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Avatar universal

Sudden adult onset of food allergies? Specifically, chocolate. . .

Is it possible to develop a food allergy in adulthood that you have never experienced before?  I'm 32 years old and have recently developed unexplained head pain; a CAT scan showed nothing abnormal.

I had a 24-hour respite from the head pain and then it returned.  The only thing I could associate with the change was eating chocolate and can recall an increase in my chocolate consumption over the past two weeks.

Can an adult develop a food allergy from out of nowhere?

106 Responses
179332 tn?1273250959
I am 39 and just found out I am allergic to a variety of things I was never allergic to before - and one of them is chocolate! I had all the 'testing' done by an allergist as well as had BioMeridian testing done which confirmed everthing (and more!) They do say that when your Immune system runs low you can become more allergic to items...As you may read on some threads here - mine started with a severe allergic reaction to Blood Pressure meds...now, foods and household cleaners...it's almost mind-boggling to me! I hope you start to feel better.  Everyone reacts differently when allergic to foods etc...I get an all over body itch! ((I think I'd prefer a headache!))
I've heard that sulfites are in wine and chocolate. That can cause headaches.
Avatar universal
Hi, I found out I had Melanoma skin cancer when I was 26 and shortly after found out that i am now VERY allergic to all dairy, tomatos, soy, and wine/grapes.  I am now 28 and I keep adding food to my allergy list.  I can not find an explanation to why this is happening to me.  It seams to be all of a sudden.  I have been tested for Crohn's disease, Addisons, and a huge amount of other disorders and illnesses.  My doctors guessed I had IBS and Fibromyalgia.  I have since tried a variety of medications for Fibro and am now off everything and I am having no pain, but me food allergies keep getting worse, no matter how many pills I take or acupunctures I get.  Does anyone know about studies done about sudden adult onset of allergies?  I have litterally lost 20 lbs in 6 months because I am having trouble finding things that don't make me sick!  At 104 lbs, I can't afford to lose any more! Please help!

Avatar universal
i have much in common with you -i'm 61 years old and have no real health isssues otherwise-i started acidolpylus(sp) and it reversed the weight loss for now--also take alpha lipoic acid (ala) and can't honestly say that it makes a difference-i have expiereinced burning mouth syndrome and depression which i believe is assosiated with chronic pain dr is puzzeled and i don't know what to do next

hope you get better
Avatar universal
I suggest you might google candida as it can cause a variety of symptoms (IBS, burning mouth, depression) and even create food allergies as your absorbtion of food is messed up by the fungal overgrowth; basically causes leaky gut.  Also might look into Celiacs Disease, which is basically an allergy to gluten.  This allergy alot of times doesn't develop or at least doesn't show symptoms until adulthood.  And it can create allergies or intollerances to other foods basically by leaky gut again.

