Food allergies are a serious medical condition that affects about 15 million Americans. They are many foods that cause reactions in people but there are eight foods are the top offenders. The top eight foods for allergic reactions are: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
Just like all other allergens, reactions to food allergies can range from mild to life threatening. Reactions include rash; nausea; stomach pain; swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat; shortness of breath, and loss of consciousness. Living with food allergies does not have to be burdensome; it just takes a bit of planning. Changes to diet and lifestyle are certainly necessary and will get easier with time and forming of habits. Below are some tips for living with food allergies.
Have Emergency Medication
If you have a very serious allergy to certain foods, chances are that your doctor has prescribed you an emergency medication, such as an EpiPen. Be sure to practice using your emergency medication (many auto-injectors will come with a practice device to get used to using the injector) and to carry it with you at all times.
Have an Emergency Care Plan
You should discuss an emergency care plan with your doctor. This plan should include information about how and when to use certain medications. The plan should also include emergency contact information, your insurance information, and any other allergies you may have. Be sure to also discuss this plan with close friends and family.
Wear Medical Identification
Wearing a medical identification piece will help people quickly recognize the cause if you ever experience a life threatening reaction and take instant steps toward treatment.
Do further research to find out how to manage food allergies in different situations and have a plan for each one. Whether you or your child is at camp, at college, at work, dining out, or traveling, you should have a plan for each location and an appropriate emergency contact. Plan, read labels, and avoid problems food as best as possible.