Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Anaphylaxis, it can happen

This week, May 11-17, 2014, is the #FAAW {Food Allergy Awareness week}. Food allergies can occur in anyone and I wanted to write about why I always carry Epi or Epinephrine at all times.

{Photo Credit: Kids with Food Allergies}

Food allergies, for me, did not develop until after the age of 15 or so for me. Don't get me wrong, I have many other allergies. Seasonal, environmental, medication, insects, pollen, and the list goes on. For many, food allergies can occur in children and some may outgrow their allergies. It totally depends on the person. Each case is different. 

Anyways, I did not develop food allergies until around 15. For me, they started as daily hives {later discovered to soy, wheat, and more} and my hands would swell {with shellfish|}. After doing my own research and working with my Allergist, I discovered I had many allergies to foods. Today, a single crumb or morsel can send me into anaphylaxis.

My current list of food allergies includes Soy (all forms), Wheat, Gluten, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Fish, Shellfish, Modified Starches, and Coconut (all forms). That would be six of the Top 8.

I was thinking I was doing pretty good. I had Epi, I had a list of what I couldn't have, and all was dandy. I was wrong. 

Anaphylaxis happened even though I was careful! 

It happened to cross contamination and soy lecithin as well as fish. I had to use epi as well as have it given to me. Within minutes, my symptoms (hives, swelling, others) lessoned. If it wasn't for epinephrine, I can't think of what today would look like.

Accidents can occur and that is why you always have epi.

A label can be misread and anaphylaxis can occur. That's why you have epi! 

A company doesn't list a warning that items are run on the same lines (since warning labels are voluntary) and anaphylaxis occurs. 

Epinephrine is the only drug that can reverse Anaphylaxis (source). 

If you or someone you know has food allergies or any known anaphylactic allergy, they must carry it on them. 

Epinephrine saves lives. I know, I was one of those lives!

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