www.whyville.net Feb 7, 2010 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Allergy Alert!

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I sat at the table of my cousin's birthday, awaiting the ice cream cake. Finally, my family brought it onto the table and I couldn't wait to try some. We happily sang "Happy Birthday" and began to cut the cake. As I took a bite of the ice cream, I began to scoop up some of the white cake when my father asked, "Does this cake have any nuts?"

Questions began whistling throughout the table as I sat there nervous. My uncle spoke up. "I think so." My body went numb. My cousin and the other guests picked out more pieces. "Yeah! There's nuts in the cake!" I ran into the bathroom and spit it out as fast as I could. My family stared in disbelief, running around the kitchen looking for medicine. Questioning the spots I'd eaten and reading the labels on the cake.

Why such the big deal over a nut in cake?

I have a severe allergy to peanuts. If I eat even the smallest piece of peanut butter, I'll go into a anaphylaxis shock, where the brain is blocked from receiving any oxygen and without a special Epi Pen I could die within moments.

Some people receive itchy rashes, cramps, tingling or itching around the throat or mouth but other's like I, could die.

Are you asking the following questions? Why does your body do that!? How can you treat it? Can I check if I have this too?

I'm here to help you out with those questions.


Scientists have been working hard to figure out the causes of food reactions. There are many explanations for the reasoning behind the allergy but usually leading to the immune system. Your immune system protects your body against harmful bacteria, virus, problems etc, it has the help from antibodies. In a case where a person has an allergy, the antibody would give off mast cells (which helps out the immune also) to send out chemicals into the bloodstream, one of them called histamine. People who have food allergies cannot handle the large amount of histamine and cause a dangerous reaction.

What can happen to you if ingested the food?

In some cases, people will get itchy, stomach cramps, aches, pains, tingling throat or mouth bumps. Others, like me, will go into an anaphylaxis shock. The brain is blocked from receiving any oxygen. The throat will close up and the person's blood pressure will drop. The tongue will swell and the breathing tubes will narrow.

Can this be stopped?

It could be temporarily stopped. By the use of an Epi Pen, an injection of medicine that will open the breathing tubes temporarily until you get to a hospital. People usually outgrow their allergy into older ages. I don't know if I'm still allergic or not. I've encountered many times where I had something peanut butter and I was okay! Am I out growing it? Maybe!

How can I find out if I have one!?

You can get your blood tested at the nearby doctors and if you have a problem after eating a specific food go to the doctor's. Tell an adult. It's nothing to play around with.

Can you be treated?

There is no treatment for it, unfortunately. You can use things to stop and help the allergy from killing or harming you for a while but, I'm going to have to live as well as other kids out there with it until I possibly outgrow it. Who knows? Maybe I am outgrowing it.

How did you even get this?

Well, it's usually inherited, but nobody in my family tree was allergic to anything. It's most likely my mother gave it to me, by feeding me PB&J sandwiches under the age of five years old. Yes, it's true. I used to be a PBaholic

This may sound really weird but, if I do outgrow it . . . I may, miss it.

When in doubt, throw it out!


Author's Note: I got most of my information from my own personal knowledge of having to deal with this severe problem, but for the technical stuff http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/food_allergies.html.

And for the record, thankfully I have never had to use my epi pen in all of my thirteen years of living.

I'll post the results of my blood test to check if I did outgrow my allergy! Stay Tuned!


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