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Food allergies, intolerance, something else? Any ideas?
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Food allergies, intolerance, something else? Any ideas?

I'm having the following symptoms whenever I ingest certain types of food: the inside of my mouth (cheeks/tongue) swells and it's painful to swallow.  It started out happening everytime I ate something with mayonnaise.  But I just recently had a reaction within 35 minutes after eating Lay's salt & vinegar potato chips and on another occasion, I haven't been able to pinpoint the food source. Food allergy test came back negative, but inhalant allergies positive, so I take Zyrtec.  I was told possible food intolerance.  I've had 7 reactions since 11/2008 and now carry an Epipen.  With the last 2 recent reactions, now my tongue forms a white coating on it and it's painful to the point where I lose my taste buds after the swelling goes down.  I take Benadryl, some steroids and eventually it all goes away within 24-36 hours.   My allergist wants to rule out hereditary angioedema.  I'm frustrated not knowing if I'm going to eat something new to cause another reaction, if it's really an allergic reaction.   Any similar things happening to anyone out there?
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681148_tn?1285160820
I don't have those exact symptoms, but I have had a few foods make me feel like I'm trying to swallow a hard rubber ball.  And, I had one or two foods make me feel like I'm swallowing glass shards.  I don't eat those foods anymore.  I'm not at the point of needing an Epipen, so it's not as serious as what you've been going through.

One thing we have in common, though, is that I tested negative to "true" allergies to the very things that could cause an anaphlyaxic emergency in the future, if the reactions get worse.  So, naturally, I still avoid the foods that have caused me such scary reactions to them.  That is really puzzling to me.  I feel the same way as you do with the frustration this is causing.

Like you, environmental allergies did test positive.  

Many other foods cause me to have less serious reactions, but they still make me sick.  Food sensitivities are still bad, but they're not life threatening anaphylactic reactions.  Alternative medicine calls food sensitivities and intolerances "hidden allergies", because the body is still reacting to these foods in a negative manner.  It's still the body's immune system over-reacting to foods that humans should be able to eat.  Since my reactions are less severe than yours are, I did the elimination diet to discover my main food sensitivities.  To this day, I'm still finding new sensitivities that I didn't have before.
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681148_tn?1285160820
I just thought of something that I should've mentioned.  I don't eat processed foods at all anymore, so the thought slipped my mind...

What about sensitivities or allergies to common food preservatives?  I definitely have sensitivities in this area, since I have chemical sensitivities, too.  Both Mayonnaise and commercial potato chips have preservatives in them.  Maybe you want to look into this possibility.

I avoid mayonnaise, because it's full of things I'm sensitive to.  It doesn't matter if it's the variety that is called mayonnaise or the variety that looks like mayonnaise and is called salad dressing, because the ingredients are still mostly the same.  Soybean oil, an acid (vinegar), and eggs, plus a bunch of ingredients I can't pronounce.  I am quite sensitive to soybeans and eggs, but I forgot about the preservatives.  I have a cousin much older than I am who has problems with food preservatives.  I do, too, now.

Speaking of adding foods to the long list of food sensitivities, I just discovered another one, which is a disappointment, because it's something I really like.  But, I'm getting that familiar hard rubber ball feeling in my throat again, and I felt the tingling in my mouth and throat.  Rats!  Another one in the more severe reactions.  I would call this a mild anaphylaxis, but it'll probably still test negative as a "true" allergy, like all the other things on my list did.  Weird!

I've been told that my problems with food stem from Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Conventional medicine is on the fence regarding Leaky Gut Syndrome, but alternative medicine regards it as a real and troubling condition that is behind problems with food sensitivities and GERD/IBS.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the info.  The ER doctor mentioned it could possibly be preservatives, but there isn't a way to test against those, at least that's what I was told.  Is there?  I've started keeping a daily food journal and of course avoiding the things I know for sure.  It's just so frustrating because I've never had any problem with any food and now all of sudden I do.

I was prescribed an Epipen, but with the last reaction I just had 3 days ago, I didn't have to use it.  I'm learning to take Benadryl at first sign of a reaction to prevent it from worsening.  It takes a while, but it works.
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,

The symptoms that you have described sound like food allergy and not food intolerance.Unfortunately skin tests and blood tests have limited role in identifying the triggering foods,but the best diagnosic tests are oral food challenge tests and elimination diets.

Hope it helps .Take care and pls do keep us posted in case you have any additional queries.Kind regards.

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