Share your story

Food & allergies

My Random Allergy - Poppy Seeds and Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis

I've had hayfever since the age of 7 and at the age of around 23, I suddenly developed an allergy to horses. They are standard and very common as far as allergies go, and both are pretty easy to deal with.

If I can't avoid freshly cut grass or being around horses (surprisingly difficult as my sister has a horse, that I would often look after whilst she went on holiday), I am able to medicate myself with antihistamines and I can limit the severity of my symptoms by using eye drops, wearing sun glasses and not rubbing my eyes.

So far, so humdrum. The same can't be said for the rather odd allergy I was diagnosed with a few years ago at the age of 34. Being a bit of a gym bunny as well as a snowboarder, I was visiting the gym several times a week and was generally fit, active and well. 

Read the rest of Shell's story here..


Shell, UK

Son hyper on some foods

Hi. Our seven year old son is hyper on various foods. We think we may know a few such as red colours, apple juice, possibly eggs. I feel bad about denying foods that his younger brother has no reaction to and we all avoid foods he can't have so we don't make it worse for him.

David, Great Yarmouth, UK

My eczema is due to food intolerance!

I have had very mild eczema since I was a child, usually only in summer. Since the age of about 18 it has got progressively worse. Not just the horrid itchy rash that we all know so well, but extreme sensitivity - no make-up or perfume, no nice lacy underwear, non-scented deodorant etc. etc. I am sure everyone here can sympathize, and many of you will be worse than me. This summer my eczema reached the worst ever, with a solid rash from the back of my thighs to my bra line, and my entire stomach, places that while not visible, are extremely bad to itch in public. I finally bit the bullet and went for allergy testing! I found I am allergic to wheat, dairy, corn, vinegar, lima beans, green beans, and cucumber. Changing my diet drastically had an immediate effect, and within a few days, my eczema was bearable, and in a couple of weeks it was almost totally gone. One thing that my doctor described to me was to think of my allergies as a 'box of irritants'. My body can only handle so much, before the familiar rash arrives. I have now started to gradually reintroduce my 'bad' foods, so I can find the level that allows me a kind of normal diet/life, alongside an itch free back. I recommend everyone with this problem to check out allergies, from what I can figure out, dairy and wheat intolerance is EXTREMELY common in eczema sufferers. My grandmother has put up with it all her life, but after seeing my recovery, she tried cutting out wheat only, and noticed an immediate improvement. It's a matter of finding the balance. I also found a great cream called renew from Mallalluca which seemed to help at the worst times.

Lori, Nelson, New Zealand

Eating out with allergies

This week is the first time in about a fortnight that I’ve begun to feel normal again. Why? you ask? Have you been ill? Well, yes I have been ill, but the reason for the poor health, sleepless nights and pain is due mainly to two eating establishments, who shall remain nameless, who made me ill.

They are both places I have been before and have had good meals, ie. I have not been ill afterwards. I’m really not that fussy – if you don’t poison me I’d return. So this has been a lesson for me, a hard lesson, on how to analyse situations.

The first one, two weeks ago, was in a local pub. Food was being returned left right and centre. The chef was having a bad night. The waitress was doing a grand job trying to cope, so when I ordered with my strict instructions and questions, I did have a moments worry. However I was assured that they could do me some chicken with just honey and mustard, nothing else, with chips and peas. “Are you sure?” I asked? I never want to be a pain. I can have the steak if that’s easier – but I’m wary of their steak since it arrives on a wooden board – never a good idea with meat or allergens I feel.

All seemed well until the welts arrived in the night, the hives, the blotches, the itching. I find it so hard to ever complain, because I never keel over in a restaurant if it’s just a trace, and how do I prove it was that place that made me ill? What else had I come into contact with? I can react to dust and latex, so perhaps it was that. Oh well. We move on. It was a mild reaction and I can cope with that. I’ve had worse.

Ruth, UK