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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I guess it depends on where you get your info from

    this is from Medicinenet.com and is also what I understand to be the difference between allergic or not


    What types of insect sting reactions occur?

    Nonallergic reactions

    Most insect-sting reactions are not allergic and result in local pain, itching, swelling, and redness at the site of the sting. Some extension of the swelling is expected. Local treatment is usually all that is needed for this type of reaction. Disinfect the area, keep it clean, and apply ice. Topical corticosteroid creams are sometimes used to decrease inflammation, and antihistamines can help control itching.

    Large local reactions may involve increased swelling (that lasts for 48 hours up to one week) that may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Large local reactions occur in about 10% of insect stings and are not allergic in origin. Occasionally, the site of an insect sting will become infected, and antibiotics are needed.

    Allergic reactions

    Systemic (body-wide) reactions are allergic responses and occur in people who have developed antibodies against the insect venom from a prior exposure. It is estimated that between 0.3%-3% of stings trigger a systemic allergic reaction.

    The allergic reaction to an insect sting varies from person to person. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itching, hives, flushing of the skin, tingling or itching inside the mouth, and nausea or vomiting. The most serious allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Difficulty breathing, swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and fainting are signs of a severe allergic reaction. These types of reactions usually occur within minutes of the sting but have been known to be delayed for up to 24 hours. Prompt treatment is essential, and emergency help is often needed.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    along with tweezers, for removing stingers,

    Reference material: [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergy"]Wikipedia "Allergy" Article[/URL}
    I would also never use tweezers to remove a sting as there's more chance of squeezing the venom out of the sting sac into the person being stung

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Not to be argumentative, but I've been in the medical field for several years and, unfortunately, doctors are usually the VERY worst reference when it comes to allergies... I would know, I worked with several of them. That likely explains the misinformation on "medicine.net" That said, allergists and immunologists generally will tell you accurately, as that's their specialty...in most/all other fields of medicine, allergies are nearly always misdefined & confused with systemic/anaphylactic reactions, because those are the only "allergic" type reactions that other medical personnel are likely to need to treat. If it's not life-threatening, an ER doc doesn't need to worry about it.

    Anywise, on the stingers/tweezers thing, most sting kits have special tweezers that pinch at the base of the stinger (kinda like incisor teeth) to avoid pinching the venom glands. As far as using "regular" tweezers/forceps, there's a lot of argument (mostly NOT from the scientific community) that this method introduces more venom into the wound, but most information I've seen from the scientific side seems to say that the venom gland secretes more venom if it's left on, than if it's crushed during removal. That said, I'm gonna guess that the sting tweezers, if used just as quickly, would probably give you a little less venom than ordinary, mashing tweezers, or just mashing it out with your fingers.

    Also, if you want accurate information about allergic reactions, look up just about anything BUT stings+allergy, as that's where you'll run into so much inaccurate information that the accurate part's nearly impossible to sort out; unfortunately, there are FAR more "wives tales" when it comes to things that hurt & many people are afraid of (like stings), than the less "exotic" allergies (foods, plants, dogs, etc.) which most people are less concerned with, and thus less likely to make up/spread fables about.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    For a much better reference (one of the scientific papers that another, related wikipedia article sites), you could check: Hypersensitivity Reactions (technical article)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypersensitivity Reactions
    Type I Hypersensitivity

    Type I hypersensitivity is also known as immediate or anaphylactic hypersensitivity. The reaction may involve skin (urticaria and eczema), eyes (conjunctivitis), nasopharynx (rhinorrhea, rhinitis), bronchopulmonary tissues (asthma) and gastrointestinal tract (gastroenteritis). The reaction may cause a range of symptoms from minor inconvenience to death. The reaction usually takes 15 - 30 minutes from the time of exposure to the antigen, although sometimes it may have a delayed onset (10 - 12 hours).

    Immediate hypersensitivity is mediated by IgE. The primary cellular component in this hypersensitivity is the mast cell or basophil. The reaction is amplified and/or modified by platelets, neutrophils and eosinophils. A biopsy of the reaction site demonstrates mainly mast cells and eosinophils.
    According to the above, the actual new defining boundary of an allergic reaction (type 1 hypersensitivity) is the primary involvement of ImmunoGlobulin E (IgE in the article) as the causal factor of the immune response. It's a bit hard for the lay-person to understand, but it's a much more professional, accurate source than pointing to "consumer" oriented websites, such as Wikipedia, or Medicinenet, which are both more generally oriented towards being readable, as opposed to technically accurate.

