaloupe and this negative reaction is something new.

(And before people panic for my health and/or I get yelled at for not taking more urgent medical action during my first allergic reaction... please note that I have a tendency to, in the medical emergency sense, be EXTREMELY cavalier about things, namely as I hate hospitals, especially ERs. When I got a major gash on my thumb a few months ago courtesy of a chili can's lid, my very first thought was "oh God, no blood on the carpet, do not get blood on the carpet, OH GOD I GOT BLOOD ON THE CARPET! WHERE'S THE CARPET CLEANER?!?!")
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Unread 09-06-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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here are some links to articles documenting adult onset allergies that may help you.(there are many more available on Google)

From what I have gathered, this is becoming more prevalent in our modern society

http://www.womentowomen.com/inflammation/allergies.aspx

http://blessed1.wordpress.com/2007/0...rgy-awareness/

http://www.allergizer.com/50226711/a...y_syndrome.php
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Unread 09-08-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
dizzie lizzy
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Default adult on-set allergies

It's not uncommon at all to develop or even "grow out of" allergies over a lifetime. I know many people who have developed allergies of all kinds at all stages of life. I have also heard that 30-50 is the time when your body tends to make this shift so maybe you're just early. It could also be that you've used up your tolerance to the allergen and are just now having reactions to something your body has dealt with for a long time.
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Unread 09-20-2008, 09:14 AM   #4
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I've developed a food allergy to almonds that appeared around 30. I never had it before and was shocked the first time my throat tried to close on it's own. Was eating at a fancy resturant too and was having a dessert covered with slivers of almonds. We risked it, and I tried something else with almonds later that week. Same reaction. I love almond joys too.
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Unread 09-21-2008, 09:52 PM   #5
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I know it really sucks, just recently maybe a few months ago all of the sudden I can't tolerate palm oil anymore and it's mind blowing to me because I've never been allergic to it. Now I hear you can gain more food intolerances as time goes by and i'm not looking forward to anymore of them, I have way too many as it is. So far I can tolerate almonds but it's only a matter of time before I can't i'm sure. .
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Unread 10-26-2008, 12:26 AM   #6
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I turned 41 on the 16th of this month and have never had any food allergies and regularly eat spicy foods.... on the 24th a guy at work made chili and within 10 minutes of eating a few teaspoons I turned completely red, could not breath very well, my whole body swelled and broke out in hives. Thank God the place I work has nurses on duty.... I was given benadryl which help ease my breathing and was sent to the ER and that was the quickest I ever saw a doctor.... 5 shots, a pill, IV and EKG while there and a$190 worth of prescriptions including 2 epi pens and of course allergy testing to follow. I ate chili all the time and was really freaked out when the doctor said if it happened again I would DIE and was lucky I did not this time. I have ate nothing but plain pasta since..
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Unread 10-26-2008, 06:47 PM   #7
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It seems common for people allergic to ragweed to develop allergies in adulthood to melons. I had thought it might be due to mold on the skin or something, but the allergist said no, it is the melon itself (canatloupe, honeydew and for some, even cucumbers) connected with ragweed allergy.
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Unread 10-26-2008, 07:34 PM   #8
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Hey a massive thanks to everybody here!

Especially w/the ragweed allergies, I am severely allergic to ragweed (so August/September/October in the Midwest is pure misery for me), so as per that logic, I guess I could have developed a melon allergy as well in the process at some point.

I'm celebrating our first seasonal freeze tonight here, death to ragweed! hehe

So now I know what to avoid!

Again, thanks!!!!
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Unread 10-27-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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As odd as this may sound, the allergist said that since it is the synergy between ragweed & the cantaloupe causing the problem, we might tolerate the melons when we are NOT exposed to ragweed.

I thought about that.

I am not willing to chance it. I love canteloupe. But they are most delicious during the summer and early fall when ragweed is growing and blooming. And my reaction is miserable.

But you might consider the possibilty that you might safely eat it elsewhere or in a different season.
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Unread 11-12-2010, 01:20 AM   #10
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Default Allergy nightmare

I have never had problems in my life with allergies until I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I was 28 weeks along and I had a burrito with Mango Salsa. After 5 or 6 bites I started having this feeling like something was stuck in my throat. Then I started having "chest pain". I began to worry, and then when I looked in the mirror, I realized my face was swollen and the palms of my hands itched incredibly... Then I started having contractions. I ended up in the ER that night with multiple doses of terbutaline. I didnt know what the problem was since a burrito and salsa have tons of ingredients.

A few months later, I was cutting a mango for my daughter and I had not eaten since the day before. I took a bite, and same thing. I decided to get allergy tested to find out what it was. I live in the sonoran desert and after skin testing, I found out I'm allergic to just about half of everything that grows here, and especially cats. I got blood testing done for food as well and everything came out negative. a few months after I drank a mango flavored energy drink and had another reaction. I have never had a problem with Mango's before. I've eaten loads of them. I will never eat another mango.

This was over a year ago. Last night I ate a piece of rye bread... and my throat started to itch and my sinuses instantly plugged. I figured it was just environmental allergies acting up so I did a sinus rinse and used some afrin. Nothing helped. Then my mouth started feeling weird so I looked in the mirror and half of my top lip started to bubble up, like I had been hit in the face. I took a few benadryl and some pepcid and felt better in a couple of hours.. but I want to know WTF???? Is this even possible? I'm 32 and have never had food allergies in my life. Is it possible that something changed when I was pregnant?
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