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Food Allergy Alert!

August 21, 2016

During the summer of 2008, I started getting the weirdest feeling in my mouth whenever I would eat my beloved PBJs or when I snacked on pistachios (which was often!). Having eaten tree nuts and peanuts all my life without having any issues, I brushed it off as something strange but harmless. I worked at Origins, a natural skincare company, and was using their amazing products which contained sweet almond oils as emulsifiers and macadamia nut oil in some cleansers. Suddenly, my skin was breaking out in large bumps that looked hive-like instead of acne-like. What the heck?!

 

Cut to that October, when I was at the Origins National Sales Conference at the Ritz Carlton in Dallas. After a long first day of meetings, I was in a friend's hotel room waiting for dinner. While she reapplied her makeup, I reached into our company-given goodie bag and pulled out the organic trail mix. After 4 nickel-sized pieces of trail mix which contained a clump of dried fruit, a pistachio, and an almond painted in a cashew oil, I felt my throat close. My friend looked at me in panic and tried to get me to call an ambulance. Stupidly, I just drove myself home...in a state of full anaphylaxis.

 

I survived my first food allergy attack, but stayed sick for several days. My doctor referred me to an allergist and I got tested the next week, once the steroid shots had worn off, so my test reading would be accurate. My friend who witnessed the reaction came with me so she could give the allergist a lot of details. To my shock, I was allergic to not only all types of tree nuts, but also peanuts, which are a legume and not in the nut family! My doctor told me that it's not too common for an adult to get such allergies; it's usually