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Latex Allergy Stories

Tell Your Latex Allergy Story


The best way for the world to understand the severity of a Latex allergy is for everyone to hear what those suffering from the allergy go through. Read the stories below written by people who suffer from allergic reactions to Latex and comments by those who advocate change.

 

Currently, 177 people have submitted stories or comments.

 

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Kristen Bradley: Chico, CA

Allergic

I developed a Latex allergy from doing Enemas using a Latex bag.(I suffered from years of chronic constipation and had to resort to enemas to have a bowel movement by my late 20's. In my mid 30's I had my colon removed which took care of this problem.) The intestinal tract is a highly permeable surface, an allergy to the natural rubber latex protein can develop very quickly and easily when exposed to this surface repeatedly. As a result I now have a Latex allergy which can manifest itself through a skin rash if I touch a latex glove, eraser, rubber band etc, severe intestinal cramping and bloating if I consume food heavily handled with Latex gloves, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath if I am around latex via balloons, tires, gloves in medical centers, new paint or carpet etc. I do everything in my power to minimize exposure yet, this is quite a large task as latex is everywhere. I work in a clinic as a Registered Dietitian (which uses non-Latex gloves the majority of the time) yet I sometimes break out from touching charts that have been exposed to rubber bands, pencil erasers and other items. During parties/birthdays I must contend with balloons. Anytime I want to eat out it is a huge ordeal as I prefer to eat at Latex free restaurants yet it is not always possible when on trips/vacations in unknown cities with family/friends or for work. As mentioned earlier this can cause me severe abdominal cramping/bloating and pain which can last up to a few days. In addition, many people do not take my situation seriously which makes it quite difficult. My current place of employement has plans to move to a newly constructed building which may put me out of work for a while as I can not be around new carpet or paint until the "newness" wears off.

 

Jan Baker: Cortez, colorado

Allergic

I have been a surgical technologist for 30 years' My first reaction I went in anaphylaxis .I was lucky that at that time I was working in surgery.If if I was not at the hospital I would be dead.I have to really check when I go anywhere.I have had other reactions.So I have to be really careful.

 

Ingrid Koivu: Homestead, FL

Allergic

My 16 yr old son was diagnosed 3 years ago. He had stomach issues and the gastro referred us to an allergist. We found out that he is positive for latex and latex in foods. It's not just bananas. He has lost about 30 lbs since he cannot eat a long list of foods. Not only do restaurants need to stop using latex gloves but schools as well. I've had to supply the science dept. with latex-free gloves for each period. He's been in and out of the hospital due to his reactions. He carries an epi-pen and benadryl. This is a disability that needs to be recognized by the ADA. Last week, we came across a restaurant that refused to accommodate his allergy and said to leave because they would not comply. I have to make sure he does not walk near a tire dept. or balloons. It's exhausting for him and makes him very sad. Also, these latex-free hospitals are not latex-free. They only call themselves that because they use latex-free gloves. If you check the blood pressure cuff, they will have 2 sets. One with latex and one without. The nurse usually does not check, I have to grab their arm and stop them before they place it on my son. Having them change their gloves once again. Meds that come in vials have a rubber stump on them that are latex which transfers into your blood stream at time of application. Gel coated oral meds are also made of latex. This goes beyond the food industry.

 

cindy vessalo: lorain, ohio

My grandson was born in 2007 with spina bifida and several allergies, including latex. Dominic is often restricted because of his mobility issues, often cannot eat what the other kids eat because of his several food allergies, and now local parks are changing from using wood chips as a base to using chopped up rubber. At age 3 little boys love to climb and play at the park, but Dominic cannot join his friends. I beg all of you to send this site and petition to everyone and let's get the law changed! ALL allergies are a disability and public, tax paid for places should be safe places for all children and adults.

 

Rosemary Ciotti: Arlington, VA

My niece is extremely allergic to Latex and had to abandon medical school dreams because of the allergy that she acquired while working in a lab. She can not eat at any restaurant that uses latex gloves and needs to carry an epi pen at all times in case of accidental exposure.

