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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    If someone has asthma is there a higher chance that they might be allergic to bee venom? My six year old granddaughter has to use an inhaler a couple of times a week and I was wondering if we need to worry about her having a bigger chance of being allergic to bee stings.

    Thanks for your help,
    Ed

  2. #2
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    Don't know the answer to that question, Ed. On a related note..........the apitherapist at Bee Well Therapy uses bee venom to treat asthma.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2012
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    Oxford, MS
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    Ed, I have suffered from Asthma for years (too many to count) and have to use an inhaler a couple of times a week. I am a beekeeper and have been stung numerous times, with no reaction to the venom regarding my breathing. As a matter of fact, when I moved some hives, I was stung over 10 times and never suffered from the stings. Being stung has never affected my breathing.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2012
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    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    I believe that anyone with asthma is more likely to develop an anaphylactic response to ANY allergen (latex, peanuts, shellfish, etc) than the general population. But, my understanding is that while they are at an increased risk, the odds of developing a bee venom allergy of seriousness (such as anaphylaxis) is lower than one to other allergens (specifically latex is one that is higher).

    Does that confuse even more? LOL. What I am trying to say is that having asthma puts you at an increased risk for developing a serious allergy, but the odds of that serious allergy being bee venom is still fairly low. Statistically speaking, your granddaughter is more likely to develop anaphylaxis from the latex gloves her doctor uses to examine her than to bee venom.

    FWIW, I am a 32-year-old asthmatic on nebulizer treatments 3x a day during a flare of asthma. I have never had a serious anaphylactic reaction to anything in my life (so far, knock on wood!).

  5. #5
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    I would add to the above statements, even though she is unlikely to have a serious reaction to bee venom, if she did have an anaphylactic reaction, it would likely be more serious and complicated because of the asthma. Something to be prepared for (as you should be prepared for anyone with an unknown reaction to bee venom), but probably not something to scare yourself over. Like StacieM said, serious bee venom allergies are comparatively rare.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    Thanks for the replies, everybody. I guess there's really not a definitive answer to my question, but it seems things are slanted to the cautious side.

    In regards to asthma, does a panic attack tend to encourage an asthma attack? Most six year olds probably get a bit excited/upset upon getting stung by a bee...would that likely set off an asthma attack?

    Ed

  7. #7
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    Unfortunately,there isn't a definitive answer to that question either. There are different triggers for asthma, and everyone is different. Some people have allergen induced asthma, which would only trigger if you were exposed to the specific allergen. I have exercise induced asthma, in which the over excitement of the lungs during exercise causes bronchial spasms, leading to an asthma attack. This is the type of trigger you are asking about, but a child with an allergen induced asthmatic condition would not be affected by the panic/excitement/etc. of being stung.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    Thanks for the feedback, bobbarker. I believe my granddaughter's asthma is exercise triggered. Interestingly, she can play or dance or whatever one day and have no symptoms, she may even do it for a week, then one day after maybe even mild exertion she needs her inhaler. You are correct, this is the type trigger I was inquiring about and I think you've got me on the right track. Thanks.

    Ed

  9. #9
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    Sep 2011
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    Corvallis, OR
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    Anaphylaxis may or may not be more common in people with asthma. However, reactions are more common among beekeepers' families (due to frequent exposure to bee allergens), and asthma tends to make anaphylaxis more severe/life threatening.

    http://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/Med...ction-Plan.pdf

  10. #10
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    May 2012
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    Vermontville, Michigan
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, bobbarker. I believe my granddaughter's asthma is exercise triggered. Interestingly, she can play or dance or whatever one day and have no symptoms, she may even do it for a week, then one day after maybe even mild exertion she needs her inhaler. You are correct, this is the type trigger I was inquiring about and I think you've got me on the right track. Thanks.

    Ed
    No problem. After having dealt with exercise induced asthma for a while, I can tell you that weather is certainly a factor (at least for me, so likely for others.) During high humidity I have to be VERY careful, as it's much more likely that I'll have an asthma attack from mild exertion. When I was younger, it would be the worst during high humidity or during bitter cold. Thankfully, I seem to have outgrown the bitter cold aspect of it, but it's tough learning to manage it. If at all possible, it would be great if she could get tested for a bee venom allergy. If she doesn't have that allergy, she shouldn't be in any more danger in a hive than anyone else, and it would allow you two to share that hobby if you both wanted to. Best of luck.

  11. #11
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    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: Asthma and bee venom allergy?

    I am an adult with childhood asthma and allergies. Defined as "allergic asthma" which means my allergies are one of the things which trigger my asthma. We just found out last summer I am suppose to no longer work bees due to an allergy with them.
    The problem is not as much the anaphylactic shock, but rather what happens with my breathing.
    I get stung and then for the next 5 days I can not get enough inhaler meds or prednisone in my system to combat the breathing problems which include shortness of breath, wheezing, and mucus build up. My esophagus swells with mucus much like a sinus infection....which is what asthma is. The swelling of the tubes and aveola because of the mucus which continually builds. Think of it like a clean 1/2 inch pipe you can breathe through. As the mucus and swelling build the tube narrows to the thickness of a milk shake straw, then a pop straw and then a stir stick. As the tube gets smaller it feels like you are trying to Breathe under water. Then to top it all off the pressure on the chest. It's like you can feel every cubic foot of air above you putting pressure on your chest and you have to expend extra energy to breathe just so you can push through the pressure. Another analogy that I have heard and can relate to is the feeling like you have a rope around your chest and someone has shoved a stick down your back and continually tightens the rope by twisting.

    So after all that, if you are worried that the stings set off her asthma, the best way to find out is to get the specific allergy test done.

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