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Allergic Reaction/Hives

(11 Posts)
suedonim Wed 20-Dec-06 20:59:31

I started a thread in Health the other day about allergies but now need more info about the relevant blood tests. I'd be v grateful for any comments and stuff I ought to know.

suedonim Thu 21-Dec-06 13:42:35


Chandra Fri 22-Dec-06 00:56:25

The thing is that if she doesn't have a clue about what she may be allergic to, it might be difficult to find what to test for.

I think I would start a diary to try to shortlist possible causes. The diary should include what she eats, where she was, what was around her, etc along with a second column listing the reactions, severity of it and time.

Now, not all reactions are immediate so the idea of the diary is to try to find a pattern on how and when the reactions happen and then, when she has singled a few possible causes go about the testing.

As you said in the other thread, waiting lists for testing in the NHS are extremely long (and they are basically done to confirm a suspected allergy) but many of these tests can be get privately if you are prepared to pay for them. Some can be very expensive or unreliable, so it's very important that she gets at least a good idea about possible causes as she can't possibly test for every single thing in her environment.

Now, in terms of moving to a new house... the only thing I can say is that the way we learned the previous owner of our old house had a cat was when a friend of us developed an asthma attack during a visit. So worth checking what's in this house that wasn't present in the previous one (for a starters I would at least ask for the carpets to be professionally cleaned, if not replaced).

suedonim Fri 22-Dec-06 01:30:15

That's very useful, Chandra, thank you. I'll get her to keep a diary - the tip about the reaction not necessarily being immediate is interesting. I think dogs/cats can probably be ruled out as she's never reacted to our pets. (But when I was at school a girl in my class had an asthma attack every time we had RE. It turned out her school-issue Bible had previously belonged to a girl who owned a dog! )

Does the type of reaction, ie that it affects her skin, indicate anything? Can that be a food allergy even if she doesn't get any sneezes, wheezes or sniffles? Something else that's come to light is that changes of tempertaure seem to trigger it.

Chandra Fri 22-Dec-06 02:08:39

The thing is that with allergies is always difficult to know, as allergens are not chemically pure IYWIM.

My sister is allergic to some cats, you can't touch a well groomed cat and sit to her side without her getting all itchy and coming in a rash . However... she can hold the dirtiest cat without developing a reaction (I guess she is allergic to cat's saliva).

As for the type of reaction indicating something... well, I'm not going to be very helpful here but, although it can be said that the majority of people allergic to X have a Y reaction, the truth is that that Y reaction can be caused X, Y, Z or even the combination of A and B. . Hence my sugestion of the diary.

Now, if she thinks it's food causing it, she may have an ELISA test (York Test, available from the internet). The good thing of it is that it tests 113 foods in one go, and results can be used to select the most likely causes. But... it can provide many false negatives or positives and at around 200 pounds it doesn't come cheap.

RAST tests can be ordered by a GP without the need for a referal to an alleregist. They cost around 8 pounds for allergen tested which she will have to pay. However, IME most GP's refrain from going this route, mainly because they have not been extensively trained about how to interpret the results or how to act on them.

suedonim Fri 22-Dec-06 15:54:00

I'm learning by the minute here! Thanks again.

tatt Sun 24-Dec-06 14:04:33

an allergy consultant will do skin prick tests first to give them an idea what to test blood for. Food reactions are normally quick, although they can be delayed.

There are traces of mice in many houses - she could be allergic to those, to mould spores, even to cold. A diary is essential to try and narrow down the problem. She needs to cover drink as well as food as there can be allergens in liquids too.

Taking antihistamine regularly will mask the problem but she needs to get some proper tests done. A doctor can refer her to a totally different part of the country if she's able to travel but waiting lists are pretty long everywehre.

suedonim Sun 24-Dec-06 15:07:07

Waiting list are allegedly five years up here, (Aberdeen) but I doubt Edin or Glasgow would be any better. However, I think the thing to do is get the ball rolling which should be happening in the New Year, and of course NY is a good time to start a diary or any sort!

JollyOldSaintNikkielas Sun 24-Dec-06 19:19:59

Thats intereesting Tatt because when my dd1 had tests she was blood tested 1st which showed she had highIgE levels and they couldn't distinguish what her allergies were then she had skin prick tests .

JollyOldSaintNikkielas Sun 24-Dec-06 19:22:08

We went private to avoid waiting and that was £150 if thats going to be an option

sunlight500 Thu 22-Feb-07 14:06:08

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