To wonder where the allergies go?

(150 Posts)
Defnotsupergirl Thu 06-Mar-14 08:26:30

To start off I'm not saying there are not some very serious, life threatening allergies out there.

My wondering is why you don't come across more adults with these allergies. I work directly with 40 odd adults i.e. We share a fridge and working space etc. none of them have any allergies that I know of apart from one lady who has coeliac disease - and I'm assuming I would know if others did due to having to be careful about birthday cakes, only using certain parts of the fridge etc. no one refused cake or didn't use the fridge.

Up till four years ago I work with another group of people except about 80 of them and none had any known allergy.
None of my friends or acquaintances have ever said they have allergy problems despite me cooking for them and checking in many cases

If you compare with friends DCs school, five of the reception children in a class of 22 have some form of supposed food allergy. Apparently this is a reoccurring theme throughout the school.

Is it that people grow out of these allergies or is it the imagination of over careful parents who see an allergy every time their child vomits after a meal.

AIBU to suggest that there are not as many allergies around as is thought and that it is parents who are quick to blame simple bugs on allergies?

Please note - I again realise there are some life threatening allergies that exist and are a huge problem. This is for the other ones.

DrDre Thu 06-Mar-14 08:29:22

It is just that they are way more common in children now. No one knows why, but allergies are much more prevalent in kids now compared to, say, 30 years ago. They are genuine allergies as well, not misdiagnosed ones.
YABU to suggest it is just parents blaming bugs on allergies, it is accepted that they are much more common now.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 06-Mar-14 08:29:27

No. It's that there are more allergies now.

When these children grow up they will usually still have all the allergies. .except egg which they can grow out of.

My DD has multiple tested-for allergies. I hope lots of people don't share your view that im a neurotic parent.

Allergies usually involves.huge rashes not just a quick vomit.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 06-Mar-14 08:30:08

No. It's that there are more allergies now.

When these children grow up they will usually still have all the allergies. .except egg which they can grow out of.

My DD has multiple tested-for allergies. I hope lots of people don't share your view that im a neurotic parent.

Allergies usually involves.huge rashes not just a quick vomit.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 06-Mar-14 08:33:04

Oops sorry

Daykin Thu 06-Mar-14 08:33:32

AIBU to suggest that there are not as many allergies around as is thought and that it is parents who are quick to blame simple bugs on allergies?

Yes YABU. Who would do that?

Nor can you 'imagine' an allergy. There are very specific blood tests for allergies, even being able to test which specific proteins within the food a person is reacting to.

zoemaguire Thu 06-Mar-14 08:36:21

Bit hard to imagine huge hives and swollen lips and tongue! There are just way more allergies about nowadays. Also kids do grow out of allergies - not just egg, but (fingers crossed!) dairy too., so that factors in as well.

DowntonTrout Thu 06-Mar-14 08:36:57

Yes there seem to be more allergies. Plus more allergies are recognised.

There is also some confusion between intolerance and allergy. Allergy seems to have become a cover all term, which IMO, diminishes those with actual allergies.

Elfhame Thu 06-Mar-14 08:38:04

There are more allergies now. No-one knows why they have increased.

It is not a figment of parents imagination, my children children's allergies were verified by a specialist by way of a skin prick test.

Non life threatening allergies are still unpleasant and it is unfair to expose a child to anything that will make them itchy, wheezy or uncomfortable in any way.

MonsieurReynard Thu 06-Mar-14 08:39:21

Some do disappear with age - as a kid, strawberries made me swell up like a balloon every time (took my folks about 6 months to figure out what it was, so tried them often enough that it wasn't a one-off), and a hint of dairy would make my brother projectile vomit like a champion - both allergies were gone by mid-teens. (Maybe earlier, but mid-teens was the first time either of us re-tried our respective allergy foods).

TheGreatHunt Thu 06-Mar-14 08:40:07


And many people may not have sensitive allergies but might be a contact issue.

Childcare settings have to be incredibly careful.people at work can avoid things like shared kitchens etc. A colleague of mine has a but allergy which I never knew about until it came to booking a lunch !

Defnotsupergirl Thu 06-Mar-14 08:42:54

Ok, so there are more allergies, why might this be? Is it as a society we have lost our natural resilience due to being too clean perhaps, children of children who were not allowed to play making mud pies etc? This is a genuine question, I'm about to have a DC and am keen to try to avoid these problems if possible and am keen to hear people's theories on why it may happen........

Ithinkwerealonenow Thu 06-Mar-14 08:44:45


Children often grow out of allergies. Dd1 has grown out of her egg and milk allergy at the age of 6. Doesn't mean it wasn't serious and life threatening before. I'm sure I wasn't imagining the epipens, hospital trips, and the impossibility of birthday parties, restaurants, holidays, school dinners, in fact anything that wasn't prepared at home.

On the other hand, I grew into a shellfish allergy in my 20s. It's not something you would necessarily be aware of as I'm an adult and can manage it myself, without having to make all the other responsible adults around me aware of the allergy.

Belmo Thu 06-Mar-14 08:45:54

Kids do grow out of allergies. My dd was allergic to dairy (made her whole face swell up quite dramatically) which she has grown out of, and we are going to try her again with eggs in the next few months. About 80% of children with dairy and egg allergies will grow out of them. She's also seriously allergic to peanuts - only about 20% grow out of that but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

DrDre Thu 06-Mar-14 08:48:18

No one knows why they are more prevalent. The development of allergies is poorly understood by science. It could be due to a myriad of possible reasons.

Ithinkwerealonenow Thu 06-Mar-14 08:49:16

There are many theories, none proven. If you have a family history of atopic disease (asthma, eczema, food allergies), your dc are more likely to be prone.

It is also likely that more are diagnosed these days, as we recognise what they are - eg many years ago a child might have 'choked' to death. Today we would recognise an anaphylactic reaction.

There isn't anything you can definitively do to prevent allergies. A healthy diet high in fruit and veg is thought to help.

Chippednailvarnish Thu 06-Mar-14 08:50:39

You sound very cynical OP. So if you don't believe children actually have allergies, why are you concerned that your children might develop them?

Defnotsupergirl Thu 06-Mar-14 08:52:20

Exactly why I'm asking DrDre, I have found that collective reasoning and ideas can show some reoccurring causes that may help future parents and children avoid these problems. A persons experience can be a lot more helpful than reams of scientific tests.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 06-Mar-14 08:53:58

You won't get many yanbu responses because the majority if people who post on your thread, will be parents of those with genuine allergies, who will ignore the bit in your post where you state you're not talking about them.
There are more allergies, but you are right, there are more parents who claim allergies where there is none. I don't know why.
I also don't know why there's more - could it be anything to do with all the chemicals used in foods nowadays?

zoemaguire Thu 06-Mar-14 08:56:31

Don't combine antibiotics in newborn period with top up formula followed by exclusive breastfeeding! There are various studies showing that that increases risk of dairy allergy. Not much choice on the antibiotics front, but i am certainly cross with midwife who gave dd top up formula for no good reason.

Not much you can do about atopy in family though,,which also ups risk. We didn't have allergic dcs for the fun of it you know or because we neglectfully fed our babies coke and fruit shoots. these things just happen sometimes.

Sevensev Thu 06-Mar-14 08:57:14

I have read a couple of times from reports that caesarians may be a problem in this regard.
That babies gain something to help with allergies by being born naturally through the birth canal [or whatever it is called!]

I used to wonder whether cs's being "unnatural" would have effects.
I used to think cs's were great. And of course they are if necessary, but I do suspect they have some drawbacks.

DrDre Thu 06-Mar-14 08:58:19

I agree to a point, however:

- with something like this where it could be due to many different things it is very difficult to compare experiences accurately.
- correlation does not automatically mean causation.

My son has got several allergies, I am firmly of the opinion that science is the way to go in getting to the bottom of this.

CinnabarRed Thu 06-Mar-14 09:05:20

I suspect that in part you're conflating allergies and intolerances, which are different.

You will also, of course, never meet the "missing" adults who died years ago from poorly understood and managed allergies.

You will also likely find, should you do a poll, that some of the adults you work with do have allergies of which you are unaware. My MIL, for example, is allergic to celery - but it isn't something likely to come up in a normal work context. I am responsible for residential learning courses for over 3,000 employees in my workplace, and I would guesstimate that at least 10% of my attendees disclose allergies or intolerances on their booking forms.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 06-Mar-14 09:07:16

My husband works in an office of 5 people.

He has fish and seafood allergy.

