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Woman Develops Peanut Allergy After Lung Transplant

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-extra-charge dept.

Medicine 146

An anonymous reader writes "A woman in need of a lung transplant got her new lungs from someone with a peanut allergy who died of anaphylactic shock. Seven months after the surgery, the woman was at an organ transplant support group when she ate a peanut butter cookie and had a violent allergic reaction. So how had the woman's new lungs brought along a peanut allergy? A blog post dives into the medical details and explains that immune cells in the donated lungs couldn't have lived in the new body for long enough to cause the reaction... however, if they encountered an allergen (i.e. something peanuty) shortly after being transplanted, they could have trained the woman's native immune cells to respond."

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146 comments

Info Graphic? (4, Funny)

autocracy (192714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963032)

Where do you find these pictures? Did somebody get paid to go buy a container of peanuts and make that? Idle indeed...

Re:Info Graphic? (0, Troll)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963112)

Google it?

I'll tell you what's funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963572)

,...Mr. Peanut! He cracks me up, with that hat and can and the best part - the monocle! Perhaps he somehow is related to this fascinating story.

Re:Info Graphic? (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964576)

Better than Googling it, Try TinEyeing [tineye.com] it.

Re:Info Graphic? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963194)

Welcome to the wonderful world of stock photography.

Re:Info Graphic? (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963442)

You know, despite doing photography sometimes selling stuff to newspapers or through stock sites... I just didn't expect that.

Dear /., please spend more time editing, less time playing with your new stock photography subscription. At least I learned something new with the allergy transfer.

Re:Info Graphic? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963212)

here's a clue [istockphoto.com]

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963640)

I read the title as "Woman Develops Penis Allergy After Lung Transplant".

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963038)

You should see what happened to my pony, mister.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963734)

"You should see what happened to my pony, mister."

Poor Mr. Hands. He was such a nice pony.

Idle? (5, Insightful)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963084)

I wouldn't call this an "idle" article. It's more of a real article that some of them lately.

Re:Idle? (5, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963210)

Agreed. At first I Thought "Well the only sources appear to be blogs" so I understood the idea of putting it under idle.

BUT, it's on the NCBI Medical Publication website, here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18926410 [nih.gov]

So I don't know why they didn't just link that and put this under... I dunno... Is there a Bio or medicine section? Science if nothing else.

Re:Idle? (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965108)

Reuse the Gates Borg image. I always thought he was nuts and he does cause a bad reaction in some people.

Re:Idle? (1, Redundant)

organgtool (966989) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963250)

Slashdot editors can't win. Everyone used to complain about stories that weren't considered newsworthy appearing on the front page. It looks like the editors are now a little skittish about borderline-newsworthy stores, so they are dumping them into the Idle section. Oh well, at least everyone has something to bitch about.

Re:Idle? (0, Troll)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963822)

The editors would get a lot more respect if tried just a little to do some editing. They show no journalistic integrity whatsoever.

Re:Idle? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963262)

Incidentally, what's going on with comments on Idle? On the rest of /. clicking a comment title expands it in the thread, but here it opens briefly then refreshes the page to only that comment (meaning you can't open up multiple bits of a thread without waiting for a bunch of page refreshes). Off topic, I know, but it's more irritating when a decent story might be discussed in Idle.

Re:Idle? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963412)

Idle's been like that for a year.

Re:Idle? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965126)

s/a year/ever/

I think it serves as a testbed for any new wanky-assed UI the slashtards come up with.

Give them some credit. It would appear they go drinking with somebody who has enough common sense to tell them not to commit their latest wizawd hakx to the bits that people actually read - at least until they almost nearly sort of work.

Re:Idle? (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963480)

I've wondered this myself, it's quite annoying.

Re:Idle? (4, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963816)

Remove the "idle." from the URL.

Re:Idle? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964540)

Hah. I can't believe that worked. Thanks for the tip.

Re:Idle? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965668)

Very useful, thanks!

The slashdot.org/article.pl... links just redirect back to idle.slashdot.org/article.pl..., but the slashdot.org/story/... ones don't.

