Important Tips for Dealing with Food Allergies
A high number of people suffer from some kind of food allergy. This is a result of the body’s immune system triggering an extreme response to food. If not properly taken care of, food allergies can cause serious harm. Learn some important tips for dealing with food allergies by reading below.
Thoroughly Read All Food Labels
When you have a concerning food allergy, one of the first steps you need to take is to properly read over food labels. When food product labels are being designed, specific pieces of information have to be included. Food product labels tell consumers all the ingredients in a food. This is one major way consumers can protect themselves if they have any food allergies, and it’s also one of the most important reasons for properly labeling all food products. Food manufacturing companies have a responsibility to follow laws mandated by the FDA, which includes identifying any potential allergens in a food product on the label.
Avoid Cross Contamination
It’s easy to know what foods to avoid when you’ve determined what you’re allergic to, but you still need to be aware that certain food could have come in contact with other, allergenic foods. All it takes is an allergen to be transferred over to food that contains no allergens. As a result, if you have a peanut allergy, you’d want to avoid eating any cookie in a display case next to a peanut butter cookie. This may seem restrictive, but it can be the difference between life and death for someone who is severely allergic.
The same goes for cooking. It’s vital to clean any utensils you’ve used on allergenic foods if someone in your household has a food allergy. Store these foods somewhere away from nonallergenic food.
Educate Yourself To Recognize Symptoms
Recognizing your own symptoms is not only one of the most important tips for dealing with food allergies but also one of the easiest ways to protect yourself. Your symptoms are generally the most telling signs of whether you’re having an allergic reaction to something. Some of the most important symptoms to watch out for are itchy skin, hives, rashes, eye irritation, shortness of breath, and swelling in the mouth or throat. A few of these seem light, but they’re all potentially the beginnings of anaphylaxis. This is one of the most severe allergic reactions; it can become life-threatening if not properly managed. If you have severe food allergies, carry an epinephrine pen on you; it could save you in an emergency. It’s also important to make the people around you aware of what allergies you have.