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Allergy or something else?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 22nd 03, 11:14 PM
Iowacookiemom
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Default Allergy or something else?

A few nights ago Henry (11 yo) was studying spelling with my husband. He was
having a harder time than usual with it. Out of nowhere, he began removing
most of his clothing, saying that he was very hot. Then he began vigorously
scratching himself all over his body, saying he itched. He became frantic,
almost unable to communicate, shouting, "Get away from me, it hurts! It
hurts!" and ran upstairs to his room, where he vomited. He continued to say
his chest and stomach hurt and did not want anyone around him. For about 10
minutes, he was writhing on the floor, scratching himself, half-crying,
half-shouting about the itching and the pain. Repeated questions about where
it hurt, how can we help, etc., seemed to make it worse. He kept saying he
wanted to go to the emergency room but it was clear he was breathing fine and
when I managed to get close enough to take a temperature he did not have a
fever (in fact, it was low -- 95.2).

Gradually I got through to him to calm down and describe symptoms more
completely: sharp, stabbing pain in the chest, throat and stomach along with
unbearable itching (I get allergy-related itching in my feet and I know how
frantic it makes me, so I can sympathize). He had no visible welts or hives
(then again, I never get them on my feet either).

I gave him benadryl and monitored him closely. He asked for ice water and
almost got going in the frantic mode again, exclaiming that it felt like his
throat was growing hair. At that point I worried about a severe allergic
reaction but he was breathing very well, no swelling in his throat etc that was
visible.

As I got him to calm down I had my arm around him and my palm was on his chest.
Even when he was visibly much calmer, his heart was really racing.

He fell asleep within a half hour and woke up completely fine, went to school
with no incident, and his only comment when I asked him if he was feeling
better was a silly, "good enough for a third popsicle."

I'm left confused and a little unsure whether this is even worth a trip to the
doctor -- The more I think about it, I wonder if it was an anxiety attack.
About a third of the kids in his class were out that same day with various
symptoms ranging from stomach flu to sore throats and fevers; he never really
had
anything that developed in to something I could describe as an illness. Do
these symptoms sound familiar to anyone?

-Dawn
Mom to Henry, 11
  #2  
Old November 23rd 03, 02:14 AM
Beth Kevles
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Default Allergy or something else?


I'd have taken your son immediately to the ER, with a phone call to the
ped. to notify that you were en route.

The "throat feels hairy" is a scary thing for a kid to say. The
frantic reactions were scary, too. I'd phone the ped. first thing
Monday to make an appt. and find out what went on. I see a trip to an
allergist in your son's near future.

I think you got lucky; whatever was bothering your son went away instead
of getting worse. It *could* have gotten worse.

--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #3  
Old November 23rd 03, 08:59 AM
LisaBell
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Default Allergy or something else?

On 22 Nov 2003 22:14:20 GMT, (Iowacookiemom)
wrote:

A few nights ago Henry (11 yo) was studying spelling with my husband. He was
having a harder time than usual with it. Out of nowhere, he began removing
most of his clothing, saying that he was very hot. Then he began vigorously
scratching himself all over his body, saying he itched. He became frantic,
almost unable to communicate, shouting, "Get away from me, it hurts! It
hurts!" and ran upstairs to his room, where he vomited. He continued to say
his chest and stomach hurt and did not want anyone around him. For about 10
minutes, he was writhing on the floor, scratching himself, half-crying,
half-shouting about the itching and the pain. Repeated questions about where
it hurt, how can we help, etc., seemed to make it worse. He kept saying he
wanted to go to the emergency room but it was clear he was breathing fine and
when I managed to get close enough to take a temperature he did not have a
fever (in fact, it was low -- 95.2).

Gradually I got through to him to calm down and describe symptoms more
completely: sharp, stabbing pain in the chest, throat and stomach along with
unbearable itching (I get allergy-related itching in my feet and I know how
frantic it makes me, so I can sympathize). He had no visible welts or hives
(then again, I never get them on my feet either).


I'd take him to a doctor. Agitation, palpitations, itchy skin and
coughing, or difficulty in breathing, are symptoms of anaphylaxis so
even if you can't be sure that's what he had, I'd check it out. You
might be advised to keep an ephinephrine injection around just in case
since anaphylaxis can progress very rapidly and can be life
threatening. Also make a note of everything he ate and did prior to
the attack before you forget (specific combinations of food and
exercise can spark anaphylaxis).

--Lisabell


  #4  
Old November 24th 03, 04:57 PM
Wendy
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Default Allergy or something else?

Iowacookiemom wrote:
A few nights ago Henry (11 yo) was studying spelling with my husband. He was
having a harder time than usual with it. Out of nowhere, he began removing
most of his clothing, saying that he was very hot. Then he began vigorously
scratching himself all over his body, saying he itched. He became frantic,
almost unable to communicate, shouting, "Get away from me, it hurts! It
hurts!" and ran upstairs to his room, where he vomited. He continued to say
his chest and stomach hurt and did not want anyone around him. For about 10
minutes, he was writhing on the floor, scratching himself, half-crying,
half-shouting about the itching and the pain.


Niacin flushing?

Wendy
  #5  
Old November 25th 03, 03:24 AM
Iowacookiemom
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Default Allergy or something else?

Niacin flushing?


Huh?

-Dawn
Mom to Henry, 11
  #6  
Old November 25th 03, 02:18 PM
Wendy
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Default Allergy or something else?

Iowacookiemom wrote:
Niacin flushing?


Huh?


Well, google it, woman! :-)

We've recently started taking niacin supplements. It's a B-vitamin and
it's possible that your kid got a larger-than-normal dose if he ate
several vitamins plus some supplemented cereal, I suppose. An unusually
large dose for your tolerance level can cause "niacin flushing".

I'm no doctor, but my personal experience is that it causes a hystemic
reaction where the skin turns hot and red and itches. It lasts 10 minutes
to 1/2 hour. It's worse if the niacin was taken with something hot. It
has to do with the dilation of the blood vessels near the skin and the
flushing out of toxins that don't normally fit into the tiny vessels so
when they DO fit they start flowing and your body sees them as foreign.

Or something. Remember, I'm no doctor. But niacin flushing is harmless,
though startling.

A racing heart could just be from panic at what's happening. The pain? I
don't know about that. I personally experience itching with the same
intensity and flight response as I do pain. (In other words, itching
terribly and being in terrible pain have about the same response in me and
maybe your kid confused the words?)

-- Wendy
 




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