Re:Idle? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963864)

My workaround is to middle-click on the comment headline to expand it AND open it in another tab. That doesn't collapse the rest of the thread in the current window. Then every minute or two I hit Ctrl-W 50 times to clean up.

Re:Idle? (2, Informative)

LazyBoot (756150) | more than 3 years ago | (#33966882)

My workaround is to middle-click on the comment headline to expand it AND open it in another tab. That doesn't collapse the rest of the thread in the current window. Then every minute or two I hit Ctrl-W 50 times to clean up.

Chrome has a nice feature to help you there... "Close tabs to the right" or just "close other tabs"

Re:Idle? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964176)

Go to address bar, remove "idle." hit enter. Problem fixed!

Re:Idle? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964938)

Whenever I do that it just redirects me back to the idle. page :(

Re:Idle? (1)

arielCo (995647) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963272)

Indeed - I hadn't thought of that and it's a very serious consideration. Would you pass on an organ from an allergic donor, or that comes with some other risk?

Re:Idle? (4, Interesting)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963790)

it is strange occurrences like this that can have huge impacts on medical science. research into this could very well yield insight into how food allergies develop and possibly ways to treat or reverse them, or also new ways to keep a person's body from rejecting a newly transplanted organ. both of which are immune responses.

Re:transplant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33964010)

Well, it sounds like an allergy transplant to me. The lungs were just a bonus. I wonder if we can give Jobs a helping of anti-megalomaniac with his next liver...

Prices to pay (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963098)

Developing an allergy like that has got to be pretty annoying, but if I had to choose, I'd still prefer new lungs and an allergy over no allergy but no lungs either.

Re:Prices to pay (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963836)

Well, sure.. But from my extensive medical knowledge (gleaned solely from the slashdot editor's blurb) she might have avoided the allergy simply by avoiding the allergen until a short while after the transplant, when all the donor's immune cells expired. That idea sounds worth exploring.

Conversely, if there were a way to safely transplant the acquired immunity of a guy in India who drinks from the ganges every day, that would be great.

Re:Prices to pay (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964300)

if I had to choose, I'd still prefer new lungs and an allergy over no allergy but no lungs either.

I take lungs now, gills come next week!

Re:Prices to pay (1)

karlwilson (1124799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964584)

Wait a second, this says Z-Ray. Z is good! In fact, it's 2 more than X!

Re:Prices to pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965128)

uh, "annoying" isn't really the right word. being deathly allergic to a substance found in many, many foods is a major health issue. and despite people's best efforts, food manufactures and restaurants still can't seem to understand that peanuts kill people. so people with peanut allergies are constantly being put in mortal danger by lazy businesses.

That qualifies as more than "annoying." I developed a gluten allergy last year after a traumatic life experience. That allergy is annoying. I thank my lucky stars I don't have a nut allergy.

Re:Prices to pay (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965950)

Peanut allergy is a little more than an annoyance. Check the packages of snack foods next time you're in the store. Most of them will have a little note on the side explaining that they were manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts. That's because, for some people, just that small amount of trace peanut dust is enough to send them to the hospital. People with peanut allergies spend a lot of time reading little warnings on packages.

Re:Prices to pay (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967280)

A guy had a penis transplant, and when he woke up he found he was straight!

Transplant drugs? (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963302)

I believe if you get a lung transplant you get to take immunosuppresive drugs for life. So, she's on a heavy diet of drugs that deeply mess with her immune system, her immune system malfunctions, therefore it must be some mystical connection to a dead person.

If you hear hooves, think horse not zebra.

Re:Transplant drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963436)

But I live on a zebra preservation.

Re:Transplant drugs? (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963466)

It was my understanding that allergies are an over-reaction of the immune system. People without allergies have immune systems that have minimal responses. I would have thought that the transplant drugs would function the same as allergy medication in that they dampen the response.

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963580)

Maybe its like antibiotic resistance, where killing the 99.99% that are immune means the remaining 0.01% replicate like crazy, causing an unintentional negative outcome.

So an immune system that ignores 99.99% of "stuff" goes bonkers on the 0.01% that it is actually allowed to react to, in this situation, peanuts, causing an unintentional negative outcome.

