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Random Allergic Reaction
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Mlttool posted:
Has anyone dealt with unusual allergic reactions? My husband has been battling this for about 10 years. It started out with him tongue swelling. Then months would pass, another episode, and additional symptoms would occur. The episodes could be as little as 2 months to 2 years apart. Anytime, night or day; after eating, middle of the night.....basically no coordination between the reaction and anything. The latest episode occured at 2:00 a.m., swelling in his tongue started--I gave him benedryl strips. The swelling seemed to subside, but them swelling occurred elsewhere. His blood pressure dropped severely and he was fighting to not pass out. He turned bright red and hives broke out over his limbs. I obviously rushed him to the ER where they gave him oxygen and IV's of benedryl.

We have an apointment with an allergist next week; but my husband fears they will not find what it is that he is allergic to or what is causing this.

So if anyone has had something like this could you please respond? Thanks.
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Lion1982 responded:
Sorry if it looks like Im replying to your question, Im new here and dont really know what Im doing. Anyway though, quick question:

Yesterday about 3:30 pm went in to the ER for some back pain, they found nothing and all this, but they gave me 2 vicodin & a toradol shot. On the way home I had an allergic reaction to the toradol, they said I almost died, I dont remember much, anyway though, this happened about 6-7 pm. They stabilized me with epinephrine which sent my heart on a marathon (lol), everything has been fine. They let me go at about 11 am this morning, came home felt fine, but it feels like its hard to breathe again, I do have asthma but I took a couple puffs was okay for like 2 hours but it feels hard to breathe again. Could I still be allergically reacting to the Toradol or is that over and done with? Is it just my asthma and Im psyching myself out? Anyone have any idea, any info would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Mlttool responded:
Hi, I'm new to Web MD myself. Just trying to get answers to too many unknown questions. Terrirified here, that my husband will have a reaction and no one will be around to help him.

Anyway, as to your situation, I would be on the phone immediately with the doctor. These allergic reactions can affect the heart. Being a heart patient myself, (I had congestive heart failure 5 years ago) the difficulty breathing or gasping feeling is nothing to mess with. I would rather have the doctors tell me everything is OK or that it is your asthma acting up than ignore it.

You take care.
 
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Aqua14 responded:
In order to help the allergist with a diagnosis, it would be a good idea to keep a journal. Write down what your husband was doing, eating, wearing, etc. before the attack, as well as any medications he takes (OTC, prescription, herbal). There may be a pattern here that can only be seen once you write things down.

Sorry that I can't give any other suggestions, and I hope that the allergist can find a cause for these episodes. Take care & good luck. Judy
 
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Mlttool responded:
Hi, thank you for responding. I'm sorry I am a little late in reading these postings, but I felt compelled to respond to you.

I too am a heart patient. I had heart erythmia (might not be spelling that right) 9 years ago. Put me in a coma for two days, memory loss, etc. I have a pace maker/defibulator in case it happens again. 'Then I had pneumonia in Jan. 2004. Apparently, the virus attacked the weak side of the heart and by May I was in conjestive heart failure. My first doctor said this would be it, there was no hope and not a clear understanding of why the failure was occurring since I was taking all my meds and doing everything the doctors wanted. That's when they decided it must have been a virus. My doctor returned from vacation, upon which I told him he could never do again, and found that a dual sided pacemaker/defigulator would help. Did it ever! Within weeks of surgery, I have felt better than I did the first year or two after the first incident.

Anyway, back to hubby. I had him to an allergist that determined he has analphaltic allergist reactions to something. The something is the biggest problem. Since they are so random, meaning it may not happen for 1-2 years between episodes and that there is no relationship to the foods he was eating or what he was doing before it happens---the summary is, we may never know. What we do know is that he has to have a epi-pen on him at all times and immediately get to medical care afterwards. The epi-pen will only stall the inevitable until he gets medical help. I fear that something will happen when we can't get to medical care immediately...like snowmobiling in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Or out of cell phone reach while travelling.

But as with everything else in life, we must adjust, be aware of what can happen, and try to map out a plan in case a reaction does occur....and not panic.

Thank you so much for your e-mail......
 
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knownotnow responded:
I am experiencing apparent random allergic reactions as well. What is your email so we can possibly compare things/notes and maybe help each other figure this out. I've had four total reactions about each one month and 4 days apart. For an entire month I ate everything in site and no attacks.