    This Article agrees completely with the above one as well, but is worded in simpler, more concise terms.

  5. #45
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    Question Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
    Hi,
    I was stung over the weekend, and had a very scary reaction... I need some advice since my doctor was not entirely familiar.
    * I have NEVER had a reaction to a sting other than minor swelling or pian - local to the sting!!

    I was in the vicinity of my small hive, and something stung me on the back of my head. It sure felt like a typical bee sting at the time. About 5 minutes later I develpoped extreeeeeeme itching on my palms. I knew right away that something was wrong and headed for the house. By the time I went inside, the soles of my feet were itching terribly and I was feeling a bit flushed. I found some info on the internet that advised that I keep the sting site below my heart, but thought that standing on my head might actually exaccerbate the problems.
    At this point I started to feel nausea, and developed itchy spots - hives I guess - and my heart really picked up speed, then I felt my heart beat( pounding in my feet and palms. My face swelled up, and I felt very woozy. Then, as I was about to call 911, I barfed into the laundry hamper, (Wife not too thrilled with this move) and got into bed... took a Benedyl and started to feel better. I never had constriction of my airways, though my sinusses felt like I had developed a cold. I was terrified, but it was over in about 20 minutes.
    So, I still don't know if I am allergic, or if I just had a bad reaction. Does the location of the sting matter? I have been stung about 6 times over the last year, but this is the first reaction of this type. Is it a reaction or am I a new member of the "I am allergic to Bees and now have to get rid of the hive" club?
    I got an epi pen ( $65, thanks for nuttin' blue cross) and need to know if I need to walk around with it at all times in case, or if I just need it nearby as a precaution. Can I expect things to get worse if I have another sting????
    Should I get rid of my hobby hive???

    Thanks for any insights - I am a bit freaked out, and am looking for some practical info.
    Steve Hofmann
    North Hills, CA
    I wonder what the allergist said about this sting?....Its been two years, it must be resolved by now.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    [QUOTE=Buzzy;550054]Hi,

    * I have NEVER had a reaction to a sting other than minor swelling or pian - local to the sting!!

    Has anyone been stung by a honey bee while taking antibiotics?
    was your reaction "enhanced"?
    This is my story.
    I have a kidney stone, but when they went to crush the stone, they discovered I had a kidney infection. As a result I get a round of antibiotics before we try again. I get to keep the "stint" they had installed, I assume to drain my kidney.

    So I have been taking a 7 day treatment of antibiotics. on day six, I get stung by a honey bee, on my right index finger.
    I have been in possession of bees about 3 months. I have been stung about six time during that period.
    I had previously been taking vitamin C, but had discontinued for other reasons a couple of weeks prior to my starting the antibiotic.

    My previous stings had been pretty mild, through gloves, or through the bee suit, with no stinger left behind.
    This time I was bare handed, the stinger was left. I grasped it with my other hand, I am sure I injected all of the venom into my finger before it actually came out. (3:30pm) this actually left a deep red "(bleeding under the skin)" looking area, kind of a 1/8 inch by 3/8 inch gerrymander sort of spot.
    After about ten or fifteen minutes my palms, the soles of my feet, & groin began to itch.( 3:45pm)
    I took a quick shower , hoping that cooling off & dry clothes would help, but this did not relieve the itching. I have some stomach gas, which I belch.
    I applied a "(stingkill)" wipe to the sting site, but that had no effect. I took one 25mg Benedryl ( all my wife could find in the house), which also seemed to have no affect. I added 500mg of vitamin C. also no noticeable change. (4:00pm)
    At some point, I got a sensation in my chest, a mild "(heartburn?)" pulse 74, bp is normal. ( my wife has a blood pressure machine)
    After about an hour & twenty minutes or so, the intense itching just suddenly quit. Almost immediately, the muscles in my upper arms begin to ache, both shoulders & elbows joints are sore. I also felt chilly.
    7:00pm, achy-ness largely subsided. My right index finger is swollen, back to the base of the thumb, and the next knuckle on my fist. there is a distinct red line around the swollen area, with streaks back toward my wrist.
    at 8:30, I take my next scheduled antibiotic pill, with an anti-puke pill. at 10:30 I take a FLOMAX and go to bed.
    Next morning, ( I am still alive!) the swollen area is more swollen & itches.
    Lunch time , swelling goes down some, still itches

    29 hours after the sting, still some what swollen, still itching. the actual sting point has 3 or four tiny blister looking structures. I am inclined to lance them & drain them, my wife votes not. We pour hydrogen peroxide over the blisters, & pop them. Clear liquid comes out, peroxide bubbles nicely.
    Obviously, this sting has got my attention. I would even say that I am a bit frightened, or "spooked".
    As soon as I get my kidney problem handled, so that the kidney meds won't skew the process, I will see an allergist.
    Until then, I will not work bees without wearing the full suit, with sting-proof gloves.
    Any body else been stung while taking antibiotics?
    tech.35058

  7. #47

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Holy cow! Please let us know the outcome of the allergist tests.

