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die in your sleep from peanut butter?
Old 09-22-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
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die in your sleep from peanut butter?

DH has had hayfever-type allergies since he was young (now mid-30's). When he was in college, he went to an allergist who did a skin-prick test with different allergens all over his back and the allergist said he's very allergic to peanut butter. So allergic that DH shouldn't eat peanut butter at night because his heart might stop while he's sleeping. This same allergist subsequently gave him shots for the hayfever that sent DH into anaphylactic shock, after which DH wrote him off as incompetent and refused to see him again.

DH grew up eating plenty of peanut butter and never noticed any problems from it. He continues to eat it without any problems. Is there any reason to think he could suddenly have a severe reaction like the allergist claimed?
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:51 AM   #2
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BTW, my understanding is that their is a small risk of a bad reaction to allergy desensitization shots, especially when you first start them. I know that when I have gone through the desensitization routine, I have to wait in the office for a while after the shot to help make sure things are fine.
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:55 AM   #3
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DH has had hayfever-type allergies since he was young (now mid-30's). When he was in college, he went to an allergist who did a skin-prick test with different allergens all over his back and the allergist said he's very allergic to peanut butter. So allergic that DH shouldn't eat peanut butter at night because his heart might stop while he's sleeping. This same allergist subsequently gave him shots for the hayfever that sent DH into anaphylactic shock, after which DH wrote him off as incompetent and refused to see him again.

DH grew up eating plenty of peanut butter and never noticed any problems from it. He continues to eat it without any problems. Is there any reason to think he could suddenly have a severe reaction like the allergist claimed?
Doubtful. If you re-post this in the health area, I think Rich in Tampa could respond.......
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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I moved the thread.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:54 PM   #5
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i had a creative writing teacher who'd eat peanut butter with a spoon in front of class. she put "a-clever" on most all my papers. i became known in school as a-clever. sorry, but that's all i got on peanut butter.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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DH grew up eating plenty of peanut butter and never noticed any problems from it. He continues to eat it without any problems. Is there any reason to think he could suddenly have a severe reaction like the allergist claimed?
Maybe.

Just some general information, not intended as advice (see my signature line):

The type of reaction in question (the very serious kind) is called anaphylaxis. It's not common but not so rare as to be negligible. Fatal reactions are most common in people in their 20s.

The pin-prick test will "pick up" about 90% true peanut allergies, so a negative result is reassuring, if not a total guarantee. A positive result leaves you with a greater chance of a future peanut reaction (about 1.8 times greater than the general population). If the reaction to the skin test (a "wheal" like a hive) is strong, the odds go up. Prior exposure in the absence of symptoms does not eliminate the risk of a future reaction.

The deal with nighttime versus day is simply that if it happens while awake, there is a greater chance to reverse the reaction with epinephrine injections. The allergest making the recommendation likely also advised that he carry an epi-pen for that purpose.

If I had a large wheal reaction to peanuts -- even in the absence of problems in the past -- I would avoid peanuts (or at least only eat them if my trusty epinephrine was at hand) and carry an epi-pen in any situation where I might inadvertently be exposed to peanuts in food or being cooked (vapors). Chances are high that it will never get used, but if you need it and don't have it, the outcome could be serious or fatal.

Fortunately, such reactions are not common in my practice, though I have seen a couple. One young guy had a reaction while in the act of eating the peanuts and in the ensuing commotion he aspirated the peanut and had to have it bronchoscopically removed right after we stabilized him.

Sounds like you might benefit from discussing this with your DH's doctors since every case is different, and generalities may not apply to him.

Hope that's helpful.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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Martha - thanks for the move.

Rich, thanks for the info. I will ask DH again what he remembers, but this was nearly 15 years ago and I think he hasn't discussed allergies with any docs since then. Maybe I'll suggest he ask about it again...
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:02 AM   #9
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I was seriously lectured by two doctors about the danger of any allergic or asthmatic symptoms and how I must take them seriously. Did not think too much of it until I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breath and had hubby rush me the 10 blocks to the hospital. If it had been any longer a drive, would have called 911.

Scary. If anyone suggested giving up peanut butter, it would be a small sacrifice.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:09 AM   #10
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My 2.5yo DD has severe allergy to peanuts. I'm usually terrified she will have some sort of reaction during the night, where I won't know and won't be able to help. We go to a peanut free day care, and don't keep anything with peanuts/tree nuts in the house.

Scary stuff...
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:11 AM   #11
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I was seriously lectured by two doctors about the danger of any allergic or asthmatic symptoms and how I must take them seriously. Did not think too much of it until I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breath and had hubby rush me the 10 blocks to the hospital. If it had been any longer a drive, would have called 911.

Scary. If anyone suggested giving up peanut butter, it would be a small sacrifice.
keep an epipen within arm's reach at all times.........
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:09 AM   #12
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Hmmm... I'm still having a hard time getting DH to take this seriously - he says his back "lit up like a Christmas tree" from a bunch of different things with the skin-prick test. So I guess he's thinking there are too many things he'd have to watch out for, plus he's not going back to get checked again because he's in the military and he's afraid they'd make a big deal about it and that would cause him problems somehow. And since he's never had any problems, despite the strong test results, he just doesn't believe he'll have a sudden severe reaction.

As a compromise, he agreed not to eat peanut butter at night. Can we also get an epi-pen? Do you need a prescription?
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