I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Find medical, health and fitness related resources in Taiwan. Discussions on wide ranging issues from fitness training and diet through to major surgery.

Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby E04teacherlin » 20 Apr 2012, 03:07

tsukinodeynatsu wrote:I've been searching for it for a while, but I can't find the article! I remember reading a blog post a while ago where a foodie went to quite a classy London restaurant with her partner, who had a severe allergy to garlic. After being assured that there would be no garlic in ANYTHING, they found chunks of it in the broccoli.

While he's going into an immediate anaphylactic shock, the waiter comes over and asks them to pay the bill before they'll call the ambulance. :noway:

They got him to the hospital in time, but she was pretty pissed off.

I'm quite lucky in that I'm only allergic to chilli peppers, and only in that it blocks up my sinuses for half a day. (Or at least, I think it's the chilli that does it. Very sad, because I love spicy food.) I don't really like seafood though and I know how often you find it added as a 'bonus' :aiyo:

Honestly, it's bad enough being a picky eater, but being allergic to anything must be a huge pain in the ass.

Well, I am also allergic to garlic so I never eat lunch boxes here unless I am sure there is no garlic in the vegetables.
You should see me have the runs.
Not too serious though.
E04teacherlin
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
 
Posts: 614
Joined: 22 Feb 2012, 01:54
85 Recommends(s)
50 Recognized(s)



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 20 Apr 2012, 03:14

E04teacherlin wrote:Well, I am also allergic to garlic so I never eat lunch boxes here unless I am sure there is no garlic in the vegetables.
You should see me have the runs.
Not too serious though.


Eww, no thanks!

Though in all honesty, my flat's so small that I have the pleasure of hearing my husband all the time. So I'm not sure how much it would bother me.

I couldn't imagine being allergic to garlic here. In the UK you could get away with it, but it's in EVERYTHING here. I cook with garlic every single day.
tsukinodeynatsu
Mandarin Marvel (Guóyǔ gāoshǒu)
Mandarin Marvel (Guóyǔ gāoshǒu)
 
Posts: 1816
Joined: 10 Jun 2009, 14:40
Location: Tainan
57 Recommends(s)
65 Recognized(s)



I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby headhonchoII » 20 Apr 2012, 07:19

Yep, garlic is pretty much added to all stir fries here.

I have had one definite allergic reaction here which is to a yam like root, Shan Yao. The itchiness was incredible.
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
headhonchoII
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 12622
Joined: 26 Aug 2002, 10:40
Location: Taipei
1719 Recommends(s)
622 Recognized(s)



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby Taiwan_Student » 20 Apr 2012, 10:37

John wrote:Slightly off topic here...a rant about Epipens, not food allergies.

I am asthmatic, and went I started diving I went to the hospital to get an Epipen for my emergency kit, especially for times when I am on a remote island.

The DRAMA I had to go through to get one (even when I offered to pay) was ridiculous, I finally managed to get one, which apparently got sent over from Taipei hospital.

Then, when the one I had manged to buy expired, I made another appointment, returned the unused one, and asked to buy a new one, only to be told that they were now not available in Taiwan.

I questioned the doc about this, and asked what they give to people with sever allergic reactions to bees or peanuts etc? He told me that that conditions is not common in Taiwan, and that adrenaline is only administered in the hospital :loco:

If anyone knows a doctor/hospital that does stock Epipens please post that info!!


NO NOT OFF TOPIC!!! A GOOD ONE! EVEN in the US where they really do try to be careful, mistakes happen and every kid has got an EPIPEN!

Yeah.. ranted about that during more then one of my visits to the emergency room. A few times a sympathetic doc was about to hand me phials to DIY. I cringed a bit, and said "No thank you".

I spend most of my time not more that ten minutes from a major hospital, and seriously I don't think that stuff would keep if I'm out and about while traveling. Plus the thought of measuring and self administering the drug makes me dizzy.

