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Death by fresh food [Sep. 15th, 2003|12:09 pm]
[Current Mood |sicksick]

It was a peach. A juicy, delicious peach.

Now I've had to beg allergy meds off someone else, my left eye is inflamed, my throat feels slightly constricted, my lip is swollen, my nose is running, and I keep breathing deeply just to make certain I still can.

Is that itch a rash, or just an itch? Do I really feel slightly dizzy, or is that just adrenaline?

Am I doomed to abandon this ambrosia of the gods, fresh fruit?

For some time now I have not been able to eat raw apples. The roof of my mouth itches fiercely and I get all the other symptoms of allergy. A lot of people are developing apple allergies these days, though, so I hoped it would be limited to just those (I still steal a slice now and then, but can't tolerate much more.)

The last time I ate a peach I had a little bit of a reaction, but nothing like this. This borders on scary.

There are a hundred theories about why allergies are increasing, but no real argument that they are. I am one of the unlucky on the front edge of allergic reaction - when I first developed hay fever my mother had to engage in a battle with the school nurse, who insisted it must be pinkeye, even though it only occured in the afternoon and cleared up by the next morning. I and those like me are the Cassandras of allergic reactions, it would seem, heralding the next big thing in histamine overload: a friend of mine almost died from raw celery.

It seems patently unfair, though, that the things that are best for us are the ones that bollux up our systems. Wouldn't it be a better plan if potato chips made me wheeze? If candybars stuffed up my nose? If sugary soft drinks gave me a rash? Why should it be the foods we're encouraged to eat? I feel like I'm being punished for trying to take care of myself.

And this doesn't seem to be getting any better. Off to drink more water, check for rashes, and hope I don't end up really sick.

[User Picture]From: danodea
2003-09-15 09:37 am (UTC)

I've taken to keeping benedryl and sudaphed in my desk drawer ;(

I do have allergies to more foods now than when I was a child, and I know some of it is due to additives, but some is sensitivity, and that can be managed to *some* degree, over time. After not eating bananas for about a dozen years, I can now have one about every other day. I still can only eat melons a few bites at a time, and even that much apple will send me into an asthma attack - yet I used to eat apples all the time, and drink mostly apple juice. Major inconvenience.

You have my sypathies :(
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-15 10:36 am (UTC)
I have been eating more carefully and haven't had to take anything for a while - beware self-congratulations, for they will bite thy ass time and again.

Alas, it seems that once I am sensitized, nothing gets better. It sucks.

Still a bit dizzy, but the outward symptoms are diminishing, so I expect the dizziness is the allergy meds themselves. Joy.

(Thanks for the sympathies, though.)
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[User Picture]From: law_witch
2003-09-15 09:49 am (UTC)
and of course this all changes with age (darn)
Have you tried peeling the skin off any of these fruits?? Some people have had success with that. (I know, icky mess, but it it means you could still eat fruit?)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-15 10:36 am (UTC)
Maybe i'll try that tomorrow - I have two more of them here...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-15 10:37 am (UTC)

Re: Ah, face it.

Thanks. You made me giggle, if nothing else!
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[User Picture]From: rakafkaven
2003-09-15 10:04 am (UTC)
My condolences-- fresh fruit is a luxury I'd be loathe to lose. Much as I hate the snobby "organic" market, there's at least a chance that what's setting you off doesn't have a first-order relation to the fruit itself. Also worth a shot: due to grafting, 95% of the fruit you'll find is ridiculously closely related, genetically. Different breeds might spare you.

Or you're just developing a fruit allergy. In which case, try to take some amusement from the alarming mental image I got when I scanned over the phrase "candy bars stuffed up my nose".
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-15 10:37 am (UTC)
Organics haven't helped. Maybe if I were consistent with them, though....
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[User Picture]From: songhawk
2003-09-15 11:09 am (UTC)
If organics don't work, maybe "exotics"? kiwi, strawfruit, mangoes...

