Ever have that awkward discussion with someone about your restricted diet???
I have, many times. It doesn't get any easier, but at least over the last few years I have learned what to say. Many times I have been accused of having social anxiety because I won't eat at church or family gatherings. Many times I have been told that I am just out of touch. Many times, I have been made fun of, looked at like I was crazy, or simply not taken seriously. But the truth is, I have to follow a restricted diet to STAY ALIVE!!!
FOOD ALLERGIES ARE REAL! They really do claim lives. An average of 5 people every day die of anaphylaxis, just in the USA! Thousands more end up in the hospital. Yes, it is real! Yes, it is to be taken seriously! Yes, there are preventative techniques. Avoid your known allergens. Carry two epipens at all times, and don't hesitate to use one if you experience difficulty breathing from an allergen exposure. Have an action plan, and make sure the whole family, friends, and coworkers know what to do if something goes wrong. Advocate for those with allergies, and stand up to the bullying regarding restricted diets!
Celiac Disease, and severe Gluten Sensitivity is real as well! It is not an allergy, but still requires complete avoidance. Celiac Disease is an immune response to ingestion of gluten. It harms the small intestine, leaving damage and causing malabsorption and malnutrition. It also carries many other symptoms.
Learn the symptoms. Recognize it. Follow avoidance diet, and keep yourself and those around you safe!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free, Allergy Free Day!