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Living with Allergies

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Published June 28th 2013
How to act on your reactions
Allergies can exist in your life as an imminent threat or a mild inconvenience; it's all about avoiding without having to live in a bubble. I'm lucky enough not to be deathly allergic to anything, but I do constantly run the risk of being extremely uncomfortable upon contact with more than ten foods and animals, not to mention fibres.

The trick is loving your life outside of your weaknesses. I used to love fish when I was a child but now all kinds of seafood results in a night without sleep and some severe dehydration in the morning. My solution? Chicken. I can prepare more than three hundred meals with chicken. When I'm out, I order Italian food, usually lasagne, because no ingredient can be cooked with fish.

Common foods avoided by the allergic are nuts, onions, egg, soy and sesame seeds. You need to avoid not just menu descriptions that include these items but also the unexpected. Fries at all major chains are fried in vegetable oil that is prepared in the same machine as peanut oil. They all may contain traces of nuts, and as anyone with a nut allergy can tell you, that's enough. You also run the risk of interacting with these foods without being told about them, a lot of places throw in something extra without any mention on the menu. Every time I eat Chinese I have to ask for no onions because it's a basic in those delicious meals, but never on the menu. Ask before you order, wait staff are always happy to help.

Delicious


For instance Burger Edge, the popular food court burger joint [seriously delicious burgers, don't think I don't love them] they have onion in every burger I've ever ordered. The menu describes everything in the burger, down to the relish, but none of them say onion. All of them contain onion. Whenever you order anything, anything at all, always ask if it contains your no-no items.

There are hundreds of websites devoted to all-natural skin care and chemical-free make-up, hair products and cleaning solutions. Some grocery items will serve just fine in fact. Always, always, always test new things on an area of skin outside of your face to test.



For dust and animals, ask your friends to lint roll themselves before they get to your house, vacuum and sweep regularly and wash your hands after contact with an animal or a human who has been in contact with said animal. In the home of a dog or cat owner be aware that those animals have access to almost everything in that home. Their hair, after being shed, can be anywhere.

Take care of yourself when you do react, having an EpiPen on your person at all times cannot be understated. If you react with your stomach make sure you've got electrolyte icy poles in the freezer, soup and bread in stock to recuperate. Maybe even invest in gel knee pads for in front of the toilet, I have them in case I run into seafood. If you're like me and your nose runs like mad, make sure you have soft tissues, it's worth the extra. Moisturise your nose after you've rubbed it raw and work on your self control to stop from rubbing your eyes or scratching at your throat.

Pro-Tips:
Ask wait staff everything.
Scour the menu.
Don't shake hands with your dinner party after they've eaten.
Be careful who you kiss.
Take anti-allergens before attending parties.
Wash your hands, all the time.
Let people know about your allergies.
Invest in a seriously fantastic vacuum.
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Why? Almost everyone is affected.
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