People are found to be allergic to lactose, wheat, fish and even something as frivolous as peanuts. Here are some ways by which you can cope with a food allergy and eat healthy substitutes to compensate for nutritional deficiencies.
Tips To Cope With Food Allergy
Confirm The Diagnosis
Often people mistake harmful parasites for a food allergy. There are high chances that you may have consumed a contaminated food product or a food product with ingredients that have been approved by the FDA and are considered banned. It is important first to confirm the food allergy.
If you suspect an allergy for prawns, get yourself exposed to it again in order to confirm the symptoms. While this may induce fear in most people, it is the only way of finding out. You could be allergic to 2-3 different foods. It is better to rule them out one by one in order to confirm the diagnosis. Make sure medical help is close by should you come up with a strong allergic reaction.
Your Kitchen Should Be Allergy Proof
An allergic reaction can be life threatening and traumatic for its sufferers. Take preventive steps by purging your kitchen and refrigerator and keeping offending foodstuffs out of your home. If you are allergic to peanuts, you may have to remove everything that has peanuts inside it.
Clean your oven, cookware and kitchen counters to avoid cross contamination. If other family members are fond of peanuts, segregate their food completely from yours. Make sure their cooking vessels and containers are used separately and not mixed with yours. This will reduce the chances of you being exposed to an allergen and prevent cross contamination.
Speak To A Nutritionist
It is easy to live with an allergy if you are allergic to only one offending item like prawns or eggs. However, if your food allergies span across different food groups like grains and dairy, you have trouble on your hands. It will be difficult for you to pinpoint the offending allergens in different food items.
You may easily become overwhelmed. In such cases, a complete diet overhaul is the need of the hour. Speak to a qualified nutritionist who can give you a daily chart of what you can and cannot eat. This is important, as you cannot compromise on your health and nutrition while avoiding the offending food items.
Find A Support System
Bidding adieu to your favourite foods can be very challenging. This is especially true if you have an allergy to grains in all forms. You may not be able to enjoy cakes, cookies and pasta like others do.
You can consume very few foods. It is therefore important to find a good support system in your neighbouring community that can give you timely assurance and support.
Buy Safe Foods And Stock Them
Do a complete research of your favourite departmental store and pick food items that are safe for consumption. This you can do after speaking to your nutritionist and reading labels. You will be amazed by the plethora of options that are available especially in lieu of dairy. You can enjoy tasty treats from these non-threatening substitutes.
Go Slow When Eating Out
Eating out will be an issue that you may have to give serious weightage especially when you have just been diagnosed with a food allergy. Go slow and take it one day at a time. Your dining experiences may be limited to restaurants that have no qualms in making allergy free food dishes for you.
You may even have to personally speak to the chef who can make the necessary diet modifications while preparing the dish for you. Impromptu meals and sudden invitations to unknown restaurants are something that you will have to learn to circumvent.
Carry Your Allergy Medications On Your Person All The Time
You do not want to risk your health by being caught unawares by a suspected food allergy at the most inopportune time. Therefore, make sure that you always have your allergy medication with you.
This includes anti-allergens, corticosteroids and injections if needed. You may have to consider all medical possibilities even when you are travelling. Always take your doctor’s ok and make sure your flight or mode of transport caters to your dietary needs. Otherwise, it makes sense to carry your own Tiffin.
If you are allergic to egg, you do not have to completely go off cakes and cookies. Avoid market confectionary and simply make your cakes and cookies at home by using eggless recipes. Make or bring eggless mayonnaise at home and enjoy.
Learn to substitute by reading up and doing research. If you are allergic to a particular grain, you can substitute it with soya. Buy and keep books, which cater to allergy-specific recipes. These are available at reputed bookstores.
Food is an integral part of our lives and if you are a foodie, chances are that you may have to deal with a lot of stress. Hunger pangs and cravings for your favourite food are very common. Do whatever you can to keep yourself distracted.
Keep eating small meals in between so that you are never hungry or craving for something that you cannot have. Take recourse to yoga or meditation especially if the stress is very severe. Speak to friends who can lend a supportive hand and a shoulder to cry on.
Allergies At Work
Speak to one or two of your close friends about administering allergy medication and first aid in case you get an allergy attack at work. This is especially true if you are suffering from an acute allergy and have been prescribed epinephrine, which needs careful administration. Carry your own Tiffin from home and avoid eating canteen food at all costs. Make a mental list of allergy friendly restaurants in your vicinity in case of an emergency.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.