Having a severe allergy that results in anaphylaxis can be a real strain on your life. Not only that, but this type of allergy also needs to be in the forefront of everyone’s mind around you in order to best take the necessary precautions and avoid coming into contact with your allergen. And when this allergen is food related, it can make eating and preparing food difficult if not dangerous. So to help those without food allergies to best know how to handle someone with food allergies, here are three tips for living and eating with someone who has a severe food allergy.
Know How To Act In An Emergency
When you’re close to someone, you know almost everything about them, even those things they may deem embarrassing. One of these things may be having a certain food allergy. And although having the actual allergy may not seem all that embarrassing, the lengths that need to be taken to avoid coming into contact with that allergen or the process of containment if an allergic reaction takes place can be embarrassing. That’s why it’s good to be aware of what to do if an emergency situation should arise.
FoodAllergy.org recommends learning about the medications that need to be taken once your friend or loved one begins having an allergic reaction. This could include knowing exactly which medications to give, the proper dosages, practicing how to use an epinephrine auto-injector, and understanding their medical alert system. This knowledge could help you save their life if worst comes to worst.
Learn To Properly Read Food Labels
Reading food labels before eating any food is a big part of helping someone manage their food allergy. Guido R. Zanni, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, reminds us that manufacturers must list on their label if a common food allergen is present in the food or was present during the making of the food. This makes it easier to see if something contains the food you’re trying to avoid. But also be aware that some ingredients can go by multiple names, so make sure you’re well versed in the particular allergy you’re dealing with.
Be Aware Of Cross-Contamination
Even if the food you’re planning to eat doesn’t explicitly say it contains the allergen you’re avoiding, you should always be aware of the potential for cross-contamination. According to Stephanie Pierce, a contributor to Healthline.com, the most common cross-contaminations include peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. So if your loved one is allergic to these, take extra precautions regarding how your food is made, stored and transported.
Living with someone who has a severe food allergy simply means being more aware of the food you bring into your home and consume. Consider using some of the tips mentioned above if you’ve been struggling with how to deal with living with food allergies.