Thursday, June 14, 2007

Food Allergy Attack

I suffered from a food allergy last night.

It was my first time experiencing this.

Last night around 11:30 pm I suddenly felt my chest tightened and had difficulty breathing. It followed with a series of deep coughs that only made my chest even more painful.

For a moment there, I thought I was going to get a heart attack.

Then, the chest pain and coughs subsided, but not entirely. I was still having an uncomfortable feeling, like my chest was still tight.

When I was about to hit the bed around 11:40pm, my body suddenly itched like crazy. I was scratching every part of my body frantically, wondering what happened.

Then it dawned to me that I may have an allergy reaction.

I heard of such condition, having read them on papers, but wasn't too sure of their symptoms. It was a wild guess anyway, but i went to see the doctor just to be sure. Thank goodness there's a 24-hour clinic near my house. The doctor confirmed it was a food allergy reaction, although not a severe one.

The culprit? Bird's nest soup.

No kidding. The last thing I took before the symptoms came up was drinking cold bird's nest soup.

The doctor explained that allergy reaction from bird's nest is common because it is a form of food protein. Apparently a food allergy is an immunologic response to a food protein. When I mentioned I drank bird's nest soup in the past and never had any problems, he replied that one cannot tell when the allergy reaction will occur, as it may come and go. So he prescribed me some medication that I'm supposed to take for the next few days.

I'm ok now, but I think I need to watch out for what I eat nowadays. Sigh......

FYI - Here are some facts to share about allergy reaction (extracted from WebMD)

What is a food allergy?

When you have a food allergy, your body thinks certain foods are trying to harm you. Your body fights back by setting off an allergic reaction. In most cases, the symptoms are mild - a rash, a stuffy nose, or an upset stomach. A mild reaction is no fun, but it is not dangerous. A serious reaction can be deadly. But quick treatment can stop a dangerous reaction.

Allergies tend to run in families. You are more likely to have a food allergy if other people in your family have allergies like hay fever, asthma, or eczema.

Food allergies can cause many different symptoms. They can range from mild to serious. If you eat a food you are allergic to:

  • Your mouth may tingle, and your lips may swell.
  • You may have cramps, an upset stomach, or diarrhea.
  • You may have itchy skin with red, raised bumps called hives
  • You may have a stuffy nose, wheeze, or be short of breath.
  • You may feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Some people have symptoms after eating even a tiny bit of a problem food. As a rule, the sooner the reaction begins, the worse it will be.

The most severe reaction is called anaphylaxis (say “ANN-uh-fuh-LAK-suss”). It affects your whole body. Anaphylaxis usually starts within an hour after you eat the food, and the symptoms can come back 1 to 2 hours later. If you have anaphylaxis:
  • Your throat and tongue may swell quickly.
  • You may suddenly start wheezing or have trouble breathing.
  • You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
  • You may feel faint or pass out.

Anaphylaxis can be deadly. If you have (or see someone having) any of these symptoms, call 999 right away.

What foods most often cause a food allergy?

A few foods cause most allergies. A food that causes an allergy is called a food allergen. Usually it is the protein in a food that causes the problem.

  • Eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, and fish cause most problems in children. Most kids outgrow allergies to milk, wheat, eggs, and soy by the time they are 5. But kids rarely outgrow an allergy to peanuts or fish.
  • Peanuts, tree nuts (like walnuts or almonds), fish, and shellfish cause most problems in adults.

If you are allergic to one food, you may also be allergic to other foods like it. So if you are allergic to peanuts, you may also be allergic to soybeans or peas.


The best treatment for food allergies is to avoid the food that causes the allergy. When that is not possible, you can use medications such as antihistamines for mild reactions and the medications in an allergy kit for serious reactions.

For more information, visit this link.


Mei-yee said...

wah you inflammatory response was quite scary.. not severe but not the mild kind either! no more bird's nest for you!

thankfully i'm not allergic to any food..but then allergies can develop all of a sudden with no explanation..

i know what i'm allergic to.. skin food's lip gloss..makes my lips swell and itch like crazy..

n i l e e y said...

hi Mei-Yee, more birds nest for me! have to be careful while eating seafood as well...just in case...

such a pity you can't wear Skin Food lip balm, I like their Diet Balm a lot!

mei-yee said...

yah the Diet lip balm! looks so nice and moisturising..but i can't use it! :(

yeah better don't eat..or go have a blood test/skin test to determine just exactly what u are allergic to..