An interesting model might be that most people's immune system expends most of its effort on relatively reasonable stuff like dirt and stuff in food. But if you give it nothing to do, it eventually finds itself something bad to do.

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33966628)

While not the stupidest thing I have ever read about the immune system, it's still stupid.

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

crepe-boy (950569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33966094)

Most immunosuppressant drugs block cell-mediated immunity, and so attempt to prevent cytotoxic T-cell killing of the donor lung tissue. Unfortunately the lung tissue will also contain a large number of the donor's immune cells (mast cells, macrophages and any eosinophils that are in the tissues). It is acute triggering of these cells, and release of bronchoconstricing mediators, that results in anaphylaxis. These are relatively long lived cells so the graft-mediated peanut sensitivity will take a long time to decline. Immunosuppressants *should* block Graft-versus-Host reactions as those are primarily cell-mediated.

Re:Transplant drugs? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963662)

take immunosuppresive drugs for life. So, she's on a heavy diet of drugs that deeply mess with her immune system, her immune system malfunctions, therefore it must be some mystical connection to a dead person.

Yeah, you know, they cause the immune system to react LESS than otherwise. But if you've actually RTFA, you would have read,

If an allergic reaction is triggered during the first few days after the transplant, while the donor’s antibodies are still present, the donor’s T cells are able to train the recipient’s B cells to react to the allergen.

This seems to be what happened: Five days after her lung transplant the recipient ate a candy bar with peanuts. She had a minor reaction but it was relatively benign due to the immune suppressing drugs she was taking for the transplant; her reaction was confused with normal complications of lung transplants. But that first taste of peanut was all that her body needed to prime her for the almost-deadly reaction seven months later. And the woman continues to be allergic to peanuts to this day.

More interesting thing would be if something like blood donations can result in allergy transplantation as well?? I know they separate the immune system out of the blood cells, but can you separate out the antibodies too??

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

t-twisted (937590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965502)

This seems to be what happened: Five days after her lung transplant the recipient ate a candy bar with peanuts. She had a minor reaction but it was relatively benign due to the immune suppressing drugs she was taking for the transplant; her reaction was confused with normal complications of lung transplants. But that first taste of peanut was all that her body needed to prime her for the almost-deadly reaction seven months later. And the woman continues to be allergic to peanuts to this day.

Fucking Snickers, always getting the last laugh.

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967090)

The antibodies alone would only cause a fleeting problem and then only if you received a large amount of blood. This is a case where over-reactive donor cells have trained her native immune system to itself over-react to peanuts.

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963906)

If you hear hooves, think horse not zebra.

I am a zebra, you insensitive clod!

Re:Transplant drugs? (2, Interesting)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964178)

I'm a clod, you insensitive zebra!

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964294)

Immunosuppresents typically reduce immune reactions not enhance them; they don't just "mess with her immune system" randomly. She had an ENHANCED immune reaction to something that the previous lung had, that she didn't have before. Something like that if isn't taken into account now, should probably be looked into in the future of post transplant medical knowledge and patient instruction.

Re:Transplant drugs? (1)

mutube (981006) | more than 3 years ago | (#33966910)

Thankyou.

While this is interesting as a 'what is going on here' question the jump to a conclusion about a link to the donor is completely unwarranted. A donor recipient is so far removed from a normal immune state and so potentially variable as to be more or less useless. What is the incidence of nut allergy in the general population? What proportion of transplant recipient with transplants from non-nut allergy sufferers go on to suffer allergies (this is previously reported - not to mention autoimmune diseases, cancers)? Is the incidence any higher in those receiving it from sufferers of nut allergy sufferers versus non-nut allergy sufferers?

But that said - this still has more content (with the right links) than 90% non-Idle posts. Can we stick the iPhone posts in Idle and get this stuff on the main feed?

The solution is clear (5, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963358)

Sue the donor's estate

Re:The solution is clear (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963444)

Sue the peanut.

Re:The solution is clear (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963590)

Sue Marcellus Gilmore Edson.

Re:The solution is clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33964092)

Sue the donor's estate

Not many 12-year-old boys have an estate.

