If you think your food allergy is “mild”, you might be wrong.
I’ve had several times in life where I’ve seen someone eating something they’re allergic to. They’ll say that they’re not sure if they’re allergic or not, so they continue to eat it. Or, they’ll say it’s just a mild allergy so, again, they’ll continue to eat it.
Sound like you or someone you know?
Please don’t do this.
Some mild allergies aren’t really mild.
I have three situations where mild allergies turned into severe allergies, so let me explain my reasoning behind this post.
1. Just because you had a mild reaction in the past doesn’t mean that your reactions will always be mild.
Here is a good article on food allergy myths from FARE’s blog. If you scroll down to the myth about mild allergies and mild reactions, you will find that [quote from FARE] “There are no mild or severe food allergies—only mild to severe reactions.” What resulted in a mild reaction in the past could very well turn into a severe reaction the next time you eat your allergen.
2. You might not have had a severe reaction because of the amount you were exposed to
Let me tell you the short story of how I found out I was allergic to tree nuts and peanuts.
When I was little, my lips would sometimes swell up after I ate something for “no apparent reason”. We didn’t have anyone in our family with any severe allergies, so we thought nothing about it.
One night I ate a cashew, and immediately went into anaphylactic shock. Again, no one in our family had severe food allergies, so we didn’t know what to do. I was given Benadryl and was taken to the doctor the next day. Thankfully my throat never completely closed up, but now we know what to do if I have another allergic reaction.
Now, I didn’t know I had any allergies until I was six.
Yes, you read that right, I was six when I found out I had food allergies.
If we had gone to an allergist sooner to figure out why I was always having very minor reactions, I could’ve found out I had a nut allergy before I went into anaphylactic shock. If you find that you are having minor reactions, I would recommend going to an allergist as soon as possible to see what you are allergic to so you can avoid your allergen and save yourself the trauma of going into anaphylactic shock.
3. Mild allergies can turn into severe allergies
Someone I know has a mango allergy. They knew they were probably allergic to mangos, but they weren’t completely sure, so they kept eating mangos. They had a mango tree, so they kept eating lots and lots of mangos. And the reactions started to get worse and worse, to the point where if they now eat a mango, they will swell up like a balloon and get horrible headaches.
Even if your allergy is mild, if you keep eating your allergy, it can turn into a severe allergy. It can even turn into the point where you could go into anaphylactic shock if you ingest your allergen.
So, what do I do now?
If you’re not sure if you have an allergy at all, go to an allergist. A prick test or blood test could reveal what you are allergic to.
If for some reason you’re unable to go to an allergist, try to avoid what you think triggers an allergic reaction until you can see an allergist.
When you find out what you’re allergic to, avoid it at all costs. If you’re not sure if something has your allergen or not, don’t eat it; your life is more important than food. Learn to read labels, and avoid cross contamination and “may contain” statements.
If you treat it like a severe allergy, you will be safer.
You may think this is a little extreme for a mild allergy. But if you treat it like an anaphylactic allergy, even if it’s not, you will reduce your risk of a reaction. Remember: no food is worth your life.
What is your opinion on dealing with mild food allergies? If you have mild food allergies, do you treat them like a severe allergy? Do you avoid them? Comment down below!
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. None of nallergy’s content is intended to be substituted for medical or professional advice. Please consult with your doctor, allergist or other professional if you have questions. Nallergy is not liable for any information you do or do not take, and anything that may result from taking or not taking said advice. To read our full disclaimer policy, click here.*