Minnesota Viking running back, Adrian Peterson reportedly had an allergic reaction after eating shellfish before his game with the Detroit Lions this past weekend. Before we discuss the ramifications of a food allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, here is a background how Adrian Peterson was diagnosed with shellfish allergy
Back in 2012, NFL star running back was in training camp for the Minnesota Vikings he suffered a food allergy scare. Adrian Peterson had a shellfish allergy that he did not know about. After eating a couple of bowls of seafood gumbo or seafood jambalya, he started displaying signs of an early allergic reaction. He reported after 30 minutes “I didn’t necessarily know what I was experiencing, but my throat and eyes were very itchy. I remember lying there and rubbing my eyes — just rubbing and rubbing. So I got up and looked in the mirror and everything was swollen.” He called his athletic trainer who recognized the signs of anaphylaxis and injected him with an EpiPen. He was later rushed to the hospital and he was later diagnosed with shellfish allergy, shrimp, lobster, scallops and crab.
After that, Adrian Peterson became a spokesperson for Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Epi-Pen, a manufacturer of epinephrine which is given to patients who suffer from anaphylactic reactions.
On his flight to play the Detroit Lions this past weekend, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings became ill. The details around it are confusing to say the least. Initially it was reported that he accidentally swallowed chewing tobacco. But Adrian Peterson refuted those reports, he has claimed that he ate shrimp. He said he injected himself with an EpiPen after eating shrimp. As allergists we understand that accidental ingestions sometimes do happen, which is what an EpiPen is used for, but what he said afterwards was surprising, given that he was a speaker for EpiPen in the past.
“Sometimes I love shrimp so much that I go against the grain sometimes. I always make sure I keep an EpiPen with me.” He said he won’t eat shrimp again before a game again. “I learned my lesson,” he said.
What Adrian Peterson said goes against what every allergists preaches to their food allergic patients. If you are truly allergic to a food, you can not even eat it in small amounts. You should avoid it by all measures and avoid all accidental ingestions. Being a former spokesperson for EpiPen, we would believe that Adrian Peterson would know better and not say that he could eat it at others times, just not before games. There was some controversy regarding what actually got him sick, ESPN initially reported that he swallowed tobacco, which Adrian Peterson denied, and attributing it to bad shrimp. Perhaps he didn’t want to say the real reason why he was sick on the plane, but he should not say eating a food that you are allergic to is okay in small amounts. Emails sent to Adrian Peterson’s representatives were not answered.
We hope Adrian Peterson in the future will correct his statement and not say that it is ok to eat shellfish even though he is allergic to it. In a previous blog post, Miley Cyrus also blamed an “allergic reaction” for a long term hospitalization, which was questionable https://allergylosangeles.com/allergy-blog/miley-cyrus-admitted-to-hospital-for-allergic-reaction/ Hopefully Adrian Peterson is feeling better now and the Minnesota Vikings and him will have a successful season this year in the NFL. And congratulations to them on their victory over the Detroit Lions yesterday, Adrian Peterson was able to rush for 98 yards despite his illness the day before.
If you do have food allergies, speak to your allergy doctor about what you can and can not eat. Having injectable epinephrine available is also very important and it can save your life.