Tag Archives: epi-pen

Peanut Allergy

I have been reading quite a bit about children dying from food allergies.  Today I read something on the Huffington Post about a rocker going into anaphylaxis from eating a single blue m & m.  Rocker, Liam Gallagher, at age 40 reacted violently to eating a blue m & m that had a peanut in it.  His mouth began to swell and his throat began to tighten.   He developed anaphylaxis and was seen by a doctor who told  him he had a peanut allergy.  He now carries something with him (most likely an epi-pen).

This is just a reminder to all of us that we can develop an allergy to peanuts or any other food at any age.  Out of the blue our body can decide that it isn’t going to tolerate any more of a protein in a certain food.  It is also a reminder to take food allergies and intolerances seriously.

Epinephrine injectable devices

I carry an epi-pen.  It is a last resort kind of thing for me.  I also carry a vial of histamine (with my correct dose) and allergy syringes.  The histamine works great for my and most of my reactions and doesn’t cause all the side effects of epinephrine like my heart racing.

There was a time when that was my only option for a reaction (my pre-Environmental Health Center-Dallas days).  Believe me, I used it many times.  I used it during reactions from Amphotericin-B I was taking nebulized and I used it when I ate oatmeal and had my throat swell.

While I am glad that I have it should my histamine not be enough to control a severe reaction, it is bulky and the box it comes in with the prescription number on it is even bulkier.  I find myself throwing away the box and then can’t remember when I ordered it or what the prescription number is.  It doesn’t fit into a pocket or small compact purse either.

There was an article in the New York Times on February 1, 2013 (thank you Jennie) about an updated version of an epi-pen.  Twin brothers Eric and Edward Evans grew up with serious food allergies and had to contend with this bulky epi-pen.  The brothers developed a much slimmer version of an epinephrine pen about the size of a smartphone.  I was intrigued at the compact size of this new device.  I wonder if it would fit into a small handbag or a pocket?  I plan on asking whichever doctor I see next about it.  What are your thoughts?  How many of you carry an epi-pen now?  How many of you would like to try this new Auvi-Q?

 

What does flea medicine and antifungals have in common?

What does flea medicine and antifungals have in common?  What an odd question you might ask.  Well when treating animals for fleas, the medication only kills the live fleas and usually does not kill the eggs.  For this reason animals may have to be treated more than once to get rid of the fleas as the eggs continue to  hatch.

Antifungals work on the same principle.  Antifungals kill off the live fungi but does not deal with all spores that have yet to germinate and become live.  I have been treating myself with one type of antifungal or another for years.  In the beginning the fungal infection was so bad that I would experience herxheimer reactions when taking even the smallest amount of an antifungal and go into an anaphylactic reaction.

A herxheimer reaction sometimes just called a Herx is when the bacteria, or fungus in my case, start dying off they release endotoxins.  If more endotoxins are released than the body can rid itself of severe symptoms can occur.  Some of these symptoms can be fever, chills, headache, and hyperventilation.  For me the symptoms were tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, stomach cramps, coughing, the feeling that my throat was constricted and dizziness.  More than once I had to rely on an epi-pen (epinephrine in an injectable pen) to stop the reactions and calm things down.  Of course, the downside of taking epinephrine is a faster heart rate, possible dizziness or light headedness, headache and tremors.  I had to take the epinephrine to stop one set of symptoms but then got another set in exchange.

Recently we decided to see how little antifungal I needed to avoid having a return of a major sinus infection.  I was originally on 400 mg. of compounded Miconazole.  I dropped to 300 and waited a month.  I was still ok so we dropped it to 200 for a month and I was still ok.  I dropped it to 100 mg and within a week my sinuses were inflamed and I had the beginning of an infection so we immediately put it back to 200 mg. and I am doing fine so far.

I had heard years ago when I first started researching mold, mycotoxins, illness, etc. that many people had to stay on some kind of maintenance dose the rest of their lives and found it difficult to believe.  I am now a believer.  The downside to antifungals is that you need to monitor your liver.  So far everything seems to be fine with mine.