2 others have definite allergies.

fascicle Thu 06-Mar-14 09:13:30

This is a genuine question, I'm about to have a DC and am keen to try to avoid these problems if possible and am keen to hear people's theories on why it may happen........

You'd best screen your partner to ensure no history of allergies.

mrsjay Thu 06-Mar-14 09:13:44

I read somewhere that we are too clean these days we bleach and spray everywhere children are not allowed to get dirty so the body fights against something IYSWIM, not sure if that is true or not as i have a latex allergy and was rolling about making mud pies as a kid grin

mrsjay Thu 06-Mar-14 09:14:38

TBH most children with allergies rarely vomitand most parents i have worked with do know the difference between allergies and intolerance

Pagwatch Thu 06-Mar-14 09:19:04

Why would sharing a fridge space indicte to you that no one has allergies?

If I was working with you and had a dairy allergy how would you know by the contents of the fridge? How would you know that my flapjack is dairy free or my cupcakes are gluten free?

And given the 'allergies are just made up/a bug/attention seeking' guff, why would anyone talk about it?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 06-Mar-14 09:20:40

I don't think I'm being neurotic or imagining my DS's eczema every time he eats a bit of cheese or drinks a bottle of milk. That and his reflux made his babyhood very stressful.

Vomiting has nothing to do with it, I think you're quite ignorant of how allergies can present itself.

Children grow out if it (not all). It also follows in families. My DH and my bil both had dairy allergies as children. I can assure you they played with mud pies.

It's probably picked up on more these days and treatment is available. I imagine years ago there wasn't much you could do about it.

Bodicea Thu 06-Mar-14 09:22:25

I am atopic as is my husband and my baby. My baby has terrible eczema which I struggle to control. That is inherited. The differece is there are now more allergens in our society all around us. Detergents, preservatives. People used to use simple soap bath less, not have central heating. I am depleting most of that out of home but cant control the outside world. So we are always going to have more breakouts than we would have had if we were born 100 years ago short of never leaving the house.
As for all the so called food allergies most are a load of rubbish - although i reckon the increased sugar in everones diet isnt good. If it is something that we were all eating a 100 years ago and there were no allergies to it then then it is quite clearly something else.

mrsjay Thu 06-Mar-14 09:23:11

you are right pobble years back people would be allergic to things with rashes and what not nobody would know what it was and put it down to *something else^ it is a bit like well Aspergers wasn't around in my day ( i have heard this) well it was just nobody knew what it was

Bodicea Thu 06-Mar-14 09:30:49

supergirl - the best thing you can do ig get rid off detergents in the house (that includes non bio) and just wash clothes in something like ecoballs or soap nuts. Look at the back of a non bio detergent it has a big x on it with the word irritant. Use a steam cleaner instead of floor cleaner. drop thermostat in house. Hand washes/ body washes also full of irritants - use traditional soap.
These things are the culprits of most sensitivities not major food groups.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 06-Mar-14 09:33:36

Adults do have allergies, but they control it themselves so you don't hear of it. Eg dh is allergic to kiwis so he doesn't eat them. No one need to know this. if dd, 3, was allergic to kiwis, I would need to tell her nursery, plus play dates without me.

Elfhame Thu 06-Mar-14 09:37:33

Bodicea, what do you mean most food allergies are a load of rubbish?

Daykin Thu 06-Mar-14 09:37:39

There is a shit load of research going on into allergies. You are not the only person to have clocked that there is a rise in the number of allergies and wondered why that is.

Allergies and intolerances are different things. One is not a more severe version of the other. An intolerance can provoke a much more severe reaction than an allergy.

Tbh, I really don't understand your post. You say you know allergies exist but 'this is for the other one'. What does that mean? The ones that don't exist? Which allergies don't exist?

The crux of it is, there is a rise in allergies, some allergies are outgrown so naturally more children are allergic than adults (although some allergies spring up in adulthood too). Children just learning to take responsibility for their allergy are more conspicuous than adults who simply don't order the prawn salad or take their tea without milk or turn down the snicker bar tray bake.

StressheadMcGee Thu 06-Mar-14 09:38:23

I have allergies to a range of food, and was discussing this issue with my consultant last month. He has a theory (which is just a theory, he stressed) that a disease in birch trees 30 odd years ago has caused an increase in food allergies - so there actually are more allergies around. Some of my colleagues know, especially those that bring in homemade cake to share, but the vast majority of people who I share the fridge with don't have a clue.

Daykin Thu 06-Mar-14 09:46:06

There is a European north/south divide in terms of prevalent allergies which corresponds to the birch line.

CinnabarRed Thu 06-Mar-14 09:53:06

A true allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body.

Intolerance symptoms often come on gradually and don't involve an immune system reaction. If you have a food intolerance, for example, you may be able to eat small amounts of the offending food without trouble.

Pagwatch Thu 06-Mar-14 09:54:33

That's interesting. Dd has just been diagnosed and birch was the first thing on the list.

Interestingly, two and a half weeks into excluding her multiple allergens her terribe excema has literally gone - vanished. And her morning and night time coughing too so I am hopeful about her asthma

Bodicea Thu 06-Mar-14 09:58:22

Food intolerances then - as in to dairy, wheat etc obviously there are some but a lots of people self diagnose so a big percentage are misdiagnosed. I knew one person that said he had a dairy intolerance but still ate yoghurts. Another who said she had been allergic to eggs since a child yet still cakes and other things containing eggs quite happily.
If one more person suggests to me my little boys eczema is down to a dairy allergy I will flip out. Do they think I might not have looked into that, spoke to specialists about it?

Elfhame Thu 06-Mar-14 09:59:23

I don't think intolerances are anything to be sniffed at, who would eat something if they knew it would make them sick?

And I say that as someone who does have kids who carry an epi-pen for life threatening allergies.

Elfhame Thu 06-Mar-14 10:01:05

people can react raw eggs but not cakes. That's because the protein that causes the reaction is broken down by cooking.

Elfhame Thu 06-Mar-14 10:01:41

Although some can react to traces in cakes.

DrDre Thu 06-Mar-14 10:02:54

You can be allergic to raw egg but not cooked egg. Perhaps she could tolerate it in cakes but not in a fried egg for example.

DrDre Thu 06-Mar-14 10:03:22

Cross post sorry.

monkeynuts123 Thu 06-Mar-14 10:04:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pagwatch Thu 06-Mar-14 10:04:45

Yep - DD can't have raw egg but can eat cake.

nennypops Thu 06-Mar-14 10:06:47

Your workplace is very unusual if there really are no other adults with allergies. It may well be that some have them but are able to manage them without making a song and dance about it - for instance, maybe they just don't use the work fridge - would you really know if one person out of 40 wasn't using it?

I have gone through the experience of developing an allergy for the first time within the last 10 years (sesame). No idea why, and it seems to be getting slightly worse in terms of the reaction I get if I eat some accidentally. It is absolutely not a bug or my imagination! Some of my workmates know about it just because if we go out to a restaurant together I've sometimes had to check with the waiter whether sesame or sesame oil have been used as ingredients, but if I keep anything in the office fridge it is wrapped and I don't need to ask anyone to leave a separate space for me.

Daykin Thu 06-Mar-14 10:07:55

If you have a food intolerance, for example, you may be able to eat small amounts of the offending food without trouble.

Same with an allergy. DS can eat almost half a teaspoon of peanut butter before a reaction (tested in hospital - I wasn't trying to kill him). Dbro can eat more that that but his seafood allergy is very sensitive. SIL is lactose intolerant and gets the shits if she has a drop of milk. Won't kill her but it's awful for her all the same.

Bodicea It's not unusual for people with lactose intolerance to be able to eat yoghurt as the lactose is converted. Some lactose intolerant people can also tolerate some kinds of cheese. You can be allergic to raw egg but be able to eat baked egg. Children outgrowing egg allergy go from being allergic to all egg, then being able to eat baked egg, then lightly cooked egg and then raw egg. The protein is changed by the cooking.

zoemaguire Thu 06-Mar-14 10:10:53

Problem is allergies are complicated. Dd is very allergic to dairy, carries an epipen. But she has got to the point where she can now cope with some low-casein very processed dairy - small amount of butter in cakes, and even cheese and onion hoolahoops (found that last one out by accident after a Halloween picnic in the dark blush.) Doesn't mean that a glass of milk couldn't kill her though. Likewise what causes minor reaction one month might not be ok at all if she has a chest infection and eczema flare up at that point. Anaphylaxis is much more likely if you are already ill. But I can imagine that some friends of ours think 'pft, she can eat butter fine, so they must be making it all up.'

bella411 Thu 06-Mar-14 10:12:28

I don't think it was picked up then we were younger.

I don't have any food allergies but looking back as a kid I obviously mild had hay fever can remember being at my grandmothers and itching my eyes that much my mum took me to the chemist for eye drops but never was given antihistamines.

Also, as I've gotten older I've become allergic to more things that wasn't when younger ie. Dog hair, dust, most pollen... Dunno if thats unusual or not!

AlpacaLypse Thu 06-Mar-14 10:12:35

I think it's a mixture of young children growing out of some allergies and intolerances, and the fact that adults take responsibility for their own lives and don't need to tell work colleagues etc etc.

Although sometimes perhaps it might be a good idea. I've got a lodger, and apparently someone at work thought it would be funny to hide prawns in amongst the bits of ham on his pizza when they all went out for lunch one day. He had to be blue-lighted to hospital.

AntiDistinctlyMinty Thu 06-Mar-14 10:13:04

I too have 'grown into' an intolerance to chilli. According to the GP, I'll always have had it, but each exposure to a substance to which you're intolerant increases its effect (something to do with immune memory and histamines). So ten years ago if I had some chilli I'd get a bit flushed in the face and wheeze a bit; now my face goes puffy and I really struggle to breathe. Of course people put chilli in bloody everything these days so the list of things I can't eat is growing by the day. The number of times I've asked in restaurants if something contains chilli, been told no, and then bitten into a beef burger or something and found all the little red flakes angry

zoemaguire Thu 06-Mar-14 10:14:45

Daykin cross-posts! It is unsurprising but scary to realise the misconceptions about allergies that a lot of people harbour. There is no reason people should know, of course, but the problem is people who think they know but in actual fact don't have a clue, yet still think they can judge whether others are 'really' allergic or just making it up. Pisses me off no end.

TiredFeet Thu 06-Mar-14 10:16:27

YABU. but you are far from the only one who doesn't understand, my son has multiple allergies, some severe, and I am constantly having to deal with ignorant comments from people

'mild' allergies are just as real as 'severe life threatening allergies'. my sons severe allergic reactions are life threatening but other foods might not threaten his life but they either gave him a severe outbreak of itchy hives or gave him such terribly severe eczema that he was in constant pain and distress.

I don't carry around the piece of paper with my son's blood and skin prick tests on but if I did you would see that all his allergies have been properly diagnosed by specialists

I suspect part of the reason children's allergies are more obvious is that as a parent we have to talk about them, to make sure all adults looking after them, or even around them, are well aware what foods they must avoid (as young children cannot be trusted to speak up / avoid foods themselves). I know plenty of adults with allergies to foods but there is little need for them to mention it most of the time, they can simply avoid those foods without any need to make a fuss.

historically as well, probably many children with severe/ multiple allergies would not have made it to adulthood as these would have been undiagnosed/ untreated

However, there is a trend for a significant increase in allergies /the severity of allergies as well, and there is a lot of research into this area at present but no conclusive answers yet. I spoke to a leading researcher at a party once and his view, at that time, was that it was probably going to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors rather than any one thing. Causes that have been suggested include C-sections, increased cleanliness (but I can promise that doesn't apply in my house blush ), chemicals in food/ the environment, alterations to plant crops through breeding (eg changes to the wheat plant may explain increased wheat allergy), .....

Boadicea - "Another who said she had been allergic to eggs since a child yet still cakes and other things containing eggs quite happily." ....There are different degrees of egg allergy, it is quite common to be able to have egg baked in a cake and yet be genuinely allergic to egg eg in omelette form, not sure on the science of why but this has been made quite clear to me from specialists at my son's hospital (one of the leading allergy units in the uk). I

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 06-Mar-14 10:18:59

Anti..if you are struggling to breathe it sounds like a severe allergy and you should carry an Epipen IMO.

bruffin Thu 06-Mar-14 10:19:11

There is the Leap and Eat studies looking at the introduction of solids and their effect on allergies.. The eat study is introducing peanut and sesame at 3 months.
The results of Leap are due later this year and Eat next year.
My ds has grown out of peanut allergy but not sesame and treenuts. My dh is 52 and has nut and various other allergies.
There is an allergy industry where any quack can set themselves up and diagnose allergies. Every one comes out with a list of allergies from a kinesiology or vega testing. There is no scientific rvidence that they work at all, it should be illegal.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Mar-14 10:29:14

My sister had an egg allergy as a child, could not go near raw eggs without her face going puffy, and could only eat egg if cooked in a cake. It was a true allergy, diagnosed after she vomited and went floppy as a young child after eating eggs. Now in her 30s she can eat more egg items, but still can not eat fried or scrambled eggs without a reaction.
So you may well never know of her allergy unless you offered her egg on its own. She can touch eggs and bake with them now.

DS has 2 known allergies. Nuts and Eggs. These are both true allergies diagnosed and tested in allergy clinic. Nuts are only tested twice in a lifetime if the reaction is severe. This is because it is rare for someone to grow out of the nut allergy. If they do it only normally occurs during puberty. So DS was tested as a 3 year old and will not be tested till he reaches 14ish.
For Egg they retest his allergy status every year. The specialist said that with egg allergies a lot of children tend to grow out of the allergy as they approach school age. They become less and less sensitive to it as they get older (like my sister has). Unfortunately DS is not yet showing signs of growing out of it. He was just tested and his reaction was still big to both egg white and yolk. The Dr said it is rare for someone DS age to react as he has done and grow out of it. So we retest in a year and go from there.

To have school say a child is allergic can not be based soley on an "Over careful parent" (as you so nicely put it!) you have to have a signed letter from a Dr (GP or Allergy consultant) stating that they are true allergies. You then need a care plan for school to follow, plus all meds required to treat the allergy should your child be exposed, al of which have to come from the GP / Consultant.

HopefulHamster Thu 06-Mar-14 10:38:23

I am an adult with allergies. Okay so mine aren't food ones, but dust, hayfever, animals, etc. My dad has bazillions of food allergies. He's in his sixties, does that count for you? It can run in families so descendants of such people will always have a chance of having allergies (whether food or other issues). What you have to remember is that decades ago many people with these allergies would die as a child or young adult, so not as many would've survived into adulthood.

Some kids do grow out of certain types of allergy. My husband was definitely allergic to egg as a child but is fine with all forms now.

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 10:46:52

Well, in the last ten years, I've developed a noticeable allergy to one particular fruit, but you wouldn't necessarily know as a work colleague, because I simply don't eat it! I don't need to seek permission from anyone to leave it out of my lunch box.

I say noticeable, because I always hated it as a child, and said it made my throat hurt, but I got told I was silly.. hmm It's now got to the point my eyes will itch or ooze if I eat it. Which was when I went to doctor in a panic, and was told I was having an allergic reaction!

Booboostoo Thu 06-Mar-14 10:48:04

YABVU and a bit silly.

Children can grow out of allergies and equally adults can develop allergies. I didn't have eczema as a child but it's pretty certain I have it now and I am not making it up!

Also not all allergies are supposed to be life threatening, there are degrees. My eczema is extremely irritating but hardly life threatening, my wasp allergy though seems to be picking up in severity with each sting so I have to carry an EpiPen.

Adults can get allergies too OP, and its not just food that you can be allergic to either.
I have several drug allergies, and also a potentially life threatening allergy to bee and wasp stings. I don't carry around syringes full of lifesaving medication with precise instructions for usage so I can get my jollies.

And my ds's allergies including milk, banana and strawberries are not the product of my overactive imagination either. Nor are the reactions when he eats one of the above.

Have you lived with allergies OP, or have you ever seen someone reacting to something? More than a simple bug or a quick vomit.


SelectAUserName Thu 06-Mar-14 11:17:45

I'm 40-odd and allergic to a variety of things, but because I can manage the allergies myself and don't need to rely on responsible adults to be aware in order to help me manage them - as children do - you would probably never know.

I am allergic to penicillin, but as you're not my GP or medical practitioner, you don't need to know that.

I am allergic to certain fresh fruit (it causes mild anaphylaxis) but as I just avoid the fruit which causes it without making a song and dance about it, you wouldn't know if we were eating together in a social setting.

Etcetera etcetera...just because adults aren't announcing it or wearing it on a t-shirt, doesn't mean they aren't quietly managing allergies nonetheless.

