Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
To help clear up a common misconception, food intolerance is a digestive system response, whereas a
true food allergy is an immune system response. Although some
symptoms of both food allergies and food intolerances are the same (primarily gastrointestinal symptoms such as
nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea), others are unique to either food intolerances or food allergies. Most
notably, anaphylaxis, which can lead to death, is the most severe possible repercussion of a food allergy. This is why it's
important for food allergic individuals to consistently monitor the foods they are around and consume.
This also means staying vigilant when eating out or in the case of children, eating at school or daycare. For those with
for severe food allergies, it is now common to always carry an auto injector. An auto injector can provide emergency treatment
in case of accidental exposure, buying precious time until professional treatment is obtained. The
Ana-Tote Twin help food allergic
adults and children alike keep their auto injectors safely with them.
Food Allergy Testing
Food allergy testing in the doctor's office involves either a prick skin test or a blood test. In a prick
skin test, the doctor will place small drops of the substance being tested on the patient's skin. If the patient
is allergic, a mosquito bite-looking bump will form. A blood test checks whether the patient has IgE antibodies
to specific foods, indicating an allergy.
The My Allergy Test allows you to
test for hidden food allergies from the comfort of your home. It's important to note that you should be cautious about
self-diagnosis of any food allergies. You could end up unnecessarily eliminating a food that provides much-needed
nutrition, for instance. Be sure to discuss your food allergy concerns and a history of symptoms with an allergist.
Information gathered from your personal history with the food as well as the information from the food allergy testing
will be taken into account in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
Children and Food Allergies
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that over 2.2 million school-aged children
now have food allergies. One in every 17 children under the age of three has a food allergy.
Food allergies in young children can
be particularly frightening for the parents and children alike. School, friends' birthday parties, and sleepovers all pose extra hazards to the food
allergic child. Much of parents' anxiety is related to questions about whether their children will be able to
effectively communicate their food allergy.
Food Allergy T-shirts can help by visibly
reminding caregivers of the child's allergy. Another source of concern is eating out with food allergic children,
largely because of possible cross-contamination. Food Allergy Cards
are great for both children and adults who have food allergies, helping to communicate food allergies with servers and
restaurant staff both while eating out and while at school. The more knowledgeable the food preparation staff is, the less likely
that there will be problems regarding a particular food allergy.
With more and more exposure in the media regarding food allergies, a variety of changes have been made to make it
easier for food allergic and food sensitive people to work, play, eat and interact with less fear. As one of the most common
food allergies, peanuts and peanut products have been removed from certain seating sections at ballparks. You can still get peanuts
but now there are sections where those with peanut or tree nut allergies can enjoy a game without worry. Food allergies are also
now much more easily handled by kitchen staff as knowledge and general awareness increases, and labeling of food now includes disclaimers
if products were prepared with or in facilities that also process peanuts, tree nuts or nut products. Overall, the best thing that those with food allergies
can do is be knowledgeable, be prepared and speak up.
Food Allergy Anaphylaxis
As the most severe allergic reaction to certain foods, anaphylaxis can occur rapidly and may cause death. Food is one of the most common
causes for onset of food allergy anaphylaxis.
It accounts for over 30,000 emergency room visits every year in the United States. Those who have food allergies as well as asthma
may be at even greater risk for experiencing anaphylactic reactions to food. Indicators of anaphylaxis include swollen lips or
skin symptoms, difficulty breathing, reduced blood pressure, and gastrointestinal symptoms. An
actual anaphylactic reaction might begin with a tingling feeling, a metallic taste in the mouth, itching, swelling of the mouth and
throat area, then progress to gastrointestinal symptoms, drop in blood pressure, a sensation of warmth, difficulty breathing, or loss of
consciousness. When not treated quickly and treated properly, anaphylaxis is deadly.
Epinephrine injections are life-saving treatments of anaphylaxis. Administered through auto-injectors, epinephrine counteracts severe low blood pressure and
wheezing by narrowing the blood vessels and opening airways in the lungs. Food allergic individuals should always carry
an auto-injector with them. The Ana-Tote carrying cases make this easy for adults and children alike.
Food Allergy Action Plan
Individuals with food allergies should have a well thought-out plan to cope with their - or their children's -
food allergies. This includes ways to minimize and prevent exposure to the food allergen, as well as a plan of
action for what to do if a reaction occurs.
Food Allergy Cards are a convenient way
to make sure your server and restaurant staff are aware of the danger your food allergy poses and help them to
ensure you aren't exposed to the food you or your child is allergic to. When eating anything, inquire about the ingredients
or check the label. Food manufacturers have become much more diligent in posting certain warnings on products, but scanning
the ingredients list is always a good first step. For children with food allergies, it's important that parents build a network of informed
people in the child's school, daycare or social groups.
Education and awareness is key in combating any
food allergy. Cafeteria staff, teachers and other administrators should be aware of the food allergy as well as
how to deal with an allergic reaction if the child is exposed. In this regard, auto injectors are an
indispensable component of any food allergy action plan. Snapped to a belt or clipped to a backpack, carrying
cases can help ensure that you always have a well-protected injector with you or your child. The
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, (FAAN), provides a printable Food Allergy Action Plan for students to take
with them to school. There's a growing body of information out there about food allergies and coping with them, and with
a little effort and some time, you can help ensure a safer, more
reaction free environment for you and your child.
Protectube Auto Injector Case
ALCAT Food Sensitivity Test