Food allergies and fear

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 10/29/2010 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm still trying to get some clear answers to exactly what foods I am allergic to.  The not knowing for sure has made me terrified, and I'm wondering whether any of you have gone through this stage with your own allergies or those of your kids.  Please share your stories, as that might help me cope.


I'm frightened to eat more than just a few foods, and whenever I have a slight reaction, as the other day to apple, I start googling to see what cross reacts with that, then get scared of the cross reactors (now carrot).  It's all well and good to try telling myself I've never had a problem with Food X before.  What's been going on is that I'm having reactions (and one positive RAST test) to foods I always thought were fine.  I also take claritin twice a day and am now wondering whether it's actually hiding any problems I would be better off knowing about.  I.e., fearing that I would have an anaphylactic reaction to the food if I didn't already have the claritin in my system.


I have a call in to my new allergist about going through with skin prick testing, but he's out until Monday.  He hadn't wanted to do that before, but over the past month I've gotten so afraid that I feel I'd be better off knowing and then trying food challenges on the foods that come back as safe.   I hope he agrees to test, and that his office is equipped to do challenges.  If not, I guess I'll ask who he recommends for that.


I do have tons of negative RAST tests, but they even show up as negative to things I know I'm allergic to, like ragweed.  So I don't feel I can trust those the way my GP wants me to.


I guess I just really need some help and support in dealing with the intense fear of food.  I just found an article this morning that compares having a food allergic reaction to PTSD.  That seems like the road I'm headed down, and I can't stop it by myself any more.



Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 10/30/2010 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I think doing a food challenge test in a doctors office is a great idea. I can understand your fear of food, especially if you have such extreme reaction to them. We can help you try to deal with your fear here, but I feel you would get better responses on the Anxiety forum. We really don't get that many people on this forum.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 10/31/2010 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Before doing food challenge keep a food log, with date, time and everything you eat or drink. It'll probably take a month or two to get a decent list of foods you don't tolerate. Then you have to separate the foods into ingredients. That's where the challenge tests come in.

To do a challenge test:
Say the food is milk - start with a teaspoon (or a tablespoon if you thing you are not extremely sensitive). Wait 20 minutes. If you have no reaction you double the dose (2 t) and wait another 20 minutes. If no reaction you double again (4 t) and wait, then double again and wait - up to 16 t.
If you are checking out wheat you have to find a plain pita bread with no added ingredients. Nearly all are NOT just wheat. It takes a bit of shopping. Cut a slender slice wait, and double the dose and wait again as above.

Don't do challenge testing at home if you have a serious reaction like anaphalaxis!

I found I don't have a problem with the waffle, but don't tolerate the maple syrup. It isn't the hamburger, but the condiments. It isn't the bagel, but the dough conditioner on the fancy big ones. Not milk, but hard cheese.
My list happens to all contain sulfite. My reaction is dangerous: tachycardia.

For simple things like apples or carrots, the skin prick test works fairly well. I don't think blood tests are worth much.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 10/31/2010 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the advice, ideas, and support.

I noticed that most doctors want you not to be taking anithistamines during a food challenge. I was for my "home test," so I don't know whether to put any stock in the fact that it didn't kill me.

At this point, at least I know better than to try any more challenges on my own. :(

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