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Allergic Asthma

My doctor just had me do allergy testing. He tested 57 allergens and I am allergic to 52 of them mostly in the mid to high range. I am allergic to most prescription medications and I have autoimmune diseases. After having my testing, my whole body is flared up and my asthma symptoms are worse. Things that I knew I had issues with before but were pretty mild are now more reactive. Will this subside or has my body been forever been thrown into a higher level of reaction to all my allergies and asthma triggers? My immune system was already over reactive with my autoimmune diseases. My doctor wants to start me on allergy shots to try to help control my symptoms, but I have several anaphylactic allergies and am concerned I may have a very severe reaction to them because of the severe reaction to the allergy test. Any ideas or experience? 

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  • Shea

    L.D. I am sorry to hear about your worsening symptoms. I have a chronic allergic disease called Churg-Strauss Syndrome and I too had bad reactions after allergy testing (my allergies set off asthma, vasculitis, and inflammation all over, and then I have food allergies as well that are anaphlactic). My doctor told me I was not a good candidate for allergy shots of the type that they put small amounts of allergens into me to build up tolerence. Instead he wanted to try monthly injected biologic medications like Xolair and Nucala to help lower my eosinophils (allergic blood cells that produce inflammation) which for my disease are very problematic. The nucala did help lower my eosinophils but I had to stop after a year because I was dependent on a charity funding to help me pay for it and it ran out. I do deal with allergic asthma as part of my disease and have it controlled by inhalers and maintenence prednisone right now. Mine is life long, with no cure, and I am highly reactive to certain things. 

    You could get a second opinion on whether you are a good candidate for allergy shots and tell them about what a bad reaction you had to testing? I dont know a lot about them but I do know they are supposed to use such a low amount of allergen as to not cause any adverse reaction in your body to start– so maybe you can talk to your current doctor about your concerns of them and of all risks — and then benefits as well and also maybe a third option of getting things more under control first before starting? 

  • K8sMom2002

    Welcome, L.D.! 

    Our docs have told us that after an allergic reaction, my DD's immune system is hair-trigger for a bit, and will react to things exactly like you describe — no problems before.

    It took a while for her immune system to settle down, but it did. What meds does your doc have you on?

    Our DD is not a candidate for allergy shots after she had a massive anaphylactic reaction … two different allergists have advised us not to do allergy shots. So I think Shea's advice about getting a second opinion is a good one.

    In the meantime, how can we help you brainstorm ways to avoid possible triggers? What allergens did you test positive to?

    We're here for you!

  • L.D.

    Okay that is good information. Well it would be easier to say what I am not allergic to. I live in Texas currently and the only things I am not allergic to are Bermuda grass, sycamore trees, peanuts,  and one certain kind of cedar tree. I am allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, shell fish, and beef. Also to animals, molds, insects(highly to fire ants), dust, weeds, and prescription drugs. When our son graduates in 2 more years we are moving to a more allergy friendly place for me. I am originally from California and I apparently shouldn't have left, lol. I am on singulair, symbicort, spiriva, and albuterol for my asthma. I have to run a humidifier at night to get any sleep but still wake up with attacks in my sleep. Thank you for the advice.

  • Melissa G

    Welcome to AAFA, L.D.! 

    You certainly have been through a lot! What kind of things have you done in your home to have prevent allergies…   or 

  • Bloop

    I have asthma due to allergies to dust and mold. What is the best medicine for this? Inhalers are expensive, don't seem to work and seem to just relieve the asthma which is the allergic reaction.  Wouldn't it make more sense to treat the allergy and then the asthma doesn't happen? Anyway, claritin, zyrtec ect… don't really work either.  Has anybody found relief for dust and mold when anything? I cough year round

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, and welcome, Bloop! What kind of inhalers have you been prescribed?

    Avoiding triggers is always an important part of managing asthma or allergies. Allergies to dust mites and mold can cause year round reactions. 

    Could you monitor and ? Both dust mites and mold need a certain humidity to thrive. Keeping your home's humidity around 35-40% can help. 

    Could you install  and also use  to help block dust mites' access to your skin? Some dry, high elevation places have low concentrations of dust mites (places like Colorado); but everywhere in the US has dust mites. 

