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Author Topic: allergy test  (Read 1740 times)
wouldliketobee
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« on: February 04, 2007, 01:29:22 PM »

Hello to everyone I have been interested in beekeeping all my life , but when I was around 10 years old I was stung by honeybee and broke out in hives ,my family docter said I was allergic, I have never had trouble breathing, was stung when 19 , had a few hives , took benedryl was fine ,  wanted to start beekeeping this year at 41 , had allergy test for bee and wasp venom showed reaaction to bee venom, allergist said I should never be a bee keeper , unless I was ....bent on beekeeping , would not prescibe shots because my reaactions were not bad enough, gave me presciption for epipen , recommended that I don't raise bees , would a docter ever recommend that you do ?  Has anyone had similiar experience ? Any chance to be a beekeeper , not sure what to do next? Hate to give up. ..   wouldliketobee   
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Kev
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2007, 04:42:49 PM »

What to do next? Get a second opinion from a board-certified allergist. Doctors don't know everything. Maybe another allergist would be willing to give you allergy shots to desensitize you.

Good luck,
Kev
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2007, 05:01:12 PM »

hives are a bad sign.  they are the sign of a systemic reaction to the bee venom.  i would go to an allergist again and be retested.  it is possible that there is some treatment that is new.  if not, the advice of the first doc was sound.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2007, 06:00:47 PM »

There are treatments available for allergies to beestings.  I'd recommend them even if you don't want to keep bees.  There are bees everywhere anyway.  I believe the effective ones are a recent thing that many doctors (especially GPs) are not aware of.

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Michael Bush
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2007, 08:58:03 PM »

I forgot to mention that I was stung on the forhead last summer by a honeybee and I swelled to the size of a half - dollar at the site of sting ,swelling went down after a few hours ,didn't really hurt all that much, I have read that the test I had is wrong 46% of the time.I will try to consult with another allergist ,but I 'm afraid I will get the same results and will not learn anything.  wouldliketobee
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2007, 09:27:42 PM »

>I forgot to mention that I was stung on the forhead last summer by a honeybee and I swelled to the size of a half - dollar at the site of sting ,swelling went down after a few hours

That's just a normal reaction.  Hives or trouble breathing is a systemic reaction.
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Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
IndianaBrown
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2007, 01:05:30 AM »

Are you sure that the previous sting was from a honey bee? 

In the past when I get stung by meat eating insects (wasps, yellow jackets, etc,) I have usually experienced some combination of hives, shortness of breath, minor palpitations, hot and cold flashes, and feeling faint.  But with honey bee stings all I get is a few minutes of pain, and a swelling more or less like a mosquito bite that can persist for a few days.

Needless to say I am very carefull to avoid stings in general, but I am not worried about being stung by my bees.  I had 5 honey bee stings last year, (3 of them on the same day.) 4 of them could have been avoided if I had taken better precautions.

I agree that you should check with an allergist.  Just be aware that not all stinging insect venom is the same.
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Trot
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2007, 12:07:08 PM »



Bee stings are a fact of life, in our daily comings and goings. Let's face it, our world is full of flying and stinging insects.
IMO, there is an unusual preoccupation with stinging and stinging insects. People make way too much fuss over nothing. When stung, they usually panic and make things actually a lot worse than should/could be.
When stung, one should stay calm! If it was a bee, brush or scrape the stinger of and that is all that is needed!
Stay calm!  Panic and anxiety makes things more painful and can cause secondary accidents. Panic in itself can cause an anaphylactic reaction which a calm person would not experience.
Reaction to the stings is actually the body-defense producing too much antibodies, to fight the intruding venom. Excitement alone, can and often does, cause this to occur.

General practitioners rarely know any more about bee stings than a regular person on the street. But, in an emergency GP can surely know how to save ones' life.
People are in general very ignorant and fearful, about insects, or life outside the four walls of our rooms in general.
Bee stings are a very specialized field and many  a specialist is often very ignorant about the bee stings and test which they perform leave often much to be desired.
For a person who is concerned about reactions - he/her should consult a specialist who specializes in bee stings.
New methods ere out there and many are being developed as we speak. Desensitizing is often prescribed and it works.
So, I would not waste my time with GP, cause they are prone to write you a prescription, (they get a fee) which can leave one with false sense of security. We all too often get a prescription/antibiotic for a common cold and we all know too well, that viruses are not affected by antibiotics. 
Doctors will also play it safe and tell someone to stay away from the bees altogether... Cause in their minds, why should somebody want to bother with stupid insects anyway?
They don't even have a clue, that without bees, many a stomach on this earth will go empty...

