Food Allergy FAQ'S

So, what exactly is a food allergy?
A food allergy happens when the immune system makes a mistake and treats a food protein as something dangerous. This can lead to a series of reactions as the body defends itself from the perceived danger.

What causes food allergies?

Researchers are still trying to figure this out. There are many theories such as exposing infants to food proteins too early or a lack of early exposure to dirt and germs, which then causes the body to fight itself.

Why are there so many people today with food allergies?
We don't really know this either. A Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology study of peanut allergies from 1997-2002, found that the incidence of peanut allergy in children doubled during that five year period. There are many theories about this rise in food allergies. Have we over-processed our foods, which is causing sensitivities and intolerances? Could it be environmental factors? Is the medical community just diagnosing more cases of food allergy? The research continues.

Is there a cure for food allergies?
At the present time there is no cure. People diagnosed with food allergies must avoid the food, even in trace amounts. Some people are so sensitive that even airborne food proteins can cause a reaction.

What can I do to help people with food allergies?
Be sensitive and aware of food allergies. Learn as much as you can. Do not allow anyone to tease or make fun of someone with a food allergy. Check with parents in advance about safe foods for their allergic child.

What are some good substitutes for all-purpose wheat flour in a recipe when baking for someone with a wheat allergy?
1-cup all-purpose wheat flour equals:
1 to 1 1/4 cups rye flour
1 cup potato flour
1 1/3 cups oat flour
1/2 cup potato flour plus 1/2 cup rye flour
5/8 cup potato starch
5/8 cup rice flour plus 1/3 cup rye flour

How do I give a shot of epinephrine?
1.Grasp the epinephrine injector in your hand with the black tip pointing down. Form a fist around the injector. Do not touch the black tip.
2.With the other hand, pull off the gray cap.
3.Hold the black tip close to the outer thigh. Swing and push the black tip firmly into the thigh (through clothing if necessary). The injector should be at a 90-degree angle to the thigh.
4.Keep the injector in the outer thigh while you slowly count to 10.
5.Remove the injector, and rub the area where the medication entered the skin.
6.Look at the black tip: If the needle is showing, the medication went in. It is normal for most of the liquid to be left in the injector. Do not try to inject the remaining liquid.
7.After the shot, push the needle against a hard surface to bend the needle back. Put the injector back in its case, needle first. Save it for emergency personnel.
The effects of the medication will be felt almost immediately. This will include rapid heartbeat and nervousness as well as improved breathing.
Call an ambulance as the benefits of the shot usually only last 10 to 20 minutes.

Together we form the safety net...until there is a cure.

Information on this site is for informational purposes only. Please contact your healthcare provider with specific medical questions.