An Impending Sense of Doom

*For my Writing for Interactive Media Class I picked Food Allergies as my topic. I’ll be re-posting my assignments here for your enjoyment. I’m not an expert, this is just me trying to learn more and share what I learn. Here’s an interesting symptom*

When I decided to use food allergies as my topic for this course I did a lot of initial research to make sure I would have enough to write about. One of the websites had a list of symptoms, and I forwarded it on to my sister-in-law because there is a part about oral allergy symptoms that I thought might be relevant to her. She’s allergic to mango so I wanted to know her take on it. The part that stood out the most for her was one of the symptoms:

A sense of impending doom

She emailed me back and said that she thought it was interesting to see that listed, as it’s something she experiences and always thought she was just being paranoid. I had never heard of it as a symptom before either, and set out to learn more.

It wasn’t just the one website that mentioned it as a symptom. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also lists a sense of impending doom as a symptom of anaphylaxis. After a Google search, I found it listed on many other food allergy websites.

Sense of impending doom refers to an intense, and sudden, feeling of fear and apprehension much like anxiety. The way my sister-in-law explained it was that the few times she’s unknowingly eaten something with mango in it she almost immediately felt something was wrong, even before other symptoms started showing up. This is caused by her nervous system having a reaction to the food. It isn’t just paranoia, it’s physical.

There have been several studies on this symptom, and they have had interesting results. People who experience gluten intolerance, for example, have been shown to have blood flow issues to their brains, which cause them to experience anxiety. I hope to find more studies on this topic, as it seems like a good way for people to predict if they’re going to experience more severe symptoms.

If you have food allergies, and suddenly experience a sense of impending doom after eating something, it might be a good idea to reach for your EpiPen or medication, in case you’re not being paranoid.