Value? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963606)

Peanus rock. She shoulda taken the shortened lifespan and enjoyed her peanut butter filed final moments. Seriously though, crazy story

pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (2, Insightful)

xeno (2667) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963636)

Sigh. Great, now the pea-nutty people have more ammo for declaring nut-free zones (from which they do not remove themselves, ironically) in schools, camps, clubs, etc etc.

Meanwhile, in the real world.... Around a hundred people die from all food allergies combined in the US each year. Yet thousands of parents and related busybodies haul children off to alergists, and when they're told a "detectable response" exists, they start shrieking about anaphalactic shock and the deadly threat of peanuts, and buy another box of Epi-Pens.

Nonsense. Complete, utter illogical reality-distorting nonsense. The pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. The *only* semi-scientific numbers indicating a spike in peanut allergy incidence was a commercial report sponsored by an Epi-Pen manufacturer several years ago with dubious data sources.

According to the CDC (which employs actual scientists, I'm told), the deadly threat from peanut allergies affects about 1 in 30 Million people. Deadly allergic reactions to fish and fish oils are more than TWICE as prevalent as peanut allergies. Yet fish sticks are served in school cafeterias, hippie daycare providers happily much on boxed sushi with bare hands, and gramma still makes tuna sandwiches... without an epidemic of people dropping dead.

I'm sad that this gets press, not because single real events aren't tragic. I'm sad because my kids have to suffer thru more of the secondary effects: an ongoing flood of hysterical peanut hypochondria.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

troylanes (883822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963926)

I would have recently agreed wholeheartedly with your ascertains. However, having recently witness my daughter suffer a violent allergic reaction accompanied by an expensive trip to the ER by doing something as innocuous as eating a cookie, I've had to shift my stance. In places such as daycare and primary schools where a child does not have enough faculty to understand that taking a bite of a friends lunch could kill them I'm all for peanut free zones. In settings where the child is old enough to know and to ask, It's a reasonable risk to allow. Until you've personally experienced a 3 year old son or daughter unable to breath and swelling up like a baloon, I doubt you can understand the "hysteria." So, for now, I'm sorry that your kids have to suffer such that my kid may live.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964348)

same story, but for my younger brother. Unfortunately is allergic to a whole host of different stuff, but the only one he seems to be "deathy" allergic to is peanut oil [and its associated protein].

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0, Troll)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964470)

Perhaps your kid wasn't meant to live: you know Nature can be damn cruel bitch sometimes.

We didn't have this crap 40 years ago when I went to elementary school, and kids weren't dropping like flies. No one ever heard of a food allergy.

30 MILLION people have to adjust their way of life so one may live (based on the 1/30,000,000 actually having an allergy severe enough to kill them).

There are many more allergies who's fatal response rates are much higher (fish oil, as one poster noted), and we don't accommodate them, so why should we accommodate you? Get in line with your kid's rare allergy.

Great that you know the risks to your kid and all, but really, it is your responsibility to keep them out of danger (consider home schooling or some special school for highly allergic kids), instead of making the rest of the world accommodate you. You knew all the crap that can happen when trying to make another human. You chose to do so anyway (like I did). Deal with the fallout.

The appropriate societal response here is not to make the many bend to the few, but to encourage insurance for the rare risks and establish places of safety where they can be avoided. How about a separate lunch room for the short interval they are actually eating? Damn, wouldn't that encourage them to hurry up so they could play.

If I am not the direct cause of your problem I should not be obliged to help you deal with it.

A three year old might not be wise enough to not share food with a playmate, but a five year old (entering kindergarten) can be taught this. Oh wait! That was way back when I was five years old and my classmates and I were trustworthy enough to walk a mile to and from school each day and help with household chores, like cooking dinner on a shudder hot stove.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33964766)

you know Nature can be damn cruel bitch sometimes.

You know, I've never thought that the publication was that bad.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965148)

First: Your comment demonstrates your character.

Second: People who actually know something about biology suspect a link between lacking certain bacteria in your gut and having some food allergies [about.com] .

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965514)

My character?

Let's see. I was taught "do no harm", "treat others like you want to be treated", not "I am responsible for every one else".

You look after yours, I'll look after mine, and we can all purchase insurance for risks we can't bear.

Though, maybe we should try it your "the world owes me" way: "I was born ugly, so hot chicks should be forced to fuck me."

Nope. Even ugly old curmudgeonly me finds that just plain wrong.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33964648)

Mr. Me: Hello Doctor?
Dr. You: Hello.
Mr. Me: My toe hurts.
Dr. You: That's an easy problem to solve, we'll just remove your leg.

Yeah, that's logical. How about a fucking Medic-Alert bracelet or a big bright flashing and loud beeping embarrassing "I WILL DIE IF I EAT PEANUTS" neon sign hung about their neck?

My problem with democracy is exactly this. My child should not have to suffer so that your child doesn't suffer. In fact, I fucking wish there was a reverse peanut allergy, where my kid would die if they didn't eat enough peanuts. I would love to arrange a playdate with your child and my fictional child. I think that would be a fun social experiment.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33964750)

"However, having recently witness my daughter suffer a violent allergic reaction accompanied by an expensive trip to the ER by doing something as innocuous as eating a cookie, I've had to shift my stance"

Obviously your daughter should be kept away from all food whatsoever.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964112)

If you're going to decry the "reality-distorting nonsense", please do not start the next sentence by comparing the lack of PB&J to the holocaust. My irony allergy is acting up.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33964150)

I would also agree, except I know two people with deadly peanut allergy. Accidentally eating peanut traces means an auto-injector (carried at all times) to survive the immediate trip to the ER, proven by experience. Also, peanut allergy-related deaths occur every now and then in Sweden, based on ~9M people.

So 1 in 30M is probably bunk.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964372)

Some people are so allergic to peanuts that just smelling them can put them in anaphylactic shock. When people are that allergic to fish, then we can start talking. This isn't overreacting parents, this is a real condition that some people have to live with.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33964634)

Some people are so allergic to peanuts that just smelling them can put them in anaphylactic shock.

It's not the smell. [about.com]

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965010)

ONE in THIRTY MILLION

That means that they are less likely to die from peanuts than they are to die of choking on a dog-treat while, at the same time, being entertained by a blue haired clown that forgot to turn of the shower in his seven-story house on Broadway. I.e. highly unlikely.

People don't die in droves from peanuts. They don't. What they are, is being fussed over by retarded helicopter parents that should let their kids grow up. Kids that wouldn't have any allergies if they had been able to go out and play in the dirt when they were little. And lived in houses that didn't get doused in anti-septic sprays every five minutes.

Allergies are, for the most part, self inflicted. Or rather, inflicted on children by their parents. Stop doing that. Think of the children. Really.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964492)

[Citation needed]

"Peanut allergy is the most common cause of death due to foods" and "peanut allergies affect 2% of the population" http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=517 [aafa.org]

The CDC seems to put it at more like 1% for peanuts and tree nuts combined http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/ [cdc.gov]

That's a lot more than 1 in 30 million.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964528)

fatal to 1/(3x10^7).

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964834)

perhaps (citation still needed) but that probably doesn't take into account all the people who would die if not for medical intervention (I would guess that most people with a fatal-level reaction are saved). The point being that peanut allergies really do need to be taken seriously.

And there are more fatalities than due to fish (or any other food), which contradicts the original poster.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965342)

So?

Why are other people's allergies my problem? Did I give them to them?

Teach school-age kids to be careful, and provide them with epi-pens. Problem solved.

Five year olds can walk a mile too and from school -- we did when I was young. (And we knew not to talk to strangers.) They can certainly be taught to not eat strange foods. Crap, when I was a kid, six and seven year old diabetic kids were giving themselves scheduled insulin injections.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965728)

What makes it your problem? The only time it's your problem is if a person in your care has a nut allergy and you feed them nuts, or you acquire one yourself.

Also labeling food correctly and educating people with allergies is the answer, not just doling out epipens.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

t-twisted (937590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965744)

So?

Why are other people's allergies my problem? Did I give them to them?

Teach school-age kids to be careful, and provide them with epi-pens. Problem solved.