Oldraver Thu 06-Mar-14 11:28:16

My DS had from birth a dairy intolerence (instant projectile vomiting) and we think his eczema was triggered by dairy. He had a trial of dairy when he was 4 1/2 which didnt work but had now been able to tolerate dairy for about a year now (he's 8).

So I think some DC do have intolerences that they will grow out of, though probaly not the case with allergies that could result in anaphalaxsis.

The thing is at school if a child is allergic or intolerent as a parent you probably wouldn't know the differentiation, just that the child cant have certain foods

bruffin Thu 06-Mar-14 11:34:20

My ds has outgrown peanut allergy , it does happen.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Mar-14 11:39:41

I am hoping DS grows out of his too bruffin. Our specialist said if they grow out of a nut allergy it normally happens around puberty, hence they won't retest DS till he is a teenager. Can I ask if your son was a teenager when he grew out of it, or was it before then?

bruffin Thu 06-Mar-14 11:49:40

It was a test at 12 that showed he grew out of it, but he hadnt grown out of other nut and seed allergies. At least yhey are making progress with cures nowadays

MrsSquirrel Thu 06-Mar-14 11:56:01


I have a food allergy. None of my work colleagues know this. Why would they? The subjec just doesn't come up in conversation. I obviously don't eat the food I'm allergic to, but then there are probably hundreds of foods I don't eat at work.

Oldraver Thu 06-Mar-14 11:56:45

BRUFFIN...Thats brilliant for him (peanut butter is lush). I know there is a great difference between allergy/intolerence so its good to know that it can get better in both cases

My DS was never at risk to his life with his CMP intolerence but he vomited the moment he was given formula (he was on the ward as no room in SCBU so couldn't have DBM) and eventually vomited blood due to tearing his oesphagus and stomach due to the severity of vomiting, resulting in him becoming aneamic.... so no I was keen to avoid any triggers.

OP FWIW...We are not germ phobic anti-bac sprayers. DS has a very good immune system when it comes to viruses doing the rounds, he rarely catches anything, and is always playing in the mud and he kissed a maggot when fishing. You wont know all your work collegues medical history.. mine dont know there are foods I sometimes avoid. I may have that piece of cake if I decide It will be ok that day, I may just walk away from the cake.

I have also realised I may have an allergy to rabbit...I know wool irritates me so thought I was sneezing when working with wool but when wetting my fingers and wiping away rabbit fur my tongue and lips started to tingle and swell.

Allergies are funny things

YourGlassesAreOnYourHead Thu 06-Mar-14 11:59:17

Some of it might be down to better diagnosis now. My DSis (40) has a milk allergy. Her whole body is covered in hives within minutes. As a child she never 'liked' anything with milk in and refused to eat it. DM moaned to other mums that Dsis was 'so stubborn she will deliberately make herself ill if I make her eat her cheese on toast'. Dsis was diagnosed in her 20s. She wouldn't announce it at work. Going to a dinner party she'd mention it to the host. At a conference she'd take her own snacks.

I have 3 DC. Eldest has no allergies, middle one has severe peanut allergy (epi-pen), youngest is intolerant to wheat and dairy (IBS symptoms - bloating, ab pain and squits for 4-6 hours after eating it).

Cleanliness? C Section? Ready meals? Formula? I don't think so. I am somewhat slatternly, vaginal drug free births, BF for a year, home cooked healthy food (mostly), normal vaccinations, normal social interactions (they all licked other toddlers' faces - why? confused)

DH used to have dreadful IBS. He gave up wheat on the GP's nutritionist's advice in his 30s. Changed his life. He wouldn't mention it to any of his colleagues. Why would he discuss his problematic bowels at work? He just turns down the birthday cake but accepts a choccy brought back from hols, without explanation.

MiL thinks it ridiculous that perhaps her IBS is down to wheat too (it is often hereditary). She considers intolerances to be soft modern nonsense. She pops a huge number of pills to control her IBS but swap flour, bread and pasta for rice and potatoes? Good lord no!

Sugar makes me behave like an addict. I avoid it. I tell no-one. People who notice probably think it is a 'slimming' thing.

bochead Thu 06-Mar-14 12:02:13

The HV's in my old area directed ALL children with allergies towards one specific nursery that had unofficially acquired a rep at being very good in this area. (ALL settings say they can cope on their official literature for legal reasons, the reality may be very different in practice)

It may be the same thing has happened with the school your children attend OP.

Daykin Thu 06-Mar-14 12:05:11

OldRaver - it's common to outgrow severe allergies. The majority of egg and dairy allergies are outgrown in childhood. Lactose intolerance goes the other way. Very rare in childhood but common in adults, particularly outside of Europe. In some East Asian communities up to 90% of the adult population are lactose intolerant.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Thu 06-Mar-14 12:06:18

Thanks bruffin, guess it is a wait and see then. Was a bit down heartening last week when they said he may not grow out of his egg allergy either (as he is getting older it gets less and less likely apparently).
It was made worse (worry wise)by the out of school club feeding him Mayo, and not even noticing he was flushed until I arrived and asked what he was eating. Then they tried to blame their error on my 7 year old DD not telling them! (they are his normal nursery assistants, have had all the training on Epipens and there are posters all round the room with his photo on saying "Do not feed me any egg or nuts, or products that contain them!" - So they should have known better - The head teacher is taking the matter very seriously and all staff are being retrained) But it makes me more worried about leaving him at school, as it was me that noticed and gave him all his meds (whilst having an on looking parent call me cruel for taking the meal from him and for being angry and upset hmm and saying I was over reacting!). I worry about the what ifs? If I hadn't got there when I did, when would they have noticed? When he vomited all over? When he started wheezing and struggling? Or when he pooed himself?Or when he was covered in hives? Or when he stopped responding?
And that was with egg, (he is not as allergic to egg as he is to nuts) with nuts he would be swollen and struggling to breath a lot faster than that.

Sorry, it just worries me when he is out of my sight, please tell me this is normal?

bruffin Thu 06-Mar-14 12:07:22

Ds does eat peanut butter now but he cant eat nuttella or humous. Im half greek cypriot and am sad he cant eat lovely greek cakes or humous.
Allergies are funny

I have hayfever and eczema, dh has animal allergies, treenut and oral allergies,
Ds inherited the hayfever, animal and treenut and gained the sesame .
Yet dd has none at all
In fact ds got all the other genetic problems ie dyslexia and abnormal febrile convulsions called gefs+
Dd just got a minir eye convergiance problem.

Galaxymum Thu 06-Mar-14 12:08:35

Having lived with allergies all my life, I know that my allergies and intolerences have changed over the years. I think OP YABU and allergies and intolerences make an individual's and family life very difficult.

I was diagnosed with multiple allergies - some life threatening at age 12 at a time that it was not accepted by the medical establishment or society. Reaching puberty increased my allergies and sensitivity. As a teen I struggled with a very limited diet and terrible contact allergies to pollen and tree moulds.

Last year, I started reacting to random foods (as I saw it) and healthy foods. I really thought it was my imagination. But I was referred to an excellent allergy specialist who explained how allergies CAN change - I had developed Oral Allergy Syndrome as a result of a lifelong severe birch allergy. Cross pollination was key.

I was obsessed with trying to avoid allergies in DD. At 7 she has only ever shown severe allergies to horses. But I can't explain it other than I was told by GP the allergies reached a peak in me.

Fortunately, when you go to a GP with these odd random symptoms and say "my child ate potatoes/corn/margarine/apples/fish" parents are now believed. At age 12, I nearly died from allergies through ignorance and disbelief in the medical profession. I am very grateful we have moved forward, but sadly there are many people who still think we sufferers and parents of sufferers are just being fussy.

mistlethrush Thu 06-Mar-14 12:08:50

I'm picking them up sad Unusual ones at that - with things I've been fine with for years.

Luckily DS doesn't seem to be allergic to anything I've been allergic to for years or for a shorter time.

wonkylegs Thu 06-Mar-14 12:11:56

I grew into my allergies - as a child I was allergic to nothing, then last year I became severely allergic to pineapple which was scary as one minute I was eating with the family, next minute I couldn't breathe.
I am also now allergic to cats, have hay fever and have an allergic reaction to wines with high levels of histamines (it should be illegal to be allergic to wine shock). All came on within months of each other.
Hospital think it's linked to a change in my immunosuppressants which I take for an auto immune disease.
I was surprised as I didn't think they'd come on so suddenly and awfully in my 30's.
Most people wouldn't know about it though as I'm an adult and I manage it myself.

wobblyweebles Thu 06-Mar-14 12:12:23

Increasingly we are seeing adults developing birch pollen allergies. As well as hayfever symptoms they may also react to apples, pears, preaches, cherries.

