Did you know that eight percent of children and two percent of all Americans have at least one food allergy?Food Allergy Aid is dedicated to providing a meaningful resource to these people and their loved ones to keep these potentially life-threating allergies managable.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dining Out Dilemma

Anyone who has food allergies probably has a hidden fear of dining out. It is an exhausting process at times but it does not have to be!

My husband and I take turns giving the waiter the "allergy talk" about me and my son. Many times we feel as though they do not understand, do not take it seriously, etc. It is so important for the wait staff and chef to understand exactly what your dietary needs are!

To help with this process, several companies sell food allergy cards that you can give to the waiter and chef so that they are aware of the allergies and it takes some stress of you!

Here are a few web sites that offer these cards:




Friday, December 21, 2007

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

If you have food allergies, you may be familiar with carrying epinephrine. you may also be familiar with the fact that they do not have a long shelf-life. I have received them from the pharmacy with expiration dates within 6 months! A good idea is to look at the expiration date prior to leaving the pharmacy. It would not hurt to ask if you can have a pen that does not expire so soon. Refilling pens frequently gets pricey -- even with co-pays!

Another idea is to keep the expiration date written in a planner that is used frequently. Make a note to yourself to refill your auto-injector on the first of the month of the month of expiration. This way, you will safely receive your new auto-injector before the other expires! I do this for mine and my son's and it works well for us.

Below is a website for the manufacturers of epinephrine auto-injectors. On this site, you can sign up for reminders of expiration.

It is VERY important to make sure that epinephrine auto-injectors are NEVER expired. Remember - these are life-saving devices that you may rely on one day to save your own life!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cocoa Allergy?

I have heard many people say that they or someone that they know is allergic to chocolate. I often wonder if this is true when I hear it. First, I have to wonder what the reaction is to chocolate - does it make them hyper, does it cause them to "break out" in pimples? These are not allergic reactions by definition. Some people may have adverse (unpleasant) reactions to chocolate but not truly be allergic to it.

A cocoa allergy is rare although it is possible. The bigger question is - what is in the chocolate that you are eating? Many, many chocolate products have "may contain" statements that include milk, peanuts, eggs, etc. An allergic reaction is more common to one of these ingredients. Rarely are you eating straight cocoa.

There are many companies online that sell chocolate to people with special dietary needs - www.vermontnutfree.com and www.divvies.com are two of these companies. Both of these companies have products for children and adults.

Just an FYI - an allergy to cocoa is possible although rare - there are blood and skin tests for cocoa if you do think that you or someone else is allergic.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What is Atopic Dermatitis and What Does It Have To Do With Me?

Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis or eczema at some point in your life? I was diagnosed very early on in childhood. My mom told me that I used to have ezcema so bad that my skin would crack and bleed. She had to slather me in baby oil to the point that she thought I would slip out of her arms! My son had it horribly as an infant as well. "Atopic" means that it tends to runs in families. Dermatitis taken apart means derma ("skin") and itis ("inflammation"). That is exactly what these types of skin disorders are - skin inflammations. Atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema.

Ezcema in its many forms can cause areas of the skin to become red, weepy, crusty, and dry. In many cases, food allergies and skin conditions go hand in hand. In our case, we discovered our son's 8 food allergies simply becuase his eczema would not clear up not matter what we tried! Finally, when milk came out of his diet, his skin was beautiful! Now, it's not always as easy as that but it goes to show how food allergies can really affect the skin.

If you or someone you care for has a skin condition and you suspect a food allergy, see your primary care doctor or allergist. They may be able to help you find a cure for your skin!

Monday, December 10, 2007


If you or someone that you know or care for deals with food allergies, you probably struggle with balancing diets. I know that I do! It's tough when you have multiple food allergies and major food groups must be eliminated. That is why a daily multivitamin may help alleviate your worries about getting the needed daily vitamins and minerals.

Although vitamins are a good solution, there is still a concern regarding vitamins having allergens in the ingredients - just like any other food product. There are a few places that I have found that appeal to the individuals with special dietary needs. These special vitamins may be difficult to find in retail stores and you may have to order them online but they are decently economical.

Two companies that I have discovered are:



Sunday, December 02, 2007

What is a Coconut?

Coconut is a highly nutritious food. It contains many valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also serves medicinal purposes such as:

- killing bacteria and viuses
- supports a healthy thyroid
- acts as an anti-inflammatory
- supports a healthy immune system

Many people believe that a coconut is a nut simply by its name. Its name may be misleading, though. A coconut is actually a seed. It is also commonly known as a drupe. According to www.dictionary.com, a drupe is defined as:

"any fruit, as a peach, cherry, plum, etc., consisting of an outer skin, a usually pulpy and succulent middle layer, and a hard and woody inner shell usually enclosing a single seed."

So there appears to be debate about how to define a coconut. Regardless, a coconut allergy is possible although relatively rare. Symptoms of a coconut allergy may range from oral itching to anaphylaxis (life-threatening reaction). There are blood and skin testing available to test for coconut allergy if you think that you or someone you know is allergic. Please consult your physician or allergist for this testing.

If you want more information on coconuts, please see the following internet site: