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What could be the cause of eye swelling post eating peanut butter in one with severe anxiety ?

I have never had allergies before, up until this year (some sinus issues on and off, but nothing major). About 4 months ago I had a few episodes were my eyes got very itchy and dry on and off and a few times I had some eye symptoms...minor swelling of the right upper eyelid , twice had a bubble which looked like a mosquito bite form under the eye (one time each eye) and another time I woke up with small to medium size bag under my left eye. Each time I felt fine other than the small amount of swelling and each time it was only in one eye, never both. In fact, most times I didn t realize until I went and looked in the mirror and then got scared after seeing the small amount of swelling. I also saw an eye doctor last fall after the first issue with it and the covering of my left eyeball was slightly fluid filled, which he said was due to an irritant and nothing to worry about. We had also found some black mold in our basement at that time that a plumber opened up the ceiling (so conceivably, some of these mold spores may have come out into the air...I had had no issues before this). I am now about 120 pounds (was 140 before I lost the weight) and female and 45 years old. I am a very nervous person and had been under severe stress for several months. It was during this time I started getting the eye symptoms. So stress, the mold issue and most likely the start of peri- menopause may all be contributing. Two of times I got the eye symptoms I had eaten peanut butter....but many hours beforehand. One time it was probably between 4-6 hours earlier and the second time, it was about 10-12 hours earlier. I had also had peanut butter in between with no symptoms. Each time I felt fine other than later on getting some eye symptoms. I had also, due to the stress, had lost 20 pounds during those months and once became dehydrated. Both times I had gotten the little bump under my eye (like a mosquito bite), I had been under acute stress both those days. Those are the only 2 times that ever happened. My general physician feels it s all stress-related and also seasonal allergies (I seem to have a little bit of hayfever). He said my symptoms are not consistent with food allergy or peanut butter allergy. Since not having any peanut products, I ve had no eye swelling, bags or bumps, but my stress level is also a LOT lower now. Should I get a blood allergy test for peanuts or is it most likely stress-related or hormone-related? Is it just a coincidence? Whenever I ve eaten peanut butter I always feel absolutely fine afterwards...even relaxed. No other rash, no breathing issues, nothing else. Being the nervous person I am though, I have worried that if the eye symptoms were related to the peanut butter, then my reaction could be worse next time. That s my main fear in trying the peanut butter again (as I said, I had been suffering anxiety and panic for several months, so my thought process became a little skewed). Would love to know if it s safe to just try the peanut butter again or if I should have the blood test. Thank you.
Asked On : Thu, 22 Mar 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  164
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Thanks for writing in.
I think you should get yourself tested for an allergy to peanuts. Its unlikely that stress or hormonal issues are contributing to these allergies. I would suggest that you steer clear of peanuts for the time being as allergic reactions can be very severe at times ( fatal reactions have also been reported)
Try and reduce your anxiety levels with deep breathing and yoga. This should benefit you a great deal.
Hope this helps.
Answered: Thu, 22 Mar 2012
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