ALLERGY STORIES: Methylisothiazolinone--whaaaat???

I am relatively new to this world. But I guess it's been a long time coming. I developed adult asthma - god knows when - probably somewhere in my late 20's, and then after my daughter was diagnosed with celiac several years ago, it turned out that I had it too. Initially I went along with the diet to keep her company and because my TTG levels were very elevated, but I hadn't gone for the gold standard endoscopy. So after several years of eating gluten-free, and receiving many conflicting messages from friends and Drs as to how to eat, I finally decided to see a gastro Dr for myself who encouraged me to have the edoscopy, which as you all know requires eating gluten for three months. At first I felt fine, but by the end I felt as though I was literally being poisoned. My skin was sallow, and I looked about 10 years older. Meanwhile, over the last several years, I developed allergies consistent with having asthma - to ibuprofin, and various random things. It was always a horrible full body hives reaction, beginning in my scalp. Most recently, however, I experienced the worst reaction yet - a terrible swelling in my eyelids, to which I have not yet determined the cause. I have been to my allergist, who tested me for all kinds of topical possibilities, but I am convinced that it may be something I ingested. Particularly as I have been using Cerave products since the first episode occurred after a trip to Nashville in mid April, and a new episode occurred last night.


I eat a very healthy diet - mostly vegetarian, but not strictly. Last night we had food from a Chinese restaurant and I had vegetable soup with tofu. So now I am wondering if it is something in the broth - perhaps meat based, or the tofu?? The only food my Dr tested me for was beef - which I never eat, but may have inadvertently had in some nachos while on vacation in Nashville when the first and worst episode occurred (don't ask - but the most fun I have had in decades!) Apparently this beef allergy is the new darling of allergists... The test results have not come back yet.

My patch test proved positive for three things: Methylisothiazolinone, Propylene Glycol, and Mixed dialkyl thiourea. Some mouthful, huh???

Needless to say, this latest development is what led me to your website. I have never been so frustrated in my life! How is one supposed to go through EVERY product, particularly when there seem to be about a thousand names for each one of these chemicals, each more unpronounceable than the last? Equally, I simply want to find good products that work, without spending an arm and a leg.

Sorry, but it's Mother's day and my eyes are swollen, and I am not a happy camper...

But lastly, and most importantly, I would like to thank you for creating this website and conversation, and allowing me to vent

First of all, I'm sorry your Mother's Day had to be like that. That sucks. Second of all, wow I have no idea how to pronounce those other chemicals you're allergic to. That's a mouthful indeed. The hardest part of developing allergies is finding your new routine. I got my diagnosis 4 years ago and I'm still having a hard time dealing with certain parts of it. HOWEVER. I look back at 2010 and am so grateful for all of the different solutions I've come up with to get around my allergies whether it's a specific product or a nifty idea that helps me from touching doorknobs (due to my severe nickel allergy).

The cold hard truth is that it takes time. I spent a lot of time at home trying to adjust to that first before I really started going back on regular vacations and other types of situations where I'd have to do a lot of planning beforehand. In the meantime, make sure to take "you" days and try to stay tough. It's just a matter of time!



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