My symptons are Tongue Tingles/Swells normally(sometimes mouth), hives/redness, I have to empty my bowels and/or throw up, and my blood plessure drops extremely low to the point of almost passing out. So far I've had no problems breathing at all though. I too have to carry an epi-pen everywhere I go.

Please write back.
 
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h13859 responded:
I have dealt with this matter personally. I have been to see an allergist who claims I am allergic to everything (grass,trees,animals everything). I have never had trouble with any of things in the past, and still am not. I have had 2 episodes like that, and I can't get a straight answer from anyone what is causing the reaction. I have to carry a epi-pen and benedryl. If you find out any thing I would love to hear about it. Best wishes
 
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shellykobe responded:
I know exactly what you are going through. I didn't have any allergies that I know of until about 15 years ago. I could eat anything, drink anything and be exposed to anything without reaction. Fifteen years ago I went through a stressful divorce and had all sorts of stomach problems which seemed to be the introduction to the allergic reactions. I went to an allergist who explained to me that I have an unusual allergy situation. I can eat something 20 times and have no reaction but the 21 time, for example, I can have a severe allergic reaction. I have had the scratch tests and some things are reactive. He explained that when my body digests food it can trigger a histamine reaction and this causes the reaction. I think it started when I was having the stress related stomach problems but it exists, nonetheless. It is frustrating. I have to carry an epi pen and take allergy meds daily. I also carry Benadryl with me for reactions. I have had reactions to beer, which I can no longer drink. I have had reactions to peanut butter, peanuts but not on a regular basis. I have had a reaction to lobster. I don't know what will trigger the allergic reaction at any given time, with what food so the epi pen is never far from my reach. Neither is the benadryl. It is scary as I also have asthma and the allergic reactions also cause my asthma to act up. I don't know if this is any help but don't let this keep you from living life. I have the fear that one day I will have to use the pen and I am deathly afraid of needles but if it will save a life there is no choice. It may be a histamine reaction to digestion of foods. Good luck and I hope this may have helped you. There are no real solutions but at least there is someone who understand what you are going through.
 
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Mlspear responded:
Dear Mittool,

Sorry to say that I, too, have had these random hives for about 8 years now. I went through food allergy testing which is highly unreliable anyway, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I was told I was allergic to green beans, carrots, fish, shellfish, it went on and on. I finally found a drug that basically holds the reactions down to zero. It is Zyrtec which is now OTC. I take it at night because it has a mild sedating effect, but nothing like benedryl. I also notice stomach upset occurs prior to big episodes. How do I know that I still have this problem if I take Zyrtec? From time to time, I don't take it because I want to know and hope that it has stopped but inevitably within 24 hours, the hives begin again. It used to drive me crazy but my allergist told me that there are people with "chronic urticaria, etiology unknown" who have to take 3 or more Zyrtec daily just to lessen the hives but they can't totally banish them. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I do meet others with this same issue and they have had success with other medications, like Allegra or Claritin. Who knows what is causing this? Pesticides, hormones and preservatives in our food, immunizations? We may never know. But know that your husband is not alone in this and it is livable. But he must carry an epi pen with him at all times, which I'm sure the allergist gave him a script for, plus I carry an extra zyrtec with me. Prior to 8 years ago, I had a hive from time to time, but nothing of concern. I did have hives with a severe penicillin reaction as a teen. Unfortunately, I also developed an allergy to all NSAIDS, like Motrin, Advil, etc. That is almost impossible to stop even with an epi pen, with hives, tongue swelling, etc. So keep an eye on that. It may never happen to you, but it is very serious. Sorry for all the rambling, but good luck. Oh, one last thing. Remember that if you have to use an epi pen, it just buys you time. You must rush to the hospital for further treatment. and an epi pen makes you very jittery because it is adrenaline.
 
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riose01 responded:
My mother has suffered with swelling of the tongue,lips and neck for several years now. It usually happens at night but on several occasions it has appeared during day time hours. We've taken her to specialist and no one can figure out where this reaction is coming from. Her tongue swells so much that it triples in normal size and she is unable to speak.

Needless to say she has been in the emergency room so many times that she has become a regular. One if the diagnosis she was discharged from the emergency room with was "angioedema" which is the typical swelling that occurs but there does not seem to be a cure for this problem.

She is currently seeing a second allergist and is now in the blood drawing stage. The allergy test did not prove to identify the problem. She is 82 and lives alone and my biggest fear is obvious that she may choke on her own tongue. The instructions by all physicians is to immediately rush to the ER when she gets this episode.

