Hello! This is the first time I've checked the Allergies board in aaages so didn't see your previous message. Thanks for your concern I do know a little bit about anaphylaxis as my neighbour's daughter has an epipen. I did wonder whether it might be heading that way and dh is sorting out his life insurance and will then see the GP.
I think I mentioned that we keep ducks, so there are always duck eggs around and I accept that I might have to get rid of them if dh is severely allergic (although I haven't entirely ruled out keeping the ducks and getting rid of dh , they are lovely but do less of the housework )
The other funny thing is that after Christmas we bought some duck feather pillows. A few months after that dh developed this hideous eye problem - very red and swollen and the specialist thought it might have been exacerbated by an allergy, so I'm now wondering if it was the duck feathers in the pillows, particularly as he cleared a broken egg up the other day and he reckons that set his eyes off
DaisyMoo - your dp can get blood tests done to see if his reaction is anaphylactic in nature or not (I have a non-anaphylactic reaction to walnuts and pecans which involves my mouth and throat coming up in lumps like hives). Anyway, definitely one to seek advice on.
I'm not sure about the insurance but I think that it may be unlikely that they keep serum to test for duck egg allergy in an allergy clinic. So I'm afraid they will only tell you to avoid the allergen which is the same the GP will tell you. But talk to GP about the possibility of getting an Epipen prescribed.
I think you can keep the ducks and your DH as long as you don't allow them to sleep in the same room (or kiss DH after kissing the ducks!). But please, please, pleeeeeeeaaaaasse, don't give him more duck eggs
BTW blood tests (RAST or ELISA) may show an indication but can not say for sure if the allergy would be anaphylactic or not (DS tests for egg where about 100 times the number to be considered allergic to the substance and he is not anaphylactic to them, however, he reacts badly to peanuts (no need to eat them) even when his results weren't so bad.
That's interesting about the blood tests. Dh is actually a research scientist and used to work for a company who were involved in allergy research. They used to pay the staff to give blood for them to play about with and dh's blood apparently always had low levels of IgE which if iirc is involved in allergy responses? I guess this can change though and it was a few years ago now.
The reason I mentioned life insurance is that his policy is due to expire next year and you have to declare stuff on the forms don't you, so I thought if we did it before he'd seen the GP it wouldn't put the premiums up especially if he is anaphylactic.
I definitely won't be giving him more ducks eggs, I'm already in enough trouble after last time Thing was, he seems to be OK with them in cakes and I was making a lemon meringue pie, not really thinking that of course meringue isn't really cooked! Thanks again.
Isabel - that's interesting about the blood tests - I went for allergy testing at Addenbrookes and was definitely told that my walnut/pecan allergy was 'non-anaphylactic'. So far my reactions have been unpleasant but never frightening or life-threatening in any way, so I've just assumed it was something to be avoided, but not to worry about ....
Problem with allergies, is that sometimes they don't remain "stationary", i.e. DS's reactions to peanuts get worse with every exposure. He certainly didn't react by skin contact in the past. So... better to be safe than sorry.
Another problem with tests is that there is no perfect test for all problems and individuals: according to RAST and ELISA, DS is allergic to milk, according to the skin prick test, he isn't. But give him a bit of milk and you'll see the reaction building immediatly. According to ELISA and SPT he is allergic to wheat, but RAST show negative... and so on.
BTW, I was joining up with Bupa a couple of weeks ago and mentioned about DS allergies, they asked if he had being hospitalised for that in the last 6 months or were being medicated for them. Although he is (asthma) the premium didn't go up I was told he will be covered for any related problem immediatly. So hopefully, the premiums won't go up.
Isabel - this is very interesting. I knew skin tests were not reliable, but I was under the impression that blood tests could tell the difference between what could potentially be a life-threatening anaphylactic type allergy, and the kind of allergy which I thought was described as a 'contact allergy'. And I thought I had the latter. I've had many (more than a dozen) exposures to walnuts/pecans and the symptoms are always the same and don't seem to escalate. But I'm beginning to wonder if the info I was given was reliable! As I said, I did get tested at Addenbrookes but it's over a decade ago now ...
Anyway, I'm dragging the thread off the original topic ... sorry Daisymoo!
knowledge about allergy has improved in the last ten years so it might be worth asking for a retest, isabel... With peanut allergy they say reactions are unpredictable so one can be anaphylactic and the next minor - or the other way around. Tree nut allergies may be considered more predictable, I don't know. Although we have to deal with both it tends to be the peanut one that gets more attention because that gives the highest RAST test values.
The most reliable test is a food challenge but they don't do many of those.
Anaphylactic reactions don't often involve expensive hospital inpatient treatment so really there is no reason for a big increase in premiums. It has always annoyed me that some companies load holiday insurance.