A food allergy diagnosis is a life-changing event. Awareness and vigilance will now accompany each and every meal, and that alone can be a shock to the system. However, the the impacts of food allergy extend far beyond dietary restrictions.
The emotional repercussions of the diagnosis can be devastating. Parents often find themselves overwhelmed by the new rules and routines required to keep their child safe. Research shows that parents and children managing food allergy experience higher levels of worry, distress and anxiety. although much progress has been made in recent years, society's understanding of food allergy is still evolving. Instances of food allergy bullying, or the experience an allergic reaction due to a mistake in food preparation, are unfortunately, all too common and can be traumatic and debilitating, with long-term psychological effects if left unaddressed.
Living with a food allergy creates a new reality that must be communicated beyond family and friends. The task of education without alienation's an everyday challenge with no one simple solution. It can seem as if all of life's pieces are now out of place, and you are equipped with only an epinephrine auto-injector to try and put them back together again.
There is help, however. Counseling, education and support are all tools you can use to calm the chaos, keeping your mind in place, while successfully integrating a food allergy into your life.