Managing the Emotional and Social Aspect of Having Food Allergies
Sometimes, for some people, it just feels like life is all about having food allergies. This is especially true if eating is also one of their great pleasures. But for food-allergic families, the need to be constantly vigilant can remove the joy from of mealtimes and special occasions.
If this rings true for you, the following are pointers to help you manage:
Controlling Your Allergies
If you’ve always suspected you have a food allergy, have a qualified allergist diagnose you. If you see that there are changes with time, keep your doctor aware. Let your allergologist be your partner in helping you remain healthy.
Educate yourself regarding food allergies. Check out websites and books and scrutinize labels. Take part in or create your own support group in your community.
If you have asthma, be sure that the condition is correctly treated and under control. Remember that with uncontrolled asthma, you are more likely to have an anaphylactic reaction.
Even if you need not go through an emergency, it’s nice to know you’re well-prepared for any eventuality. Make sure you have your emergency medications with you everywhere and at all times, and wear your emergency identification too.
Write down your allergic reactions in a journal – for example, did you feel some kind of skin irritation following a meal? Are there are specific times of the year when certain foods cause problems? Memories can fade but this is a very good way of ensuring that your doctor has complete data about your condition.
Putting Things in Perspective
Do not think too much about the “what ifs” and instead make it a decision to be careful and prepared. Food allergies are most certainly challenging to manage, but it is fortunately quite manageable for most people.
Concentrate on what’s there! Try to avoid making “eating out” a main family activity. Instead, plan outings that aren’t food-centered.
Enlist the support of entire family, but make sure that non-allergic members do not feel restricted by your condition.
When Preparation Is Key
Make sure you have two autoinjector pens with you or your child anytime and anywhere. You can never discount the possibility that one may not work for whatever reason. The idea is to control anaphylactic symptoms until appropriate medical treatment comes.
Shop very cautiously and be aware of the different manufacturing processes. Also learn to identify ingredients correctly when reviewing food labels. And make it a point to read labels each and every time you buy a product – they can change ingredients anytime and often without the public knowing.
Also keep some “safe” snacks in handy while you’re traveling or at home.
With your allergies, you even have the best excuse to learn how to bake! Finally, learn how to make substitutions when you’re cooking. It can make a huge difference, not just in keeping you safe, but also having a happy tummy.
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