    It's interesting, you say you'd never taken a true sting before (stinger left behind) and then when you finally did here, you pinched the stinger which is a horrible rookie mistake.

    It sounds to be that you picked up some sort of localized staff infection, perhaps the bee has some sort of germs on its stinger. I know this sounds silly, but I had a doctor advise me to always treat a bee sting with hydrocortisone just in case. I usually don't, but when my 9 month old daughter got stung on her EYELID I did, and she handled it great!

    I'm no doctor, but I get the feeling that perhaps your immune system is out of whack due to the antibiotics. Is it possible they are geared towards your kidney, and so perhaps they somehow inhibited your body from fighting the infection or impact of the bee sting.

    One last thing, I have observed if I "baby" a bee sting, my reaction is worse. So if I get stung, yank the stinger, and go aboit my business, I tend to have little to no reaction (except the swear words, but I consider that routine). However, if I prod at and squeeze it, it swells twice as bad. But even when I took dozens of stings moving a hive at night once (no other choice), I never had a reaction even close to yours.

    God bless and I think I speak for everyone in hoping you recover and get an answer. I'd sure like one for my own reference.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I would call that a very serious reaction and would definately be heading to the doctor for advice

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Honey bee sting allergy testing
    finally got around to this about December 20th, new health insurance year( with a new co-pay!) starts next month.

    Dr. said :
    Some "symptoms " possibly unrelated, but enough border line stuff to warrant testing. Symptoms possibly affected by weakness misery & meds related to kidney stone.

    Stomach gas is not nausea

    My ( then) current Blue Cross Insurance covers 100% so it is just standard copay $40.
    They will bill blue cross $2188 for todays visit, which will cover a host of stinging insects, honey bees, yellow jackets, wasps, white face hornets & yellow hornets.
    BC covers up to 65 "skin pricks" every 3 years. Today we will do 29 skin pricks.
    They said that if we decided to do more later, they would be covered up to that limit, but beyond that would be out of pocket.

    Back to stings, intake tech (weighs you, takes blood pressure) said that just because i want to be tested doesn't mean you get tested.
    I said great, I just want to know my next sting wont be my last.

    So the doctor says they will start with very diluted venom from these different insects in the scratch tests. Anything that shows a "positive " reaction is flagged as such & discontinued , tests with the other venoms continue.
    They label several spots on the inside of my wrists, apply a drop of diluted venom, then scratch it with a plastic looking pin.
    They also do " controls " where they inject a little of the water they dilute the venom with under the skin,and in another spot "histamine " is injected.
    The water is a slight swelling, the histamine swells up like a sting. Feels like a sting, kind of.
    Tech tells me not to touch anything, she will be back in 20 minutes
    After the scratch test, they come back & measure the red spot at each site.
    I am "good " so far.
    Next a small amount is) injected under the skin. They will be back in 20 minutes.
    Again the wheal is less than 4mm, scores "0".
    More tiny injections, a little stronger solution. They will return in 20 minutes.
    Again no reaction.
    5 more sticks... back in 20 minutes. Only one more round after this.
    They come back. A couple of the pricks are itching & have a 5mm wheal. They want to know if i have been "messing" with it. They go to get the doctor to come look.
    Doctor decides I am positive allergic to honey bee venom.
    Continue the next group of sticks minus the honey bee venom.
    Looks like i am also reacting (allergic) to yellow jacket venom.
    Since it was late in the day, the "fee counsellor" did not have time to see me, but I called back in a few days later.
    the proposal was that I should begin desensitisation shots, the first one would require a "doctor visit to be sure I did not ( die on them), & would cost about $100. After that, I would initially go weekly for shots, at $40 plus the cost of venom each time, eventually cutting back to monthly, & hopefully being desensitized after 5 years.
    This was right about the end of the health insurance term, & my company had made drastic changes to our health care plan, we decided to wait & see what the new plan would or would not pay.

    some how, I never called them back, did not take any shots. careful to wear full bee suit _almost_ every time, etc.

