I recently became aware of some information that may provide improper advice for those with food allergies. This information suggests that food allergic individuals need not be as vigilant as they should be as long as they have their injectable epinephrine with them. Well, this is just plain wrong!
Let’s review some basics about food allergy management. Now this all assumes that one has been properly evaluated and diagnosed as having a food allergy.
1.Know what you are allergic to.
2.Read labels and understand what you are eating.
3.Make sure others know what you are allergic to. Don’t accept or eat any food if you are not 100% sure of the ingredients. 99.999% is not good enough — if you are not sure don’t eat it. Remember food allergy can kill!
4. If you are going to a party or some other function and you are not sure of the foods that will be there, bring your own food.
5.Have an Anaphylaxis Treatment Plan. Know what do in the event of an exposure to your food allergen or if you develop allergy symptoms even if you don’t think there was an exposure to your food allergen. Treat yourself first then figure out what the exposure was later.
6.Always have your injectable epinephrine with you. Remember, if you have an exposure to your food allergen and develop allergy symptoms the treatment of anaphylaxis is use your epinephrine. Benadryl, albuterol and other medicines can be helpful to treat your symptoms after you use epinephrine.
7.If you use your epinephrine, call 911. Food allergy reactions and anaphylaxis are life threatening reactions and require emergent care, evaluation and treatment. Epinephrine can be life saving but even with the prompt administration of epinephrine and calling 911 there can still be bad outcomes.
If you have questions about your medical condition or the medication(s) you are taking speak with your physician. Always remember, your physicians ethical and professional responsibility is to take care of you!