Five year olds can walk a mile too and from school -- we did when I was young. (And we knew not to talk to strangers.) They can certainly be taught to not eat strange foods. Crap, when I was a kid, six and seven year old diabetic kids were giving themselves scheduled insulin injections.

Jesus Christ, dude. No one said other peoples' allergies are your problem, just that they can be serious. Some allergies spontaneously appear so unless every person walks around with an epi 'just in case', it's impossible to be prepared for every incidence of anaphylactic shock. Upset that someone threatened to take your peanuts away on a plane?

And we don't let five-year-olds walk a mile to school alone not because we don't think we can teach them to not talk to strangers, but because they are too small and weak to defend themselves against being forced into a car. Some people take the concept of 'personal responsibility' way too far.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964558)

Food allergies are rare, but they're definitely real. As with so many other things (e.g. ADHD), I'm sure it's way over-diagnosed. Or at least wrt anything serious.

The reality is that everyone has some mild food sensitivities, and most of the time, the effects are subtle enough that you probably don't notice. Lactose intolerance may give you diarrhea, but usually, it just gives people a little bit of gas. Some food intolerances are immune reactions (typically IgA if you don't notice much effect), some are the side-effect of microorganisms in your digesting what you cannot, and some seem to be a bit mysterious. A common effect of a mild food intolerance is that between a few hours to a few days after you eat the offending food, you may experience some fatigue. The reaction is usually too subtle and too delayed for people to make the association. It can take a heck of a lot of effort to discover every little food you might have some trouble with. The advantage is that you might optimize your energy and general well-being slightly. A potential disadvantage is difficulty in obtaining important nutrients, if you remove too much variety from your diet.

Coeliac disease is an interesting one. It's not a food allergy. It's an auto-immune reaction brought on by an antibody to some of the peptides in gluten. One's body produces IgA antibodies that react to these, and those same antibodies attack the intestinal lining. For most victims of this disease, the symptoms start out subtle. But if left unchecked, the destruction of the intestinal lining can lead to severe malnutrition. Some victims have more severe reactions, like vomiting and diarrhead, while others have terrible mood swings and other cognitive effects.

I personally have an allergy (a real IgE reaction) to soy protein. My reaction is annoying but decidedly non-deadly. If I eat any food product with sufficient soy protein, even fermented like soy sauce or tofu, I may suffer a nose bleed within a few hours, and several hours later, I'll break out in a major all-over itch, not necessarily with visible hives. Claritin will do the trick. According to a lab test, I also have an IgA reaction in the gut, which explains why diarrhea is a symptom that sometimes accompanies it as well. Also, my energy level seems to be affected for a few days afterwards. In my case, this soy allergy is genetic. Both my mother and sister have it.

So to summarize, subtle to mild food sensitivities are fairly common but not anything to fuss over. Serious intolerances, however, are a serious matter, and it's nice that some restaurants go out of their way to accomodate people with these problems.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965228)

There was a good article in Harper's Magazine a few years ago about overblown peanut fears.

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/01/0081878

Good read.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965298)

Anything else you need sharpened while we're grinding this axe?

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965308)

According to the CDC (which employs actual scientists, I'm told), the deadly threat from peanut allergies affects about 1 in 30 Million people. Deadly allergic reactions to fish and fish oils are more than TWICE as prevalent as peanut allergies. Yet fish sticks are served in school cafeterias, hippie daycare providers happily much on boxed sushi with bare hands, and gramma still makes tuna sandwiches... without an epidemic of people dropping dead.

I'm sad that this gets press, not because single real events aren't tragic. I'm sad because my kids have to suffer thru more of the secondary effects: an ongoing flood of hysterical peanut hypochondria.

The problem with peanuts is that peanut oil is aromatic and does not need to be injested directly to cause the allergy. Fish oil is not like that. At least the reactions aren't triggered as easily.