The web sight of the Manufacturer did list Taiwan as a place to purchase it, but I could not follow up.

Slightly off topic but still on. There is one doctor in Kaohsiung that administers the traditional "allergy shots" that many of us went through as a child. They are the ones with dust mites and other common allergens. When asked why doesn't my local ENT do it? He say that there is no money in it so they don't choose to do it.

Back where I come from, that was a service provided by the local ENT. Prevention over treatment. Not a money making philosophy. PM if you want more info about the allergist.
*** I wanted to start a Facebook Group but I need to add "friends". PM me if you want to be in on it and if you have any suggestions for a name. " The Taiwan Food Allergy Support Group"? Or maybe a more inclusive name? Don't know. There are a number of food allergy support groups already there.
Taiwan_Student
I'm posting like Shakespeare (1564~1616)
I'm posting like Shakespeare (1564~1616)
 
Posts: 1588
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 17 May 2001, 16:01
Location: Borg
25 Recommends(s)
11 Recognized(s)



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby kau826 » 20 Apr 2012, 22:31

John wrote:
Taiwan_Student wrote:Why are there no Epipens in Taiwan? Thanks guys for your support.

If anyone knows a doctor/hospital that does stock Epipens please post that info!!

I personally agree with some posts that mentioned the doctors' opinion about the rarity of severe allergy in Taiwan and thus rendered the inaccessibility of this drug. According to the Bureau of National Health Insurance, the doctor here has to apply for Epipen in advance under special circumstances and fill in some forms. Even so, it's still available in Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital for special need. Basically the related information is from the pediatric center of allergy there, but I guess the allergist in that hospital can prescribe it, too. Well, since allergy, immunology and rheumatology are in the same entity in Taiwan, you can go to the outpatient clinic of these three and this drug should not be so hard to find.

finley wrote:I have heard that there is a new procedure which can "densensitize" people to allergens by exposing them to increasing (very low) doses of whatever they're allergic to. Apparently it only works in certain cases, and it's still at the research stage, but it sounds like something worth looking into, if you could literally die from eating a peanut or a prawn. That must REALLY suck.
You can probably take it as read that such treatment is not available in Taiwan, given John's experience above.

And yes, desensitization therapy, in my opinion, is also an option for allergic people. Well, it's been practiced in Taiwan for several years but it's only available in some medical centers and effective only for some well-recognized allergens, such as mites, some pollens, cockroach, some animal danders and molds. The other drawback is that it takes a long time to achieve the effect, basically a year at least. So there's another kind of desensitization therapy, called rush/rapid desensitization, which is especially useful for some drug that is important for the patients in need, but unfortunately allergic to. I heard that it also can be used in prevention of severe allergy to bee-sting.

So for the allergy of adults and desensitization therapy is an acceptable choice, I will recommend Taichung VGH. As for the children, I will suggest Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital. Hope this helps.

This post was recommended by Omniloquacious (21 Apr 2012, 09:06)
Rating: 4%
kau826
Memorized My Password (gāng jìhǎo zìjǐ de mìmǎ)
 
Posts: 71
Joined: 15 Apr 2008, 01:12
Location: Chung-hua county, Taichung
6 Recognized(s)



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby suntex01 » 21 Apr 2012, 00:44

Taiwan_student,
I think you should have another allergy test to make sure your body didn't develop other intolerances over the years since you had your previous test done. It seems like your having more problems than just seafood now.


