Are you in your golden years and worrying about your food allergies? If you are, you are not alone. After all, it is possible to develop food allergies in your later years and there are about 10% of mature adults suffer from common food allergies. Thankfully, there are several things you can do. Read on to see what you should do to manage food allergies in seniors.
Allergens Should Be Avoided at All Costs
While it may seem obvious to not eat the food that you are allergic to, you need to actively avoid such allergens at all costs. This is because even the smallest amount of allergen can trigger an allergic response. And this can come in many unexpected ways. For instance, if you have an allergy to peanuts, you may develop an allergic response if you touch your eyes or mouth after touching something that was previously in contact with peanut butter. Therefore, if you believe allergens have been present on any surfaces of objects, clean them thoroughly before touch. With that said, you should also always inquire about the whole ingredient list if you are purchasing food from somewhere else. You can also avoid allergens by mentioning to others about your food allergy. This is especially important if you are going out for meals. This means never assume that the food you ordered does not contain the ingredient that you are allergic to. After all, some ingredients in food can be unexpected, and it is possible that chefs accidentally cross-contaminate your food with the allergen. By mentioning your allergy, the chef and server are more likely to be careful and ensure there will be no allergens in your meal.
Keep an EpiPen on Hand
Another thing you must do if you have food allergies? You need to keep an EpiPen on hand at all times. This is because EpiPens can save your life should you experience an allergic reaction. Specifically, it is a type of drug that decreases the severity of an allergic response by reversing the deadly drop in blood pressure, relaxing the muscles in the intestines, stomach, and bladder, and relaxing the muscles in the lungs. It also relaxes the muscles in your airways so you can breathe easier. However, it is key to store your EpiPens properly because its efficiency can drop when stored incorrectly. As such, ensure that your EpiPen is kept in its carrier tube and do not accidentally break the safety release until you actually need them. EpiPens should also not be refrigerated, and instead, should always be kept at room temperature. During the hot summer, be careful not to place EpiPens in direct sun contact, or place it in warm places like a hot vehicle. This is because EpiPens can only withstand temperatures ranging from 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You also need to check the EpiPen solution in the viewing glass on a regular basis and change it if it is discolored, hazy, or brown.
Seek a Dietitian
Another thing you can do is to seek a dietitian. A dietitian can help you make a diet plan that takes into account your food allergies as well as your existing medical history. At the same time, it ensures that you will be eating nutritious food, without having to worry if such a meal will cause an allergic reaction.