  • K8sMom2002
    L.D. posted:

    Okay that is good information. Well it would be easier to say what I am not allergic to. I live in Texas currently and the only things I am not allergic to are Bermuda grass, sycamore trees, peanuts,  and one certain kind of cedar tree. I am allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, shell fish, and beef. Also to animals, molds, insects(highly to fire ants), dust, weeds, and prescription drugs. When our son graduates in 2 more years we are moving to a more allergy friendly place for me. I am originally from California and I apparently shouldn't have left, lol. I am on singulair, symbicort, spiriva, and albuterol for my asthma. I have to run a humidifier at night to get any sleep but still wake up with attacks in my sleep. Thank you for the advice.

    L.D., you sound like my DD … allergic to practically anything with a leaf or a blade! 

    As for the food allergies … have you had allergic reactions to eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, nuts, fish and shellfish and beef? I ask because food allergy tests have a high rate of false positives, and that's a lot of food to have to avoid. Here's a great resource that helped me when my daughter tested positive for many, many foods that she had been eating with no apparent problem: 

    Also … depending on the setting for your humidifier, it may be worsening your problem with dust mites. Dust mites and mold both need humidity to survive and thrive, so a drier house can be a more allergy-friendly house. Since you're struggling with sleeping, why not start in your bedroom to make sure your indoor air quality is good? Here's AAFA's blog on how .

  • L.D.

    K8SMOm2002, I do have reactions to those foods, wheat causes me migraines and the rest of them cause me severe problems with my digestive system. My daughter was recently hospitalized due to accidently in ingesting dairy and her daughter had to be put on allergy formula(she is 2 months old). I have passed this on to my kids and grandkids. I have no idea about family history to help my doctors. My mother's family has none of this except the animal allergies and I have no idea who my father even is (working on that with DNA testing though). Been sick most of my life and just now finding out why. I believe most doctors rely too much on family history of disease and illness, and not enough of the symptoms of the patient. We live in an old house with my issues I can not get rid of due to it being a rent house. We have done everything we can to "clean up" or "fix" the allergens indoors. We just added the humidifier within the last month due to having to turn on the heater (it's gas and drys out the air inside) usually I do better in drier air and have a hard time going outside in the humid Texas air. My husband just retired from the military and wanted to move back home for a year or so to reconnect with family. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs on the reactions and the issues you have with those foods!  Symptoms are incredibly important in helping doctors figure out allergies. 

    I'm not sure if you are familiar with it already, but Kids With Food Allergies, AAFA's food allergy division, has a wonderful recipe collection, the , with the largest collection of allergy-friendly recipes online. You can search for safe foods free of the top 8 allergens.

    I hear you on humid air making things worse. Humidity and sudden changes in air pressure can really trigger my asthma.

  • Bloop
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Hi, and welcome, Bloop! What kind of inhalers have you been prescribed?

    Avoiding triggers is always an important part of managing asthma or allergies. Allergies to dust mites and mold can cause year round reactions. 

    Could you monitor and ? Both dust mites and mold need a certain humidity to thrive. Keeping your home's humidity around 35-40% can help. 

    Could you install  and also use  to help block dust mites' access to your skin? Some dry, high elevation places have low concentrations of dust mites (places like Colorado); but everywhere in the US has dust mites. 

    Not really…my home is ok. It's at work and outdoors (as soon as I leave my house I cough to the point of gagging until about 3 minutes into the ride). Then I'm good for the hour drive. As soon as I get in the office start coughing again.

  • K8sMom2002

    That is so frustrating for you, Bloop! Is your office set-up suitable for adding in a small air purifier in your work space? Can you wear a mask for the commute? I know @Brenda Silvia-Torma has had really good luck with wearing a mask on days that the air quality is not the best.

  • Melissa G

    @L.D. How are you doing? How are your daughter and granddaughter? 

    @Bloop Have you looked at purchasing a mask to help you while you are outside? 

  • Dar007

    Hi L.D!  Welcome to the boards. I was reading what you are allergic too, and it is pretty much the same as me. Right now I am having trouble because I am allergic to all trees and grasses. Spring is hard. I also have autoimmune problems (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and up until recently arthritis but just been diagnosed with Lupus.) 🙄 So annoying. Because of my job, and the cold this winter, I have been having trouble with pneumonia since November. Pretty tired of it all. Just wanted to say welcome and that the people here are SO amazing. They are a huge help when you need information. I bought myself a humidifier for my bedroom because of the info I was given here and I have never slept better! Most nights I can sleep right through! It is amazing. Makes a huge difference. 😊

  • Melissa G

    Dar, so sorry to hear that you are struggling so much! What are you doing to treat your allergy symptoms?