Adult onset food allergies?

Started by Irene, August 07, 2015, 09:16:07 AM

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Has anyone developed a food allergy in middle age?  This is rather ironic but after my son passed food challenges for tree nuts, I started eating tree nuts again and discovered that eating pistachios now make my throat sore and itchy.  It happened three times consecutively.  Of course I've stopped eating pistachios and have scheduled an appointment with an allergist. 
Just curious if something similar has happened to anyone else?  If my child has food allergies, am I genetically predisposed to developing it too?  Never thought of it going the other direction before!


Yep!  When I was 39 and my PA son was 8 I developed allergies to sesame and shellfish. I think I actually had an issue with peanuts, too, at lest for a while, based on reactions I had in work situations. 
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts


Yep.  I had no allergies at all until a few months ago (I'm 34) after I had my daughter.  I went into anaphylactic shock during dinner one night with my two small kids and was absolutely terrified.  Now I have an epi pen and am SO food paranoid.  Apparently, shrimp is the biggest culprit, but I am allergic to other shellfish as well.

I feel your pain!
I think I've been lost here before...


Yes. See my post in introductions. I just found out I'm allergic to milk, wheat and egg whites. I also don't tolerate soy and almonds.

I need some help. I'm a weight watcher keeping off 133 lbs for 8 years now. I have to eat carefully.

So I'm very limited. And bored. I need some variety. Right now I'm eating

Lean meats
Fruit but only 2 servings a day
Deli turkey
Sunflower seed butter
Corn thins, like rice cakes only very thin. 1 point for two on weight watchers.
Soups. Well broth and veggies and chicken.
Some safe recipes from


I should add almost no bothersome symptoms except gas and miserable sinuses. My head is always underwater. We are addressing that mostly. I'm going for sublingual allergy therapy. I can't do shots. I take beta blockers. I've got epi pens.


Peg!  :bye:  It's great to see you, but I'm sorry there is a need for you to be here for yourself.

I don't know how to help--just wanted to say hi!
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts


McC I think about you a lot. Especially your son. How is he? 


I am 54 and, until last year, I had no noticeable food allergies. Then, one day after eating at a pizza buffet, I had a bad reaction. My hands and feet started itching and turning red, then I started itching and turning red all over and started swelling. I had never such reaction before and it was scary. I took a few Benadryl and that calmed things down after a few minutes. I thought maybe it was something on their salad like a sulfite preservative. But, it had never been a problem when I ate there before. Then, I ate at a different pizza place and it happened again.

So, I quit eating salads at buffets and didn't have a problem for a while until I ate at a buffet last week. I didn't even eat salad, just some pizza and a piece of a sub and little mac and cheese. Then , it start happening again, my feet and hands started itching and turning bright red. I grabbed some Benadryl I had in the car right away and got it under control. After nearly having to go to the ER the first time, I keep it in the car and jump as soon as I notice anything.

I'm at loss to understand what is going on. Now, I can't eat at that restaurant at all. Yet, I can eat pizza from other places and frozen pizza without a problem. Someone suggested they may make their pizza with holy water and I'm to far the other way. lol


I'm sorry you've experienced these reactions - I know how frightening they can be!

It's hard to narrow down what you might be reacting to without knowing exactly what you ate or any other factors that might be unique to the times you had the reactions.

FWIW, Benadryl is for comfort only and should not be used to treat a serious allergic reaction.  It will not stop nor prevent anapylaxis just as Tylenol may reduce your fever but won't actually help whatever is causing your fever in the first place.  I would suggest talking to your doctor about the reactions and possibly getting a script for rescue meds (EpiPen, etc.) and a plan when to use it.  Here's a link to the plain English version of an anaphylaxis grading chart .  (The page has been slow to load for me lately, but I can usually get it with a few tries.)  This can help you determine the severity of your reactions.  A very basic rule-of-thumb would be if two or more body systems are involved it constitutes an emergency.

ETA:  Here's the same chart I linked to above, but in clinical terms (scroll down to Table 2)
DS - peanut, tree nut, milk, eggs, corn, soy, several meds, many environmentals. Finally back on Xolair!
DD - mystery anaphylaxis, shellfish.
DH - banana/avocado, aspirin.  Asthma.
Me - peanut, tree nut, shellfish, banana/avocado/latex,  some meds.


Hi Snerdguy!

This sounds terribly frustrating and confusing for you!

I second Rebekahc's recommendation to see an allergist - try to find a board certified allergist who is knowledgeable about food allergies (many aren't).  If you give us a general idea of where you live (US or Canada, northeast, south, etc.) we may be able to recommend some resources for you.

And yes, you should be carrying an Epipen for the reasons Rebekahc gave. 

Good luck, and keep us posted!
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby


You need a good allergist to help you figure out what is causing this.  It isn't that it was a buffet or pizza.  it is a particular food or less likely, foods to which you have become allergic.  Once you know what that is, you can more easily avoid it. 

I third the recommendation for epi pens asap. The reactions you describe are very serious and I would epi pen my son if he had them.  They are systemic, not localized and we epi pen systemic reactions. 

Most adult onset food allergies are to peanuts, nuts, or seafood/shellfish but can be to anything. 


I am 34 and just got diagnosed with several food and other allergies. In my reading, adult onset is not as common as childhood onset but does happen. It's been awhile since this thread started, hope everyone is managing well!  :thumbsup:
Just to name a few: Apple, String Beans, Beef, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cashews, Coffee mix, Egg white, Egg yolk, Shrimp


Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts


I am new at this whole thing so please be patient with me.  My 36 year old son has suddenly developed severe allergies to so many foods and the outside environment, trees, plants, etc.  He has to avoid foods that have wheat, corn, soy, rice, nuts and many more.  He is very discouraged and needs help with recipes and information on how to cope with everything he is going through.  Could someone please help him in any way you can?  He is discouraged so he has asked me to help him gather information.
Thanks so much!!


Welcome!  Regardless of age, allergies are hard and are discouraging, especially at first.  Many of us here have been avoiding foods, adapting recipes, finding new resources and educating each other for many years.  We have lots of experiences to share.  Have him join us, wander through some of our history and then jump in with questions, comments, concerns, etc...

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