rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


And I don’t mean the people are crazy… haha, I mean nuts, particularly peanuts make an appearance on a regular basis where I’m living at the moment.

I did grow up in a house with peanuts; my father used to make his own peanut butter, my siblings both used to eat nuts and even the eczema bath oil I was prescribed contained nuts – not surprising that I had such appalling eczema really…

Having a lifelong and life threatening allergy to all nuts has meant that as soon as I had the choice and control over my living space I have never had nuts in the house. Well why would you? If you hate the smell and one tiny crumb could send you into an anaphylactic shock. It meant I had one place that I didn’t have to worry about avoiding my allergens.
The lonely peanut, By Ruth Holroyd
Not so in my current living situation.

Living in a shared house with THREE nut eating men was worrying me a lot to start with.

Not great when you are already learning to cope with anxiety on a daily basis.

But I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

There are three single guys living here. One vegan and one coeliac amongst them which does mean they understand what living with food restrictions is like, even if they don’t have allergies like me.

But how cool is that? Without any prior knowledge before choosing this room to rent, I have found two fellow food group avoiders! I immediately felt at home.

After the ‘house talk’ about what my allergies meant for me and how serious they were they’ve gone from a degree of ignorance to fascination and we will be having an adrenaline injector demonstration soon with some old pens I’ve been hanging on to. We even have the orange standing by for its special fate.

Practise by injecting expired adrenaline autoinjector pens into an orange
Practise by injecting expired adrenaline autoinjector pens into an orange

And it’s actually OK that they cook with nuts. I make sure I’m not using the kitchen at the same time if they are, but I’m fine to be in the same room; my allergy to nuts it not air borne, thank goodness.

They are also very well house trained in the kitchen too; so all nuts are stored in sealed containers and hidden away and they all clean the kitchen thoroughly after they’ve cooked.

Me and nuts living alongside each other, who’d have thought it?

Good job really as peanut, spinach and kale soup with chickpeas is a speciality of the vegan housemate. I have to say, I am not even aware of the smell of nuts when he’s cooking, which usually does make me wary, like my body is just letting me know nuts are near and I need to be careful. I HATE the smell of peanuts too but I’ve hardly noticed it.

What do you do? Do you ban nuts from your living space? Would you only live in a shared house where no nuts were allowed? Because if you start thinking along those lines, do you ban the dairy, soya, wheat… Multiple life threatening allergies make things a little more complicated.

I think not. The world will always contain my particular potential assassins so I must find a way to live alongside them. But never ever trust them or let down my guard. Normal vigilance always applies.



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *