Imagine that one of your favorite cookies are peanut butter cookies, and one day while eating one (or two) with an ice cold glass of milk, you begin having an allergic reaction. Now, this reaction isn’t just your average run of the mill break-out-in-hives type, but an all-encompassing rash, heart rate acceleration, where your throat and lungs begins to swell type of reaction. (YIKES!)
The challenge with reactions to food or food allergies is that symptoms may not be consistent from one person to another. One person may develop a rash, another person may have heart palpitations, and in severe cases an individual's lungs and/or throat may swell, making breathing difficult and/or causing suffocation. Even more importantly, once a person has had an anaphylactic reaction to tree nuts, peanuts, or other countless items, the next one may be even more severe, and can even cause death.
If you know someone who has an anaphylactic reaction to certain foods, please be compassionate and understand that their fear of contamination and exposure is real. They have been on the front lines of one of the scariest types of food reactions there is. They are fully aware of what it’s like to experience the reaction and to recover from it. Their conscientious attention to ingredients should be understood as something to be taken seriously. It actually involves life and potential death. They know that if they do survive their next reaction that the recovery time can be quite painful, difficult and lengthy.
Be mindful and understanding of these kinds of reactions. Have an open heart about it. Never tell someone with a severe reaction to foods or chemicals to get over IT. Because in most instances they cannot get over it, and may never be able to.
To get started on your quest for more knowledge on this important topic, please visit these helpful websites to learn more about food allergies and intolerances: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Kids with Food Allergies Food Allergy Resources & Education - http://www.foodallergy.org/
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