Managing food allergies is an essential part of your treatment plan
If you have been diagnosed with food allergies, you may be wondering what’s next. Our Austin allergists and staff will work with you to create a treatment plan, which includes learning about managing food allergies. Currently, there is no cure and no medication that can prevent food allergies, so smart management is primarily about avoiding your food triggers.
Read the labels
The federal government passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 that requires food manufacturers to clearly label packaged food and identify the presence of eight of the most common food allergens—egg, soy, milk, wheat, fish, peanut, tree nut and crustacean shellfish.
The labels are helpful for managing food allergies, but patients need to know that foods that are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, such as meat, certain egg products and poultry, are not ruled by this labeling requirement, so patients have to make smart decisions when choosing these products.
Managing food allergies outside the home
Managing food allergies outside your own home may be more difficult. One of the most important actions you can take is to ask questions and be up front about the fact that you have allergies. This is especially important when trying to protect your child with food allergies. When you are managing food allergies, speaking up is the key.
In restaurants, you should emphasize your food allergies to staff and the chef, if at all possible. One helpful step is to carry a “chef card” which identifies your allergens. Download yours for free at: https://www.foodallergy.org/file/chef-card-template.pdf.
When managing food allergies at work or school, it’s imperative that you identify your food allergies to your supervisor, coworkers and to your child’s teachers and staff. Consider bringing your own snacks for special occasions and making enough to share with coworkers or classmates.
Be prepared for emergencies
When you or your child does have an allergic reaction, it’s important to be prepared. Carrying your auto injectable epinephrine is a critical part of managing food allergies. You may also want to purchase medical identification to inform emergency workers and others about your food allergies.
Our Austin allergists provide education and advice to help patients learn about managing food allergies
Managing food allergies may seem daunting at first, but with the help of our Austin allergists and staff, as well as your loved ones, you can rise above the challenge. Contact us to learn more.