Conundrum

I’ve been having severe allergic reactions lately which start late at night with my ear lobes swelling, becoming red, hot and itchy, then when I wake in the morning my eyes have swollen up so much I can’t see. My cheeks and throat also swell up sometimes. It’s quite annoying. It takes three days of strong antihistamines or a large dosage of steroids to get the swelling down. Every time this reaction occurs my throat swells up more and more, and I am becoming concerned that my throat will close up. My allergist is perplexed. The first reaction happened after my annual flu needle, so he thought it was the cause, but since then I have had more of these allergic reactions and they are not connected to anything I am allergic to. He thinks the reactions have something to do with my immunity, that the illness I have been through has servery affected the way my body reacts to things (such as; drugs, foods and environmental factors, viruses, etc) and has caused my current allergies (dust mite, pollen, corn, grasses, bottlebrush) to be more virulent.

He wishes to treat me with strong prescription antihistamines. The catch is they all contain lactose and since I’m servery lactose intolerant, I cannot take them. It really aggravates me. Drug companies use lactose as a filler, binder and coating and they use it because it’s cheap. Of course they could use different binders, fillers and coaters (as some lovely drug companies already do), alas, that would be too expensive and they want to make money, not save lives and help people! Don’t be silly… Lives… Does a life let you swim in a pool full of money (or pudding if you swing that way) or let you obtain that fast car so you can finally pick up ladies? Certainly not!

So what now?

We have decided to treat me with an Immunotherapy called Hyposensitization. This is not new to me. I have previously had this treatment as a child for about 9 years – which is a shockingly long time for even those in the medical profession – my first RAST and skin prick test were off the charts and I was allergic to so many allergens (wheat, pollen, grass, dust mite, you name it, we didn’t play well together) that I needed years of treatment before I saw any change, but it was worth it. I can now eat wheat without my throat closing up, which is a very handy thing indeed. Hyposensitization treatment consists of you having weekly injections of allergen extracts for a period (usually 11 weeks) and re-testing to see if it has made and impact after treatment. In the meantime, whenever I have a reaction I take a large dosage of steroids and/or antihistamines to keep my throat from closing up and take down the swelling. The treatment will start next week, as I am currently not well with a virus that has been going around, I hope that it alleviates the reactions.

15 Comments on “Conundrum

  1. As an American medical student, I’ve always found your posts on your health problems to be very interesting. I don’t know much about the health care system in Australia but if it’s anything like the one in America, which it does sound like it resembles, then it’s terrible. I think the underlying problem is that many health care systems apply economic laws like supply and demand etc., but what we’re dealing with is LIVES, not a temporary shortage in corn. But about your allergy problem, I think you’re making the right choice. Short-term medications like steriods and antihistamines will only treat your symptoms, and bad allergies are a horrible thing to have to live with. I admire your choice to try the long term solution, and months from now I’m sure you’ll be thanking yourself. Anyway best of luck with your health, and keep us updated!

  2. Sorry to hear, Kitta. I would not like to go through all these treatments you have to. Take care of yourself. Good luck!

  3. I was diagnosed with Urticaria a few weeks back and have been suffering for 5 weeks now. I heard that homeopathic medicines worked better than antihistamines and steroids (i’ve currently been taking both). It really sucks, and like you am on alert in case I go in to anaphylaxsis shock. I hope you find the best course of treatment and get well soon. x

  4. Well, I know we didn’t always see eye to eye in the past. I wish the best for you and hope all your problems be taken care of.

    I know I had my throat close up on me eating Lobster( all the things why Lobster!! my luck!!) and noise eyes and skin itches too I know how it is. take care and I am sure they will find away to help you

    Dan

    Maine USA

  5. wow…u might end up being the ‘girl’ in a bubble. I wish u well on your quest to defeat those pesky microbes!

  6. Swimming in pudding? I *do* swing that way! 😀

    Sorry to hear you’re having such a rough time. Where’s doctor House when you need him?

  7. I’m sorry to hear all this. As you know, I’ve dealt with my share of allegy problems and still do.

    I hope your health imrpoves as soon as possible!

  8. wow! all of your helth issues aside, YOU HAVE A DUDE! grrr. good for you and matt. i’m a frequent admirer who rarely reads the blog, but today i did and i was shocked (don’t know why) to find that you are semi serious about a guy. good for you. i still think you are one of the most beautiful girls on the internet and i can’t wait for your pictoral updates. now that it’s summer here (in alabama) you are entering your fall/winter season soon. the bikini pics ROCK! keep ’em coming. good luck to you and matthew.

  9. I have severe asthma attacks, to find out what was causing them I suffered the RAST at the age of 5, where I was then told I can’t have a dog a cat or anything else with hair for the rest of my life because it can hospitalize me and even kill me.
    I know exactly the type of suffering you’re going through and just how unfair it feels that there is nothing out on the market that you can take or that is effective.

    My immune system has always been knackered, so after talking to a friend of mine I started taking:

    Alfalfa Capsules (1 a day)
    Echinacea Capsules (2 a day)
    Blue Green Algae (2 a day) (not bloody cheap either!)

    Now I don’t know if it is one of these things or all of them together, what I do know is that even though I live in Nottingham England and our summers are crap, but there’s still usually enough pollen around to make me never want to go outside again.

    This summer that stopped I have not had a single sneezing fit and my asthma and general immune system has been a lot better, so maybe give it a try, failing that optrex is a bloody god send!

    Keep your chin up and love the site by the way

  10. I know the allergy/sensitivies bit very well as it figured prominently in my life. I always reacted to so many things. In my early teens we finally were able to see an allergist/internist who put me on similar routines of shots. I actually got shots, running through a whole bunch of series, over a ten or eleven year period into my 20’s. It definitely moderated things for me. I don’t need antihistimines and decongestents as often as I did in my youth. I still have to be careful with animals though.

    Yeah, when they would test me on my back with all the pricks with allergens, I was off the effing chart and shocked the allergist. I never really had my throat close up much but everything else occurred. I still keep an inhaler for the random asthma.

    I had plenty of food allergies too through my teenage years but luckily seemed to grow out of those for the most part. Gluten, milk, chocolate, eggs… I got to college and figured out they had mostly subsided and BAM I was able to put on 30 good pounds in a few months.

    I wish you luck with the shots and hope they help you out.

  11. I am not sure I understand how this works. I was goggling antihistimines without lactose. My son is very allergic to the protein in milk and needs an antihistimine without lactose. I read all the answers to your question, but did not see the answer to

    Is there an antihistimine without lactose or milk or is there a susggestion as to where we could go to find that information?

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