Allergy Community
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Avatar universal

Sudden adult onset of food allergies ...

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?
17 Responses
Avatar universal

Do you have any other symptoms ? Muscle aches... fatigue... cognitive problems.... dizziness.... frequent infections ?


Avatar universal
I have a lot of symptoms that have all come at about the same time as the allergies.  I don't have frequent infections, but I have muscle aches and weakness, severe fatigue, I've developed a buffalo hump on my neck and my face has become very very round (it was heart shaped until about 2 years ago when it started to round out), extreme hunger and thirst (I've learned to try and ignore the hunger, but I drink water all day long), severe stretch marks, my hair is thinning, increased levels of body hair, my top front teeth have become wider apart (I never needed braces or had an spacing issues with my teeth, and I haven't had any trauma to my mouth recently), I have lots of little red spots on my lower legs, I am hot most of the time, I sweat a lot more than I used to, my hands and feet go numb or shake for no reason, and I experience high anxiety levels at night and have a very difficult time trying to get to sleep.
Avatar universal

Please ask your physician about Cushing's Syndrome.

Symptoms    Return to top

Abdomen that sticks out and thin arms and legs (central obesity)
Acne or skin infections
Collection of fat between the shoulders (buffalo hump)
Hair growth on the face
Impotence (men)
Menstrual cycle stops (women)
Mental changes
Purple marks on the skin of the abdomen, thighs, and breasts
Round, red, and full face (moon face)
Thin skin with easy bruising
Weight gain (unintentional)

link: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/000410.htm

Avatar universal

P.S. ~ Your Primary Care Physician should write you an referral to see an Endocrinologist.
Avatar universal
Unfortunately one does not the reason for the outbreaks of allergies in an individual.Risk factors for allergy can be placed in two general categories, namely host and environmental factors. Host factors include heredity, sex, race, and age, with heredity being by far the most significant. There have been recent increases in the incidence of allergic disorders, however, that cannot be explained by genetic factors alone. The four main environmental candidates are alterations in exposure to infectious diseases during early childhood, environmental pollution, allergen levels, and dietary changes.
Allergic reactions occur to environmental substances known as allergens. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.
A variety of tests now exist to diagnose allergic conditions; these include testing the skin for responses to known allergens or analyzing the blood for the presence and levels of allergen-specific IgE. Treatments for allergies include allergen avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other oral medications, immunotherapy to desensitize the response to allergen, and targeted therapy.
Perhaps you could discusa few of these options with your allergist, if nothing further can be done, you will have to avoid the trigger factors and do the best you can.

Avatar universal
I have been avoiding all of my allergies since April 10, 2008.  I haven't had anything, nor touched anything with those foods in it.  I didn't have any serious childhood diseases and I hadn't changed my diet when this all happened.  My diet consists largely of spinach, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, celery, brown rice, potatoes, boneless skinless chicken breasts, pork chops, lean beef, reduced-fat dairy products (such as skim milk and part-skim mozzarella cheese) and fresh fruits (no more than 3 per day.)  I've been drinking about 2 gallons of water per day (I am always thirsty.)  I limit my calorie intake to 1200 - 1500 calories per day.  I don't cook with salt (we only add a small amount at the table of iodized sea salt.)  We don't eat any processed foods, no candy (because of the soy), no fast food, nothing that has more than 3-4 ingredients in it.  We don't eat anything with "natural flavors" because of the risk of exposure.  I don't go outside for more than the time it takes to get in and out of my car and go to work or the store.  I exercise inside on an elliptical (when able) and take a daily (sometimes more than daily) antihistamine.  I get 6 allergy shots per week since April (and I am still unable to tolerate the second dose of the first bottle.)  My other symptoms don't seem to be related to food allergies, and if they are why haven't they gone away after 3 months?  My blood sugar and blood pressure have been excellent.  My hormone levels (except for Cortisol which the tests haven't come back for yet) have been normal.  I know allergies can just develop, but 7 food allergies all at once in a 24 year old, with no personal or family history of food allergies seems to be weird!  In addition to that all of the other symptoms I've listed above have come on suddenly too.  And why after 3 months of intense dieting (my husband has lost weight, he's down to 195 lbs and is 6' tall) have I not lost any weight, why do I keep gaining weight?
Avatar universal

Hi Allergygirl,

Its good to hear from you. I just wanted to say that I'm so happy to hear that your physician had ordered a cortisol level.

I hope that you will continue to post and keep us updated ! Perhaps Dr. Aparna can also shed some light on the food allergies. I know I've had a couple and I understand how challenging it is.



Avatar universal
Thanks for your advice, I hope the test results come back soon, I've always hated waiting especially when I'm really worried about something.  It's good to know I'm not the only one out there with multiple adult onset food allergies and immune problems.  I'll post again when I get the results.
Waiting too as my daughter had this happen so doctor says,I think its misdiagnoses  
Avatar universal

Well hang in there. Perhaps after you get your test results, that will help your physician(s) get everything under control.

Be sure to post again.. if you can.

Good Luck !
Avatar universal
I think I've now developed an allergy to strawberries, apples, and tomatoes.  What is wrong with me?  I'm really scared, something bad is going on inside of me and no one seems to know what is wrong.  My stomach has been a mess, I keep breaking out in hives, and despite my constant battle with diahrea I still haven't lost even an ounce.  I'm so frustrated and worried.  Does anyone out there have any advice?  I'm desperate.
Avatar universal
I just got my test results back just now!  My cotisol levels came back almost twice the value for the highest level of normal.  It feels so good to know an answer.
I know this post is old but I just wanted to tell you your story is almost exactly like mine!  I was just dx with Cushings and am awaiting surgery.  But I have so many food intolerances and that's not always listed as a symptom.  Thanks for sharing your story.  You give me hope!
Avatar universal

I'm happy that you have an answer. Did you get a diagnosis ? I hope that now your physicians can treat your condition and pray that your allergies will be better as a result. Perhaps after some time of avoiding foods that you are allergic to... you will be able (with the help of your physician) to slowly re-introduce those foods into your diet ? You may find then that your symptoms have disappeared. This has happened in some individuals.
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