Allergic reactions_ how and why do we get a food allergy in later life_ _ high50 fever with hives sore throat

She gulped two Piriton tablets to no effect, and her panic-stricken partner rang NHS Direct. Autoimmune hives causes “They said, ‘We don’t want to worry you, but an ambulance is on its way.’”

It was thanks to her partner’s quick realisation that something very serious was happening that, four years on, Jacqui is here to tell her tale.

A few Christmas treats had sent her into a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis: a whole-body immune response that can lead to swelling of the airways, loss of consciousness and even death.

Two injections of emergency adrenalin and a night in hospital later, Jacqui was sent for a battery of tests. Hives remedy They confirmed what she already knew: she had, out of the blue, at 55, developed a life-threatening allergy to nuts.

The diagnosis has turned her life upside down, “Suddenly even shopping becomes a nightmare, because everything says ‘may contain traces of nuts’,” says the Farnham mother-of-two. Herpes hives pics “We used to go to France for weekends and eat out two or three times a week. Images bee hives We can’t do that any more.”

Dr Alexandra Croom, consultant allergist at the University Hospitals of Leicester, says: “It can happen at any age. Hives anxiety I always cite a patient who developed crab allergy at 82 after eating shellfish all his life.”

In the UK, the worst offenders are prawns. Natural cure hives Confusingly, it is perfectly possible to be allergic to one variety (e.g. Hives pictures and information tiger or king prawn) and not another, leading some to mistake an occasional allergic reaction for food poisoning. How to treat hives rash Causes: it could be the change in our hormones

Theories remain speculative, but some suggest hormonal changes may be a factor. Lupus hives welts This could explain why adult-onset allergy is more common among women than men.

Dr Isabel Skypala, clinical lead in food allergy at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, says: “There are very few studies but we know hormones can be associated with immune events. Hives on skin home remedies Pregnancy and menopause are significant. Cancer hives all over body That is certainly my clinical impression.

The stress theory rings true for Jacqui. What causes hives on hands She says: “They have told me that stress probably did play a part, as I’d had a lot of very difficult personal issues that year and was first on the scene at a devastating motorcycle accident.” Why food allergies develop

Jacqui developed what is known as a ‘true food allergy’, causing anaphylaxis. Itchy hands and hives There are also other ‘types’ of food allergy that can affect adults, the most common being Pollen Food Syndrome, which links sensitivity to pollens with cross-reactivity to some foods.

Its classic symptom is an itchy mouth, and possibly swelling in the mouth or throat, immediately after eating raw fruit such as apples or peaches, some vegetables, such as celery, and peanuts or nuts including almonds and hazelnuts. Pics of hives on arms It affects two per cent of the population.

Dr Skypala says: “Pollen Food Syndrome can be serious. Hives on hands and feet at night There is not much allergenic protein in one apple but with something concentrated and fresh like a whole fruit smoothie, there have been severe reactions.”

Ironically, smoothies are not the only ‘health foods’ causing problems for some. Non itchy hives on legs Dr Croom cites allergies to more exotic superfoods such as acai berries and hemp.

“Hemp actually relates to smoking dope,” she says. Acute hives viral infection “I had a patient who was a regular user, but not a heavy one, who started reacting to hemp seeds.

“We’re not sure if it’s too much exposure to something or too little, or regular exposure over time. Kids hives It’s not uncommon to have people on health kicks put linseed on every salad they ever have, and they go on to react to the storage protein in seeds.”

Dr Croom’s crab-allergic 82-year-old had spent eight weeks on the French coast with his son, where he ate langoustine every day. Hives lasting weeks “When he got home he had a break from eating shellfish, and the next time he ate it, some crab on holiday in Norfolk, he collapsed and had to be resuscitated.” Could globalisation of food production be to be blame?

Dr Stephen Till, consultant in adult allergy at Guy’s and St Thomas’, wonders whether changing patterns of eating and globalisation may be culpable.

“Things which you may have eaten for many years and carry on eating may not be the same,” he says. The hives songs “For instance, there’s been a big change in the prawn industry in the past ten years. Hives in toddlers photos They’re a completely different species to what we were eating 20 years ago.”

Physical changes can also worsen reactions. What helps hives stop itching “As you age your body finds it harder to cope with a reaction, such as anaphylaxis, that can affect the heart,” says Dr Croom. Can cause hives “Drugs to lower blood pressure can impede the ability to counter an anaphylactic reaction.”

Some people suffer serious reactions to certain foods in conjunction with specific factors. Virus causing hives in adults When they are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, for example, or when exercising. Hives what to take One theory is that antacids may affect the way an individual digests certain food proteins.

If you suspect allergy, says Dr Skypala, “Go to your doctor, get checked out. Itching and hives for no reason Any allergic symptoms can progress. Causes of itchy hives It could be a minor thing but you cannot predict the severity of the next reaction.”

As for high street allergy tests: “They are as useful as going on the internet and diagnosing yourself. Treatment for severe hives They are a waste of money and dangerous”.

Dr Till is pragmatic: “I don’t think people should avoid anything unless, of course they have a diagnosed allergy. Serious hives With current knowledge there is very little we can do to prevent allergies; at the moment it seems fairly random.”

• For more information see (phone 01252 542029) or Allergy UK (phone 01322 619898). Why do i have hives on my chest To find a registered UK allergy clinic see BSACI