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Author Topic: Terrified of Food Allergy Reaction / anaphylaxsis  (Read 144 times)

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Offline Sotired414

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Terrified of Food Allergy Reaction / anaphylaxsis
« on: January 21, 2014, 04:08:21 PM »
Hi everyone,
This is my first ever post.  I've been meaning to post before but i've just been going through everything alone instead.  Today, though, I feel like I can't take it anymore.  I'm so terrified of having a severe allergic reaction to something.  I've had panic and anxiety all my life.  All of my panic attacks are about hypochondriac fears that resonate in my own mind.  I'm hyper aware of my body.  A week ago I was afraid of an ovarian cyst.  Before that I was afraid of diverticulitus, bowel perforations, etc...this is an ongoing battle...

I am currently not on ANY medications (aside from ativan as needed) because my husband and I want to have children within the next two years.  I can't go back on them because it took me SO MUCH to get off of all of them...and because I can't be on them anyway when it's time to be pregnant...

The new subject of my panic started yesterday evening and went into today.  I'm now terrified of having a severe food allergy.

I've always been able to eat whatever I want - never had a severe allergic to anything other than penicillin.  Starting over this past weekend i've noticed that sometimes, not every time, but sometimes when I eat a carb (pasta, crackers, etc) I sneeze.  That's the ONLY symptom...just sneezing.  And, when it does happen, it's like...ONE sneeze...

From talking to people about it i've noticed that everyone has this problem sometimes!  It was reassuring but today i'm wrestling with crippling panic attacks, one after the other.  I ate crackers with lunch (around 11:30) and I sneezed after....bear in mind that I also have some dust / indoor allergies and I work in an office where the windows never open.  BUT, nevertheless, i convinced myself that it was a horrible allergic reaction. 

After the sneeze I was hopeless - the panic took over completely and, despite trying to tell myself that it's okay, I spiraled out of control and had to leave my office three times to go to the bathroom to do some breathing exercises and calm down.  I felt like I had a lump in the back of my throat and it wouldn't go away.  I couldn't remember if the lump had been there before or what...and then I kept thinking "okay, what did I eat yesterday?  Noodles - no reaction, okay, did they have gluten in them?  What about the day before?  I went to a football party and ate bread stuff there and chips and I was fine - I was fine because I wasn't thinking about it - that means that it's a PANIC attack - okay, calm down, you're fine - " etc...

The problem with my spirals though, is that there's a very irrational horrible part of me that always chimes in while i'm trying to reassure myself...this little voice goes "yeah, but WHAT IF...WHAT IF you JUST developed a crippling allergy and you're going to DIE...and the lump in your throat is your throat CLOSING...and WHAT IF...etc..."

I took a benadryl and called my mom.  She's a nurse and is usually one of the only people who can talk me down...I started feeling better and started calming down...i was even able to stay in my office and keep going work for a bit before the shift was over...

Now i'm home...and the panic is starting up again...I haven't eaten anything since the crackers at lunch but, for some reason, I feel the lump again...I feel like my throat is closing and i'm absolutely terrified...

Like, any minute, my throat will close and i'll be stuck here, not able to breathe..

I'm fixating on how my throat feels and i KNOW that in doing that i'm making it worse...I can breathe...i can talk...I can take a deep breathe...i'm okay...

But i'm not...i'm an f'ing mess.  I'm ashamed of this feeling and I feel stupid and useless and hopeless and I NEEDED to reach out to see if there is ANYONE else in the WORLD who has this problem because I feel so alone.

We're supposed to have grilled cheese tonight and i'm so scared of eating the bread...puttting that down on paper makes it look so stupid...here's a 26 year old girl, no prior allergies, nothing wrong, perfect health (for the most part) who is LEGIT afraid of SUDDENLY having her throat close up because she, over the course of a week or so, developed terrifying food allergies to gluten or wheat or whatever that were NOT there before...

This is crazy...I feel crazy...

I hope that someone out there can give me some reassurance.
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Offline Leo99

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Re: Terrified of Food Allergy Reaction / anaphylaxsis
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 05:14:38 PM »
I am not fan of reassurance seeking and/or giving as I believe it does not work in the long run. However, I can share my experience. And that is: I have fear of anaphylaxis due to food, med or sting allergies. Not at all times, though. My anxiety and depression come in episodes and when I'm in one of them, I tend to avoid new foods, all meds, foods that are more likely to cause allergies (I so know the scenes of fleeing to bathroom lol). When I'm ok, however, I just shrug these thoughts off.
In my opinion it is, as with all anxiety, fear of losing control and/or fear of dying. The two of us chose anaphylaxis as the likely culprit.
I will now break my 'rule' and give you some reassurance: in 12 years of experience on the matter, I did not go crazy. Though I felt as such many times.

For me, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) was really beneficial. I am also on meds but due to other anxiety/depression symptoms.

I hope you find your way to recovery soon. Joining Anxiety Zone, place where people share experience and support each other, is a good start. So welcome!
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Offline venerye

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Re: Terrified of Food Allergy Reaction / anaphylaxsis
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 11:54:44 PM »
Reading your post is sort of like looking at a mirror of me a few years ago.  If you click on my name and look at some of the posts that I've started here in the forum, you'll see what I mean.

It was a long hard road to accepting that symptoms I was feeling (and sometimes even manifested into physical symptoms that I could see) were products of anxiety and not a reaction to something I ate.  Like the pp said, cognitive behavioral therapy was truly the most helpful thing for me.  I am able to eat normally today, I do not need anxiety meds any more, I'm ok not carrying an epi pen/benadryl with me everywhere (there was a time that I was not ok without them), but the old fear is not completely gone and I'm not sure it ever will be.  I always feel some anxiety when trying a new food, and especially a new medication.  Now I use the coping skills that I've learned to forge ahead and try the new thing, and every time I push through the fear I get a little better.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Terrified of Food Allergy Reaction / anaphylaxsis
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 05:42:29 AM »
So cut the refined carbs our of your diet and replace them with lean protein and "slow carbs" - healthier anyway.
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