My wife has an anaphylactic allergy to onion and garlic. Trace amounts - a pinch of garlic powder in a pot - is enough to put her in hospital for a week, and is potentially fatal. A straw that was mishandled and exposed to onion has also put her into hospital. It means there are very few pre-prepared foods we can eat. Eating out at a restaurant is out of the question. Even Macdonalds chips are a gamble (though one we occassionally take). I've seen a sundae served with onions in it (thankfully to my cousin, not my wife). I can't eat the stuff either because if I slip up and kiss her it could be the kiss of death. I've seen her go beet red at a work christmas function just from smells but thankfully she does not proceed to have her airways close up. If they did she probably couldn't hold down a job. We both have plenty of sympathy for people with peanut allergies.

I have several relatives that are school teachers. Anecdotally, peanut allergies are indeed on the increase. How much of that is better diagnosis, and how much might be misdiagnosis I can't tell you, but the problem is real. People with these allergies aren't just faking it and don't have pyschological issues.

Now watch this get modded down and argued with, because people here can be assholes and can enjoy digging their heels in about their own ignorance.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965798)

The problem with peanuts is that peanut oil is aromatic. . .

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (2, Funny)

Flushdot Is Bad (1921064) | more than 3 years ago | (#33966880)

quoting a movie. i don't think it's as funny as you think it is.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33967074)

The problem with peanuts is that peanut oil is aromatic. . .

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/aromatic [reference.com]
–adjective
1. having an aroma; fragrant or sweet-scented; odoriferous.
2. Chemistry . of or pertaining to an aromatic compound or compounds.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965334)

As someone with a peanut allergy who survived into adult hood, the reason why I would want a nut-free zone (particularly in grade school, k-6 most importantly) is I found adults don't tend to believe 5 year olds. When you are in preschool and a teacher is handing out M&M's, and you aren't well versed in the M&M franchise and all their products, however, you have been told by your parents to always ask if peanuts are in anything you are offered. So you ask, the teacher doesn't care because they don't think its important, they've never heard of peanut allergies and they themselves quite enjoy peanuts and are spreading the love. So you ask, they say no, you eat a peanut M&M and then the fun begins.

As an adult I have located at least one local restaurant that is poor about clearing their frying pans. I don't know if they just rinse them off and not bother cleaning them or if the person who is supposed to use soap doesn't know how. However, even if I order a dish that doesn't have peanuts in the ingredients, doesn't list it uses peanut oil for any stage of the cooking, because some other dish on the menu does use peanut oil and the people in the kitchen haven't heard of soap, I get a milder reaction from eating anything on the menu (by milder I mean I can still breath).

So 1) it's really not as simple as just don't eat peanuts.

2) Anecdotal yes, however, when I was growing up (as noting in the first paragraph) no one knew of a peanut allergy and didn't believe you when you told them about it. As an adult, talking to other adults who's children have a peanut allergy, they claim that growing up they also had never heard of it, however, they have 3-4 in every class now. So either it is going up, just based upon the number of vocal parents, or the vocal parents just got louder. Either way, I'm probably one of the few people who is grateful that airplanes no longer offer peanuts.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33966040)

(Posting anonymously because I have modded...)

I hear this.

My son has what is called Sensory Integration Disorder (related to Aspbergers') and eats a very limited diet of things that he can actually tolerate the smell and taste of. Guess what? One of his very few protein sources is peanut butter. So we push back against this silliness at every opportunity because if this was enforced at his elementary school, he would be unable to eat a balanced lunch.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33966126)

The pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science.

I have source amnesia on it, but I did read a report that compared allergen responses by way of different methods of roasting peanuts. Supposedly before the 80's most peanuts were dry roasted in-shell, shelled and ground. Most today are shelled, fried, and ground. This seems to elicit a higher level of peanut allergy response.

Likely most of those are discomfort-level. I have that with fish, swollen tongue, tightened airway, but nothing that's going to kill me. So, I don't eat bony fish, problem solved (I really do detest the stink of it, though, especially when an officemate decides to microwave her rancid fish leftovers).

Anyway, if my kids had mild peanut allergies I might try verifying the source of the peanut butter we get and try for the old-style to see if they'd desensitize. We do get the real kind from the grinder in the store, it's so much better than jar goods.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33966130)

Sigh. Great, now the pea-nutty people have more ammo for declaring nut-free zones (from which they do not remove themselves, ironically) in schools, camps, clubs, etc etc.

