When you are plagued by symptoms and not able to get definitive answers. It is so hard to know what to do when you are not sure what can be done. You can talk over with your family doctor, bring a list of symptoms and possible triggers.
Knowing the difference between sensitivity and allergies can be very hard. When to seek emergency help. If you are struggling to breathe, tuning blue, low pulse, having problems swallowing, loss of consciousness, sudden severe swelling of the face or throat, this response is known as anaphylaxis.
I would advise calling an ambulance once allergies get to that point you have a short time to get medical aid. If the person has an allergy injection (EpiPen, epinephrine), this is the time to use it. If they they are able to self administer it then let them do so, otherwise you may need to do it for them. Then this person will need emergency follow up. They have about 10 to 20 mins before the pen injection effects are wearing down. If the persons symptoms don’t get a some better within 5 minutes or get worse, give a second injection as you wait for emergence response teams, make a note on the times the injections where given and symptoms.
Sometimes when you go to an allergist, you can have the skin test done. That does not always show the full picture. It can be very discouraging when you have the skin scratch test done and you still feel gross when eating the wrong thing or if you are exposed to environmental, medications or chemical irritants.
There is so much that can’t be seen in a scratch test, like how your body responds to things that are not going to have anaphylactic reactions. Like when you are exposed to something that makes your gut sore or worse, have you held hostage in the bathroom feeling something died in your digestive tract or like you were going to have an alien bust though your gut lining doing a song and dance number. Asking for the cheque will not save you from this gross fate. (Yes this is a Spaceballs, the movie reference) It really is how it feels sometimes.
If you have a skin reaction like eczema this also will not show up on the scratch test. Any delayed side effect likely will not be found on your first trip to the allergist.
As many people have allergies and sensitives it is good to talk about this with friends, relatives and colleagues. I often ask if people have any food challenges, sensitives or allergies. Being someone that shares food and space with others. I have friends that have such bad problems with chemical scents that they can be out of commission, off work or school even trips to the hospital if they come an area that aggravates them.
Certain ways that a human can respond to something not agreeing with you can be so debilitating. Loss of senses, over stimulation, gut problems including being farty, bloated, burning, bad bowel habits ( like diarrhea or constipation) can be a crappy deal!
Other things people with other health conditions can go though is inflammation of the joints, swelling in the extremities (arm, legs, feet, hand face)
Congestion, in the nose, chest head.
Migraine or headaches can be result of sensitivities
Vision changes can be a thing, temporary loss or blurry vision starts from the central nervous system gets out of alignment or inflamed. You can experience many eye symptoms with allergies.
Asthma is shortness of breath, wheezing, couching caused by the air ways tightening, many things can trigger asthma attacks. Exercise, allergens, chemical sensitives like perfumes or detergents.
Chronic conditions can be a side effect of long term exposure to something you are sensitive to.
Emotional side effects are very real when your body is under constant attack, anxiety, depression, fear (this is very real when you are eating things and they make you feel sick) You can feel unheard by medical staff. You can feel crazy and lazy.
If you are struggling to get answers, you might need to see an attentive practitioner, that specializes in chemical and environmental and food sensitivities. Naturopathic doctors have gone to medical school to get a medical doctorate degree. They have a different approach, they focus on the underlying reasons you are having a condition. In my experience, a General practitioner does not always have extended training in hormones, or had different conditions such as sensitivities or bowel upset. A general practitioner might say after doing some lab test and sending you to a specialist, here is medication to stop the cramps or the bowel spasms that cause the diarrhea. A good naturopathic doctor will do many more tests. Some of the tests might include bloodwork to see if the things you are having problems with create an inflammatory response in your body. They might look at saliva and urine to check hormones
When making decisions about the care best for you, you must think about cost coverages. Some areas of the world include natural practitioners as part of mainstream medical care. Other areas you might need to pay out of pocket. If you have a medical insurance plan ask for a detailed list of all medical coverages. Some of your natural medications and treatment may not be covered the same as pharmaceuticals.
If you need an EpiPen but can’t afford the high cost please ask your medical provider for a prescription epinephrine. Here is a video on how to draw and use epinephrine. Sometimes you can find a generic epinephrine auto injectors.
Having sensitives really sucks, sometimes it is more of a pain to explain/defend yourself in cases where you look ok with in 15 mins of a scratch test but feel awful. I had had this at my dentist. They said due to covid, you must use this mouthwash, I said I have chemical sensitives, the hygienists was like it it just Listerine. I was too tired to keep arguing with them so I did the swish, and over 24 hours of feeling rundown, sick to my gut, sore throat within 10 mins of doing the rinse. If you have sensitives try your best to advocate for yourself, if you can’t might be time to rebook or find something that feels safer.
Have a safe week!