IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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AlmostThere
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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:18 pm

Certain individuals have sworn that it goes the opposite direction. The more you are exposed, the more likely you are to rash up. That's how it worked for me. I was 40something when I had my first reaction to poison oak. It was a coastal subspecies, and I had to have direct contact with the leaves to rash on my arm. It wasn't bad -- I hit it with technu immediately when I got home, and it promptly went away.

My father was deathly allergic and so growing up we avoided the stuff religiously so as not to bring oil home to him. Later on, I encountered it once in a while, but avoided if I could. In SAR we often had to bash right on through - you stay on that gridline - but I didn't react then. It was on a Big Sur backpacking trip that I encountered it and finally had a rash. In the Sierra, on the occasional lower elevation trip, I encounter it once in a while without a rash... but we wash everything in Technu at home after sitting on trash bags in the car, to avoid infecting anyone riding in the car randomly later on.

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mrphil
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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by mrphil » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:50 pm

Harlen,

It's the Tide Pod Challenge. I guess you have a pretty good idea what that's all about by now. This is why the Darwin Awards has multiple editions. Staggering! It's amazing that we've managed to evolve at all. I figured that a couple pods would make a better emulsifier for my poison oak leaves than foam from my sofa cushions or crayons.

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limpingcrab
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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by limpingcrab » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:52 pm

Lots of sides to this idea, but there are quite a few peer reviewed studies showing hyposensitization after eating urushiol or one of its derivatives. Even several with guinea pigs for some reason.

I got the itchy bunghole side effect the one time I ate a big leaf, then I went back to baby leaves.

I used to get more and more allergic with exposure like most people do with PO, but it still worked.

Can't argue with results! But it's fun to debate the mechanism.

PS: It was an all cap title and posted on two forums because I wish someone would have told me about this a long time ago!

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Tom_H
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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by Tom_H » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:45 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Certain individuals have sworn that it goes the opposite direction. The more you are exposed, the more likely you are to rash up. That's how it worked for me.
That can happen too. Every person's immune system is unique. Not only that, the immune system constantly changes as the body is exposed to different substances and the immune system reacts to them. In a way, you could compare it to an adaptive computer program. It sort of takes on a life of its own.

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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by Tom_H » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:29 pm

longri wrote:My wife used to get those all of the time but the shots are designed to deal with allergies that induce IgE response. Poison Oak elicits a different type of immune response. So it may be a mistake to generalize and assume that the desensitization method used for one type of allergic reaction applies to the other.

Can you link to any clear example of a successful desensitization therapy for an allergy of the same type as P.O.?
Most of the studies I found were oral administration to Guinea Pigs and they were successful. I found a few full publications, but more abstracts. Most professional medical journals require joining for a fee in order to read the entire report and offer only the abstract for free.

My knowledge of immunology is limited to one unit in my physiology course in college over 40 years ago, and independent reading since then inspired by my own allergy/asthma problems. I do know that every person's immune system is unique and that careful titration can induce hyposensitivity to many different substances which induce differing types of immune response. Sometimes, the same titration can induce hypersensitivity instead. If you still want links, let me know. Again, most were in test animals.

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John Harper
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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by John Harper » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:00 pm

Harlen wrote: Mrphil, what's a "Tide pod," and what, if any, are the supposed benefits of eating them? We have "tide pools" down here, and I eat some of the kelp and shellfish for fun and nutrition, but I reckon you are on about something else?
Do you hibernate in the winter? Tide Pods have been all over the news for months. Please don't eat one.

John

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longri
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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by longri » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:04 pm

Guinea pigs, how appropriate!

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Harlen
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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by Harlen » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Staggering! It's amazing that we've managed to evolve at all.
What's this? Who is claiming to have evolved? You should see my brow ridges :unibrow:

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Re: IT WORKED, I'M IMMUNE TO POISON OAK!!!

Post by bagboy » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:50 pm

My dad, who is in his 70s now, swore by this. So when I was a teenager, after getting poison ivy quite a bit, I put several leaves of it on a sandwich on a couple of occasions and chowed it. Bitter as hell!!! But I never got poison ivy again. Correlation? Causation? Pure coincidence? Beats me. All I know is that I never had a problem with poison ivy again...and boy was I around a lot of it!! I'd be scared to recommend it to someone, for fear that their airway would swell shut or something.

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