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  • Alexa

I'm not allergic to everything

At the end of April I wrote on a discussion board for my social psychology class, "When the topic of my food allergies comes up with new people or people who don’t understand I often get the question, “can you eat anything?” and at times I find this question difficult to answer, because of course there are things I can eat. And yet it tends to be assumed that I cannot."

I'm not allergic to everything.

I am allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and legumes. And ripe bananas.

To be allergic to these foods means that if I eat them, and sometimes touch them, I will have an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions may be minor to severe. Some minor symptoms may include hives, rashes and stomach ache. The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which is when the blood may stop circulating, and breathing may stop. Anaphylaxis may lead to death.

Eating the wrong food could lead to my death.

And this means I have to avoid all my allergens, and anything that may come in cross-contact with them. Cross-contact is when one food protein touches another food protein. So I read the labels on everything and ask about everything before I eat it.

I also avoid eating mango, kiwi and fish.

And eating these foods will not result in an allergic reaction, because I am not allergic to them. However, it was determined my by allergist that it is best to not eat mango and kiwi. And I have chosen to not eat most fish in fear of chancing cross contact, except for when I was cleared earlier in 2019 to try eating a white fish a few times.

And I am lactose intolerant and have an intolerance to heavy cream.

I may get sick from eating lactose and heavy cream, but it won't lead to an allergic reaction, as I am not allergic to them.

So I'm not allergic to everything. There are plenty of foods that I can eat, and for that I am so incredibly grateful.

This week is food allergy awareness week.

And with COVID-19 I have more careful about what I am eating, as during this time especially, I don't want to have an allergic reaction and have to go to the hospital.

So I stopped eating out, and I haven't tried new foods. Instead I have been trying to eat healthier and eat more fruit. And this lead to some interesting situations, as after eating some more fruit than usual and some chocolate, my face keeps breaking out, and I have gotten some tiny hives near my lips.

I stopped eating ripe bananas after it was determined by my allergist just a few years ago that I was allergic to them, and I also stopped biting them as that was also causing my face to break out a little bit. However, in an attempt to not completely become allergic to bananas I have continued to eat green bananas. Except I have to mash them and eat them with a fork. It still sometimes causes my face to break out. I also eat banana baked in banana bread or muffins, and that's usually okay.

I stopped eating Dove Chocolate awhile ago after I would get mini hives after eating it, and now it appears that Hershey's Chocolate is starting to do the same thing. I discovered I'm better off eating chocolate that is nut free from Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, Skip's Candies Nut Free, Videri Chocolate Factory and Enjoy Life.

I have been avoiding pineapple for awhile now, as that makes me itchy, and it felt like there were little cuts in my tongue every time I ate it.

It also now appears that after eating apples I get a little itchy and break out a little. I have been eating a lot more apples than usual, and perhaps that is part of the issue. My right wrist also got a little itchy and broke out after eating avocado on Cinco De Mayo.

So now this is confusing. Because I'm not exactly sure what's going on. And it's something I will have to talk to my allergist about.

For more information on food allergies and food allergy awareness week please visit FARE's website.

#foodallergy #FARE


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