Either of these could be a possibility, but just something for you to look into.
Avatar universal
i am currently undergoing allergy testing for sudden onset of allergy symptoms with every food but some veggies and nuts. i feel like i am going crazy and my dr. has threatened a feeding tube and suspects an eating disorder. i have lost 10 lbs already and am struggling to get through each day feeling hungry, weak and exhausted. i am afraid to eat food alone for fear the allergy attack will be severe. i am playing the waiting game right now hoping i am not hospitalized before the tests/answers come back. i, too, suspect candida could be the original cause, but my dr. is not exploring that possibility at all. i am very fearful of losing more weight, although at 132 i have a little more wiggle room than you. i am praying for a quick answer so that i can expand  my food choices beyond veggies...i am so hungry!
469029 tn?1207521902
Hey all, I am having the same issues. i got really sick back in Nov 2006 and I still feel sick. I learned recently that im allergic to almost everything now. Food allergies run in my family but i never had them prior to my illness. I am very allergic (IGE) to wheat and milk, and soy and now sunflower seeds also. I had a high IGG (delayed reaction) to several other foods as well. Im miserable, Its not the food...but i have been free of all of these foods for 1 month now and im still feeling very ill. Swelling in hands, and nausia and fatugie and fullness in my throat. I also get a burning sensation on my ribs occassionally...like the skin hurts to touch. Im not sure what happened but i just want to feel 28 years old and be like everyone else again.  I also found out that i have borderline osetoperosis through a Dexa scan. If anyone has any ideas I would appriciate your help. P.S. I am also now doing allergy shots for the environmental allergies 3 times a week.
Have you been tested for autoimmune rheumatic diseases.  Sounds to me like it could be SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) or Scleroderma.  I have had Scleroderma for 25 years now and I have developed several food intolerances and allergies since then.  Try to get an immune scan done (blood tests) via your General Practitioner it may throw some light on what you are experiencing.  Good luck.  I wish you well.
Avatar universal
Hi!  When I was 25 I developed a severe allergy to soy and was hospitalized for the asthma that it gave me.  This came upon after I realized my chronic sinusitis was linked to cow's milk - so I switched all my dairy to soy products.  While I did research to completely re-define my diet, I started with a meal replacement shake that I found, that was entirely natural, soy-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and soo healthy.. (PureTrim: www.feelgreat.awarenesslife.com).  I figured why not lose some of the 60 extra pounds I was carrying in the meantime.  as I became more aware of my body and health, I realized that my digestion, pms, exzema and fatigue were also completely related to my diet.  I found out that I did have candida (mentioned above) and had to bite the bullet and finally become healthy.  My sweet tooth and habit of eating starches and enjoying moderate alchohol with my friends had to go.  Now, I find that a cookie here or there, or a drink every now and again are finally tolerable to my system.  I figured out what my limits are and am happy to have a healthy system.  I lost all 60lbs and am naturally inclined to use my body more during the day. I still have a PureTrim shake for breakfast a few times during the week because they refresh me so much and help moderate all the natural bacteria.  What I found out through all my research/health revolution, was that these allergies develop because there is usually a backlog of toxins in your gut that just make these substances eventually intolerable.  There are some products on the market for candida but I've found it really doesn't moderate until you change your diet anyway.  You can be stuck taking expensive powders or drugs forever and still have an outbreak of candida once you try to stop.  Hope something of all this helps some of you, thanks for your ear!!  ~b
Avatar universal
Can you eat turkey, lamb, chicken, fish, veggies, potatoes--my saving grace-- just microwave a potato (sweet or plain) whenever I'm at the point of starving: I too, suffer from myriad food allergies, amongst other things. I have devised ways to work around the allergies; but don't eat the same things every day, or you will develop intolerances to the few items you are still able to tolerate: A grated cucumber salad with garlic and oil and sea salt for dressing; sometimes I add grated red peppers; I used quinoa for a while--both as a cereal and as flour for muffins--which I made myself; if you post a new comment letting me know what you can eat (veggies, proteins, coconut milk, etc. and if there are any flours that you can tolerate, I may be able to put together a few quickie recipes for you: In the past 10 years I have lost nearly 30 lbs from adult onsset allergies. I nearly went nuts from hunger and near fainting spells and paranoia.
Avatar universal
My apologies: did not notice that you said all foods except for some veggies and nuts. That makes it a lot harder to work around. Your doctor should really try harder to find out if Candida is a factor. I went through the same sceanario almost as bad and some time later developed thrush which I keep at bay by not eating any sugars plus a whole lot of fruit and acids and alcohol: to this day my doctor still has not investigated the cause; he just keeps sending me to the same allergist, who does the same tests over and over, and tells me to just stay away from the foods that I am allergic to--which is almost everything. Good for me that I pray a lot or I'd be a total nutcase. I just keep trying everything from acidophilus to caprilic acid--the whole gamut. I'm still hoping it--this situation--will go away, the same way it  popped up out of nowhere.
Avatar universal
You can develop allergies at any point in life without having had a prior history.
In your case the head ache could be due to migraine triggered off by chocolate.
Phenylethylamine, theobromine and caffeine are chemical triggers present in chocolate. They may cause a headache by altering the cerebral blood flow.
Also it could be due to an allergic re-action to caffeine in the chocolate.
Avatar universal
Question: My adult daughter -- who has never had allergies has begun developing severe anaphylaxis type food allergies. Each week or so her list grows. I am wondering if a hormone change, caused by the birth of her daughter nine months ago, and breast feeding could trigger this. She had a scratch test done, but the doc said her skin was so sensitive that he wanted to do the blood test. She is allergic to: tomato, garlic, rosemary, beef, pork, shellfish, soy, peanuts, onion and probably a few things I am forgetting. Twice in the last six weeks she has ended up in the ER with some newly disovered food allergy. Any guidance?

Thanks for any help.
Avatar universal

There are so many women out there who have experienced illness after childbirth.

If you would like, I can send you some information on things that I have found to be helpful for me. (I have immune dysfunction and as a result... numerous allergies) Let me know and I can zip the info to your inbox ASAP.


