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Weird combination allergy-wanting answers

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afcbird1:
I've had a bizarre allergy to a combination of foods since I was a child. We somehow narrowed it down to if I eat chocolate and paprika (spice) within the same day, I have a moderately severe reaction. I have ended up in the hospital several times due to this reaction, and I want to know: 1) Is this even possible/real? 2) Is there a way to get rid of it, other than just avoiding one or both foods?

I know right away when I'm having a reaction. Something just feels wrong. Then I start itching. After a few minutes I get severe stomach cramps and vomiting (one ER doc said this is due to internal hives?) If untreated with antihistamines, I get external hives as well and vomit and have diarrhea until I'm so dehydrated I have to be taken to the emergency room. I've never gone into anaphylaxis, thank goodness, and I don't react at all when I have the foods separately.

The problem is, this reaction is happening all the time, and I'm sick of it!! The other day I ate some cake my brother brought home, unaware it was made with cocoa. That night we went out for Mexican food and I ordered the rojo salsa with my enchiladas. I was sick for several days! Please advise.

Thank you,
Annie

rebekahc:
Iíve never heard of food combination allergies, but I have heard of other combination allergies such as wheat and exercise. My daughter used to react to spandex and blue dye combined - so blue tights or stretchy blue jeans. But thatís the extent of my knowledge Iím afraid.

However, the reactions you describe are most definitely anaphylaxis and you really should see a allergist for further advice and GET AN EPI PEN. Attached below is an anaphylaxis grading chart so you can see where your reactions fall the GI symptoms you describe put you at at least grade III anaphylaxis).

I hope you are able to get advice from an allergist soon, but until then I would suggest being very careful of what youíre eating and consider keeping a journal of what you eat and symptoms. It may be that youíre having mild symptoms to several things and the combination is just too much for you to handle.

GoingNuts:
Hi afcbird - I agree with Rebekah. You most definitely are experiencing anaphylaxis (a lot of people think that as long as they can breathe, itís not anaphylaxis) and need an Epipen pronto.

I also agree with maki g an appointment with a board certified allergist, preferably one with food allergy experience. And keeping a food diary is a good idea too.

As far as combination allergies is concerned, the only thing that Iíve heard of is alcohol exacerbating reactions.

Good luck - let us know what happens!

afcbird1:
Wow, I didn't realize anaphylaxis had different levels. Thank you for the info! I have seen an allergist in the past and had blood tests done, but it hasn't been all too helpful. So far as they are concerned, I have no allergies because there's no way to test for a combination of foods. All tests come back negative for allergies. I will be making an appointment again as soon as possible with an allergist to see if anything has changed and to obtain an epi pen. We do have them (epi pens) in the house, since my brothers have severe nut allergies, but I see the value in carrying my own. I'll try to keep a food log, as well.
Thank you again,
Annie

GoingNuts:
Aaah, family history of food allergies. The plot thickens.  ;)

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