Living with allergies, as many of you know, isn’t easy. Eating out can be impossible, and being invited to dinner parties can be terrifying. Especially when you have a latex allergy, mainly because it’s in everything! From food to washing up gloves, it’s literally all around you. Following recipes and preparing, what should be, simple dishes is incredibly disappointing and time consuming. I have to spend three quarters of the time find substitutes to ingredients and then extra time on top of that to make sure that the recipe still turns out the way it should even with all of the alterations!
You would think that the free-from section in Tesco’s would help but unfortunately I have to spend even more time there checking over each product. A lot of people have a very nonchalant response to this, “It’s not that big of a deal, just avoid the things you can’t have,” they’d say. It’s very easy to have this point of view, though, when you don’t understand the effort that goes into doing this. Simple things like sweets, or fruit juice can be a nightmare for people with latex allergies because a lot of the time they include ingredients like: Pineapple, kiwi, plums, cherry, mangoes, mushrooms, avocado and other fruits and vegetables. Oddly enough, I’m just about able to handle certain fruits and vegetables that don’t contain as much latex as others like grapes. Although, more than a handful and my throat starts to close up.
Latex isn’t just in food though, which is why it’s so important that you let your dentist and doctors know if you do have one! Whenever I go for a check up with my dentist he’s always very careful about what he uses ranging from numbing agents to the gloves that he uses to ensure my comfort and prevent a reaction. Doctors, however, sometimes forget when prescribing certain types of medication, and that’s when I need to be alert. If I can survive without the medication and there isn’t an alternative then I’ll have to turn it down. At the moment, I survive off of my inhalers, steroids, antihistamines and supplements, as well as paracetamols being the only pain killer I’m not allergic to. The last time I was prescribed anything outside of these five drugs, I had a horrible reaction right before my driving test! Needless to say, it did not go well!
It can be very daunting and scary when you, and your own doctor, isn’t quite sure on what prescribed medication will give you a reaction or won’t. It can cause major anxiety and depression, living through ‘what if’ constantly. If, like me, you have this problem, then maybe my experience can help calm you. I often remind myself that there are so many people in this world far worse than me, this is my life, and I’m determined to live it as best as I can, not allowing these things to get in my way. I’m not alone either, and neither are you. It’s terrifying, but at least there are others in similar situations willing to offer support.
Information about latex and rubber allergy should be aware of. at Precautions Should I Take Before Visiting My Dentist? If you have a known latex allergy, call your dentist’s office at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment. Your dentist and his or her staff should have a latex-free protocol that they follow for patients with latex allergies. They will also make a note of your allergy in your medical record. Latex, also known as rubber or natural latex, is derived from the milky sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Latex can be found in many household products and also in many medical and dental supplies including gloves, masks, and syringes. Latex allergy develops in some individuals after repeated exposure to products containing natural rubber latex. As is the cause in any allergy, a latex allergy arises when an individual’s immune system overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance (called an allergen). In this case, the immune system overreacts when a latex-containing dental device or supply — such as gloves — comes into contact with the mucous membranes (the eyes, nose, or mouth) of a susceptible individual. Even the powder used on latex gloves can contain the latex proteins and become airborne when the gloves are removed, causing upper airway allergic reactions or asthma symptoms in susceptible people. What Can Happen as a Result of an Allergic Reaction to Latex? There are three types of allergic reactions to latex: Irritant contact dermatitis. The least threatening type of latex reaction, this nonallergenic reaction results in dryness, itching, burning, scaling, and lesions of the skin. Allergic contact dermatitis . This is a delayed reaction to additives used in latex processing, which results in the same type of reactions as irritant contact dermatitis (dryness, itching, burning, scaling, and lesions of the skin), but the reaction is more severe, spreads to more parts of the body, and lasts longer. Immediate allergic reaction (latex hypersensitivity) . This is the most serious allergic reaction to latex. Symptoms include runny nose with hay fever-like symptoms, conjunctivitis (pink eye), cramps, hives, and severe itching. Rarely, symptoms may progress to a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis — which is associated with such symptoms as a sudden drop in blood pressure, an increased pulse, tremors, chest pain, difficulty breathing/wheezing, and tissue swelling. If left untreated, this condition could lead to temporary loss of consciousness and potentially even death. If you have a latex allergy, it is important for you to wear a medical alert bracelet and carry an emergency epinephrine syringe. Epinephrine is the treatment used for severe allergic reactions. There is no cure for latex allergy, so the best treatment for this condition is prevention. Besides the foods already mentioned in this document, there are other foods that might trigger a latex-like allergic reaction in people with latex allergy. If you suffer from latex allergy, avoid these foods: Peaches, plums, and nectarines Grapes, strawberries, and cherries Wheat and rye Potatoes Melons Kiwi Mangoes Figs . Can I develop a latex allergy from exposure from the dentist You could develop a latex sensitivity to the gloves. This is different from a latex allergy. With a latex sensitivity, you’d develop a swelling or a rash in the area where the gloves touched you. This would be an irritant contact dermatitis. A true allergic reaction is more serious, is less common, and would cause symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, full-body rash, and swelling.