Punished for Trusting False Negatives

Note, my negative skin prick test for shrimp. At the time shrimp was a moderate suspicion but I didn’t have any in recent times in much quantity at all. It was just that after having certain asian dishes flavored with fermented shrimp paste I would not feel well. Another possibility is that it was just emerging. Shellfish allergies are known to start in adulthood.

In any case, after the very negative skin prick test, I thought I must have been reading too much into my data. In hindsight what I did next was extremely dangerous but I put too much faith in that negative result. Getting the constant vibe that patients are much more likely to overdiagnose themselves didn’t help either.

Yes, patients may overdiagnose or pick the wrong culprit if they don’t track thoroughly, but they probably do have some problem. Maybe not a problem that can be detected by current available tests. I think we resort too quickly to the explanation that one must be imagining it or it is all in the head when the truth is that we don’t know yet.

Anyhow, after the results came in, we fried up some shrimp that was sitting untouched in the freezer. The happiness of adding shrimp back in my diet lasted a mere thirty minutes or so.

I had another similar incident with hazelnut, which was also negative according to skin prick test. Granted, both these reactions were likely cases of FPIES and expected to test negative IgE. The lesson was even a non IgE allergy can be very severe and when it is suspected by history we should be very cautious when introducing these foods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *