Advice about Allergies
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
Advice about Allergies
This is an interesting phenomenon, because I've known several women,
including myself, who have suddenly developed allergic reactions in their
late 30's/early 40's when they've never been allergic before. I just
recovered from 2 weeks of hives from a newly developed allergy to
My sister-in-law, who has been eating fish her whole life, suddenly at age
37 had a frightening anaphylactic reaction to eating fish and now has to
carry around an "epi-pen" to self-administer epinephrine in an emergency.
She's a public health PhD and thinks it would be an interesting study to
find out if there's any correlation to age, gender, or child-bearing.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has experienced this.
Two summers ago I suddenly developed an allergy to peanuts. One day I ate
a handful before a nap and woke up with the hives, and my lungs were
congested. I didn't connect the two until I was at a doctor appointment the
following week. The allergist didn't want to do a skin test to see if it
was the peanuts because I had already had such a severe reaction. Instead
they ran blood tests. These were inconclusive. They prescribed an Epi-Pen
anyway... and I have confirmed that it was the peanuts by inadvertently
eating peanuts in food at another time. I was only 24 with no kids and I am
The same year my aunt who is in her 40's (has 1 child) had a sudden attack
of anaphylactic shock along with burning sensations in and around her
mouth, like when you eat something too hot. Her allergist has never been
able to determine what her's was caused by. Exactly one year later, the
incident repeated itself... they think it may have to do with a plant that
suddenly blooms at that time of year.
According to her allergist, hives are more common with food allergies, and
the burning thing is more often associated with allergies to chemicals.
Anaphylactic shock can happen with any severe allergy.
I keep Benedryl as well as an Epi-Pen in my purse, in my house, and one my
desk drawer at work. I have heard that continued exposure can cause more
severe reactions. It is very important to keep your "antidotes" on hand
and let others know how to use them (and where you keep them) so they can
help if they find you in shock.
This is in response to Chen Yin and her inquiry into other parents'
experiences with the sudden onset of allergic reactions and any possible
relation between these reactions to age, gender, and child-bearing. A few
years ago I was prescribed a strong antiobiotic -- sorry, I can't remember
its name -- when I had pneumonia. I had a horrible reaction of hives which
I had never experienced before in response to antibiotics or anything
else! It was really miserable. I was about 34 at the time, and it was
before I had my daughter. Maybe antibiotics just keep getting stronger and
some bodies just can't take it. I know that I am extremely sensitve to
medications in general and a little goes a long way...
When my mother was in her early fifties, she developed an allergy to
tomatoes (hives, itchy hands, swollen eyes). Since then she has engaged
in a vigorous vitamin regiment which seems to have cured her allergy. She
can now consume tomatoes without breaking out into hives. Within the last
three years, my husband (now 33, with one 3 1/2 year old son) developed a
severe allergy to tomatoes, which had been a staple of his diet. Rather
than child-bearing, age or gender, his three trips to the emergency room
suggest that a combination of stress, sickness (i.e. a weakened immune
system), and a drop of tomato juice will send him into anaphylactic shock.
Other foods, such as melon, artichokes, beets and pistachios cause his
hands to itch as well. (And the list keeps growing!) Because of the
severity of his reactions, he must carry an epi-pen at all times. Mary
Alice Murphy, who others have recommended, is his allergist and he speaks
very highly of her. I only wish there were a better treatment than a
daily dose of Claratin for the rest of his life. He began taking a bunch
of vitamins, following the advice of my mother, but this did not ward off
the last anaphylactic attack he had two years ago. Has anyone had success
with alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, designed to boost the
immune system, which seems to be the main problem here?
this page was last updated: Jan 15, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network