Managing food allergies could be overwhelming depending on the extent and severity of your allergies. The effects of an allergic reaction could range from slightly annoying to potentially life-threatening. There’s no cure as of now, so you must always be vigilant of every single thing you put inside your mouth and have an action plan for emergencies. If you have yet to create an allergy action plan suited to your specific circumstances, our doctors here in the Texas Regional Asthma and Allergy Center, in Fort Worth and Southlake, TX, can help. Meanwhile, you can manage your allergies more effectively with these easy tips.
Always Read Food Labels
Thankfully, most food labels nowadays include vital allergy details including whether the food has any potential allergen such as wheat byproducts, milk proteins, nuts, and eggs, or whether it was made in a facility that also processes these common allergens. However, it is crucial to note that manufacturers modify their recipes from time to time. This means that you should always read the label of foods even if they’re on something that you’ve bought and eaten countless times before. And when in doubt—just don’t eat it.
Create an Emergency Action Plan
Make a very detailed list of steps you or people around you should take in case you accidentally ate something you’re allergic to. Always bring a printed and laminated copy of your plan with you and make sure to have a copy of it on your phone as well. Wear or have a medical ID bracelet made. Your bracelet must include details about all your allergies. Additionally, make certain to always carry at least two doses of the medications your doctor in Fort Worth and Southlake, TX, prescribed for your specific allergies.
Take Extra Care When Prepping and Cooking Meals
If you’re the only one in your household who has food allergies, you should be vigilant about cross-contamination. Just to be on the safe side, you should have your own set of eating and cooking utensils. If you can, label them and store them separate from the other utensils. Likewise, make sure to wash all utensils, preferably in soapy, hot water, between uses.
Be Extra Vigilant When Dining Out
Always let the chef, waitstaff, and/or the manager of the dining establishment know about your food allergies before ordering anything. Always ask questions and read labels, if applicable, before drinking or eating anything. To make everything easier for everyone, you should also consider carrying a chef card, which is a printed document that specifies all your food allergies and a request that every food prep surface, utensil, and dish is free from all traces of ingredients you’re allergic to. You can find a template of the chef card on the website of the Food, Allergy, and Anaphylaxis Network.
Need help managing your food allergies? Call us at Texas Regional Asthma and Allergy Center today! Call (817) 421-0770 for our Fort Worth, TX, office and (817) 421-0770 for our Southlake, TX, office. Our doctors will be happy to answer any questions you may have on safe eating practices and give you tips on how you can manage your allergies more effectively.