Avatar universal
I am 24 years old and have developed many food allergies all at once (onion, garlic, wheat, soy, shrimp, salmon, peppers, I can't eat anything from a can because of the nickel content and I can't eat anything related to onion such as asparagus, leeks, etc.)  I have been eating very little since I was diagnosed in April, and I haven't lost any weight, I've gained weight!  I'm really worried, I'm only eating about 1200 calories a day, and I weigh 260 lbs.  My neck and head hurt all the time, I'm swollen like a balloon, my vision has changed, my anxiety levels are through the roof, my environmental allergies have become so severe.  I'm trying to take allergy shots for the environmental allergies, but even when they diluted the first bottle of serum, I still had a reaction to the first dose.  I've seen an endocrinologist, my primary care doctor, my allergist, and none of them have any answers.  They keep taking blood, and all of the results come back normal.  The endocrinologist told me to cut back on bread, and I just wanted to scream at him I CAN'T EAT BREAD!!  I am desperate for an answer.  Does anyone know of anything that could be causing this?
Avatar universal
I noticed that your daughter is allergic to soy, onion, and garlic like I am.  I'm not sure what triggered her allergies, but I have learned the hard way that there are some other things that she needs to avoid with these allergies.  Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin E (in most skin care products), and anything in a cosmetic product marked "Vegetable ..." is more than likely derived from soy.  She'll want to check her shampoo, conditioner, makeup, deodorant, etc.  I know that I had a horrible time until discovered this.  If her reaction to onion and garlic is also severe she'll probably want to avoid things that are related to it.  Such as asparagus, leeks, shallots, chives, aloe, lilies, etc.  I also have found that when someone eats onion and garlic and they sweat it out of their skin, if they touch me or I touch something they have touched, I have a reaction.  This includes things like ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, etc. Have they tried an elimination diet for her?  She should talk to her allergist about it.  If she needs a list of safe cosmetic or food products, I'd be happy to send you a list of what I have found that I can use.  I hope they figure her allergies out soon.
Avatar universal
I have been diagnosed with allergies to 92 common foods including pineapple, grapefruit, rice & corn. When you know you have a gluten & dairy intolerance as well that causes IBS it really doesnt leave me much to chew on, does it.?
However we now buy quinoa in bulk because its a life saver for me as I`m not keen on buckwheat.
  I was getting away with a couple of beers before dinner, a glass of red wine, & sometimes dark chocolate to replace dessert, but now I get a terrible legs & body itch about 2 hours after that I always need to scratch. The end result is usually blood running down my lower legs !  Tonight I had neither wine or chocolate & the symptoms have not occurred.
Now I have to find out the culprit & pray its not both!!

Avatar universal
Wow, what similar symptoms! All that's missing from me is Seizures, but some of yours give a rememberance of my symptoms of simple partial seizures in the early stages, such as vision changes, irritablity, brain fog. I eventually went into a full grand mal seizure after 3 yearsa of dealing with "dizzy spell" seizures (simple partial)

reactive EBV, Elev LFTs, seizures, hair, weight loss, thyroid nodules, light stool

I have all of the above symptoms plus a strange hive like rash that comes and goes. I took dairy and wheat out of my diet and have seen marked improvement in seizure activity, stool color, uirine color and rash, and a complete turn around in weight loss and noticed hair regrowth. Not really any symptoms of CFS, but sometimes just need to take a 2 hour nap, especailly after physical activity.

8 years ago - Extreme fatigue with RS pain during first pregnancy
5 years ago - "dizzy spells" later found out to be simple partial (petit mal) seizures Elev LFTs found
3 years ago - second child born more "dizzy spells," notice soy increases incidence of "dizzy spells" cut out soy
2 years ago - third child born "dizzy spells (seizures)," 125 lb. weight loss starts and goes over next 11 months, hair starts falling out
7 months ago - First grand mal seizure, "dizzy spells" finally diagnosed as petit mal (simple partial) seizures, reactivated EBV infection found, low Vit D found, small thyriod nodules found (too small to biopsy), liver biopsy negative, all other scans (CT, MRI, chest Xray) negaitve
5 months ago - Cut wheat, dairy and corn
2 months ago - reintoduced corn, no ill effects
1 month ago - reintroduced dairy (cheese, ice cream), tastes bad, stomach ache and "dizzy" feeling (seizure?) cut dairy immediatly

