Anaphylaxis or anxiety attack?

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/29/2016 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I have 2 questions here.

I became allergic to peanuts sometime last year but it was only recently that I got some bloodwork done to test my allergies. It turns out I'm allergic to wheat, peanuts, milk and beef. The only thing I've ever had a reaction to was peanuts and my doctor said that my allergies were so slight (they all came out equivocal/low, ranging from about 0.12 to 0.16) that I could continue eating my regular diet (minus the peanuts since I've already had a reaction) and be fine. But now I'm super anxious about everything that I eat and whenever I eat something that I think may contain one of my allergens I get an anxiety attack but I confuse it with anaphylaxis. My anxiety symptoms are a burning mouth and shortness of breath/hyperventilating, a hoarse voice and sometimes diarrhea but those are the same symptoms as anaphylaxis. I also have asthma so when this happens I just use my inhaler as I don't want to waste my epipen if I'm not sure if its an allergic reaction or not. As soon as I stop eating and stop thinking about it my symptoms disappear which leads me to believe its just anxiety. I never get any of the other physical symptoms like hives, rashes or swelling anywhere on my body. And I can still swallow.

So my first question is how can I tell an anxiety attack apart from anaphylaxis if they have very similar symptoms? And my second question is will all of my allergic reactions to things other than peanuts be anaphylactic since I experience anaphylaxis with peanuts?

Post Edited (floralisa1223) : 7/29/2016 8:45:57 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5022
   Posted 7/31/2016 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not a doctor and no expert either, but your symptoms sound like mostly anxiety to me.

First, forget the blood test results. They just aren't accurate enough. I test positive for peanuts on blood test, but I can eat peanuts until the cows come home without even a hint of reaction. Skin tests are the only ones I trust. Your doctor told you you could eat the low things anyway. Listen to him!

I react to sunflower seeds. While chewing something with them in it I get immediate mouth tingling, swelling and shortness of breath. It gets seriously worse if I reflexively swallow even a little. Within a minute I have trouble breathing. I do not react to sunflower oil, but that doesn't contain the protein.

Second, you may have reactions to other things that are not tested. There just aren't any standardized tests for many chemicals found in foods. For those things you have to keep a FOOD JOURNAL. That was the only way I was able to find my "sensitivity" to sulfites. My allergist says sensitivities are really allergies too, even though they get poo-pooed by most doctors. I don't get the oral symptoms, but if I eat something with them in it I get many of the symptoms you are getting and if I've ingested beyond my level of tolerance, I get tachycardia. Sometimes I've not been able to get the tach under control with Valsalva maneuver or even heart medicines and end up in the ER for cardioversion. My reaction symptoms are due to CARDIOESOPHAGEAL REFLEX. Google or check the archives (the search box at the top of the page) for information.

So, not to ignore your symptoms and just classify you as another nut with anxiety, I recommend you get a small notebook or a daily calendar and start writing down everything you eat, drink, medicines, etc. It's free and easy. Look up food journal in the archives. Loads of information and links.
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