I am one of them. I doubt anyone at work could tell I have foods allergies.

LongTailedTit Thu 06-Mar-14 12:13:53

YABU OP, and thinking very simplistically.
There is vastly better understanding of all allergies these days, what used to be passed off as unexplained death or inconvenience are now understood causes such as foods or environmental triggers.
For example, our parents' and grandparents' generation thought of nuts as a choking hazard, now it's understood that the deaths from 'choking' were more likely to be anaphylactic shock.

I have mild 'intolerances' to various foods (get big burning sores on my tongue when I eat fresh tomatoes/peppers etc) but none of my colleagues would have been aware, and I worked in my last office for nine years.
Pretty sure they were aware of my hayfever tho, couldn't really ignore that! grin

DH is properly allergic to penicillin/aspirin etc, but why would any of his colleagues be aware? It's of no relevance in his workplace, and he hardly goes around with his medical history pinned to his back.

mymiraclebubba Thu 06-Mar-14 12:14:08

often people are not even aware that they have allergies/intolerance to things as their symptoms are mild or they put it down to other things, like a bug or feeling run down. It tends to only be when they have a strong reaction to something that they are diagnosed in adulthood.

i am mid thirties woman who has a severe lactose intolerance but i am also violently allergic to chilli's - they cause anaphaylaxis and as a result i have to wear a medialert bracelet and carry an epipen. my partner is violently allergic to peanuts.

just because you don't know about your colleagues allergies/intolerances doesn't mean they don't have any they probably just don't want to share that information with a judgemental idiot!

janey223 Thu 06-Mar-14 12:20:43

Allergies as a whole are more prevalent now, how many people in your office have hayfever?!

They're also getting better diagnosed now, the it's just a bit of colic/toddler diorreah/reflux when it's caused by a food.

Non-ige/delayed allergies are not just banded under allergies, they are! They are immune responses, just because a child doesn't swell up does not mean they are not allergic. An intolerance is completely different and does not involve the immune system. There is also more evidence of Central nervous system reactions causing bad behaviour among other things and the successes dairy/gluten free diet as treatment for ADHD fuels that. Infact right now he has some very strange symptoms that is baffling the GP and this is looking likely down to a minuscule bit of wheat.

The problem isn't that there are more allergies rather that people do not have enough understanding of them, including many hcps. And with lack of understanding is often a lack of empathy, would you feed your child something that gives them any pain or discomfort?

My son has a very strict diet but I wouldn't go back to how he was before, the difficulties are far outweighed by having a happy healthy child.

I'll also say that I've since discovered that many of the foods he reacts to I do too, I avoid most of them (although it often comes down to cost) but it is my choice if I would like to eat something I know doesn't do me any good and that heartburn will be my own fault. If someone is making a cake I'm not going to make them go out of their way for me. Additionally I know a number of people who have a number of gastro issues and would benefit from attempting exclusion diets but would rather deal with the symptoms.

drivenfromdistraction Thu 06-Mar-14 12:21:43

Coeliac disease is also more common now than it used to be (and not just because diagnosis is improving). One recent study suggests a link with pesticides. Another theory is that it's linked to modern varieties of wheat which contain vastly more gluten.

I think there are probably a number of complex factors involved, and whether or not your DC turn out to have coeliac disease / an intolerance / an allergy is not simply down to things that you can control as an individual (like not cleaning your house / always using a particular washing powder etc.).

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 12:24:28

Increasingly we are seeing adults developing birch pollen allergies. As well as hayfever symptoms they may also react to apples, pears, preaches, cherries.


I have birch pollen hayfever (there's nothing else that I could be reacting almost every February, is there), itching and swelling to apples and cherries, and I've been feeling suspicious about the way pears make my throat feel for a while.

Is it not a coincidence?

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 12:28:33


<Discovers oral allergy syndrome on wikipedia>

So that's why i don't react to apple juice or apple pies! First, I wondered whether it was a particular pesticide that was destroyed by cooking, and I tried organic fruit, instead. But the itching and swelling still happened.

LongTailedTit Thu 06-Mar-14 12:29:45

Tilly This is interesting - Oral Allergy Syndrome.
Apparently those who react to different tree pollens are likely to react to the corresponding foods with similar protein structures or summat.

I haven't read up on it for ages and can't quite remember which affect me (and my reactions are pretty mild), but I fit one particular group.

LongTailedTit Thu 06-Mar-14 12:30:17

grin xpost!

LongTailedTit Thu 06-Mar-14 12:39:49

As irritating as it is to have whole food types banned by school lunchbox police etc, I can totally understand it, and have the utmost sympathy for those families living with severe allergies.

It's interesting how allergies can change and develop over time too - I hadn't realised until recently that a known 'mild' allergy or intolerance, with repeated exposure can cause a severe anaphylactic reaction.

My DS had a year of random and severe hives appearing (between 1-2), for which we never discovered the cause. He now has 'toddler diarrhoea' at nearly 3, which we also haven't figured out the cause of.
Clearly something doesn't agree with him, but tests have all come back clear. It's certainly not due to living in a Dettol-ed bubble!

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 12:41:40


The wikipedia page has even got potatoes on it. That's the other one- I've been noticing I need to be really careful with peeling potatoes over the last two years, otherwise my eyes begin to itch.

I think it really goes to disprove the OP's hypothesis! It's not that adults don't have allergies. It's simply that we can work around them more easily, as we have control over our diets. I have been changing my behaviour to avoid the itching and swelling, without even realising there was a name for the seemingly unconnected reactions, or more than two NHS visits.

Hmm, maybe I should listen to the nagging from husband and ask for allergy testing. Up to now, I've simply said, "why? I am perfectly capable of noticing when things make my eyes itch or my throat feel sore! And I don't like cherries or apples or pears, anyway".

Oldraver Thu 06-Mar-14 12:56:04

OH and I both have severe hayfever mine mostly tree pollen, OH rape seed, I dont think Rape seed bothers me. When DS has sneezed we do look at each other and think "oh no"

I wont be working with rabbitt fur anymore that's for sure

wobblyweebles Thu 06-Mar-14 13:00:58

tillytelltale when I discovered OAS it finally put everything together for me.

I survive birch pollen season by using steroid nose spray (like Flonase) and eye drops (sodium chromoglycate) as my main side effect is itchy eyes. Also take a zirtek every day.

I did have allergy testing eventually but I got a few false positives like almonds, so it didn't do much more than confirm what I already knew.

oscarwilde Thu 06-Mar-14 13:03:31

When I got married I was quite surprised at the number of people who came back with dietary requirements citing severe allergies to fish/strawberries/kiwi/dairy. All kinds ! It was a minefield.
I think most adults don't notice because you don't question another adult as to why they haven't chosen fish off a menu unless they take the waiter aside and advise them of certain anaphalaxis etc should their food be in contact.

My DH has a strong history of allergies in his family but I do not. When pregnant I made it a point to eat lots of peanut butter, regularly eat cooked shellfish (except oysters due to preg risk) and other known allergens. We then weaned our children very carefully as though they were highly likely to be allergic and kept food diaries to track new foods. So far, nothing except some baby eczema which has been grown out of, though to be fair I haven't fed either of them lobster yet grin

They are more common but I also think that our generation's parents were much more likely to slather us in steroid cream etc than to monitor our diets for likely cause.

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 13:04:32

I think I'm probably milder than you, thank goodness! I just take the occasional otc antihistamine, wander around with multiple packs of tissues, and make whinging noises every February! grin

LongTailedTit Thu 06-Mar-14 13:04:42

Exactly Tilly! For years I assumed everyone's tongue burnt when they ate tomatoes! Finally twigged in my late 20s that it was a bit weird.

I seem to react to tomatoes, mango, honey, which are apparently related to latex allergy (and I do react mildly to some plasters) and really ought to see the GP about it sometime, but it's so easily ignored/self managed...

MiaowTheCat Thu 06-Mar-14 13:12:33

DD2 has what the dietician and medical bods have down as a non-IGE-mediated allergy to cows' milk protein - what some would term an intolerance instead as she doesn't react anaphylactically, but will have severe stomach pains, diarrhoea, consipation, puking and the like.

