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Sudden and severe allergic reaction

(17 Posts)
Anushka Thu 28-Apr-16 20:28:35

My 16 year old dd has suffered a severe allergic reaction to something causing her lips, eyes, hands an feet to swell and a rash to cover her body, coming up an going down. After seeing 3 really reassuring drs they say they think it was caused by something she ate but unless we can pinpoint what caused it they can't refer her for allergy testing. I can see their point but I can't think of anything different she ate (although she did eat a lot of mixed seeds and nuts during the day but she never has a problem with them) and we are all concerned it will happen again. The whole incident has not been helped that she had an allergic reaction to piriton (she was almost crawling put her skin within half an hour of taking it, hallucinating and falling over) but now on her third antihistamine and 4 days later we are starting to see an improvement.
Sorry for the long post but wondered if anyone had advice on getting a referral or should we just see if it happens again, it's all been so scary for her.

megletthesecond Thu 28-Apr-16 20:32:55

I'd go back again and refuse to move until you get a referral to allergy clinic. IME allergy teams are brilliant and will be a damn site more helpful than those Dr's. It's time to put your stroppy head on grin.

And allergies can suddenly flare up. My ds ate apples and kiwi fruits, until he developed a reaction.

Anushka Thu 28-Apr-16 20:40:51

Thank you Meglet, my dh has an allergy to apples, pears and kiwis (although he can eat them when they're cooked) had your ds been tested. I will go back and demand a referral, can't quite believe I have to work out what caused it and then they'll test it, sounds like I'm doing the work for them. Just need to get passed the receptionist again to get anothet appointment.

megletthesecond Thu 28-Apr-16 20:52:01

DS has been tested for both kiwi and apple after the event. He has an epi-pen and I know what to keep an eye out for so unless a severe new allergy pops up I don't need to visit. I've been able to speak to his allergy consultant over the phone.

RunswickBay Thu 28-Apr-16 20:58:58

Urgent referral to allergy clinic for skinpricks is needed.

I rang the allergy consultant to see if he'd take dd, then when he'd agreed I rang the gp and told her that and said she just needed to write the letter .

Got an appointment very quickly .. At the v least you need epipens and an antihistamines prescription immediately .

I hope your dd is okay and that you are too. It sounds very frightening ..

Anushka Thu 28-Apr-16 21:06:18

Thank you, I'm not sure how to get in touch with allergy clinic but I'll try that route. She's already a bit fussy eater (who's not at 16) and ultra healthy but now she's wanting to eliminate stuff! Having her face swell up hasn't been the best experience but she had been remarkably well and has dealt with it, even managed a few laughs along the way.

pippistrelle Thu 28-Apr-16 21:20:42

How worrying for you. I just wanted to reinforce that it isn't necessarily something new or different though. So the culprit can be something she's been fine with up to now. A couple of years ago, I seemed to develop allergies to chilli, and to oats. Not severely but eating either brought me out in hives. About a year later, these allergies disappeared as mysteriously as they'd arrived. So I wonder if the nuts your daughter ate are responsible: it would seem to provide a starting point for investigations anyway.

Best of luck to you and your daughter.

Klaptout Thu 28-Apr-16 21:22:02

Do push for a referral, given that your DH has allergies.
it's hard to know what caused it, did she have an itchy throat or tongue.
I have anaphylactic reactions to many things, if it's something I've eaten my throat and tongue swell more than if I've been near furry animals or latex.
One thing to be aware of is that some allergens are linked, my consultant told me that as I was anaphylactic to kiwi I may develop an allergy to latex as they are related.
He was right, Balloons and rubber bands set me off badly.

