Showing posts with label multiple food allergies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label multiple food allergies. Show all posts

Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Multiple Food Allergy Life

This is an area that is very near and dear to me. My son and I both struggle with this. It is a detailed challenge that just seems to keep evolving with time. No matter how down pat you seem to get it, there is always the risk of a brand changing manufacturing processes or ingredients without any warning or label updates. Whenever you do see a new label on a familiar product you inwardly panic and scan the ingredients list for changes. At times, it comes down to trial and error and you have to take a chance to see if you will react allergically or not.

This is the reality of my everyday life. And the reality of millions of others who deal with multiple food allergies on a daily basis. 

Avoiding gluten used to be my biggest challenge, and then food allergies hit. It is like a curve ball being thrown at you while you are still trying to catch the last ball. It is like you are caught in between two pitchers, and they are both throwing towards you simultaneously. Never a moment to rest and lay down your defenses. Never a day that you can "cheat". Never an option to simply go out for dinner. 

That's multiple food allergy reality.

For caregivers as well as the one who is allergic, it can be a source of frustration, anxiety (rightfully so), and exhaustion.

But how do we handle this constant reality in a world full of exposure to allergens? Cleaning products, hand sanitizer, air fresheners, medicines, food packaging, foods, drinks, etc. There are SO MANY ways to get into allergens.

Going to the grocery store where everything has been "sanitized" requires avoiding touching carts which have residual corn from cleaners or wipes. A constant thought in the back of the mind about what is on the packages knowing that so many people fail to wash their hands after eating, or use hand sanitizer thinking it is "clean" when in reality it is loaded with chemical toxins and corn derivatives. Being careful not to stand to close to someone who may be wearing hand sanitizer so as to avoid getting asthma from it. And I could go on and on...

Later at home the challenge continues. Washing hands or even showering upon returning home helps prevent some exposures. Then there is avoiding eating any food without first rinsing off the package. For instance, cheese packages, canned goods, and so much more.

The reality follows you everywhere. It goes with you to the doctors office, to church, to family gatherings, to birthday parties, to the post office, the library, or any other place you may go, even the Emergency Room. Your life at times feels dictated by this reality. 

But the truth is, a multiple food allergy sufferer or caregiver is a special kind of strong person. Someone who is always carrying a load but refusing to bend. Constantly protecting, providing comfort, and experiencing close calls. This special kind of person is a great source of inspiration to many out there who face smaller battles on a daily basis.

You never know who is watching you push on, and wondering if they can do it, too. 

You may be one of those multiple food allergy warriors, and you are reading this right now thinking, "Yup, this is so true." Just remember you are stronger, you are braver, and you have what it takes to continue pushing on!

A fellow Multiple Food Allergy Warrior,
~Gluten Free Em

Since 2012, Em has been blogging about the Gluten Free diet, and multiple food allergies. Her recipes and words of encouragement have brought hope to many on this journey. You can get your copy of her cookbook, "Cooking Gluten and Corn Free with Gluten Free Em" on Amazon here:

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
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
Stomach pain
Nasal congestion or a runny nose
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~

Monday, March 4, 2019

I'm Hard at Work on Something Fabulous!

I am sorry that I haven't been posting much lately...

But I have been working on some amazing research that will no doubt make a huge difference in my life and the lives of many who are also gluten free! 

Finding healthy sources of nutrition that won't set off a reaction can be daunting and sometimes seem impossible...but with knowledge, there is hope!

I still have a ways to go in this research, but I do hope that you will bear with me as I spend less time on this blog and more time in the books... as I am currently working on a new book that will discuss the different nutrients that our bodies need to work properly and the various food options for obtaining those nutrients.

The idea behind this book is to offer those of us on a limited diet new ideas for ways to maximize our nutrient intake without making ourselves sick with a food our body reacts to.

Please stay tuned for updates as the work progresses... and for new posts, because I am first and foremost a blogger at heart!

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
Em Kennedy