She appears (touch wood) to be beginning to outgrow it - from being a child who would be screaming in pain at 1 scoop of her formula containing anything milk-derived she can now cope with things like croissants and other baked milk-containing stuff. Next step is to start trying her on butter > cheese > yoghurt > uncooked cows milk gradually to find where her tolerance level currently is (explains the "oooh I knew someone saying they couldn't have milk but they ate yoghurt" thing - it's like a ladder of what might spark a reaction off as the proteins are changed by cooking and things).

You'd look at me and think that where's she got the allergy from and that kids are more allergic these days - but the difference is - my allergies aren't to food stuff so you're less likely to find out about them. I've got hayfever and I'm also allergic to the adhesive in elastoplasts (yes, I'm the reason they're out of your first aid kit sometimes). It's in our family - a range of different reactions to different things but there's something a bit off somewhere back in the gene pool. I'm not likely to mention elastoplast as a potential issue if we're booking to go out for a meal somewhere though in the same way a "Oh we'll have to make sure that DD2 has some options for what she can eat" comment though.

Was having the conversation with a couple of health visitors though relatively recently about how many parents must have slipped through the net with kids with the same allergies DD2 had - kids just put down as "colicky", whose rashes were fobbed off as eczema and sent away with a tub of emollient (our GP did that initially but thankfully our HV spotted something was really up with DD2) - HV mentioned she'd seen families assuming they were ones who just had "difficult" babies - who later had a child diagnosed with CMP allergy and subsequently realised their other children had been going through similar and it had been missed completely.

SelectAUserName Thu 06-Mar-14 13:15:17

Tilly and LTT I was 29 before I discovered it wasn't normal to get an itchy mouth and swollen lips after eating certain fruits blush

The main triggers for me are melon, avocado and kiwi fruit, with bananas, pineapple and mango causing it to a lesser extent.

I also suffered from hay fever from age eight, but appear to be finally growing out of it at 40-mumble.

Bizarrely, beetroot brings me out in a rash. Don't know what that's about.

MaryWestmacott Thu 06-Mar-14 13:25:13

you must work in an unusual place, my office is full of people who can't eat certain foods - including some who will while accepting they'll have a mild reaction to it.

I also fall into this category - I have a very mild reaction to red grapes. I get blotchy skin on my face which is sometimes slightly sore - although not always, the severity can depend often on my general health and the amount I have. I like red wine so I'll have a couple of glasses sometimes, often the main reaction is my face goes hot - you might just think I've got a slightly flushed face, or if I've got foundation on you might not notice it. But more often than not, I'll order a glass of white wine. Few people have ever questioned me drinking white with meals that would normally be served with red.

As an adult, it's my choice if my desire to have red grapes/wine/grape juice is worth it for the level of reaction I'll have, whereas as a parent of a child with an intolerance, I'd just ban whatever the foodstuff was completely.

LeapingOverTheWall Thu 06-Mar-14 13:25:20

allergy people - DD3 has been saying for a couple of years that melon makes her mouth dry - is that how you might describe what mild Oral Allergy Syndrome feels like?

wobblyweebles Thu 06-Mar-14 13:33:37

My OAS symptoms are an itchy mouth, throat and lips, sometimes blotchy, and sometimes I can't stop coughing. But one thing I have discovered about allergies is everyone seems to react slightly differently, so possibly she is allergic LOTW.

Melon is in the ragweed pollen and grass pollen groups so if she also feels funny when she eats any others of that group then that would be a sign of OAS too.

Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
Ragweed pollen: banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 13:33:57

LongTailedTit yep. I have been really disliking this particular sore sensation that I get with apples since at least 15, if not earlier. For me, it's not a sudden thing in adulthood. But it's worsened. Possibly because I have gradually become more sensitive to them, with repeated exposure?

I only name 15 as a clear age in particular, because I remember experimenting back then with covering my obligatory apple each day with yogurt ("Tilly, you must eat fruit. It's good for you, Tilly!" Thanks, mother) then. I thought the issue was me being a wimp over the rough texture of apples. It didn't work, but the yogurt tasted nice.

So, that carried on, until I was an adult, and had a fridge of my own, for which I mysteriously never bought apples. grin After that, I just had to eat apples on family visits every weekend.

Then one night, stupid bloody fruit-bat of a boyfriend was worrying about my raw-fruit free diet, and predicting impending scurvy, because one apple a week couldn't possibly be enough. grin To shut up said fruitbat, I peeled and ate one of the apples I'd bought for his stay. Five minutes later, I had really itchy eyes and I kept rubbing at them, wondering why. Half an hour later, there was oozing!

We panicked, convinced each other I'd damaged my eyeball and fluid was leaking out, and got a taxi to A&E. Who told me I was probably allergic to something, put anti-histamine cream on it, and booked me a follow-up appointment in the eye department for the next day. The eye department said, "hmm, did it respond to the cream? Yeah, that was an allergic reaction. Your eye isn't damaged".

And now, no-one makes me eat apples any more!

janey223 Thu 06-Mar-14 13:37:22

Leaping it's not like mine but allergies vary so much I would say avoid as it may be her throat too. You could ask for skin prick testing however it must be the raw fruit, for example DS has oral allergy symptom to kiwi, raspberry and pineapple but all were negative on RAST testing as it is only the fresh raw fruit he reacts to.

SackAndCrack Thu 06-Mar-14 13:41:48

Im kind of glad I wasnt here when this thread was first started as I dont think id have been able to hold back.

First up, allergies are worse now. Theres a whole generation of allergies that havent hit adulthood yet. Which sucks for my son as they dont know how serious cases like his end up. Because it hasnt happened yet, or hasnt happened enough for it to be studied, even on a small scale.

And as for 'is it just in the parents head and they dont really have allergies.' Allergies are under diagnosed.

Just go to the allergy forum and start a thread titled "who else had to fight tooth and nail for my childs allergy to be diagnosed?"

Its not just you that doesnt believe the rate of allergies OP. Its the doctors too.

Thats not because they arent real. Is because allergies have grown at a rate so fast that GP's havent been trained enough in that area.

I have personally found the older doctors are more sceptical and the younger ones are far more interested/open minded. Not that you can ignore my childs allergies because they are life threatening.

Its harder for parents of children with non-life threatening allergies because they are the ones that have to fight to be believed.

One mother I know in RL wasnt believed for such a long time that by the time she was listened to, all the foods her son had been eating had damaged his insides to such an extent he had a stoma fitted and he was fed through that for 3 years.

The GP kept suggesting it was in her head, and perhaps she needed councelling. sad

She is now taking the doctor to court. Unlucky for him, her husband is a lawyer.

Anyway, I tell myself not to get irrate at OP's like yours. As before my son had allergies, I had no idea about them. I didnt even know you could get anaphylaxis from a yoghurt. Or be allergic to cucumber, or heat and cold. Or polyester. Etc etc etc

Its all about education and research. And unfortunately allergies beyond our means of education and research.

People hate it when I say this, but I feel a big part to blame is vaccinations.

Not the vaccinations themselves, they are fab. But the amount we give at one time, expecting tiny brand new immune system to cope.

We see specialists in London and they have certainly not poo-pooed my idea and said they are researching this very theory. So it cant all be bullshit.

higgle Thu 06-Mar-14 13:43:31

As a child I had very bad hay fever and was very allergic to some animals, especially guinea pigs, I also had atopic eczema until I was about 30. They have all gone away now and apart from a little sniffle when the tree pollen starts my years of itchy eyes, blisters and a boated face have come to an end. I think many people grow out of them over time, but my first pregnancy put a total stop to the eczema smile

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 13:44:10

Leaping I can tell you that for me, it's a very distinct sensation of soreness in my throat, and that I have previously described it as dryness. I recognise it immediately, but I don't know how to describe how different it feels from a viral sore throat.

So, <channels younger self> here's an excerpt from one of my rants pre-A&E visit.

"They say fruit contains water, and keeps you hydrated it. It even looks moist. So why does it feel so dry when it goes down? It makes no sense! I cannot believe fresh fruit would ever stave off dehydration!"

LongTailedTit Thu 06-Mar-14 13:45:22

Ha - my Grannie was an apple-pusher too Tilly. Tbh, I have so many mild reactions I'm never sure what's caused them.

