A List of Allergies are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

"I think I shared on the old site, but here is my story in more detail.

In 2010 I developed rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition causing facial redness, itching, burning, and acne-like lesions; urticaria, which means hives; and several other skin conditions. Before this, my skin was great. Clear, acne-free, glowing, young-looking. My face became an ugly, red mess overnight. I was way beyond depressed. I was crushed. I went to six dermatologists and got nowhere. Then I found a seventh dermatologist who wanted to do patch testing on me to see if I had allergic contact dermatitis that was making the rosacea worse. It turned out I did have allergic contact dermatitis, and I was allergic to a bunch of chemicals and two metals. On that first test, I reacted to:

1)diazolidinyl urea, a formaldehyde-releasing preservative found in skincare and haircare products 2)methyldibromoglutaronitrile, another preservative also found in skincare and haircare products 3)bee propolis, a natural substance also called "hive dross" 4)nickel, just like The Allergista! 5)gold (sigh, I love gold jewelry)

I got a huge list of allergen-free products from the dermatologist, and I set about changing everything I used. In 2013 I got a phone app that updates the list of allergen-free products. Companies change their product formulas A LOT, which you know if you read The Allergista's post called "The Ingredient-Changing Game." I stock up on stuff I'm not allergic to. I buy five bottles of moisturizer at a time in case they change the formula. This disease has made me a hoarder.

Later that year I needed dental work, so I had ANOTHER patch test for dental materials. I was allergic to: 1) two compounds found in dental work such as crowns and composite fillings, methyl methacrylate and 4-tolyl diethanolamine. The fillings and crowns that contain these chemicals are still in my mouth. 2) cinnamic aldehyde, a fragrance ingredient found in mouthwash, gum, soap, toothpaste, and other products.

I had some root canals and a lot of cavities, so I had had a lot of dental work done in the past. But I go to a special dentist now, and his assistant researches materials to make sure they don't use anything I can't tolerate.

I also went to a regular allergist, and I found out I had food allergies (IgE) to milk, bananas, kiwis, and avocados. Another doctor found food sensitivities (IgG) to gluten, tomatoes, shrimp, garlic, grape, honey, peanuts, tomato, cantaloupe, basil and cashews.

I forgot to mention dust mites. Allergic to those too.

As if this was not enough, I also have hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, and a bunch of other conditions. It is really just an insane amount of stuff. I take a prescription antihistamine every day and a supplement containing histamine dioxidase, which is an enzyme that helps people tolerate histamine in foods. I also take another supplement called quercetin, which is a natural antihistamine. I do the best I can to avoid my allergens.

The Allergista has done a great service by providing a platform for all of us to talk about this stuff. Allergies really change your life. You have to become hypervigilant about everything. It's a huge pain. But I really think we can adjust to everything eventually. It just becomes the 'new normal.'"

Click here to check out this reader's blog aka Miss Diagnosis!

WOW. (and thank you for the compliment!) That is quite the looooong list of allergies. Chemicals are in everything... I know that chemical allergies are tough! Thank goodness for the doctors who figured out your allergies! I hope you can get those crowns and fillings out soon :-( Side-note: You developed your issues around the time year as me! And I know we have BOTH learned a lot by this point. Thanks for sharing your experiences!


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