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Twenty-Five Things Your Allergist Probably Never Told You About Food Allergies

Sometimes allergists are so busy they don't tell you things you may run across when newly diagnosed with food allergies, or else they just forget or don't know. These are from personal experience of people diagnosed with food allergies, and may or may not apply to you.

1) It will be hard to convince friends and family of the seriousness of the situation, despite them seeing or hearing about severe reactions.

2) You'll likely crave and miss the foods you used to eat.

3) You may become sick and experience a withdrawal after going off all your allergens.

4) You may develop more allergies, or they may change over time.

5) Reading an ingredient list is harder than it sounds because of all the different words one allergen can lurk under.

6) You'll likely lose a lot of weight when you're trying to eliminate allergens from your diet (whether you need to lose it or not!).

7) There are others out there with allergies, too!

8) Not all ingredients have to be listed on labels. Call manufacturers for hidden/unlisted ingredients!

9) Your friends and family and doctor may believe it's psychological. They may think the reason you have food allergies is because of "your nerves."

10) I'd get sick for several days sometimes if I, at doctor's advice, tried to reintroduce foods. Another submitter: An elimination diet with the intention of reintroducing the potential allergen later for verification seems dangerous to me. From another view: Your reactions can become worse after you remove the allergen. Another: My son's allergies are all worse than when he was first diagnosed. And yet one more: Reintroducing a food never worked for me. I seemed to have a bigger reaction.

11) Certain foods can interact with inhalant allergies.

12) Your allergist probably doesn't really have all the answers. For example, some specialize in inhalant allergies instead. Do a lot of research on your own from reliable sources.

13) I have observed that allergies can cause behavior changes, temperament changes, and lethargy in my child.

14) If you are allergic to cow's milk, you'll probably (not 100%, but probably) be allergic to goat's milk, too.

15) It is now going to take more time (and money) to make your meals and grocery shop than it did before!

16) When you remove an allergen, your blood test may be negative, but you may still have a physical reaction to the food.

17) Your diet may lack important nutrients when foods are removed from it.

18) People at work/school may stop asking you out to lunch since they know you can't eat certain foods. Sometimes you will feel left out since you cant eat what's at a social event.

19) Food allergens show up in the strangest foods and strangest places--including shampoo, toothpaste, and the back of stamps!

20) If you are allergic to certain foods (wheat, milk, gluten, corn, soy, and others) you may react to many medicines and vitamin supplements (you can react to the inactive ingredients in the medicine/vitamin).

21) When eating in restaurants, you need to be assertive about what kind of food you are able to eat. Never assume there is a "standard" way to prepare a meal in restaurants--always ask for all the ingredients. People with multiple or severe food allergies often opt not to eat out.

22) Never cheat on your diet - you are only hurting yourself.

23) Never trivialize your problem, and don't let others do it either! No one knows more about your problem and reactions than you do.

24) Do not let your food allergies limit your travels or daily activities. It is very realistic for most people to travel to far away places and still eat safely. (This is taken from personal experience -- I've been to 30 countries.)

25) You may have "miracles" happen -- your sore body feels rejuvenated, the scales behind your ears magically disappear, your constant ear infections flee.

Many thanks to the following, who supplied these tid-bits: aocjgm, Clare Flocco, Nicole Hoffman, Suzanne Lichtenstein, Francine Saperstein, Ken Silverman, Shirley Sippel, Melissa Taylor, Faith Weber
This website is for personal support information only. Nothing should be construed as medical advice.