Health correspondent Charlotte Dobson was diagnosed with a nut allergy aged 21. Here she talks about her experiences.
I WILL never forget that Easter Sunday when my body swelled up head to toe after eating a slice of pecan pie.
I had never been diagnosed with a nut allergy but had a natural aversion to them when I was a child.
I didn’t like the taste of nuts and knew they made my mouth tingle when I ate them.
Aside from that, I had never had an allergic reaction.
But during an Easter lunch at my grandmother’s in 2001, I politely said I would try some homemade pecan pie.
It looked delicious but after a couple of mouthfuls I knew there was something seriously wrong. My lips swelled up, my mouth was tingling and my eyes started streaming.
I thought after half an hour I’d be ok, but then I could feel my throat tightening and started to struggle to breathe.
As an asthmatic, there have been many occasions where I’ve struggled with my breathing.
But this was different and I felt completely out of control as my arms and face started to swell up even more. Luckily my gran knew what to do and gave me an antihistamine before I was taken to hospital.
Once I was checked out at A&E and given some oxygen, the symptoms began to abate and I was only diagnosed to a “mild to moderate” reaction.
Since then I have avoided whole nuts at all costs and always check the ingredients at restaurants — desserts seem to be the danger zone for me.
I am actually ashamed to say I never went to my GP to get an Epi-pen but, after writing about Allergy Awareness Week, I’ve booked my appointment next week.