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My first allergic reaction

(43 Posts)
olderthanyouthink Tue 14-Feb-17 21:47:55

(If you ignore hayfecer and possibly dust)

Today at lunch someone at work kindly bought cookies for everyone, I took one and started eating. My tongue started feeling weird and I asked some people around me is they knew what an allergic reaction felt like. They didn't seem to think that I was having one but it got worse and more symptoms came up. (Tummy ache, throat swelling, head/sinus hurting and itchy mouth and ears)

I stopped eating it and someone went to buy antihistamines with me. Eventually I felt a bit better, I didn't go home straight away because I live alone and don't want to be alone just then. Sat through a meeting about a project I'm starting work on but my tummy was hurting a lot so I went home after that.

On the way home, my skin started itching and I clawed at it. I had a shower to see if that soothed it, when I got out the shower I saw my face was swelling up as well as my groin, underarms, neck, back, shoulders, scalp etc. Off to a pharmacy, they gave me piriton. My skin felt worse, I almost tore my clothes off to get in the shower again. I lay down in bed and tried not to move and eventually I slept.

I woke up a couple times and saw my skin was looking a little better. Now it's really just my eye area that's a bit itchy and puffy.

I think it was hazel nuts that cause the reaction. I never knew I has any allergies before today, so I've always ignored the may contain nuts thing (except for my mum, as she is allergic to Brazil nuts). I'm sure I've had Nutella in the passed because I know I don't like it.

Is it just hazel nuts I need to avoid? Is the next time likely to be worse?
How long does it normal take for the effect to wear off?


GherkinsOnToast Tue 14-Feb-17 21:51:41

You need to see your GP, second reactions can be so much worse than the first. Find out what was in the cookies and take the list with you.

With a reaction like that you need to have allergy tests in a controlled environment.

RedBugMug Tue 14-Feb-17 21:53:06

it's difficult to know what it is.
but it def was an anaphylactic allergic reaction.
can you recover the pack or ask for ingredients? have you eaten nuts before?
I would make a gp appointment to grt a prescription for an epipen - possibly referral for allergy testing.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Tue 14-Feb-17 21:54:21

Allergies can flare up after you've been non reactive for years - and as you experienced can make you feel very unwell, very quickly. It was lucky you got antihistamines into you so quickly. In my limited experience, the inflammation and itching settles within 24 hours but you may be more likely to react to other things for a while. And as far as I know from others who have nut allergies, I think if you're allergic to one type you're advised to avoid nuts of all types as the chemical structure is so similar that you're likely to react to those too.

olderthanyouthink Tue 14-Feb-17 22:01:50

Great... This is going to involve needles. Really need to sign up to a new GP then.

The cookie was out of a mixed box of Ben's cookies (like Millie's cookies, so not out of a packet), so I had to go some guess work as to what one it was then look on their website.

I don't eat nuts, like as a snack but I've eaten satay (I have some in the cupboard atm), nutmeg, ferrero rocher, corner to with crushed nuts on top.

olderthanyouthink Tue 14-Feb-17 22:04:26


Sukitakeitoff Tue 14-Feb-17 22:08:37

Hopefully your GP will refer you for skin prick testing to ascertain exactly what you're allergic to. You may be right it's hazelnuts but it could be something different - do try to get a full ingredients list so they know what substances to test.

Until the referral happens you should obviously avoid nuts but also carry antihistamines just in case it happens again.

RedBugMug Tue 14-Feb-17 22:08:57

other common allergens: soy, milk/dairy, wheat
do you have a stomach ache sometime after eating? that was for me the first indicator of my food allergen.

SecondsLeft Tue 14-Feb-17 22:09:12

Those cookies often have eggs in them too - I know because I react to them, but not like that - poor you, what a shock.

Icequeen01 Tue 14-Feb-17 22:10:51

We had something similar with my teenage DS. He is a VERY fussy eater and we were trying to encourage him to try some Chinese food as he was going away with his school and one of the things planned was a Chinese meal. We convinced him to try satay chicken and he ate the tiniest mouthful ever and then declared he didn't like it.

About half an hour later he was complaining of terrible stomach aches and that his throat felt funny. Shortly after he was covered in the most awful hives and was streaming as though he had hayfever. I suspected a peanut allergy and we took him straight to A and E where they immediately put him on a drip. He felt really unwell for a few hours but was then able to leave hospital. We were advised to go to our GP for a nut allergy test and sure enough it came back as a strong positive. Dr was astounded that my DS had got to 16 before we discovered this allergy but to be honest he is so fussy I can well imagine he has never come into contact with peanuts before! He is now really careful and keeps medication with him at all times.

Sukitakeitoff Tue 14-Feb-17 22:14:16

Looking at their website, they also use peanuts, macadamias and walnuts so these would be other possibilities. Especially as you've had hazelnuts more than once before with no obvious effects.

user1484226561 Tue 14-Feb-17 22:17:01

Its quite possible for an allergy to start suddenly in adult life.

olderthanyouthink Tue 14-Feb-17 22:17:06

I don't get stomach aches after eating.

