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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Adult onset allergy

Last week was my break between classes, so I had a small dinner party at my house, since my tight schedule had prevented me from entertaining for a while. As we were eating dinner - which included shrimp - one of my guests asked, "What's wrong with your arm?"
I looked down and my arm was bright red and swollen, and, now that I noticed it, it itched. So did the rest of my body. When I could unobtrusively slip away from the party, I ran up to the bathroom to discover a rash from my stomach down (my chest, shoulders, back, and face are clear; the worst is on my stomach and arms).

Much to my sorrow, I think I've developed an adult-onset shellfish allergy! This is terrible news, because I love shellfish!
The timing is bad, too. The company vice president of operations is visiting my pharmacy today, and I look like a lobster. Hopefully I can keep the itching under control so he doesn't think I have some kind of gross nervous tick.

This is my only food allergy (outside of a minor problem with eggplant that has improved with age). Do you have food allergies? Any adult-onset? Any success stories with overcoming them?


  1. I'm allergic to avocado, which I did not discover until I was in my early 20s (but, to be fair, I think my only exposure prior to discovering this allergy was the very limited and occasional California roll from the food court in college). Thankfully, I don't really miss it because I barely got to enjoy it before it was snatched from my diet. I wish I had a success story, but I'm still allergic to fiestas. Que triste, right?

  2. Oh man, that is crazy! And sad because I also love shellfish! Are you going to see an allergist about it? Or just avoid it? Seems like shellfish can be one of those dangerous types of allergies that requires an epipen - hopefully you don't develop that strong of a reaction, though!

    I have a gluten intolerance which people often confuse as an allergy, but it's not technically an allergy. I also am sensitive to dairy but again, it's not an allergy perse. But I try to limit my dairy intact as I feel better when I avoid it!

  3. I might like your reaction to shellfish better....I either toss my cookies or have to run to the bathroom.

  4. I'm allergic to all seafood and all nuts, but different reaction from yours (my throat swells shut and I stop breathing, fortunately only 3x in the last 20ish years, ambulance came quickly each time!). I had a bunch of other allergies when I was younger, but I've outgrown a lot of them or they've become less severe (I feel like my tongue is swollen about 50% of my life, but it's not a big deal). I think it would be much harder to be in your boat since I don't really know what I'm missing. Nuts don't really smell, and seafood doesn't smell good to me, so it's easy to live without them (no real alternative anyway), but to know that you like something like shrimp, and then need to stop, yow, that's tough! Maybe since your reaction is in the middle of the scale, something like Benadryl can help? And hey, if they get worse and you have to carry an epipen, I bet you can get a killer deal with your job!

  5. Oh no! I had an allergy test when I was little and it said I was allergic to which my mom said, "Well, she ate it two weeks ago and was fine." I still eat it without any problems.

    Hope the rash has gotten better.....and that maybe it's not from the shrimp! Are you seeing an allergist or just avoiding shellfish or now?

  6. Oh no! Are you sure that is what it is? That would be horrible because shellfish are so good.

  7. Oh no! You can't be allergic to shellfish, you live in Louisiana!!

    I don't know when I developed it, but I learned just a couple of years ago that I'm allergic to peanuts, hazelnuts, & walnuts. Thankfully, it's a cumulative kind of allergy, not the kind that results in going to the emergency room if I eat something that accidentally touched a peanut.