Food allergies are on the rise and if you are one of nearly 15 million people living with at least one food allergy then chances are you've encountered quite a bit of misinformation and questions over the years. We asked our friends on Facebook to list some of the most important things they want their friends and family to know about food allergies – to answer even the most ridiculous questions and address the most obvious misconceptions once and for all!
15 Things You Need To Know About Food Allergies
- If it's severe, get the tests done. I had a friend who was diagnosed with epilepsy, when in fact he was allergic to corn. Corn is found in so many products. He took phenobarbitol for 10 years before they figured it out.
- That just because someone is allergic to a food, doesn't mean they are crazy.
- They're real! We know people who treat my son's peanut allergy like it's something the doctor made up.
- When you specifically tell the waitress/waiter that you are allergic to X and they serve you X anyway, 9 times out of 10 you get a free meal!
- Go to an allergist. A regular doctor doesn't do enough tests. Insist on testing. My doctor didn't think it was important, but I'm allergic to bee stings, shell fish, and penicillin.
- We have several children at our school with severe nut allergies (we are a nut free school) & if you dont read the labels for foods with nuts & send those products to school, you may as well have sent your child in with a loaded gun! Nut allergies are serious!
- That a severe anaphylaxis attack can trigger an underlying illness you didn't know you had. 5 years later I'm still in chronic pain with a possibly rare undiagnosed autoimmune disease due to a sesame allergy. :(
- There is a difference between being allergic to milk (or other things) and being intolerant to it (or other things).
- I would like people to take them seriously and not assume that all allergy symptoms are equal. Just because you can eat it and only get a tummy ache, does not mean I can eat it without my throat swelling shut. So quit telling me to just be polite and eat it anyway!
- For parents of the children who don't have allergies to be a little more compassionate to the children/parents who do. Imagine if you were in their shoes. Don't make things worse by being mean. Or complaining about what you can't send in your kids lunch. This can be a matter of life or death.
- I wish more restaurants, movie theaters, etc took it seriously. I'm allergic to wheat & oats, as well as bees, wasps & hornets. I don't wear a medic alert bracelet or pack an epipen & rescue inhaler just for fun. I like breathing. I want to still be able to go out on a date with my husband or as a family & be able to eat. Wheats in everything, even salads aren't safe because of the dressing. I just wish they'd provide more options & actually be certain the options were safe.
- It's not in their head!
- That peanuts aren't just in food. That bird seed craft project you want to do could be extremely dangerous for my child. And no, I'm not crazy when I check the ingredients in my makeup so I can safely do cheek to cheek pics with my little one.
- That we don't make it up for attention! We just want to be treated normally! We already live our lives in fear, we don't need other people treating us differently or trying to avoid the conversation. We don't like having it but it's something we have to deal with. We have feelings too. We aren't just looking for attention! And in fact we are quite scared about the fact that they are severe.
- I'm not snubbing your baking ability. I have to be sure I keep my son healthy! Oh, and the "made in a facility that processes "x"..." statement is important. One little bit is all it takes.
This list was created from customer comments and input on our Facebook page, and obviously doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of all people with food allergies.
Do you have a life threatening food allergy or love someone who has a food allergy? If so, what would you like others to know? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy it is critical that you wear a medical ID. Be sure to indicate your name, allergies, emergency contact number(s) and also indicate whether you carry an EpiPen. You may find the following format helpful when ordering your medical ID bracelet. Always make sure to check with your doctor or health care provider to see what they recommend you have engraved on your medical ID.
First and Last Name
Medications or treatment instructions
EpiPen or Give EpiPen or EpiPen in Bag/Purse
Emergency Contact Number