Anushka Thu 28-Apr-16 21:56:03

It's all do scary klaptout, she didn't say she had an itchy mouth (that's what my dh gets) but she did fall asleep on the bus before it all started, which is kind of unusual for her. She did have dome aldi flapjack which she's never had before and it had chicory in it which I've read can cause reactions if mixed with cashew shells (maybe in the mixed nuts). It makes you wonder why we try and eat healthily!

clam Thu 28-Apr-16 22:02:23

We've been going through all this too.
Dd (17) started suffering major allergy attacks about 4 years ago - hives/swelling/itching, the works. Since the first attack (when she was hospitalised and given intravenous drugs and steroids), she had a long period of general "unwellness," lethargy, shakes, headaches etc.. Saw loads of doctors - none could really diagnose anything specific. She's just about grown out of them now.

But a few months back, she had the biggest allergic reaction of all - paramedics and hospital and everything. She now carries an epipen and piriton with her at all times. We were referred to the allergy clinic at Addenbrookes, although the GP said that in up to 50% of cases, the cause is never found. At the clinic, they ran the pinprick tests (she'd already had blood test analysis of all the usual triggers and nothing specific came up) and found that she's highly allergic to house dust mites, although that's nothing to do with the major attacks. They're a separate thing and have been dismissed in a way, as the consultant said it is "idiopathic anaphylaxis," meaning they've no idea of the trigger - could be anything.
They gave loads of tips for reducing dust mite exposure, but we just wait for the next major attack and try and identify ourselves what the hell it could be.

Anushka Thu 28-Apr-16 22:10:35

Hi clam how scary for you all, fingers crossed she doesn't have another attack. This is exactly my worry in leaving it, next time it might be worse. I've warned dd never to take piriton as I know it's something people automatically reach for to help.

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 28-Apr-16 22:10:41

All of my allergies have developed from age 15 onwards so I wouldn't rely too much on things you think you know she isn't allergic to.

Doctors can be really reluctant to refer for allergy testing and I can't for the life of me figure out why angry I only actually got someone to agree to get me tested at the age of 25 when I refused to leave the surgery having woken up having breathing difficulties as a single parent caring for a newborn.

RunswickBay Thu 28-Apr-16 22:13:23

In response to your question to me just Google allergy clinics and get phoning.

What area are you? Perhaps someone here could recommend?

clam Thu 28-Apr-16 22:17:20

An allergy clinic is worth doing, but just be prepared that any tests might be inconclusive. We're not really any further forward, except for the hundreds of £££s we've just spent re-doing dd's bedroom (to reduce dust mite potential).

Sukiesu Thu 28-Apr-16 22:42:03

My son was about 20 when he had a bad nut allergy attack. His favourite food had been peanut butter since a toddler. We jumped in the car as his tongue was swelling, to A&E,where he was treated quickly. The nurse told him off for eating nuts, thinking he knew that he had an allergy, he obviously didn't. He had eaten a handful of mixed nuts so we had no idea which nut was the culprit. Our doctor referred him for an allergy test at a hospital in central London, which he had a week or so after the attack where he was told that he was allergic to walnuts, Brazil and hazel nuts. He used to carry an epi pen but now just avoids any nuts by reading labels and asking about ingredients in restaurants. Another son has this allergy too and now lives in Spain where most desserts contain almonds, so not much fun. They both still eat peanut butter with no problems. Both also suffer from hay fever.

Runningtokeepstill Fri 29-Apr-16 15:34:54

The nut question is complicated by the fact that peanuts aren't strictly a nut, they are a legume. So you can be allergic to them but fine with tree nuts. Despite this it's actually quite common to be allergic to tree nuts if you are already allergic to peanuts. And if you have peanut allergy you can develop allergies to legumes. My oldest ds, in his early 20's, has just added chick pea allergy to his list.

Personally, I wouldn't be happy about not carrying epi-pens if you have a serious food allergy as avoidance is not as easy as it sounds. Cross contamination of foods still happens, and there have been cases of serious reactions when eating out even when the allergic diner has made staff aware of what they need to avoid.

anotherdayanothersquabble Fri 13-May-16 21:50:07

Reminds me of my DS when he was tiny, clearly reacting to a host of things and the long conversations I had about testing until we found what they were. I found out some of them (food diaries, close observation), we went in, tested, 'proved the allergy'. It was a complete waste of everyone's time. Still makes me cross.

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