Also, Epipens are hard to come by in Taiwan, due to regulations and NHI. Its another "NHI at work" problem. Pharmaceuticals are now reluctant to introduce drugs in Taiwan because of price regulations by NHI... so its really not worth the hassle for them when there's no profit.
suntex01
Memorized My Password (gāng jìhǎo zìjǐ de mìmǎ)
 
Posts: 43
Joined: 10 Sep 2011, 00:12
1 Recognized(s)



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby ironlady » 21 Apr 2012, 01:41

Yes. Your body can change over the years. I ate mango for years with great delight, until I turned 40 and suddenly became allergic (now my face and lips swell when I eat it.) I haven't tried again to see if the effect would worsen over time. Fortunately it is easier to determine whether something contains mango than to find out whether it has fish or seafood hidden somewhere in it.
Terry Waltz, Ph.D
Click here to Finally Learn Mandarin!
Squid for Brains Learning Games -- not your nainai's flash cards!
...although his father beat him every day, wishing him to learn the speech of Ts'e, it will be impossible for him [at least using current methods]...-Mencius
Forumosan avatar
ironlady
Goddess of Fornication & Prostitutes (tōngjiān hé jìnǚ de nǚshén)
 
Posts: 8370
Joined: 13 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: A place where people can't sleep or teach English in McDonald's
87 Recommends(s)
321 Recognized(s)
In Taiwan since: 0- 0-1987



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby Impaler » 21 Apr 2012, 07:46

Can't you folks pick up an EpiPen in, say, Thailand or HK or Singapore, and bring it back? I know you can import restricted drugs for personal use, I'm going through the paperwork for that myself.
It's amazing what getting out of the care of the Scottish National Health Service can do for your life expectancy.


"Mostly, nature looks after itself, if you let it. If you arrange things correctly, nature will do all the hard work for you, but it takes a lot of careful thought, planning, attention to detail, and a little experimentation. In other words, we're all doomed." -- finley
Forumosan avatar
Impaler
Chinese Class Dropout (Zhōngwén kè zhōngchuòshēng)
Chinese Class Dropout (Zhōngwén kè zhōngchuòshēng)
 
Posts: 767
Joined: 08 Jul 2011, 10:17
2 Recommends(s)
38 Recognized(s)



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby Impaler » 21 Apr 2012, 08:03

Taiwan_Student wrote:{And when I go back to the states this summer, I'm going to record the personal injury commercials that are on TV and show them to my students, this is one case where some ambulance chasing lawyers would help Remember, you don't pay unless you collect :p )

You can find them all on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... ommercials
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBx6RET4AgE
It's amazing what getting out of the care of the Scottish National Health Service can do for your life expectancy.


"Mostly, nature looks after itself, if you let it. If you arrange things correctly, nature will do all the hard work for you, but it takes a lot of careful thought, planning, attention to detail, and a little experimentation. In other words, we're all doomed." -- finley
Forumosan avatar
Impaler
Chinese Class Dropout (Zhōngwén kè zhōngchuòshēng)
Chinese Class Dropout (Zhōngwén kè zhōngchuòshēng)
 
Posts: 767
Joined: 08 Jul 2011, 10:17
2 Recommends(s)
38 Recognized(s)



Re: I nearly died again! Food allergies and trust in Taiwan!

Postby Dragonbones » 21 Apr 2012, 10:10

Maybe those with life-threatening allergies should consider eating out less, and trying to make most or all your own food? I know it is an effort, and requires planning, but in addition to ensuring you're not putting the dangerous things into your food, you can eat more healthily in general if you control the contents. One way to do this without spending too much time is to make large batches, and then refrigerate and freeze portions that can just be reheated in the microwave, in the oven or on the stove. Sandwiches and fruit make a good lunch bag to take with you if you're going out, and most workplaces here have a steam oven or microwave, or both, for their employees' lunches.
NEW! Better for you! This post is now carb-conscious, low-fat, and gluten-free!
Forumosan avatar
Dragonbones
Guan Yin (Guānyīn)
 
Posts: 20265
Joined: 13 Feb 2004, 14:42
Location: Taibei, Taiwan
39 Recommends(s)
112 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
PreviousNext




Proceed to Health and Fitness



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 visitors

You generally can't send someone more than a couple of full-size digital photos as an e-mail attachment; those files are too big, and they'll bounce back to you. (Instead, use iPhone or Picasa--photo-organizing programs that can automatically scale down photos in the process of e-mailing them.)
More tips from David Pogue