Showing posts with label educate the world about food allergies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label educate the world about food allergies. Show all posts

Monday, October 21, 2019

Strict Avoidance Diet for Food Allergies and Gluten Sensitivity


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!
~Em Kennedy~

Friday, June 21, 2019

How to Recognize an Allergic Reaction to Food

When it comes to food allergies, to many people are still in the dark.
This life-threatening condition should get more public attention as it could mean sparing a life.
Every 3 minutes someone is sent to the ER as a result of a life-threatening reaction to food according to www.foodallergy.org.
It is more than just a dislike for a food, as a matter of fact, I positively adore nearly every food I am allergic to, but I don't dare eat even the smallest crumb or risk my throat closing up. What exactly are the symptoms of a food allergy? I have written many blog posts and social media posts on this topic before, but I think it bears repeating. In fact I want to flood the internet with articles on how to recognize the symptoms of  a food allergy in hopes of saving a life.
The symptoms of a food allergy varies from person to person, but here are the main signs:

Mild to moderate symptoms... (can be one or many of the list below)

Hives (reddish, swollen, itchy areas on the skin)
Eczema flare (a persistent dry, itchy rash)
Redness of the skin, particularly around the mouth or eyes
Itchy mouth or ear canal
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea
Stomach pain
Nasal congestion or a runny nose
Sneezing
Slight, dry cough

Severe symptoms may include one or more of the following...

Swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat that blocks breathing
Trouble swallowing
Shortness of breath or wheezing
Turning blue
Drop in blood pressure (feeling faint, confused, weak, passing out)
Loss of consciousness
Chest pain
A weak or “thready” pulse
Sense of “impending doom”
Severe symptoms, alone or combined with milder symptoms, may be signs of life-threatening anaphylaxis. This requires immediate treatment.

For some of us, the main symptom is difficulty breathing and feeling faint. Others may be more subtil and persist as IBS, or other digestive disorders. The most important thing is to respond quickly to any sign of a severe reaction!

Here is an example of how one of my reactions can manifest: (This one I am about to describe has actually happened.)
I accidentally consume a "safe" food that was cooked in a pan that was previously used for eggs and not washed properly. My lips start to tingle. My head feels a little dizzy. My asthma kicks in and I feel like it is hard to breathe in. My tongue gets itchy and my throat starts to close up. My blood pressure drops, and I feel disoriented. I can recognize that I am having a reaction, but I may not be capable of thinking through my plan of action, and thus may have to rely on someone else to administer the meds to stop the reaction. All this can progress fast within a few minutes, but for some of my other food allergies, it may take up to 30 minutes for symptoms to peak. This is called anaphylaxis and is a medical emergency treated with epinephrine. (Because of my other health issues including allergies to nearly all prescription and over the counter drugs, I use a natural antihistamine called Quercetin on first sign of an allergic reaction and at times it is sufficient to stop the reaction. This should only be done upon consent of an allergy doctor, as in most cases it is not strong enough to stop the reaction in a normal person. Epinephrine is the safest option for most people.)

Do you know anyone who is dealing with the symptoms of food allergies? Share this post with them and help spread the information. It may save a life, and that life may be of one of your loved ones. Together we will win this war against food allergies by being an advocate for those who suffer on a daily basis with this health problem.
Here's to life!
Have a Happy Healthy, Allergy Friendly Day!
~Gluten Free Em~