Like MaryWestmacott I choose to eat things that give me reactions, because they're tasty and I find the reactions pretty liveable with.
Honey makes my lips swell a bit, tomatoes definitely give me tongue sores, mango makes me sick, but apart from that I find it very difficult to narrow down the culprits. I'm not great at putting two and two together. Having read a few more pages of OAS info tho, I'm now realising I react a bit to bananas too, but I doubt I'll cut them out of my diet.
If DS were to show symptoms I'd take it far more seriously, but not so much for myself.

feelingdizzy Thu 06-Mar-14 13:46:27

I'm allergic to tomatoes, have ended up in hospital twice with it, but as a child I referred to it as getting a 'big tongue' my mouth was swelling up but it wasn't associated with allergies then(am 39).
I don't think it would have occurred to my mother to avoid tomatoes or to mention it to anyone else, it was considered one of those things. It has got much better now , and strangely although I am allergic I don't consider myself that way. I also don't have many tomatoes.

DoJo Thu 06-Mar-14 13:46:56

I am intrigued at the research into hookworms, and frustrated that the progress is so slow when it comes to medical testing, especially as I am collecting more and more allergies and would like to be able to rid myself of at least a few of the more annoying ones such as penicillin and animal fur.

I am almost tempted to go somewhere where hookworm infestation is common and try to get myself a colony - the researchers believe that there is a symbiotic relationship whereby having a hookworm living in your gut actually suppresses the inappropriate histamine response which causes anaphylaxis.

OP - trust me when I say that there is a VERY limited list of reasons that I would choose to eat eggs harvested from another human's poo, but given that I am typing this with cracked and bleeding fingers from another outbreak of eczema on my hands, I think those of us living with allergies probably aren't just being melodramatic.

I have severe allergies which necessitate an epi-pen, (one of which I found out about when I had a reaction whilst pregnant - I certainly wouldn't wish that on anyone) less severe ones which can be treated with intravenous piriton and ones that I barely think about because they 'only' cause painful and unsightly eczema and itching of my mouth and lips. But all are very much real, diagnosed by specialist professionals, and unfortunately unlikely to be grown out of now that I am in my mid 30's.

I think it's most likely that your colleagues aren't sharing their medical histories with you rather than that you don't work with anyone with allergies. Knowing that I might have passed them on to my son makes me really hope that treatment and management is more effective and less scary by the time he is older, just in case he suffers from any of the same ones I do. Encountering attitudes such as yours just make it that bit harder and more embarrassing to have allergies (and yes, I know I shouldn't be embarrassed about them, but I am) so I hope that the stories here go some way towards convincing you that they are really nothing to be taken lightly or 'explained away'.

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 13:56:04

SackAndCrack I feel a big part to blame is vaccinations

The world is interesting and complicated, and I certainly don't feel qualified to say there's no connection. But vaccinations are innocent regarding my allergies anyway, because I didn't have any until I was 21, post allergies beginning to make themselves recognisable!

Something else needs punching regarding my inconveniences! grin

notso Thu 06-Mar-14 14:00:09

Really interesting about OAS after I had DD I started getting hay fever in the summer and also itchy mouth and lips and coughing after eating melon and celery. Annoying because I love them both!

Likeaninjanow Thu 06-Mar-14 14:01:56

Op, I think we're quite a long way from knowing how to avoid having children with allergies.

I have 2DC. One has no allergies at all. The other has a long list of food allergies, including life threatening allergies. I did exactly the same with both of them.

When you have a child with serious allergies, the ignorance on the subject (& I include some doctors here) is quite upsetting.

surromummy Thu 06-Mar-14 14:04:02

more widely known and more easily tested now. I think people are less likely to speak about them as an adult also.

There are some bizarre allergies out there tbh, my friends little boy at 5yrs had an anaphylactic episode whilst playing ball outside with a dog, they later found out he was allergic to something in the dogs saliva!!

ouryve Thu 06-Mar-14 14:12:22

Plenty of mud pies in my 70's childhood, OP. Didn't stop my brother's face swelling up when he ate strawberries. Doesn't stop my throat from burning and itching if I eat kiwi fruit.

A lot of allergies do change throughout life. A child who has hayfever, for example, may not become an adult with hayfever, and vice versa. My own allergies come and go. I developed a nickel allergy in my 30s, after having no problems of the sort, previously.

LeapingOverTheWall Thu 06-Mar-14 14:14:11

thanks all - i think we'll just keep a watching eye on her and make mental notes when she eats the other things associated with melon.

wobblyweebles Thu 06-Mar-14 14:16:55

So OP...

Do you still think that the five children in the class of 22 have a supposed allergy?

Or perhaps are you bit better informed now?

goodasitgets Thu 06-Mar-14 14:19:10

I grew out of my egg allergy, it wasn't a mild reaction either having stopped breathing twice because I had breast milk that had egg in it via mum eating it
Am intolerant to pineapple (only fresh stuff) as it makes my mouth/tongue itch but I don't need to avoid it in the work fridge, just eating it

Defnotsupergirl Thu 06-Mar-14 14:34:19

Thanks to everyone who has replied. Even the person who called me a judgemental idiot! You have given me a lot of food for thought and I am going off to read up on all of this. It has been very helpful people sharing their personal experience.

This certainly wasn't meant to inflame anyone or belittle their personal experience, after all, I'm asking the question as some of the media has told me that allergies aren't as frequent as is suggested and the rate of allergy at my friends DCs school seemed high but this does not seem to be the case.

There seems to be lots of possibilities of cause but I really didn't realise there was also so much adult onset allergy!

nannynewo Thu 06-Mar-14 14:39:16

I am an adult with an allergy to a food which is very common, nuts!! I had lots of other allergies as a child, some so severe I spent a lot of my early years in hospital!
You'd never say no though! My diet as a young child was very very restricted, but now the only thing I have to avoid is nuts.
YABU to suggest parents make this up, allergies are more common in children.

SackAndCrack Thu 06-Mar-14 14:39:53

TillyTell I didnt say vaccinations are to blame for allergies full stop. I meant that I think they may to be blame for allergies rapid growth.

I would explain the 'why so many allergies now and not so many 20 years ago.

Something has happened to cause the rapid incline, the severity and the multiple allergies in an individual.

What is it though.

Defnotsupergirl Thu 06-Mar-14 14:40:08

Also as Mumsnet is probably a unique resource in that many people from all walks of life take part I wondered if there was a reoccurring theme that started their allergy problem off. It seems not but, well, you never know something might have been said and people suddenly go, ooooh yes, that's when it happened for me too?

nannynewo Thu 06-Mar-14 14:40:46

Oops I meant to say 'you'd never say now though'

SackAndCrack Thu 06-Mar-14 14:41:31

surromum you are actually quite wrong. It isnt because they a widely known, and allergy testing is still pretty pony.

Also, allergy to an animals saliva is actually very common and not new either.

Most people allergic to cats, arent allergic to their fur but the cats saliva on their fur.

TillyTellTale Thu 06-Mar-14 14:46:50


I understand; I simply thought it was interesting that my accidental status as a control group suggests that there's definitely some other dastardly allergy-causing factor at work, and worth mentioning. grin I didn't think you were thinking it was just vaccinations.

5madthings Thu 06-Mar-14 14:52:05

I am atopic, have asthma, eczema and handover and I get oral allergy syndrome to peanuts, still eat them tho!

I am allergic to grass, hay, straw, any fury animals etc. My allergies have got worse with each pregnancy and as I have got older. Luckily all five madthings are fine.

Twintery Thu 06-Mar-14 16:46:38

I understand where you are coming from. My family is a bit like this too.

If you dont mind me asking? Was one born a different way to the other.
Is one perhaps more like one side of the family and one like the other? etc.

pompey27 Thu 06-Mar-14 16:52:25

I finally went to the clinic about my nut allergy when I was in my early 20s after I had quite a serious attack on a night out for my birthday. My mum asked why allergies were around in the younger generations a lot more and the allergy specialist said that it was a number of things but one of the main causes was the nipple creams that BF mothers used when we were younger used to contain peanut oil...

elliejjtiny Thu 06-Mar-14 17:34:57

As well as the "traditional" allergies that cause hives, vomiting or anaphylaxis there are also children who are on gluten free/dairy free etc diets to help with things like autism or adhd.

carabos Thu 06-Mar-14 17:39:03

I am 50 and have become allergic to honey for no apparent reason in the last few years. The strange thing about allergies is that they do come and go, and the ones that are permanent can subside for ages. DH is allergic to all sorts of dander, and at one time it was a real pain. He does seem to have grown out of it to an extent now he's 50 though wink.

