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Tell me about Allergies!

Food allergy treatment

The current treatment of immediate-type food allergies is life-long avoidance.  This can be both tricky and frustrating!  Avoiding obvious forms of the food is pretty easy- say, if you're allergic to milk, you don't drink milk.  But what about the bread that lists "whey" among the ingredients- would you recognize that the bread contained a milk protein?  Another frustration is the risk of accidental exposure- the restaurant waiter who doesn't take your request for 'nothing containing shrimp' seriously, or the classmate who brings cookies to your child's classroom- and forgets to remember that they contain peanuts. 

A mild food-allergy reaction can be treated with an oral antihistamine.  Benadryl liquid or Quick Dissolve Strips get into the bloodstream faster than the pills or capsules.  Diphenhydramine is the generic name for Benadryl, and generic drugstore brands work just as well. 

If you've ever had a severe reaction with a food allergy-chest tightness or trouble breathing, feeling like your throat was closing, lip and tongue swelling, severe generalized hives- you should carry auto-injectable epinephrine.  This is epinephrine (adrenalin) that you or a friend or family member can inject into your thigh in case of a severe reaction.  THIS IS A TEMPORARY TREATMENT ONLY-IF YOU NEED TO USE YOUR EPINEPHRINE, YOU SHOULD BE CALLING 911 WITH THE OTHER HAND!!!

The two main forms of self-injectable epinephrine available in the US today are EpiPen and TwinJect.  This TwinJect link takes you directly to a 4-part video about how to use the TwinJect.  Be sure to advance so you see all 4 parts!  This link takes you to the EpiPen videos. 

Self-injectable epinephrine items can be bulky to carry in a purse, in a pocket, or when participating in a sport.  Here are links to some other options for carrying them:  
          1.  A partial sleeve made of fabric that can be worn on the arm or the leg
          2.  Belt and holsters that attach to belts
          3.  Neoprene leg carrier for wear at the calf or the ankle.