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Allergic Reaction

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm having an allergic reaction to something and I can't figure out to what. I've never been allergic to anything till now. This is the 3rd time it's happened in 2 months. I went to the doctor last time and she told me there wasn't really anything she could do to figure out what it is. Is that true? There's got to be some way, right? She gave me a prescription for 'triamcinolone acetonide'...it helps relieve the discomfort a bit, but the rash is still there. (Mainly my neck, behind my ears, and some on my face). This time is by far the worst and I'd like to know what it is so that I can avoid it.

Any ideas?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you mean like a skin allergy? If it is then you can go to a skin specialist and they do loads of tests for various things til they find out what it is that you're allergic to. I went to one when I was younger, our doctor referred me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey,

    I know from personal experience that this can be a complete nightmare.

    The Dr probably diagnosed you with "urticaria" yeah? Or "chroni urticaria"?

    Basically its very gvery difficult indeed to find out what it is thats causing it. I think in my case it was "stress"- but its still undetermined.

    I wrote this a while back in answer to a thread aboyt something else, butr its basically about what happened with my allergy/urticaria so I'll re-post it for you:
    about a year ago I had this well weird allergy thing, that REALLY REALLY bothered me. This was at the start of summer. It made life a complete misery when it struck and i couldnt work out what it was that caused it. Meant I couldnt sleep and stuff, and looked really horrible- especially bad in summer. It stopped after a week or so though, so i didn't go to the doctor. Then it came back at the end of summer, so I decided to see the doctor. He asked lots of questions about what I ate, did, etc, took my blood pressure and did other superfiscial stuff like look in my ears and stuff. Ok, I thought, whats he going to do. He said he can't work out whats going on and he'd refer me to a specialist. So I had an appointment a week later, went in, and he basically did exactly the same thing. He said there wasnt a lot he could do for me and sorry, and gave me some photocopied from a medical textbook sheet about how tro try and work out what caused it if it was food. I tried for a week, and it didnt work, so went back. He went through it, and bascially because I hadn't had much sleep because the allergy was so irritating , I took a stand and tried to be stern. I asked him if he could give me a blood test and he said "thats not usually advised until other avenues are exhuasted", I asked why and he said "NHS policy, not up for discussion." I asked if he could give me some medication, and he said "again not advised, but if necessary I'll prescribe you these"...

    So I picked them up, and they kindof worked, but made me REALLY drowsy, and they weren't very good. However, as suddenly as it came on, the allergy went away, so I forgot about it....

    Until this spring, a couple of weeks before my exams, it came back well suddenly. So I thought, fuck it, I really need to get this sorted, and went town the GPs, and demanded some more medication. He just prescribed me the same stuff!!!

    To say I was angry was an understatement. I'd made it perfectly clear how irritating it is, and that my exams were in 2 weeks and I needed to revise (these are A-Levels I'm talking about) and he said he'd prescribed stuff to the best of his ability.

    Well I went home, called a friend of the family who is a medical journalist, and did some research on the net. Since they'd refused to give me a blood test to determine the cause of the allergy, I investigated on a site my medical friend told me about, and found out that there were several drugs available, but doctors were reluctant to prescribe them because they are marginally more expensive (and this was also the reason for not doing blood tests).

    So i got another appointment a week before my exams started, suffering from lack of sleep as usual due to the allergy, and tried to "play it cool" at first. I asked if ther were any other drugs available and he said "i dont think thers any I would advise to be appropriate" (a right politician's answer). I said "what about *insert drug name here*" which was well long and complicated that I'd read on the site my friend advised. He was very shocked to say the least.

    But obviously then he had a change of heart and prescribed me an even better one that made it go away and didnt make me dozy. Which was nice. Neverltheless I'd not been able to revise effectively and so got a B in biology instead of an A, which I do blame entirely on this event, because it only let me do a weeks worth of proper revision.

