Misinformation and Food Allergies: How to Keep Your Family Safe

Last updated on March 19th, 2018 at 06:07 pm

Having a food allergy diagnosis can be quite overwhelming but coming across information that is misleading can be deadly. With so many factors on what to do, what not to do, who to listen to and what will keep your allergic triggers from worsening, we all have enough on our plates to begin with. The challenge of weeding through different experiences often finds us asking for simple answers.

Before you give in, ask yourself if the guidance that you are given is right for you. If something just doesn’t seem to add up, it probably doesn’t.

And, although many of us are now considering multiple options about how to handle our food allergies, there will always be those who can steer you in the wrong direction.

First, let’s clarify some food allergy statistics from a reliable source F.A.A.C.T. (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team) –

  • Food allergies affect approximately 15 million Americans, including 6 million children.
  • A food allergy is an immune system response to a food the body mistakenly believes is harmful.
  • When a person with food allergy eats the food, his or her immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, including histamine, that trigger a cascade of symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and/or the cardiovascular system.
  • There is no cure for food allergies.
  • The prevalence of food allergies appears to be increasing among children under the age of 18, that is 2 students in every classroom.
  • Although food allergy desensitizations are being studied, these are not yet proven treatments, so strict avoidance is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction.
  • Managing a food allergy on a daily basis involves constant vigilance.
  • Trace amounts of an allergen can trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals.
  • Unfortunately, food allergy deaths do occur, even among persons with a history of mild reactions in the past.
  • 9-1-1 must ALWAYS be called with every anaphylactic reaction

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These are all facts about food allergies. When someone eats a food that they are allergic to, it causes an anaphylactic reaction. The only known treatment for an anaphylactic reaction is epinephrine. The reason I am sharing these facts? I recently came across an article that offered “10 Home Remedies for Getting Quick Relief from Food Allergy”. This article offered tips that may very well become the cause of someone with food allergies getting hurt, sick or dying. Although allergic symptoms can vary from one person to another, ensuring the proper treatment is crucial to everyone. To clarify, let me share a few tips that are absolutely not what you should do to treat a food allergy or an allergic reaction.

  • Drink a specific juice mixture daily to improve your immunity and to keep your allergies from acting up. FALSE. If you want to improve your immunity or even try to boost your overall health, this would be perfect (as long as you are not allergic to the juices) but this will not prevent or treat a food allergy.
  • Taking vitamin E or castor oil will prevent an allergic reaction. FALSE. The only known prevention for a food allergy is to NOT consume the foods that you are allergic to.
  • Use supplements to keep your digestive tract healthy, which will heal your food allergies. FALSE. Again, an allergic reaction is when your body is reacting to an offending food and not because you have gastrointestinal issues.

Be Cautious But Expect Mishaps In simple terms, you will make mistakes, it happens. The important thing to remember is to learn from that mistake to avoid it the next time and to forgive yourself for doing it. Living with food allergies is a lifestyle change. There are many things to consider, many new methods of everyday life that need tweaking and some days will be easier than others.

The key is to seek out well known, reputable food allergy support groups and non-profits that partner with Medical Doctors.

Most importantly, your life is precious – don’t let it be harmed when it can be improved.

About the Author

Tracy Bush is the founder and President of Nutrimom, Inc., also known as Nutrimom - Food Allergy Liason, a consulting business that specializes in providing guidance and support for anyone that has been diagnosed with food allergies. Tracy helps others with simple steps, such as finding safe, wholesome foods to supplement allergenic foods, where to shop and how to maximize their budget while adjusting to their dietary change. You can view additional information about what she does as well as her new e-book "The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies" at www.AllergyPhoods.com. Tracy is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

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