There's little sympathy for people with food allergies from those who don't have them. We hear all kinds of truly ignorant comments about how our kids are weaker than the rest of the strong humans out there because of their life-threatening allergies. We get it. You think it'll never happen to you or your kids, right?
Well, wrong. Allergies (to anything!) can happen at any point in your life.
YMC's very own Editor-in-Chief, Ali Martell, found out she has a life-threatening nut allergy as an adult, after having eaten nuts pretty much daily her entire life. Suddenly, a food that had always been not only safe, but healthy for her to eat was able to kill her in moments. It happens. Sometimes it's a gradual increase in symptoms, but not always. Sometimes, a severe allergic reaction can come seemingly out of nowhere and kill a person. Ali was lucky that her allergy (allergies, actually...turns out she now has multiple food allergies!) symptoms were on the slower side to emerge. At first, Ali's symptoms were like having a cold. The next time, they were more severe and immediate. Itchy-all-over hives and a tightening throat sent Ali to her doctor who immediately armed her with her EpiPen until she had her allergies officially confirmed by an allergist.
One teen in Kentucky recently discovered a food allergy after nearly dying from a protein bar her mother had packed in her lunch. Had her school nurse not had EpiPens on hand, the student would have died of anaphylaxis, all because of an allergy she didn't even know she had. How can we protect ourselves when we don't even know what's threatening to us? It's pretty scary to think about having a sudden allergic reaction, feeling your throat close and your body shut down, with no epinephrine anywhere, isn't it?
This is why it's important we support initiatives like having EpiPens in schools, in restaurants, in malls, and on fire trucks. Because what if the food you're happily eating today can suddenly kill you tomorrow? Those who suffer from these allergies are typically prepared, but what about the rest of you?
Think you can't get allergies as an adult? Then you need to read these 11 most common misconceptions about allergies.