    Is there a point to this rant? Yeah, since the internal health service got inroduced by the tories in an attempt to make the NHS "more efficient", GPs (through little fault of their own) have to cut costs a lot to make stuff work, and so have to make decisions over who gets decent treatment ad who gets shoddy stuff that leaves them miserable and makes them underperfrom in exams.

    You can get around that by doing research and being assertive and forceful with your doctor. Not rude- they're only doing what they're told, but assertive. And if you find that hard, think of that chunk that comes out of your wage packet in national insurance and taxes. It'll help.

    I guess my point to that was really make it plain to the Dr that it makes you miserable, and try be forceful. Then again it could have just been that I had bad luck with my particular GP and specialist...

    Good luck with sorting it out :cool:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks! That was really helpful.

    My eyelids have started to swell, so I went back to the doctor this morning. She was surprised to see that this time it wasn't just constrained to behind my ears, but that it had spread to my face and neck. So there I was, sitting in this little room, with a doctor, two nurses, and a dermatologist, and none of them really had anything worthwhile to say.

    The dermatologists says it's most likely a contact dermatitis...or something like that. Basically, he thinks it's something that I've touched rather than eaten. Recommended buying this special(and ridiculously expensive) soap and Johnson's Baby Shampoo to alleviate it(and because he thinks my soap and shampoo are too harsh on my skin). Also gave me a prescription for Zyrtec (some kind of antihistimine...and also expensive).

    With all the money I've put down, I hope it goes away soon and I can figure out what's causing it so I can avoid it in the future. I'm supposed to go back and see the dermatologist in a couple of weeks. Maybe it'll be productive this time. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Lizzafins
    Thanks! That was really helpful.

    My eyelids have started to swell, so I went back to the doctor this morning. She was surprised to see that this time it wasn't just constrained to behind my ears, but that it had spread to my face and neck. So there I was, sitting in this little room, with a doctor, two nurses, and a dermatologist, and none of them really had anything worthwhile to say.

    The dermatologists says it's most likely a contact dermatitis...or something like that. Basically, he thinks it's something that I've touched rather than eaten. Recommended buying this special(and ridiculously expensive) soap and Johnson's Baby Shampoo to alleviate it(and because he thinks my soap and shampoo are too harsh on my skin). Also gave me a prescription for Zyrtec (some kind of antihistimine...and also expensive).

    With all the money I've put down, I hope it goes away soon and I can figure out what's causing it so I can avoid it in the future. I'm supposed to go back and see the dermatologist in a couple of weeks. Maybe it'll be productive this time. :)

    Yep, Zyrtec's what they gave me first...I think thats the bottom of the range one they do for you.

    If you go again, ask for Telfast (if its appropriate which it probably will be) which is the marketing name for the drug they give to RAF fighter pilots who have allergies- so you better bet its effective!:D

    One more tip, sometimes it helps to put that calomine lotion on large patches, it soothes it quite well i find, and also something called "distilled witch hazel"... however sometimes these things make it even worse :(

    The advice I would give is to really insist with your doctor and let him know what a misery it makes your life. If possible get them to do you a blood test. Also with the thing with the eyes swelling, thats important, because when I complained that my lip swelled he immediately prescribed something more powerful because if it makes your throat etc swell, you could die...

    Good luck
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh wait a second I've just noticed you're from the US! So all the stuff I said about the NHS/Drs is probably irrelevant :blush: :impissed:

    Good luck anyway :thumbs:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by carlito
    Oh wait a second I've just noticed you're from the US! So all the stuff I said about the NHS/Drs is probably irrelevant :blush: :impissed:

    Good luck anyway :thumbs:

    Yeah, I hadn't heard of those before, so I just assumed they were only relevant to you. :)

    My lips have some swelling but not much...just my upper lip is rough, kindof like there's a rash there that I can't see. I made sure to mention that to my doctor because of someone telling me that if my throat swelled, that could be bad news.

    I took the first Zyrtec 2 1/2 hrs ago and I'm already feeling better. Although the redness is still there, there's not near as much itching/burning.
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