So, keep a calm head ! Get proper, professional advice! 
Many a person has in the past returned to their bees without any danger and or undue anxiety.
But, only proper diagnose, treatment and desensitization, (if needed) will do the trick and give you peace of mind. . . . .

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2076.html

Regards,
Trot
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2007, 06:39:31 PM »

Most people who say they are allergic to bee stings are simply sensitive.  Being sensative can result in a reaction such as swelling and pain to a local area of the body (site of the sting). 
An allergic reaction is systemic, induces a reaction body wide that will usually include breathing difficulties, nausea, possible vomitting, rapid heart beat, etc. 
Doctors are in the practice of labeling any reaction as an allergy instead a sensativity.  hayfever is a sensativity not a true allergy.
If you are in the 1st group you can safely keep bees.  If you are in the 2nd I would not advise it.
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ronbert
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2007, 05:12:41 PM »

I have been beekeeping for several years. I have been stung many times; swelling and itching.
In July 2006 I was cutting down a tree to get ferel hive when I was stung on nose (been stung there before).
About 20 minutes later I went to my knees. Felt like my heart stopped. Got to house and took Benadryl.
I had hives.
I went to emergency room and yes I had anaphylactic shock.
Went to Dr. (specialist) and was tested. I showed severe reaction to honey bee sting.
I am now getting shots once a week (for 6 months) then tested again. Will need to be
tested every year. I must carry Epi for rest of life. It is possible that overactive immune system
will cause AS for other "things". I was also tested for 60 food groups. Dr. says he has patients
that get AS for no reason they can determine. AND YES panic can cause what appears to be
AS.
I now wear FULL equipment when beekeeping. I used to let the little darlins crawl all over my hands.
We have members in our beekeepers association who went into beekeeping knowing they were
allergic to honey bee sting. You just have to be carefull.

Anaphylactic shock- the blood vessels leak blood (hives) which drops blood pressure (felt like
heart stopping).
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Kev
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2007, 09:48:13 AM »

One more thing to add. Earlier I mentioned board-certified allergist.
I think that is really important in a case like yours. Any MD can start practicing as an allergist with no additional training.

Docs who are board-certified have to undergo additional training and then pass a rigorous exam. It is not easy to get board-certified, and I know of docs who were not able to pass the exam despite years of practice. Board-certified docs are typically more up-to-date.

I'm trying to diss Family Practitioners. They are wonderful for everyday medicine, but for a questions like this, I think you need a heavy hitter.

(For me, the same goes for an emergency. At the hospital where I work, we have all board-certified, fellowship-trained ED Docs. No family practice docs moonlighting. In a crisis, these are the docs I want by my bedside.)

kev
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2007, 02:36:39 AM »

The allergist that tested me was board certified , he said that I haven't had a bad enough reaction to prescribe desensitation shots , he wouldn't prescribe shots so I could raise bees , he prescribed an epipen to have in case I have a bad reaction. I have never had an epipen before, I haven't been stung by honeybees in recent years other than last summer and I 'm not 100% it was a honeybee but I think it was. He said that the only way to know how my body would react was to get an actual sting ,I've seen on some web sites that doctors will sometimes do this but I don't think this doctor would be willing to do it . When I had the skin test I swelled with honeybee venom that was 1/5000 of a sting the swell was like a small bug bite. I think that there are too many varibles and most doctors try to keep diagnoses generalized to avoid liability , which leaves the patient more confused after the visit than before. Thanks for all the responses, Wouldliketobee     
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2007, 04:02:45 PM »

>he wouldn't prescribe shots so I could raise bees

Have you tried telling him that you WILL be raising bees and because of that you'd like to be desensitized?  Personally, I'd get the shots even if I wasn't going to raise bees because anyone can get stung.
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Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2007, 09:39:12 PM »

Back in the seventies I was a hippie I had long hair I got stung Zingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg right were my hair parted I woke up on the groung with my mothers cat on my chest I must have been out for a while I got up shook the cob webs out of my head put my beekeeping stuff on set the beehive up on the stand went home.Been stung many times thats the only time it got to me.If you wear good beekeeping gear it could make it safer.Plus get some treatments.
Kirk-o
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Kev
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2007, 08:45:50 PM »

I 'm not 100% it was a honeybee but I think it was.

It's kind of surprising you don't know if it was a honeybee. Most times a honeybee stings, it's stinger stays in you and you have to scrape it off. Wasps and hornets don't leave the stinger in.

the other bee keepers might be able to tell you if they've ever had a bee sting with no stinger left behind.

Good luck with the whole process. I still think you might see another allergist for a second opinion. Some docs just aren't interested in helping folks do what they want.

kev
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