It occurs to me that even with organically grown fruit, the water in them has to come from wherever they are grown, and that could be a problem...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-15 12:57 pm (UTC)
I will have to experiment. Fruit is too wonderful to give up without a fight.
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[User Picture]From: cookie_b
2003-09-15 10:12 am (UTC)

an update

After nervously watching her eye wax and wane in redness, she seems to be fine except for very pink cheeks. I had 911 on speed dial for a little while there...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-15 10:41 am (UTC)

Re: an update

I think the crisis has passed. Allegedly allegra doesn't make you sleepy, but....
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[User Picture]From: crwilley
2003-09-15 11:56 am (UTC)
Owie. Glad you're feeling better - kiwis do that to me, but fortunately no other foods. Maybe I need to append a "yet" to that.
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[User Picture]From: amaltheae
2003-09-26 04:39 pm (UTC)
Read a fascinating article the other day by a guy who is absolutely convinced that the problem is that our systems have evolved to handle a shit ton of microbes, parasites, etc and with modern medicine and hygiene habbits came a dramatic downslope in the stuff we developed systems to manage.

He has done studies of various isolated island cultures where allergies were unheard of before missionaries arrived bearing antibiotics and hand washing fettishes. The same people suddenly went from a 1% rate of demonstrable occurence of allergies, to something like a 65% occurence.

He believes that our immune system, having insufficient targets remaining, is basically kicking in to attack whatever it can get its hands on, basically.

Something to think about, anyway. I've actually found that living with 5 cats now, when I used to be sufficiently allergic to cats that my eyes would swell shut if I touched my face, has had the odd side effect of reducing my overall allergy attacks some as far as I can tell. That and getting out of my mother the hypochondriac filthy pack rat from hell's house where allergens were constant and she was always treating every hang-nail in herself or any of us with antibiotics.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-26 08:12 pm (UTC)
Interesting theory. I spent the day suffering from dust allergies (looking through old, archived legal files). Less allergies would be nice.

In my family you had to be at death's door, and then dad would offer you aspirin. We weren't overtreated, that's for certain.
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[User Picture]From: amaltheae
2003-09-27 07:13 am (UTC)
Basically this guy's contention is that all of our curing of deadly diseases, water treatment skills, etc have reduced the bacteria, microbial and parasitic loads on our systems in this country to the point that those of us with genetic systems evolved to handle the most muggy and disease prone areas have started attacking ourselves.

I saw another article that referenced that one about the tendancy for the same group of people to have considerably more problems with hyper-acidic stomaches and various GI struggles for the same basic reason. Some of us were naturally selected for our ability to not die from rancid meat because we had a high enough stomach acid level to kill most things, but we no longer have much need for this system in today's western world, so we instead chew up our own esophogus, tooth enamel, etc and have to take drugs to reduce the acid output back down to a level we would have died from a few generations ago.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-27 10:00 am (UTC)
Wow. And I do. Interesting.

Does he offer any solutions?
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[User Picture]From: amaltheae
2003-09-27 11:46 am (UTC)
Immediately? No, except that washing your hands sixty times a day and taking antibiotics for things that don't absolutely require it can make it worse.

In the long term he is working on developing essentially inert bacteria and parasites that will not harm us but that will give our system something to resist other than itself. We may see him succeed in our lifetime. Another reason nano and biotech are great places to invest your money.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-09-27 07:17 pm (UTC)
You know, now tht I think about it my allergies seem to have gotten worse since I became a faithful hand washer. Talk about counter-intuitive!

Oh, the weirdness of the world....
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[User Picture]From: taisidhe
2004-07-15 04:56 pm (UTC)

I know it's 10 months later...

Anyway, my daughter was raised on apple juice as a baby and toddler. Then, out of nowhere, at age 2 1/2 she became severely allergic to apples in ANY form... apple oatmeal, apple muffins, etc.

When she was five, her kindergarten class got to make "homemade" applesauce and she didn't get to eat hers, but... I was stunned that she had been elbow deep in apples and had not had ANY reaction.


I began buying her apples in disguise... cranapple juice and apple-berry sauce and even baked apples all sliced up and with cinnamon to disguise what they were.

After three weeks of introducing apples into her diet I finally gave her apple juice straight up. NO syptoms.

I called her pediatrician and asked her if the "ALAR" they had been putting on apples back when she developed her allergy could have been the real culprit.

That's what we decided.

And my best friend Cat has had recent bad reactions to shellfish, only it isn't ALL shellfish and it isn't at all restaurants that serve such shell fish.

We have come to the conclusion that some of the people these fish come from must treat them with something before freezing them that adds up to her having a bad attack.

Hope it got better.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-07-15 05:02 pm (UTC)

Re: I know it's 10 months later...

I recovered, obviously, but I still have to limit the fresh fruit I eat. I hate it.
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