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Educating family and friends about food allergies

Originally Published in "Allergy & Asthma News, Volume 2, 2016

Once you have received the diagnosis of food allergies, you then have to start trying to educate those around you about the challenges you are going to be facing. The word “try” is the best word because you are going to find that some people will get it very easily and then there are others, that no matter what you say, don't want to understand the issues you are going to be dealing with.

Some of the people around you will accept that there are going to be changes that need to be made and be extremely thankful for those people. You are also going to have to deal with the people that tell you that you will have to deal with it and you need to do it yourself. Dealing with food allergies isn't something that you can deal with yourself because no matter where you go, you are going to be faced with a possible issue of cross-contamination depending on your allergies. Having food allergies can mean that a missed step could result in an anaphylactic reaction.

Some of the challenges or hurtful comments you may face from friends and/or family are:

All of these comments just show that the person doesn't understand what you are dealing with. Being able to educate people on the issues of food allergies is very important as your life does depend on it. If you can't educate the people around you, it may be difficult, but you may have to avoid being around them where food is involved. Not everyone is going to totally understand the issues and challenges that someone with food allergies deals with daily.

Possible responses to hurtful comments:

Points to remember:

Having food allergies can be a challenge at the best of times, but when people around you don't understand them or don't want to deal with them; it can make it even harder. Know who understands your allergies and value them, because they are the ones you need to spend your time with.

Last updated 2019-07-09 Copyright 2022 DLK Life