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Chef16

Bee Stings?

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Okay, so I'm not at all allergic to bee stings but I was wondering if getting stung by a bee could effect people with Celiac disease (or other autoimmune diseases) more than "normal" people? Since bee stings trigger an immune response, what would that do to a weakened immune system?

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Celiac does not cause a weakened immune system, it does the opposite. It puts your immune system into 'hyperdrive' to such an extent that it attacks not only what it should attack but also the body itself.

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I don't know, but I react strongly to bee stings. I can't breath and I break out into a cold sweat with tremendous swelling.

I suspect, if you have other allergies, it might have something to do with an adverse response. I have no other allergies that I am aware of. But I don't think having Celiac is a connection.

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Not being an allergist, I won't try to answer the question, but I doubt it. However, I do have a recent bee sting story.

One afternoon a few weeks ago I walked out to the car to get something. I was barefoot (barefooted?). As I passed a spearmint plant I had planted next to my walkway, I felt a sharp sting at the base of my middle toe. At first I thought I had stepped on a piece of glass or something, but as I bent over to look, a tiny little black & white bee flew out from under my foot. That mint plant happened to be covered with small blossom clusters, and the tiny bees and wasps that love them.

I immediately went into the litchen and applied some vinegar, then baking soda, then vinegar & baking soda. The stinging gradually subsided and about 10 minutes later was gone. Oh yeah, I noticed the stinger came out as I was rubbing all that stuff on my toe. That was it. I forgot all about it for the rest of the day. Woke up the next morning and my toe felt swollen where the sting had been (where my toe attaches to my foot). All day it felt that way, but I wasn't overly concerned. The next morning, my whole toe felt like a fat sausage. By that night, the entire front part of my foot was swollen and starting to look a little discolored (red with black streaks, I didn't think that was a good sign). My foot was angry that day my friend. I went to see my doctor the next morning and she thought my foot was probably infected. I got a cortisteroid shot (in my behind, not my foot), and some antibiotics to take (Bactrim).

The shot made the swelling go down immediately. I was fine after that, except. About 4 days later I started feeling puny. A non-specific almost nausea kind of feeling. Went back to my Doc and she said to stop taking the Bactrim. I might not have been tolerating them very well. That seemed to do the trick.

That's my recent bee sting story. I have other, older bee, wasp, and asp sting stories if anyone wants to hear them. :D:rolleyes:

best regards, lm

p.s., I was once an exterminator. :ph34r:

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I was wondering whether an insect sting could lead to celiac or food sensitivities.

For the past 2 y I've been treated for hypertension and high cholesterol. While the doctor kept assuring me there was no known cause for the condition and that it was essentially incurable (please take these pills) I sometimes went into long "remissions". From what I understand this is not possible with normal hypertension.

About 2 weeks ago I got a very severe reaction to something. My feet swelled up, right hand belly pain, painful heart palpatations, cold sweats ... well, you know the deal. I tracked it down to my breakfast cereal -- clusters.

A bit of googling and I knew to cut out bread and cereal &ct. And I seemed to recover. My blood pressure even went back into normal range when not eating bread daily.

Then it moved on. I had a cup of coffee a few days after the first problem and BAM, same deal.

I understand coffee "looks like" some gluten products and sometimes gets the same immune response.

Now 2 years back I stepped on a wasp. Nothing happened for 24 hrs, then my right foot swelled up like a baloon for about 1 wk. The swelling suddenly went down overnight and I didn't seem to have any after effects.

But it was around this time -- maybe a few months later -- I was first diagnosed with the hypertension.

I now suspect immune system probs have been the underlying prob all along. I know I've had swollen feet on and off over the past 2 y -- something that had never happend before. And I've had the odd belly pain esp lower right-hand side which I initially thought *might* be related to the heart probs because I was certainly having angina every now and then and it seemed to be about the same times I had the belly pains... but I now think maybe the whole thing was kicked off by my allergic reaction to the (European wasp) sting.

My doctor all along has rejected my various other symptoms of belly pains, swollen feet, dizziness, as being anything except part of the hypertension syndrome.

I have yet to catch him up to date with the latest gulten- and coffee-related incidents.

Edited by rkh
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As to if the sting can lead to it, perhaps. Celiac disease is a autoimmune disease, it is commonly genetic and the gene can be inactive in some people for years til a shock to the immune system or body triggers it. I for one had a few incidents that made mine go form minor issues to full blown. I know of other members who have had it brought on by pregnancy, a virus, food poisoning, etc. where something forces the bodies immune system with a drastic change.  The common theory on this is if your eating gluten at the time of one of these incidents your immune system gets confused and starts to create antibodies not just to deal with the current issue (IE food poisoning, virus, your insect sting) but also mistakenly for the gluten protein (this is part of where that gene that causes this confusion comes in making your prone to this). After having done this once your body will react by making antibodies to kill gluten if it is present again in your system, where it also mistakenly attacks your own body trying to fight it.

NOTE THE ABOVE IS FROM MY DEGRADED MEMORY of articles I have read, accuracy is not 100% and might contain mistakes.

If you want you can request your doctor screen you for celiac disease, note you have to be eating gluten for 12 weeks every day for the blood test (Not much just a cracker or half a slice of bread a day) . Ask for a FULL celiac blood panel test, sorta of have to push that part. Then you should ask about getting a endoscope and biopsy where they will check for intestinal damage from celiac. The endoscope is something you will probably want done anyway if your having some gut issues and perhaps a colonoscopy, while your at it.     

Now if they find not have celiac after all the testing is done you can still remove gluten from your diet, in fact I might suggest it for a bit as there is something called non celiac gluten sensitivity. This can have various symptoms as well and can not really be tested for.

In the end if you decide to go gluten free remember to eat a varied whole food diet, avoid to many of the processed foods that are gluten-free alternatives. As many of these are loaded with starches and lack the nutrients your body needs.

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I have Zanier heated gloves, but my Marmot Expedition mittens work better for walking the dogs. When your core and head are cold your body sacrifices the extremities or so I've been told.
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