Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bee Sting Allergy

Having checked out for stinging insect allergy is a must for anybody considering beekeeping.

People may have allergies against: honey bee, white-faced hornet, yellow hornet, paper wasp, yellow jacket, common wasp. And, yes, one can have an allergy against honey bee sting but not any other ones.

Couple of months ago, I visited my doctor to get the tests. After waiting few days very anxiously, the results came. A scale between Class-0 to Class-6 is being used to indicate the possibility of having allergic reaction. It turns out that I'm "Class-0: Negative" for all, except honey bee. For honey bee, it is "Class-1: Very Low Positive". Well, according to my doctor: "This can not predict what type of allergic reaction I would have to honey bee whether it would be just small or large but still local reaction to sting or it would be life threatening reaction."

The next thing that my doctor checked is the tryptase level. People with high tryptase level would have increased risk and severity of the allergic reaction... This condition is called systemic mastocytosis. Mine turns out to be normal, which is a good news. But not so good. After all these mambo-jambo, my doctor told me "without a clear history" she can not say that I don't have any risk with bee-stings, and she offered to prescribe Epipen for me to carry around, just in case...

"Well", I said, "Doctor, looks like I need to build up some history... Let me go ahead and build some..."

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