Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Golden Rule of Food Allergies

A life with food allergies has so many rules that regular people don't have.

Always read labels.
Always read them again.
Keep your Epipen handy.
Be careful eating things that are homemade.
Check your utensils and plates to be sure they are clean.
Watch for cross-contamination.
Don't kiss anyone unless they have just brushed their teeth.


The list could go on and on, and I'm sure you have your own set of rules. Last year I listened to a talk by Dr. S. Allan Bock. He has been involved in the collection of food allergy morbidity statistics over the years, and he shared a key piece of information: all food allergy deaths occurred when patients did not have their Epipens. Most are in the teens and early twenties, and there are other common characteristics, but in every case, there was no Epipen handy. Ever since then, we have lived by the Golden Rule of Food Allergies: Never eat without your Epipen. It's simple--if you eat, have an Epipen nearby. If you don't have the Epipen, don't eat. Even foods that are "always safe" can be contaminated sometimes. So just remember,

Never eat without your Epipen.

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