Are you comfortable talking about food allergy?
Time and again, we read food-related life threatening reaction especially in adolescent agr group, because they felt uncomfortable or awkward to communicate about their food allergy to their peers. As an allergist, I am devastated to hear about these fatal reactions which could be easily prevented. Based on my experience with my food allergy patients, I have compiled a list of ways to help food allergy patients with these difficult conversations and helping them feel accepted and respected for their concerns with food allergy.
1. Being clear and concise.
Share the facts about food allergy to your friends. Share how can it be life threatening for you. Explain to your friends how even a small amount of the food or even cross contamination with that food can be fatal for you.
2. Express your opinion
Express your concerns about the “culprit” food to your friends in a respectful but firm way. Be open and vocal beforehand. This helps to avoid any disruptions in the party for the host. Also opens the option to answer any questions that they might have.
3. Ask for help from the host
Knowing the ingredients of the food by asking the host beforehand, helps immensely to stay safe during the event.
4. Other people have good intentions
Don’t presume that people will not be acceptable of your concerns. Communication is the best way and sometimes, people genuinely do not know about true food allergies and its adverse impact. Share your education and direct the people towards safety without presuming that others will not approve of you!
5. Be open to questions and available to answer questions
People are curious and might want to learn from you for themselves or others. Be nice and open minded to their questions. Answer them to their appropriate satisfaction.
6. Learn to leave
If you feel that people are not receptive of your food allergies, learn to leave the scenario. You rather be safe than sorry! Excuse yourself from there to maintain your relationship and being cautious at the same time.
7. Always carry an adrenaline autoinjector ( Epipen or Auvi-Q) with you
Being cautious with food allergy is the mantra! And carrying an Adrenaline autoinjector is closest to be following that mantra!! Know how and when to use it!! Read more about anaphylaxis in other sections of our website! Remember, The Allergy Group is always there to help with any questions or concerns!