Severe multiple allergies can be very hard to manage. Even when you have them under control, not everyone understands.
Saya has written this description of what life is like with multiple allergies and how she handles them.
I am an Indian, I don’t eat pork, its forbidden in our family but I have various allergies.
When I was a kid about 1yr old, I was diagnosed with fish and shell fish allergy first as I developed hives instantly after eating a few small bites, my body still shows the same symptoms if I eat fish or dried fish/shrimp containing products. Later at 2 yrs old I developed hives due to beef and some eggs which have fishy type of smell when cooked. At the age of 9, after accidentally eating beef I developed hives, digestive problems and worst was a wart like thing in the middle of my palm which needed surgical removal. My parents removed every trace of beef and anything that contains by products from cattle flesh from my diet after that.
All my life I was eating lamb and chicken but after each meal I would puke, get bloated, diarrhoea…sometimes it’s got worse cuz I showed flu like symptoms where antibiotics never helped. I would be sick 5 days a week. In 2003 I started showing more symptoms was even taken to ER. I developed hives after eating lamb. In 2004 I couldn’t eat chicken anymore, I would have digestive problems and feel hot, itchy rashes, runny nose, swelling of face, hands and feet.
I loved to eat a type of local dried bean but sadly I developed allergy to it. It makes me feel so sad. I don’t care about meat but my allergies weren’t only towards meat.
Since I was a kid, some beans and lentils, my body rejects them violently. Some vegetables and fruits too. After eating a melon, I felt hot, couldn’t breathe and collapsed. I woke up to find rashes on my arms, legs and few other places. I have never heard of anyone having an allergy to melon before! Even some types of squash and gourds.
I am also allergic to peanuts and few other nuts. I developed the allergy all of a sudden and went into anaphylactic shock after eating a peanut, ended up in ER. I used to love peanuts and eat a lot of roasted peanuts before this happened. Now I check labels to avoid peanuts. Once I tasted a little cookie dough my mom was making, as a taste check, I collapsed immediately after that. My mom had added peanut butter and forgot to tell me about it.
There are some herbs and greens that my body rejects. Worst one being the Indian “curry leaf” the smell of that fresh herb is enough to drive me crazy. This herb/leaf is commonly used in my state’s cuisine and it’s hard to avoid eating food not containing it when eating out. I can’t eat out even at a vegetarian fast food/restaurant here. Always have to stick to homemade food.
My allergies have reached a level where I seriously don’t know what to do anymore. The smell of beef or meat being cooked is enough to trigger a reaction in my body. I get sores in my mouth, lips and eyelids swell, it’s embarrassing to say this but even genital areas are affected too, full body itching, runny nose, teary eyes, headache, nausea, irritation….it’s at such a level that its effecting me mentally. Very frustrating. Others make fun of me saying I am paranoid and crazy without understanding or seeing what happens to me when I eat a food which I am allergic to. Forget about eating just the smell is enough to drive me crazy cuz my body starts reacting on its own.
Past 5 yrs I have developed digestive problems after drinking milk or some types of cheese and yogurt. It’s usually gas, nausea and diarrhea. I am alright with small amounts of milk and milk products so I am always careful about the amount I consume. Milk+banana seems to be the only thing that doesn’t cause me digestive problems I still don’t know why or how that works for me.
I tried to take some protein drinks as better solution for a healthy diet but any type of protein drink seems to cause digestive problems for me. I am currently living on carbs and few lentils and veggies. I eat eggs too but I always smell the broken egg first to avoid fishy smelling eggs that trigger allergies.
In my family, I am not the only one. My grandma had allergies, my mom has severe allergy to beef, my dad is allergic to pollen and my aunt has food allergies but she eats everything and keeps getting sick. There are many in my family who have food allergies and other allergies. I guess it’s something hereditary.
I have tried to fight and eat some meat and other stuff I am allergic to cuz I didn’t wana believe I had allergies to so many things….the result was always same…ended up in ER.
I was given shots to help control the allergies but it backfired on me. After many years of taking the shots, my face’s skin became more sensitive, my cheeks are always burning and feel sore and hot. I have a few spider veins on my face.
I have been controlling my allergies with diet cutting off all allergens and being careful when buying snacks and other stuff (always read label or ask what’s in there). I am doing very well but I have only one issue which is lack of energy. I may see a nutritionist and ask for help to form a diet plan to help me. The best thing is after I cut on all the allergens….I have never been sick or even had a fever. My life and my health did a complete 180 turn. I am happy now than I ever was before. If I can only manage the energy issue I think I will feel better. 🙂
I have noticed that as I grew up, the list of allergens grew. I no longer take shots and have kept them for emergencies. I am trying to live my life keeping the wishes of eating meat and some of my most favourite peanuts and those dried lentils buried deep within me. Even if I love them I will never eat them.