What do I have? Can anyone tell me? I've been to 2 GPs, 2 gastro doctors, one allergy, one endocrine, one hemotologist, and a dermatologist and no one can tell me anything, that is except that I need a phsyc consult.
Avatar universal
I though I was going crazy with all by new allergies.  I am allergic to eggs, pork, yeast, lemon cucumbers, bananas, avacado, all nuts, tuna all shell fish, and the list goes on including latex, and rubber.  I am having a really hard time beacause my stress from this is causing me to have panic attacks.  My family thinks im crazy, my husband does try to help but I think its way to overwhelming to him. I did notice that I have more allergic reactions when I have hayfever. I was told that whn the histamines are in m y body already it reacts faster and more severe because of the added histamines. I had an allergic reaction today from ibuprofin or tomatoes, not sure what. There is a great bakery called cherrybrook kitchen they serve only allergin free mixes they also sale the boxes at raleys and they are great.  I think the Leaky gut has something to do with it thats what im going to try and figure out.  In my younger days I (im oly 40 now) i took alot of ibuprofin.  I have lost 59 lbs and am trying hard to eat very health.  I eat alot of protein, like cheese, steak, chicken, and am going all organic.  I am sorry for everybody problems I do know its stressful.
Avatar universal
i am 30 years old and never had any allargies. Last night I ate pomegranate and immediately my whole body (from head to toe) was covered with hives, terrible itch and my throat tightened. I went to ER and doctors diagnosed anaphylactic shock. Now I am in a different kind of shock. How is this possible? I eat pomegranate all my life (even last month!). And come on ...pomegranate! I can't even find many articles on it...Did anyone have similar experience? Will it stop at this allergy? I'll go for test after I finish with therapy.
Avatar universal
I am new to this, as I've just started having allergic reactions in the last few months.  I haven't been able to determine exactly what causes them yet, probably milk and rice to start.  I've almost passed out a few times after eating, and it has been getting difficult to get doctors to believe me because my throat doesn't swell, and I don't get very much in the way of hives or rashes usually.  I get faint, then the diarhea, nausea and headaches as well as fatigue for several days afterward.  I am finally getting referred to an allergist.  Hopefully they can pinpoint what it is, and it won't be as bad as some of your cases.  I understand the paranoia, the hunger, and the frustration.  Hang in there you guys!
Avatar universal
I suffered for years, including chemical sensitivities as well. I am about 80 % better,  and have added most things back to my diet over time. When I was well enough, I then had a Rast / Elisa allergy test done.
You will have to rebuild your gut lining with l-glutmaine, and up your probiotic intake daily.  You should also look into taking a natural antifungal like olive leaf or GSE. I had to stay away from a ll gluten, as well as yeasts and mushrooms, and vinegars. This is also a candida related allergy. It was brought on by years on antibiotics. Antibiotics killed all of my gut flora, good and bad. But because I did not take the probiotics, the harmful bacteria is what grew, and started forming large colonies, that attach and bore holes in the walls of your intestines. When you eat something, the undigested protein slips into the bloodstream via these holes, and depending on what it is, your body decides it is a foreign invader, and you end up with the allergic reactions.

Good Luck to you on your journey. Get plenty of rest, and plenty of exercise.
681148 tn?1437665191
Wow, this sounds like me.  It sounds like you have MCS, too.  Not fun! :(  It's miserable not being able to do certain things, like going to the movies, or going certain places, simply because most people simply do NOT understand how badly their perfumes, fragrances and smelly personal care products affect people with such environmental allergies.  On top of the usual MCS symptoms, I have asthma, which is adversely affected by all the things that usually affect people with MCS.  It's hardest when friends and/or family just don't understand at all.  I have to ride public transportation, and I've noticed that there are certain routes that are most likely to have smelly people (women in particular) wearing enough perfume for a hundred years and is more likely at certain times of the day.  I try very hard to avoid having to ride these routes at the times most likely to have the smelly people.

It sounds like your food allergies list is very similar to mine.  From what I'm reading in your list of allergies that you've already mentioned, I can see that you have a sulfite allergy.  I have a friend with a similar list of food allergies.  It looks like you are already aware of cross reactions.  Have you had allergy tests for common environmental allergens, like tree pollens?  You probably have.  From your list of food allergies, I can assume that you are allergic to birch and maple pollens.  I wouldn't be surprised if you are allergic to latex either.  This means being allergic to all the best summer fruits, the ones with pits or stones (cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches, etcetera) and avacados, bananas and potatoes.  

