Food allergy is the immune system’s response to a particular protein in your diet.  X Trusted Source Cleveland Clinic Visit a source Food allergies are relatively rare and affect approximately 6-8% of children and 3% of adults. Symptoms vary from mild to life threatening.  X Trusted Source Mayo Clinic Visit a source However, by avoiding trigger foods and taking care of your overall health, you can better manage food allergies.
Avoid Consumption of Allergy Trigger Foods
Keep allergenic foods out of the kitchen. The allergies you experience are caused by certain foods. So, keep all products that contain these foods in your home. This step can reduce your risk of eating foods that cause allergic reactions. Foods that often cause allergies include:
Nuts and tree nuts like walnuts
Remove foods you do not know the ingredients of. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) provides a complete list of foods with ingredients that often cause allergies.
Read food labels as much as possible. There are many allergy triggers contained in daily food and even in vitamins. So you need to know what products can cause an allergic reaction. Read food and product labels to see if they contain allergens. For information, U.S. law requires food manufacturers to list 8 food ingredients that often trigger allergies in common packaging terms. In addition, you may need to specify common code names of allergens, such as:
Casein, lactalbumin, lactose, rennet casein, whey , and tagatose for milk
Flour, einkorn , seitan , triticale , vital wheat gluten , or durum for wheat
Albumin, globulin, livetin, lysozyme, surimi , and vitellin for eggs
Edamame , miso , natto , shoyu , tamari , tempeh, tofu for soybeans
Glucosamine or surimi for shellfish
Pea protein hydrolyzate for nuts
Fish gelatin, nuoc mam , roe , sashimi , surimi for fish.
Store allergen-free foods in a variety of kitchen options. Even if you have to keep many of your favorite foods out of the kitchen because of allergies, you can keep other foods in the kitchen without allergens. Storing allergen-free foods in a variety of options can reduce your risk of cooking food that can cause an allergic reaction.
If you live with other people who may eat allergenic foods, it is best to keep the two types of food separate to reduce the risk of contamination. Note that cross-contamination is possible. So, you should make sure that there are no allergenic foods around your food storage area.
Ask the store clerk if there are special foods for those with allergies sold there. Today, there are some stores that provide special racks of grain -free foods, for example.
Use other foods to replace allergy triggers. For example, you can use: oat milk or rice milk instead of dairy products, rice flour or corn products to treat a wheat allergy, xanthan gum instead of eggs, seeds pumpkin or roasted sunflower seeds instead of nuts or tree nuts.
Remember to always read labels on food packaging and make sure allergenic ingredients or code names are not commonly listed there. Avoid all unlabeled foods or products.
Make a meal menu schedule. Cooking yourself is a safe way to reduce your risk of eating allergenic foods. Making a diet schedule can not only prevent allergic reactions, but also make sure your body is getting enough vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy.
Make a meal menu schedule once a week. Pay attention to foods you don’t eat at home, such as lunch. Prepare lunch or other food if you like. If you are planning to eat at a restaurant, check the menu first to find out what is safe for you to eat.
If your food allergy is severe, you may need to pay special attention to make sure there are no allergens in and near your food. For some people, just being close to the trigger material can cause allergies.
Make a meal plan at the restaurant. Food allergies can make it difficult for you to eat in restaurants. Many restaurants use products that contain allergens, or cook them in the same place as the allergens. Call the restaurant in advance, and ask about the menu and how they cook it to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
Ask the restaurant manager, waiter or chef if they can accept your allergies. You may need to explain the trigger.
Ask if restaurant staff are trained in food allergies, if food for allergy sufferers is cooked separately in separate equipment, or if they provide special products for those with allergies.
Be prepared if the restaurant does not provide your first choice.
Minimize cross contamination. You may be exposed to food allergens unintentionally as a result of cross-contamination. So, pay attention to the foods you buy, how they are stored, and how you cook them to avoid allergic reactions.
Use a variety of cooking utensils and areas to prevent cross-contamination in the home.
Consider buying special cooking utensils such as a toaster or blender.