Other than that there does not seem tobe any hope of finding the problem. She currently takes Zertyk and has an epipen foe the flare ups but this is not a cure and it's very frustrating for everyone especially her. She has no history of allergy and the only medication she takes is for her high blood pressure.

Heaven help us all!
 
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Aqua14 responded:
What kind of high blood pressure medication does she take? Does the generic name of the medication end in "pril" or "artan"? (Such as, lisinopril or losartan.)

These two types of HBP meds, called ACE inhibitors and ARBs, respectively, have been confirmed as causing angioedema. If your mom is taking one of those kinds of HBP meds, it could very well be the medication that is the problem. Luckily, there are several other classes of high blood pressure medications that she could take instead of the ACE or ARB.

Let me know and I can point you to some information from the professional allergists' association that you can print out and take to your mom's allergist and discuss with him as an idea worthy of consideration.

Hope this helps. Take care & good luck. Judy
 
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leenahgrace responded:
Wow, I can't believe these stories, so many suffering with this stuff.

I don't have anything solid to add but wanted to share that I too have food sensitivities. I've had scratch tests and found very high response to just about everything. I suffer with asthma that is worsened by pollen and probably food too but I'm allergic to so much, it would be hard to pinpoint anything. The only foods I wasn't allergic to would not make a healthy diet (chicken and chocolate). Fruits and veggies especially will sometimes give me a reaction but nowhere near the magnitude others report here. Instead I get intense itching at the back of the throat and behind my ears. It's pretty much everything that does it: avocados, strawberries, citrus, pears, peaches, kiwi, banana (ok if they are almost green but not otherwise), tomatoes, carrots, celery, melons. There have been times I've vomited immediately after eating a certain food so I avoid those items mostly. What's weird is that it's only sometimes that I get a major reaction like vomiting, not all the time. I guess that's par for the course as so many here report similar inconsistent reactions.

I have found that cooked foods seem to be easier to take and cause less reaction than fresh food (not very appealing for all the fruits and veggies!).

I'm just grateful I don't have this to the magnitude that requires the ER and epi-pens, etc. Still I know it could turn that way someday. Scary....

As for what is causing these problems, I have a theory but it would be like swimming upstream to get anything done about it. I know I have terrible asthmatic episodes triggered by CHEMICAL fragrances. The problem is they put this garbage in everything. It's in all the cleaners, detergents, shampoos, lotions, paper products not to mention the actual poisoning of us that we agree to with Glade and Renuzit and all the rest of that garbage. Then there is the "perfume" that Madison Ave is brainwashing our citizens into believing they desperately "need". I mean even little junior high boys are now addicted to chemical fragrance sprays so they will smell great for the girls.

Unfortunately there is no hope on this because there is so much money tied up in the marketing of this stuff, no one could ever stop it's proliferation. I only know that these chemical fragrances have become more and more pervasive and no one seems to even think twice about what these chemicals are doing to them. It's sad and obviously for me very much a handicap to try and live in this world where there are so many unnecessary chemicals.

So I guess I would suggest that anyone having these unknown origin reactions might try to eliminate perfumed detergent and personal products as much as possible and see if that helps. Good luck to everyone.
 
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livetolearn responded:
Hi, Your dilema sounds awful. I used to work with twins who randomly had reactions like splotches and hives and they had angiodema, hope that,s spelled right. It's worth looking into.
 
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Babygirl29568 replied to Lion1982's response:
Hi Lion,
I am sorry to hear about your experience. I recently suffered the same experience with Toradol. I went to the emergency room for pain and was given a Toradol IM injection and about 5 minutes later, I was in full anaphylatic shock (I think). I heard the doctor say it was a full blown vascular histamine release. I do not remember much after that. I know I was injected with an epi pen, give calcium, solumedrol, and ativan to control the situation. I was really tight around my diaphragm area and my heart rate was at 140 bpm. I can no longer take any NSAIDS and all pain medications are out. I am on standby to have a spinal cord stimulator placed to help with the pain.

I had another reaction this morning. That is what woke me up. I was treated with solumedrol and ativan again. I feel better but I am wondering how long am I going to have to deal with this.

Oh yeah, they never did determine what was causing the pain. I am also having allergy testing done; only after complaining about sensitivities to medicines for about 30 years. I am not sure if you familiar with this term but I have a metabolic disorder called GSPD and that also has an effect on what meds I can take.


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