About a year ago I suddenly developed multiple food allergies. When I ate one of the foods, such as strawberries, citrus, chocolate, peaches/plums/apricots my mouth would either a) get very itchy or b) get sores all over and my throat would get scratchy/irritated. At first I ignored these symptoms and kept eating the foods, but then my throat would start swelling, making it difficult to breathe. I now carry an epipen because some of the allergies are so severe. This continued and I am now allergic to over 20 foods with mild symptoms for almost 10 more foods. I'm really worried that if I keep developing allergies I won't be able to eat anything! I went to 2 allergists but neither could help - one recommended an elimination diet, but it only told me what I already know. Help, please?! How can I avoid developing more food allergies?
Hi, welcome to the forum, determination of the food you are allergic to, is one of the challenges which you need to pass through. The common existing food allergens are Peanut flour, peanut butter, powdered egg white, Powdered/fresh milk Soy milk, soy flour Wheat breads, flour etc.
As allergic reactions are IgE mediated, blood tests will show increase in these levels secondary to a food allergy. The problem with the food allergy testing is sometimes the amount of food they challenge with may be not sufficient to elicit any allergic reactions.
When such food is consumed in large quantities can elicit allergic reaction in the form of hives, redness of skin, itching etc. You need to note down such food also in your diary and avoid the intake in future.
I suggest you to consult skin specialist/ immunologist for further line of management. Take care and regards.
Thanks for your reply. My understanding is that both skin-***** testing and blood testing are not fully reliable. I've had skin-***** testing and only react to the allergy which almost fully constricts my throat for up to 6 or more hours (even benadryl doesn't help). Other foods that cause wheezing and moderately swollen throat for several hours didn't show up on the skin ***** test, so in my experience it's not very reliable. I've also found that if I keep eating things that I'm only mildly allergic to, I become severely allergic. I did a 3 month elimination diet but it only confirmed the allergies I already knew I had. I am doing my best to avoid the 30+ foods I'm allergic or sensitive too, but it is really limiting my diet. I have no skin symptoms other than swollen throat and lips. I'm concerned about continuing to develop more allergies, any idea how I can prevent this?
You're experiencing and discovering what so many of us have also found to be true -- the number of foods we're allergic seems to be ever-increasing, and the more we eat a food (even if it's not an allergen or only a mild one to start with) the more likely we'll develop an allergy to it. I've been dealing with this for over 10 years within my own family, as my mother (who lives with us) can only eat 26 foods -- that includes things like parsley and olive oil, which aren't really something to make a meal of all on their own! -- and my young daughter has developed a sunflower allergy in addition to her wheat allergy, while I have been identifying more and more food allergies of my own ever since I hit 40 years old.
Bottom line is that no one has yet figured out how to prevent a rise in the number of food allergens an individual has or may develop. On a more positive note, however, many of us have found that if we avoid a mildly allergenic food for a long time (at least 4-6 months), we can then eat that food once in a great while with no ill effect. Even more encouraging is that there is a HUGE number of alternative/substitute foods available, many of which are not yet very commonly eaten by most Americans and therefore may cause fewer allergy problems (unless of course you start to eat them too frequently). A lot of those foods you can find in ethnic grocery stores and even in big supermarkets now.
My observation, through research and personal experience, is that most sources of information about food allergies these days address only the "Top 8" currently most commonly recognized food allergens, and frequently this is in relation to food allergic kids rather than adults. I try, in the food allergy writing that I do, to address food allergies BEYOND the "Top 8", and more specifically in relation to adult-onset of food allergies. I invite you to check out my blog (http://MFAA-Interchange.blogspot.com), where I'm sure you'll find helpful and encouraging information and a wealth of links that will assure you there are still plenty of ways to eat well no matter what your food allergies!
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