September 27, 2023

BBC Presenter Suffers Allergic Reaction Caused by Undiagnosed Shellfish Allergy

by admin in Food Allergy News0 Comments

Lee McKenzie, who presents Formula 1 races for BBC, recently landed in the hospital after covering the Grand Prix in Monaco. According to theUK Daily Mail,she ate prawns at a restaurant there, causing a life-threatening allergic reaction. Though she had no food allergies, she was left struggling for breath after dinner.

“I had no idea…”

Though people diagnosed with a food allergy know they are at risk of such a reaction, in some cases, anaphylaxis happens without warning. McKenzie says “I had no idea I had an allergy to shellfish” before the reaction – she’d never had symptoms before. Lee, who’s 34, says “I’d never been a fan of shellfish, and the last time I ate it was probably when I was about 14, but I don’t remember any problems.”

But after eating king prawns in Monaco, she says, “I was dizzy, unable to speak and couldn’t feel my face and lips.” She was rushed to the hospital, where she was treated for an allergic reaction. Thankfully, she recovered. After returning to the UK, tests confirmed her shellfish allergy. She says “I had no idea you could have such a severe reaction for the first time as an adult.”

McKenzie now armed with epinephrine

McKenzie now carries an epinephrine auto-injector with her at all times, in case she experiences another reaction. Because her job involves travel, she also carries translation cards explaining her allergy in the local language. She’s determined not to let her new-found allergy disrupt her life, though, and says “I had no idea you could have such a severe reaction for the first time as an adult.”

Doctors suggest the importance of looking out for seemingly minor symptoms that occur when you eat a certain food, as they hint at the possibility of a more severe reaction in the future. If you do notice a cluster of symptoms, you should discuss food allergy testing with your doctor.

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