I had some cheese yesterday, no problem. I don't like milk or eggs but I consume them in yoghurt and cakes

Ingredients: Flour, Unsalted butter, Eggs, Bres, Margarine, Milk Chocolate, Hazelnuts, Hazelnut paste, Baking powder, Salt, Brown sugar

Wtf is "bres"?

user1484226561 Tue 14-Feb-17 22:17:20

you should have gone to A and E, op

Sukitakeitoff Tue 14-Feb-17 22:20:51

The cookie you ate could easily have been cross-contaminated with ingredients from their other cookies so don't rule out the other nuts they use.

olderthanyouthink Tue 14-Feb-17 22:22:43

Yeah as they were all in a box together is could have been anything (the guy bought one of each)

Icequeen01 I'm very fussy and I wouldn't have gone for a nut one if I had noticed when picking but it didn't take bad so I kept eating. I made it to 21 with no known allergies.

I'm sure I've had peanut and almonds in cooking. Not sure about macadamia and walnut though. I might not have had hazelnut for a couple years.

theconstantinoplegardener Tue 14-Feb-17 22:32:03

Make an appointment to see your GP. They will refer you for allergy testing in hospital. This will usually involve skin prick testing, where a tiny amount of the suspect material (in your case hazelnuts, but they usually do a few other common ones too) is introduced into surface layers of the skin via a sterile lancet. This process may be itchy and a bit uncomfortable, but not painful. Any resulting redness and swelling of the skin will be assessed and analysed and you will advised what to avoid and what treatment you will require.

In the meantime, avoid all nuts and if you experience a similar reaction, go to A&E.

You probably will be prescribed an Epipen, so yes needles are involved, but hopefully you won't need to use it very often!

Icequeen01 Tue 14-Feb-17 22:36:14

I know my DS is ok with almonds as he loves Battenberg cake which is covered in marzipan 😀 For some reason our GP only tested my DS for peanuts and no other nuts so we are now very wary of anything with nuts in.

olderthanyouthink Tue 14-Feb-17 22:36:41

Lancets count and needles to me and not sure I can actual stick a needling myself, I know that sound stupid but the last 2 times someone suggested a blood test I had a massive panic attack and it didn't happen.... I can feel one starting at the mere thought blush

Confused59 Tue 14-Feb-17 22:43:04

You need to see your GP and get a referral to an allergy clinic. Using a epipen saves lives.

Neolara Tue 14-Feb-17 22:50:03

I agree with others. If this happens again you really need to get yourself off to A & E as soon as you start swelling or have any difficulty breathing. Sorry to be blunt but a shower is not going to save your life if your body goes into full anaphylaxis.

You need to have proper allergy testing at a proper allergy clinic accessed via your GP. If you think nuts were a trigger, you must avoid all nuts until tested. Carry piriton with you everywhere you go. Once you know what you are allergic too, you will be much safer and it should be perfectly easy to manage if you are careful.

You won't necessarily need blood tests for allergy testing. My dd has had lots of testing and she only has pin price tests. This involves putting a drop of nut (or whatever allergen is being tested) oil on your skin. A pin is used to make a slight scratch in your skin through the oil. You wait for 10 mins to see if the skin starts to swell up around the scratch. The swellings are coin sized, if that. It doesn't hurt at all. It is literally a pin prick, nothing like an injection. It's just itchy if you react.

Icequeen01 Tue 14-Feb-17 22:53:03

You may not have to have an epipen. My DS has steroids and antihistamines which he has to take (6 steroid tablets and 2 antihistamine to be taken as soon as he gets symptoms). My DS was a high level 4 when tested and my GP would only give epipens if you were a 5 or 6. DS's school weren't happy as they were about to take him to Washington and New York but as he seemed to live on burgers, chips and pizza 🙄 he was fine!

TheOldestCat Tue 14-Feb-17 22:56:53

I hate needles. But last time I had anaphylaxis (nut allergy) it wasn't a problem - I was straight in there with the epipen. Which saved my life . Get down the GPs.

CorporalNobbyNobbs Tue 14-Feb-17 23:01:45

I was 20 when I had my first allergic reaction to peanuts. Had eaten them millions of times before and was fine. I carry epipens now. I've never been formally tested as my doctor didn't think the tests were very accurate but I had three separate reactions to peanuts before I figured out what it was so he was happy to diagnose based on that.

olderthanyouthink Wed 15-Feb-17 10:41:08

Still alive.

I went to 2 local GPs this morning but they won't see unregistered patients, they suggested seeing my own GP (70 miles and £40-60 away) or walk in center. I called 111 and they said I should have a non emergency appointment, so I don't need to go today as I'm better but I should register with a gp and I can then be referred for allergy clinic. Obviously, if I get worse then call back.

Totally avoiding nuts for now... which means I need to go buy some more food because I bought some stuff on the weekend (stir fries and curry) and they contain nuts. Though I had these on sunday and monday, I guess I can't risk it now.

Are my maryland cookies and other things that say "may contains nuts" ok or not????? What can I eat? Bread says may contain nuts right (I ate a supermarket bakery baguette last night)?

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