Food allergies can cause symptoms ranging from a rash to gastrointestinal issues, with the most severe allergies triggering an anaphylactic reaction that can be life-threatening. Patients who suffer from a food allergy may find limited relief from taking antihistamines, either over-the-counter or prescription, or using topical steroids such as Elocon. Patients can purchase topical steroids or buy antihistamines online so they can easily keep an appropriate supply in stock at their home.
If a patient is experiencing a severe, life-threatening reaction, the only appropriate treatment is to administer an EpiPen and then make an immediate trip to the emergency room for further treatment. Otherwise, the reaction can worsen — and lead to severe illness and even death.
The Types of Food Allergies
People can react to food they are allergic to in a multitude of ways. Some people simply have a contact allergy to foods, meaning if they touch the food during preparation, they can experience an allergic reaction on their skin. The allergic reaction is typically itchy skin or a rash. Milder allergies may worsen over time after multiple exposures to an allergen. Other individuals may experience a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction to an allergen. This can cause the throat to close, making it impossible for the person to breathe.
Unfortunately, the only way to prevent an allergic reaction from occurring is to completely avoid the allergen. As stated earlier, reactions that were once mild can worsen in severity after each exposure. This means an allergy can become life-threatening over time.
How to Avoid Allergic Reactions at Home
Exposure to even a small amount of an ingredient you are allergic to can cause a severe reaction. This makes it essential to avoid food allergens entirely in the home. Carefully reading labels is one way to avoid allergens; however, take the time to thoroughly read labels and to learn about the ingredients you are allergic to. Some ingredients, such as peanuts, are fairly easy to find on a food label. Other ingredients, like monosodium glutamate (MSG), have multiple names and can be more difficult to find in an ingredient list. Thus, educate yourself about all of the names the ingredient goes by.
How to Avoid Allergic Reactions While Dining Out
Managing a food allergy is more difficult when dining out. Most restaurants educate their servers and chefs about common food allergens such as peanuts and shellfish, but the restaurant staff may not be as aware of less common allergens. If you have a food allergy, research the restaurant’s menu and ingredient list before going out to eat — if at all possible. Otherwise, ask the server for as much detail as possible about the ingredients in your food.
If you have an anaphylactic allergy, it may be wise to order a dish you are absolutely certain does not contain the food allergen to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, sometimes cross-contamination occurs in a restaurant setting; you may find that you experience an allergic reaction even though you were assured your food did not contain any allergens. For this reason, it’s essential that you carry an EpiPen with you at all times as well as educate friends and family members about your allergy. This way, they can get you emergency help if it becomes necessary.
How to Keep a Child With a Food Allergy Safe
If your child has a food allergy, it’s important you inform all caregivers that regularly come into contact with him. Teachers, day care providers and family members will all need to know about the allergy, how to read food labels and what to do if an allergic reaction occurs. As your child grows, you can teach him to be proactive about the allergy, thoroughly inspecting food labels and declining inappropriate food as necessary. If the allergy is severe, you may want to consider purchasing a medical alert bracelet, so adults that come into contact with your child can tell at a glance what he’s allergic to and prevent any accidental exposure. If a child needs a steroid medication to manage a contact allergy or a skin reaction, you can also buy Elocon online to treat these issues.
The Food Allergy Debate
Food allergies have become more common in recent years — and researchers are not exactly sure why. Not everyone recognizes the severity of food allergies. This frequently triggers debates in school systems, the restaurant industry and the media about how these allergies should be handled. This debate becomes more heated when children are involved, as parents of allergic children want to limit their child’s exposure to potential allergens, while parents of children without food allergies may resent the inconvenience school rules and regulations can cause. This debate is likely to continue until there is a better understanding of food allergies, their severity and how to prevent allergic reactions.