Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
How much do you really know about food allergies? Take this brief quiz to find out. It is now estimated that more than 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies. How knowledgeable are you about this condition? Can you pass this simple quiz? The answers may surprise you! True or False? 1. Food allergy is, at most, a minor inconvenience. The most severe symptoms it can cause are digestive problems and headaches. 2. Eating a small amount of an allergen can only cause a minor reaction. 3. The standard treatment for food allergy is a two-to three-year series of shots given at an allergist's office, which leads to a complete cure. 4. Special precautions must be taken when cooking for a person with food allergies. 5. Severe allergic reactions to food are treated with over-the-counter antihistamines. Answers: 1 and 2: Both false. For many of those with food allergies (often children) and their loved ones, food allergy is far more than a minor inconvenience... eating even a tiny amount of allergen can cause an almost immediate severe reaction, which can rapidly lead to death. Those with life-threatening food allergies are at risk of literally "dropping dead" if they eat the wrong thing. 3: False. While allergy shots often work well for environmental allergies, there currently is no proven or FDA-approved cure for food allergies. The only "treatment" is complete avoidance of the offending allergen(s). 4: True. For many, "complete avoidance" means avoiding foods which contain any amount of allergen as an ingredient-as well as foods which have merely touched an allergen or touched a food which contains an allergen. Special care must always be taken when cooking for a person who has severe food allergies. 5: False. Antihistamines will not reverse or stop a life-threatening allergic reaction to food. The current recommendation is an immediate (often best within 30-60 seconds) injection of epinephrine (available by prescription in a self-injectable device), followed by a call to 911 for immediate transport to a hospital for further medical treatment. Those with severe, potentially life-threatening food allergies and their families face numerous challenges, including getting others to take the allergy seriously, creating a safe school environment (for food allergic children), dealing with social situations, travel and restaurants, and figuring out what to eat on their restricted diet. To help solve all of these problems, Linda Coss has written three books for the food allergy market: "What's to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook" "What Else is to Eat? The Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook" "How To Manage Your Child's Life-Threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips For Everyday Life" These books provide a huge selection of delicious recipes (over 260 altogether) that are all completely free of milk, egg, peanut, and tree nut ingredients, as well as the step-by-step information that parents and caregivers need to keep a food-allergic child safe. All three books are available at www.FoodAllergyBooks.com, at Amazon.com, and at various retailers nationwide.