    Last week, June 18, out in the beeyard, full suit, but just glove liners, checking some stuff, & a bee stung me between the thumb & fore finger. I went back into the house, told my wife what had happened, got my epi-pen ready, & waited for problems. I took a couple of benidrill tablets. my hand swelled up on the thumb side for 3 days, & itched, but that was about it.
    back in the bee yard Wednesday, the 25th ( yesterday). Almost properly attired, I was changing a bottom board late in the day. bees found they could sting through my thick woollen socks. two stings on one ankle, another sting on the other ankle .
    this time I did not take any thing, pretty much ignored it.

    After 3 hours, the sting sites had swollen out about 1/2 inch, three inches across.still some what swollen , & itchy the next day. Does _not_ seem to have helped the soreness in my hips & thighs that has developed over the last 3 months.

    Just because I took a careless attitude & survived so far, do not think every one will have these results.
    My wife related that one of her aquaintences died as a result of bee sting allergy. had the epi-pen, walking in an orchard, got stung. Did every thing right, but died. left two sons, the oldest in his early teens at the time.
    I learned that on of my acquaintances has also learned he is sensitive to bee / wasp stings.
    he is a residential installer tech, and apparently he was at a customers house, got stung & collapsed. the next door neighbor noticed, & called 911. he now carries an epi-pen all the time.
    y'all be careful now

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
    Hi,
    I was stung over the weekend, and had a very scary reaction... I need some advice since my doctor was not entirely familiar.
    I prescribe a new or at least another Doctor. An allergist perhaps. Consider that you are going to nonDoctors for advice.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I woudl consider the tendency to go to non medical professionals about seeing medical advice a situation created by the medical profession. Doctors want to be paid for their advice. and they are not cheap. random folks in society do not. Seeking advice about getting medical care from non medical people is actually the norm not an exception.

    Plus I generality do not find a doctor is the nest person to get medical advice from. Treatment yes but doctors tend to get caught up in diagnosing the same hand full of melodies to the point very few look at or consider the particulars. You hear about it all the time. patients being treated and medicated for one condition when ti turns out being a completely different problem. the doctor frankly did not care. He has all of 10 minutes to get his $250 out of you and needs to move on to the next quarter grand. And the truth is most never care if they figure out what is wrong with you.

    True story of many I could tell. Nealy three years and over 6 different doctors. Largely due to my non professional advice. and a co worker finally got correctly diagnosed by an intern in the hall overhearing a discussion between two doctors. That intern went to the library and pored over medical books until they figured it out. No MD would ever had devoted that much time. My co worker would have died if they had remained in the care of Doctors. In my experience you are in better shape being under the care of a practitioner or even a nurse than you are that of a doctor.

    Good doctors are hard to find. Doctors that will treat you are even rarer.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I tend not to give advice on such things as what I would do is probably not what other people would do and when I do things I'm the one taking the chance. But in my experience doctors are pretty much worthless on the matter unless they are an expert on the subject. If you go to a GP with a sting that swelled badly, they will assume it's an infection and prescribe an antibiotic... the same with allergies. If you have someone who is an expert on bee venom allergies I would listen. If they are not, I would tend not to listen...

    In my experience one bad reaction does not necessarily mean you will have another, in fact it may go the opposite direction... but how do you know? Hard to know. Some people have said they would park outside the emergency room and sting themselves. That makes some sense to me, if you have someone with you who can summon help in case you can't...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #53
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    Ashe, N.C. USA
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    We just had an MD speak at our last BK's association, and he recommended keeping LIQUID Benedryl with you in the beeyard. 50mg. is equal to an epipen, and get to the hospital if you have the symptoms you describe. He is the second doctor I have had advise in this way. Oftentimes I have heard of folks developing an allergy to bee after working as a BK for years, you take care!

  14. #54
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    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    As a practicing physician, not an allergist, allergies come from repeated exposure and an exaggerated immune response. People usually are not programmed to have severe reactions from the first exposure. Life is full of risk, and we all decide which risks we are willing to take. Having oral Benadryl and an epi pen are smart precautions to have on hand but may not be able to remedy the situation. If it is a risk you are willing to take then continue on. If the risk is too much, stop. If you have a doctor that is not giving you adequate or correct information: find a different doctor!

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