Food allergies can develop at any time in your life. If you suspect that you have a food allergy, here are some steps that you can take to protect your health and avoid a health emergency.
Visit an Allergy Specialist
The first step to treating an allergy is to confirm it. When you visit an allergy physician, they will do some comprehensive testing to determine what you're allergic to and how severe the allergy is. You may also confirm additional allergies. For instance, if you are allergic to peanuts, you may also be allergic to all tree nuts. Once your allergies are confirmed, the doctor will give you a plan for managing your exposure to these allergens.
Avoid the Food
There are a few ways that you can avoid the foods you're allergic to. You'll need to get in the habit of reading labels carefully for traces of your allergen. Always carry your own food on trips and at corporate events. If you are going to a dinner party, make sure your hosts know about your allergy; you never know what they might add to a recipe that you thought was safe. In general, communication is the key to avoiding unwanted exposure to your allergen.
Carry an Emergency Medication
If your allergy is severe, you will need to carry an emergency medication with you such as an epinephrine pen. Talk with your doctor to determine whether a life-saving medication is a necessity for you. Many of these medications have self-injecting needles, so it will be important for you to learn how to use these in case of a personal emergency.
Get a Medical ID Tag or Bracelet
In case you ever do have a medical emergency, it will be important for others to know about your allergies. For instance, if you pass out, the medics need to know that you are allergic to a certain food so that they can begin to suspect an allergy-related shock. Your ID bracelet should contain your allergies as well as your reactions to them. If you don't want to wear it around your wrist, you can still get in the habit of keeping it in your pocket or purse.
Allergies range in severity, but it's a good idea to be prepared for all eventualities when you have a food allergy. The steps above will help you to be safe from the dangers of your new food allergies.