I am allergic to EVERYTHING  that one is to avoid on the basic elimination diet.  The basic elimination diet has people avoid wheat, but I can't have any gluten either.  I know what you're talking about with not being able to eat bread, because there just aren't many bread options.  If you're not allergic to rice, there are breads and pastas made from rice sold at Trader Joe's.  The only bread I've actually found is brown rice tortillas.  It has few ingredients and NO PRESERVATIVES.  I'm also allergic to the things you already mentioned that you're allergic to.  I'm also allergic to all nuts, crustaceans, all nightshade produce, carrots, celery and apples.

Something that I have found that helps, since most of us also have GERD/IBS, and Celiac, is the use of flaxseed meal and flaxseed oil.  The writer who wrote about Leaky Gut beat me to the punch.  This is one reason for finding the food sensitivities and allergies through the elimination diet that you've already mentioned.  This is also why it's important to use probiotics, but not just any probiotics.  It's important to see a naturopath for proper guidance with allergies, GERD/IBS, Leaky Gut, and Celiac.  I am fortunate that I have a conventional doctor who is willing to work with me and my naturopath and that I have a naturopath who is willing to integrate.  Most people aren't so fortunate.  Most conventional doctors are closed-minded to natural medicine.  It is important that they work together, rather than using the "all or none" approach to medicine.  Why does it always have to be only conventional medicine or only natural medicine?  What's the harm in balancing the two approaches to medicine in the best interests of the patient?

I'm already using all these approaches myself.  I haven't gotten rid of all the symptoms, but I've improved my overall condition.  I don't know if I've given you any kind of suggestions that will actually help with the food issues.  But, trust me, flaxseed meal really does help, because of the Leaky Gut Syndrome.

I would love to have a list of safe and natural cosmetics and personal care products myself.

Oh, one thing that I have found that is very helpful with the environmental allergies.  I saw someone wearing this mask one day when I was in the supplement store.  I knew what it was for, so I just wanted to know where she got it.  So, she told me that the name of the website, which is icanbreathe.com.  I asked the woman who owns the website which one would be the best one if I can only afford to get one mask.  She said the honeycomb filtration mask.  When I got it, it said that one can double the filters.  Ah hah!  Of course, I tried that!  Now, I only use it with the double filter.  It helps immensely on public transportation and walking near the busy highway and those other public situations that are difficult for us.  Oh, and it really helped me a lot during the spring pollen season!  Talk about the one kind of thing that helps that doesn't involve ingesting something that we might be allergic to.  This product is made by a woman who knows from experience with having MCS herself.  I like the fact that it is also a low-maintenance product, which is really great.
681148 tn?1437665191
Which tests did you have done to confirm your food allergies?  I am interested, because I've done the skin scratch tests, which didn't show the things that I know very well that I'm allergic to.  I figured out most of my sensitivities and allergies with the food elimination test.  I'm allergic to everything that we're supposed to avoid that is on the basic elimination test.  I have read enough information to know that these skin scratch tests really aren't completely reliable.  It did show the birch pollen allergy and the dust allergy.  When you consider all the cross reactions, then you understand why the things I already know I'm allergic to are problems for me.  Even the allergist told me that there is a similar protein in the pollens of birch and maple, for example.  He was surprised that I knew the term cross reaction.  

Incidentally, there is a long list of cross reactions with birch alone.  From reading this forum, I found out about mugwort, as I am definitely allergic to celery.  This is a cross reaction.  And, as aforementioned, there is quite a list for anyone who knows they are allergic to latex.

The more I learn, the more I realize that allergies are quite complex.  Leaky Gut syndrome is a big thing, but cross reactions must be taken into consideration, too.

If you find out that the wine is the culprit, check out sulfite allergies.  Everything in the onion and garlic family is in the natural sulfite family, not just grapes.
681148 tn?1437665191
Please keep me informed.  Some of what you're describing is stuff I've experienced with no answers, too.
Avatar universal
I just googled food onset allergy and found this site.  I have been having allergic rash with hives, itching, burning, inside and out.  I have no known allergies.  This started a week ago on Thanksgiving.  So I was thinking it was something someone brought to our house but no clue.  I am taking Benedryl with some ease of symptoms, but still hiving especially when I eat.  I am eating all normal things I always eat, and have no idea what is causing this.  I haven't changed any degergents, chemicals, etc. ANY insight would be great!  I really don't have the $$ right now to address allergy testing or docs visits.  Thanks you guys...
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