To my mind, it's a wonder that more people aren't allergic given the amount of chemicals and pollutants in our lives. It's pretty amazing what our bodies can learn to tolerate.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 06-Mar-14 17:48:31

fewer women breastfeeding, mixed messages about weaning, weaning with unsuitable foods, over protection IE too clean, fewer antibodies, more chemicals, pollution, additives etc etc all possobly contribute IMO but I don't know, it does sometimes seem a convenient excuse but living with an allergy is a right old pain <52 and a walnut allergy> grin

Likeaninjanow Thu 06-Mar-14 20:14:06

Twintery, both were ventouse deliveries. 1st had group b strep so the 2nd birth (allergic child) involved me having antibiotics intravenously.

Both breast fed, I'm not a clean freak (at all). I honestly can't think of anything done differently, other than the anti-bs.

wobblyweebles Thu 06-Mar-14 20:22:10

No real difference in my three pregnancies other than in one pregnancy I was obsessed with eating tomatoes.

Only one child has any allergies. She was obviously a very reactive child from the moment she was born. She had worse baby acne, her nappy rash was far worse than the others, she had eczema pretty much from birth.

I don't really see how it can be cause by lack of exposure to bacteria and germs, or by anything I ate in pregnancy, or by any drugs I took. They were all exposed to the same chemicals, pollution, etc.

The allergic one was weaned latest and was exclusively bf till 6 months.

SackAndCrack Thu 06-Mar-14 20:27:02

I had a significant difference in pregnancies with my two.

With my allergic one I had PUPPP.

Apparently, no one knows exactly what its caused but most who suffer go on to have boys and its quite literally the mothers allergic reaction to the baby......

MissYamabuki Thu 06-Mar-14 20:37:40

My food allergies started in my teens and haven't gone anywhere sad

no vomiting involved, lots of swelling and itching. My parents didn't have a clue what was going on.

A blood test can establish easily whether you are an allergy sufferer or not.

It's hard to"imagine" all this... i think you are getting mixed up between allergy and intolerance. I think usually a food intolerance means you lack something in your gut (certain enzimes?) which means you are unable to process some foodstuffs.

I can't imagine you can do much to avoid either; i personally don't buy the cleanliness theory at all. Really surprised at some of your assumptions, i thought there was better awareness of allergies these days.

Caterina99 Thu 06-Mar-14 20:51:15

I'm allergic to peanuts and intolerant to dairy. Not to such a severity that I couldn't share a fridge with your peanut butter, so unless you specifically asked me then you would never know because I simply do not eat foods that make me ill.

I would tell you about the peanuts if I was coming to dinner, but I probably wouldn't mention the dairy, as I can eat it, just not too much of it and I usually just avoid dessert or anything too creamy looking.

As an adult this is my choice to make, but if it was my child then I would probably insist on peanut and dairy free food for them.

babybarrister Thu 06-Mar-14 21:16:30

Anyone looking for absolutely uptodate and department of health approved objective information, have a look at anaphylaxis campaign

Anaphylaxis Campaign really is an excellent spurc of good info and has an excellent helpline too

bruffin Thu 06-Mar-14 21:17:27

My allergic one i had pre eclampsia and was in hospital for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy.

wobblyweebles Thu 06-Mar-14 21:38:33

I had pre-eclampsia with one of my non-allergic ones...

deakymom Fri 07-Mar-14 15:23:06

they are not usually allergies mostly intolerances mine is because i have graves disease because it has gone on longer than it should have ive developed food intolerances my son (2nd) was milk intolerant for 18 months youngest son is intolerant to everything sad and allergic to egg its quite common in our area

nostress Fri 07-Mar-14 16:10:22

Is this just a perception thing? My DS has multiple food allergies. I popped into see the school nurse because they are going on a residential trip to France. She is going with them and I just wanted someone to keep an eye on him as he is a eat & see if I get allergic type of boy rather than being cautious. She mentioned out of 80kids going (all year 6) only 2 had serious food allergies.

nostress Fri 07-Mar-14 16:15:59

'Serious' as in needing epipen.

DS1 breastfed for 8 months Eczema from birth, hayfever really bad from 1.

DS2 breastfed for 2.5years. Food allergies from weaning (6months), hayfever (mild) but no eczema.

Me asthma/eczema.
DH mild food allergy to two types of fruit....

YmightbeBU. I have a celery allergy which is easily dealt with by not eating celery. This was diagnosed after I nearly died, not an experience i particularly want to repeat. Plenty of people think I am inventing this because it isn't peanuts or dairy and therefore you "can't" be allergic to it.

However I do know some people (sends the hairy eyeball towards Facebook) who are having their little darlings diagnosed with allergies by sending a lock of hair (and a lot of money) off to a charlatan clinic who obligingly returns with a printed sheet of allergens. The NHS website politely suggests that "Some commercial allergy testing kits, such as hair analysis tests, kinesiology tests and VEGA tests, are not recommended by doctors because there is little scientific evidence to support them." which I think means "this is horseshit." So I do understand the thought process behind the people who assume my allergy is invention.

Obv a nursery / school etc doesn't know which child has had a proper allergy test and will be in pain / in hospital if they eat something, and which is guesswork by someone who specialises in diseases of the rich, so best to err on the side of caution.

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 08-Mar-14 16:56:56

Lots of children outgrow milk and egg allergy in particular. My DS has outgrown his egg allergy but its unlikely he will ever outgrow his serious peanut allergy and will have to carry epipens for life.

People that do have allergies (or intolerances), serious or otherwise, don't mention it in everyday conversation and are well used to managing things like eating out or bringing food into work without causing too much fuss. I've known two friends for donkey's years yet only recently discovered they carry epipens.

I don't like the attitude that is typical of yours though OP, allergies are an arse for all involved, not least for the poor kids that suffer them, given that allergies are part of the wider 'atopic' condition they often have eczema and asthma to varying degrees also.

harriet247 Sat 08-Mar-14 17:08:16

My dd is slowwwwly overcomibg dairy allergy, although i suspect it will take years and then return like mine did.
I think if you dont live with someone with a allergy it is haes to understand, the amount of family that think nothing of givibg her cheese or chocolate is astounding, only to brush it off. I have to deal with the consequences for houra afterwards. Very frustrating.

monkeynuts123 Sat 08-Mar-14 17:25:57

Why doesn't the op just come out with it and say the parents of kids with allergies are neurotic over-cleaning freaks and it's their fault their overprotected kids end up with 'allergies' most of which are made up or exaggerated. That's what you really meant wasn't it op? If you wanted an education in it all why not just google, you brought it here to wind people up. As the parent of a child with serious allergies I find your attitude boring and ignorant.

AntiJamDidi Sat 08-Mar-14 17:30:32

I was allergic to eggs when I was small. Cooked in cakes etc was ok but not eggs on their own fried, scrambled, boiled,etc. I grew out of it. I'm not sure how old I was when I grew out of it but as an adult I'm fine with eggs and eat them a lot.

I know 3 adults with severe nut allergies and another 6 with intolerance to something. I know a lot more children than adults but only know 2 children with a severe allergy.

HadABadDay2014 Sat 08-Mar-14 17:36:52

DS was breast fed and is allergic to cauliflower, his tonsils swell up and has loads of mouth ulcers a and gets very unwell.

LaGuardia Sat 08-Mar-14 17:44:53

YANBU. I regularly take peanut butter sandwiches to work, and wait for someone to keel over, but no-one ever has. People just love the attention a supposed allergy brings. Ditto vegetarians.

zoemaguire Sat 08-Mar-14 18:12:24

Yes LaGuardia my 5yo dd just looves not being able to eat birthday cake and chocolates at school along with her friends. Shethinks 'well,this is worth it for the extra attention'.

hmm There's always one.

anchories Sat 08-Mar-14 18:16:00

LaGuardia. I remember seeing your name about mumsnet and know what you are like! smile

But nut allergy doesnt normally work that way, unless the person is super super severe.

My son is just severe!
He has to have just a bit of it on his tongue to go to anaphylactic shock.
Or playing a game of cards with someone else in the group with say peanut butter on their hands, and they are playing cards with him. That is enough to potentially kill him. [He only has 15 minutes to have the epipens and pills or he is likely to die].

So it would be a potentially deadly game if there was someone in your workplace close to you who is allergic enough.
Is there that you know of?

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 08-Mar-14 18:16:11

What an ignorant post.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 08-Mar-14 18:17:32

My DD has autism and severe learning disability and no desire for or understanding of attention really.

But she does tend to swell up and get a big rash and a wheezing cough when she has eggs, fish, peanuts or lentils.

anchories Sat 08-Mar-14 19:05:40

I am not sure that LaGuardia will come back. She may have history of this sort of thing.

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