Wash your hands with soap and water before cooking to remove contaminants.
Overcome Food Allergies
Seek medical help. Make an appointment with your doctor if your allergies or allergy symptoms get worse, or if you have difficulty coping. Your doctor will perform an evaluation, discuss how to treat your allergies, or refer you to a psychiatrist who can help.
Your doctor may also recommend that you undergo additional allergy testing, which may include blood or skin tests, an elimination diet, a food journal, or a food provocation elimination test to determine the cause of your illness.
The doctor may also check for other things related to food allergies such as anxiety, depression, or exercise.
Ask your doctor if there are medications that can help you. Be sure to use medications prescribed or recommended by your doctor.
The best treatment for allergies is to avoid triggering if possible. If you can’t avoid these foods, make sure you have preparations for exposure. Depending on the severity of the allergic reaction, you may need to take an epinephrine shot at all times if you are at risk for an anaphylactic reaction from an allergy.
Consider seeing a counselor if you are having difficulty coping with food allergies.
Consult a nutritionist. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian if you are having difficulty adjusting your diet. A nutritionist can help you identify allergy triggers, identify and prepare other healthy foods, as well as develop a menu of foods that can improve your health.
Find a dietitian or professional health practitioner who specializes in food allergies. From them, you can get information on safe food choices, hidden allergy triggers, as well as learn about food alternatives when eating out.
If you can’t find a nutritionist or health practitioner who specializes in food allergies, try using Consulate to find a clinical nutritionist in your local area.
Tell others about your allergies. Telling other people about your food allergies can be an important part of dealing with them. You can avoid uncomfortable situations or questions by openly sharing these conditions. In addition, other people will also recognize your allergy attack if it occurs.
Tell your friends, family, co -workers, people who care about you, as well as other important people who know about your allergies. That way, in an emergency they can help you.
Wear a medical necklace or bracelet that contains information on how to help you in an emergency.
Ignore stigma and social pressure. Most people should understand your allergies and food needs. Social pressure or stigma from others is often caused by misinformation. Learning to ignore these negative reactions will help you live an active and happy life.
You may feel embarrassed when you have to ask for special food or dishes when eating out. Explain your situation, and ignore other people’s reactions. Ignoring negative reactions can help you deal with allergies.
Positive stances can help you become more confident and manage your health while preventing the side effects of allergies. Repeat this phrase, “What other people think doesn’t matter “. These affirmations can reduce your feelings of shame or guilt.
Change the way you look at negative energy by breathing deeply, repeating positive affirmations, and thinking about something positive like being on top of a beautiful mountain.
Love and accept yourself. For example, say “I may have a food allergy, but I can’t control this allergy. I can still have dinner out and spend time with friends. “
Join a support group. Joining a support group or attending an event for those with allergies will give you support from those who are also experiencing it. In addition, they may also have ways of dealing with various aspects of allergies.
There are many support groups that meet online. If it is too difficult to meet physically, meeting online may be an option.
Attend a food allergy event or conference near you. You can find contact and information that will help with your particular allergy from this event. For example, the US -based agency FARE held Food Allergy Awareness Week .
Find information by watching shows for people with allergies. For example, documentaries produced by FARE and the Discovery Channel.
In the U.S., FARE even provides a service to find food allergy support groups by area of residence.
Prepare yourself for an allergy attack. You may be calmer if you are prepared for an allergy attack from an unexpected source. Tell the person with you about this allergy, or bring your emergency allergy medicine.
Know the signs of an anaphylactic reaction and how to deal with it. Each allergic reaction is different and is determined by your level of sensitivity to the trigger and the amount of exposure.
Ask your doctor to prescribe emergency epinephrine if you are prone to severe allergic reactions.
Take an over-the-counter antihistamine if you have a mild allergic reaction. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is a very effective drug. However, be aware that side effects of this medication include severe drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
Tell the waiter about your allergies.
Prepare a plan for dealing with allergy attacks and keep it in your bag or purse. Include information on how to treat your condition and who to contact in an emergency.