Top 5 Ways to Allergy Proof Your Day
Allergies are on the rise, and are currently the fifth leading chronic illness in the United States. Scientists estimate that approximately 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies and the problem is getting worse. Here are the Top 5 ways to allergy-proof your day from award-winning expert Mireille Schwartz:
Studies are inconclusive about whether food allergies can be prevented. Parents should become familiar with the early signs of allergic disease such as eczema, hives, repeated diarrhea and/or vomiting in reaction to formulas, wheezing, and talk to a doctor about those symptoms. At this time, no medication can be taken to prevent food allergies so strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to prevent a reaction. Medications are administered to control symptoms after a reaction occurs.
2. CARRY YOUR RESCUE MEDICATIONS
Epinephrine, also called adrenaline, is the medication of choice for controlling a severe reaction. It is available by prescription as a self-injectable device (EpiPen® or Twinject®).
3. MAKE YOUR HOME YOUR CULINARY SANCTUARY
Once it’s confirmed you or your loved one has a food allergy, you should immediately clear every allergenic item from your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly clean and sanitize your cooking utensils, oven, stovetop and cookware. Why? Keeping unsafe items out of your food storage and preparation areas will reduce opportunities for cross-contamination.
4. KEEP A KEEN EYE OUT FOR CROSS-CONTAMINATION
Cross-contamination is the cooking or serving of different foods with the same utensils and surfaces. Food allergens can be transferred via unwashed hands or utensils, preparation surfaces, fryer vats and even garnishes.
Research shows that stress can aggravate allergic reactions, even a full day after an anxiety-producing event. That might be because as stress hormones in your body rise, so do levels of cytokines — proteins we produce as part of the allergic response, according to research from Ohio State University. So keep an even keel, soothe yourself by breathing deeply, spend time with dear friends & family, listen to tunes you love and enjoy your life!