There is a shocking level of misinformation or lack of information where food allergies are concerned. And with it being Food Allergy Awareness week it seems like a great time to start at the beginning.
Today we will explore the basics of food allergies by providing information based on our own experience along with directing you to some resources. FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is an enormous resource with an incredible amount of information!
Note: If you live with food allergies you may already have some experience with these topics, please share them with someone who might need a better understanding of your life! And stay tuned for more content this week!
What a food allergy is NOT
Food allergies are NOT a food intolerance.
While, intolerance to food causes a person unwanted and, in some cases, severe symptoms, that person is not at risk of having an anaphylactic reaction.
What a food allergy IS
A brief explanation …
A food allergy causes a person’s body to see a food protein (in some cases other things; bee stings, latex, etc.) as something dangerous. When the food protein is introduced to the body, the immune system responds to the perceived danger by producing antibodies to fight it. The antibodies produced can then trigger the anaphylactic symptoms.
FARE built this great myth-busting resource. It goes a bit deeper into some common misconceptions about food allergies, and the facts that should be shared. Worth a look!
In its simplest form, anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction triggered by a person’s immune system when the body is exposed to an allergen.
Anaphylaxis requires medical intervention, usually in the form of epinephrine, potentially other medications and a call to 911.
Always consult your allergist to figure out the best action plan for your specific needs.
A New Epidemic
There has been an alarming increase in the number of food allergies throughout the country. As of this year, there are more than 32 million Americans with food allergies.
This is why it is so important, now more than ever, to help spread awareness!
Knowledge is Power
The more we know, the more prepared we can be!
Of course, it is impossible to control every aspect of every interaction you will have each day. But luck favors the prepared.
We have laid out here the most basic information of food allergies and anaphylaxis. Let this knowledge be a starting point!
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