As we join this week and celebrate friends, family and all that we are thankful for, let’s not forget to be cautious for those who have food allergies. Holiday’s bring families and friends together, and most of the time, a lot of variety of foods. Those with food allergies are more likely to have a reaction to those things that they themselves have not prepared, or a family member that is used to cooking for them. We also must worry about cross contamination of foods as they are prepared. Even the best intentions of can be spoiled with a non intentional exposure. Those with food allergies need to be careful to only eat what they are sure is allergy free. Ask questions and if there is any uncertainty, do not consume the food. Keep your epinephrine self-injectors handy at all times! If there is an exposure that leads to symptoms, use the autoinjector and call 911. Studies have proven that the faster the epinephrine is used, the less likely you are to develop more severe life-threatening reactions. Unfortunately, studies also show that that epinephrine autoinjectors are only used in about 50% of food allergy reactions. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO USE THE EPINEPHERINE AUTOINJECTOR. An injection that may not be needed will only cause mild side effects for a very short time which would include an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. If they epinephrine is needed and not used, death could occur.
Enjoy the holidays with family and friends but be alert. It could be the difference between life and death.