How is a kid, who is legally required to be at school (and often required to be at a certain group of tables during lunch) supposed to remove himself from that place?

Also, you make it sound like "oh, he'll sneeze and itch". This is *DROP DEAD* stuff that we're talking about it.

Go fuck yourself.

Re:pea-nutty holocaust has no basis in science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33967154)

Your 1 in 30 million statistic is so far off its not funny. There are on average 1-3 kids per year for whom we receive alerts for serious peanut allergies. The school I teach at has 400 to 600 students per year. It seems our school hosts all of the countries 10 cases of peanut allergies during my 5 years of teaching. Why do you attack this with such anger and fake data. Is it because it inconveniences you? This reminds me of the baseless counter "facts" to global warming that seem so comment these days.

tssss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963654)

where's doctor House when you need him?

Re:tssss (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964304)

Stoned in a padded cell and grumbling while popping Vicodin like mints. Where else, loserboy nerd?

Not just allergies (2, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963680)

I've done research into this because I suffer from several allergies to common foods, and more than one is life threatening. I want to donate blood, but I fear that I will pass them on. No use in saving someone only to kill them with what is coming from the hospital cafeteria... Though it would take repeated exposures for the allergy to be significant enough to become life threatening.

Well, its not just allergies, but all kinds of things including neurological issues like nervous ticks are transmittable well.

Re:Not just allergies (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963978)

Well, its not just allergies, but all kinds of things including neurological issues like nervous ticks are transmittable well.

[citation neede-- sorry about that, it's just this nervous tick I developed after reading your post. :-P

correlation between respiratory allergies and food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963736)

This reminds me of an article I read in the New Scientist on the correlation of pollen types and food allergies. The prime example was a line running east west in northern Europe. On one side of the line you have birch trees, and on the same side of the line a much higher instance of allergic reactions to apple skins. It turns out that there is a protein in apple skins that is the same as that found in birch pollen.

BOOM! (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963794)

That noise you just heard was my mind a'sploding.

First Reaction (1)

NYMeatball (1635689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963842)

"This would have made an excellent episode of house."

Re:First Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33963948)

Shhh... we're working on it ;)

What's the conclusion? WRONG! (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33963954)

Um, the concept that she should not have experienced a reaction since her immune system was not sensitive to peanuts beforehand is flawed.

I enjoy chronic mild asthma, and the cause is my bronchial tubes' reaction to exercise and various allergens. If my lungs were transplanted to someone, I would expect that they would also have asthma, since it is my bronchi that are reacting.

This case is an example of a not very well thought out transplant process. Implanting the lungs of a anaphylactic shock victim into someone doesn't ensure at all that the recipient will not also be subsceptible to shock. It guarantees it.

Wow. what a great mistake. We learned something here that we should have already known.

Re:What's the conclusion? WRONG! (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964840)

Asthma may work slightly differently than allergies, but I believe the root cause of both is the immune system triggering an excessive response. Your immune system is separate from your lungs so your asthma would not necessarily be transmitted to a donor. Some of your immune system's B-Cells and T-cells would transfer over though, and as this case demonstrates it is possible for them to cause some changes to a host immune system. It's rather uncommon and should only happen in unusual circumstances.

The article actually explained all this pretty well.

All sorts of things get transplanted... (2, Funny)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 3 years ago | (#33964212)

For example, you get a bone marrow transplant and your blood type will change to that of the donor. Maybe they should start transplanting those rare blood-types to blood bank volunteers. I know a few homeless guys that would love to get a higher premium for their donation.

Not all of us have medical degrees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965198)

"(i.e. something peanuty)" - Whoa, whoa! Slow down the technical medical jargon!

Nomenclature (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33965792)

they could have trained the woman's native immune cells to respond.

When they're trained, they become terrorist cells.

The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33965856)

What I'm wondering is what the hell this WOMAN was doing at a convention. Did her husband give her permission? And she better be 5 pounds underweight for her height if she's indulging on fatty snacks.

Women these days are disgusting compared to how they were in 'Mad Men' days.

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