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by Linda Goltz
Picture the perfect restaurant scene or 'get-together' with friends you've come to one of your favorite places. The setting is comfortable, with wonderful ambience; terrific music is playing, and fabulous foods will be offered .
There's just one problem you can't have some of the fabulous foods; you are 'allergic' to them!! Or you are nursing and/or suspect that your child is allergic to a particular food !!!
The most common allergies are:
Peanuts and tree nuts such as pine nuts
Shrimp and shellfish
Milk and milk products
How can you tell if you or your child is allergic? The reaction is usually immediate or within a few hours and always after eating the same foods.
Allergic reactions may be:
Nausea and/or diarrhea
Rash or hives
Swelling of the face eyes or around the mouth
Tightness of the chest or throat
Anaphylaxis (the shutting/closing up of the throat this is life threatening and must be treated medically immediately!!!!
The emphasis for you as a mom is this: THERE IS NO CURE for allergies to food; they simply must be avoided. Since some ingredients in boxed and packaged foods are 'hidden', learn to read e v e r y label and make appropriate substitutes for the deadly foods. Every affect on the body takes approximately three weeks before those effects have been eliminated entirely from all of our body systems, tissues, pores, etc.
If you think there is a possibility of a n allergic non-threatening reaction such as rash, eliminate that food for 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. If the affects are the same , it is probably a safe guess that is something that should be eliminated from the diet permanently to keep you safe. Any adverse reaction is hard on the body and that food should be deleted rather than tolerated. Consulting an allergy specialist is a wise decision and allergy testing may be indicated.
There are other things you can do to make this situation easier to live with.
ALWAYS carry at least one food for yourself or child that can be substituted for a food in question.
Call ahead, for instance, to the host of a birthday party, for school lunch programs, church or holiday functions to inform those in charge and alerting them of the potential danger. Inform them as to what you will be substituting or inquire if they can provide such a substitute.
If a child is involved, explain to them before an event or outing so they are aware of what will be offered and prepared to have the food substitution and yet still be a part of the festivities.
You and your family are special and unique. Do everything you can to stay at your best physically so the real soul and spirit of your lives can pour forth. Taking these measures will not only eliminate much of the stress of eating away from home, it will allow for a healthier and longer life span for all of you.
Your very life or your child's may depend on it!!
Happy Holidays!! Happy Life .
Linda is a wife, mother and grandmother of five. She reads, writes, decorates,
plays tennis and consults her allergist in Southern Oregon
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