 

Lorraine Trause: Carlstadt, New Jersey

Allergic

The most disconcerting aspect of having a latex allergy is the negative reaction and disbelief that most people have. Workplace, restaurants, grocery stores and most medical facilities refuse to acknowledge the life threatening reactions we experience when exposed to items containing latex. Hidden latex contamination is especially difficult to ascertain because companies are unwilling to give credence to our affliction.

 

shelby white: del mar, california

Allergic

my latex allergy, like others, began slowly and with steadily increasing symptoms. i first noticed it in college, about 20 years ago. in 2008, after i dropped my daughters off at preschool, i suffered anaphylaxsis, though was thankfully driving by a hospital on my way home. when the doc asked me what has triggered my reaction, i though of nothing other than my daughter rubbing a balloon on the outside of my skirt at dropoff. has it come to that, i thought...now it only has to touch my clothes? my doc advised against epi-pens because i would have to use them too often. i go through benadryl like water. it's apparently not harmful, in fact i have thrice been told benadryl or hydroxizine pam is much better for my body than epi. i live in maine and in san diego, two totally divergent places, and find latex is overused in southern californian restaurants. it is to the point where there is benadryl in my: car, upstairs bath, downstairs bath, purse, husband's car, parent's home, and at the gym. i often have hives, joint pain, swelling, slurred speech, and a host of other symptoms. i feel badly for my daughters who know not to bring latex anywhere near me, and who know how to call for help when i can't breathe well. they make fun of my slurred speech and beg for balloons. this is a crappy allergy, because it's airborne, everywhere, and not too many folks take it seriously. this site is a blessing and a great restaurant guide. when i am in san diego, i often get hassled by restaurant mangers for asking if latex is present. just two days ago a manager said, "if you have a food allergy i can help you, but i have never heard of anyone being allergic to latex. it's what restaurants use."

 

Leslie Tayler: Pittsford, New York

Allergic

I have been anaphylaxis to latex for 15 years. I have experienced two episodes related to meals eaten at restaurants where the food provider wore latex gloves. Both episodes required hospitalization. I avoid latex balloons, gloves, anything that could set off an attack. My husband is an executive with a large company, we are often invited out, it becomes embarrassing having to "check" if the restaurant is latex free. I am often told it is a health department rule that latex gloves are worn. I usually miss most dinners, he goes alone. I see a dentist in NY city who has the same allergy, his practice is latex free, his entire career has changed because of the allergy and yet he adjusted so why can't the food industry adjust? It is such a simple thing for restaurants to change and yet it seems like a monumental task when you ask them to change. They are putting their own employees at risk.

 

Jana Ware: McKinney, TX

Allergic

I am a 29 yr old female who developed an allergy to latex slowly. As a child I got hives, as a teen I got blisters, and as an adult I can't breathe when latex is around. I can't walk into a building with fresh latex or within 20 feet of a balloon without a reaction. I have to call ahead to hospitals, doctors, dentists, and restaurants to know if they are latex safe. I have lost jobs because of my allergy, lost hours of work from airborn contact, and lost time with my child because of the aftermath of the allergy. My mother has this allergy, so do several of my friends. I as all children loved balloons, but now I fear them as does my 7 yr old who looks out for anything rubber or latex that could make mommy sick. This is a disease not just an inconvience (although it is that as well). What will it take to get the word out about the dangers of this product long term? People don't know the serious side effects or how to react. People ask questions about obvious things, but are unaware of what we go through.

 

Erica Ostertag: Tulsa, Ok

Allergic

I was pregnant with triplets. When I went to the clinic for routine blood work I told the lady I have a latex allergy. She repeatedly touched latex (gloves and tournicate)I asked her to wash her hands and she refused. She stuck the neddle in my arm and drew my sample. Five minutes later I went into shock. I ended up with lesions and hives for 3 months. I was having problems breathing and they gave me several different drugs to counteract the latex poison. I ended up losing the babys at 3 1/2 months.

 

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