In the News: Oral Immunotherapy Experimental Trials

A long article with the NY times that is definitely worth the read! Dr. Kari Nadeau and her oral immunotherapy treatment trials. What an inspiring story of a dedicated person who is there for her patients 24/7. Article discusses different patients who have allergies and went through with food challenges and the trials.

“Nadeau stresses that oral immunotherapy is still experimental. Her patients are not cured; they are desensitized enough that they can tolerate their former allergens. The reason that she doesn’t call it a cure is that the child must continue to eat a maintenance dose of the food every day to avoid regaining the allergy. She often explains to her patients, “If you get off it for three days, you may become sensitive again.” An egg-allergy trial found that when patients were taken off the maintenance dose for a month, roughly 60 percent regained the allergy (and there was no way to predict who those patients would be).”

- NY Times

Can a Radical New Treatment Save Children With Severe Food Allergies?

What are your thoughts on these trials? Have your or your child ever had food challenges for any foods you are allergic to?

Allergies are not fair…

Let’s be honest. Sometimes when we have to miss out on something we really want to do, or perhaps our plate looks less appetizing than the person next to us, we start to think “allergies are not fair, why me?”. It’s what happens when we have allergies. Whether it be food allergies or environmental allergies. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never missed out on something or felt a little angry and even sad because I could not attend an event. And there have been numerous times when I went to a party and ended up eating veggies while others ate things that looked a million times more appealing… however I’ve always tried to spin my thinking.

It’s easy to start telling ourselves that life would be so much better without allergies, especially the food allergies… It is often easier to focus on what we’re NOT able to do, and NOT able to eat than it is to tell ourselves all the great things that are going on in our lives. Society nowadays leads one to want to compare what they have with what others have. If I have allergies and not one of my friends do, it is easy for me to feel frustrated and think life’s unfair or unjust. Is it always easy for me to embrace life? No, it’s not. It takes a little more energy, more confidence and a lot of honesty.

Whenever I start to feel down about not going to a party because my friends have a dog or a cat or not being able to attend an event because it is in an old, dusty building I just have smile and tell myself “it’s not the end of the world” and plan something else. It is what it is. There are a lot of people out there that would much rather have allergies than the disease they are fighting, or the injuries they have sustained from an accident. Allergies do suck sometimes, however allergies can be managed. We can control our environment. We can control the food we eat. And not everything involves food. We can still go to the movies with friends, go for a hike or a camping trip. To some people, these are all things they wish they could one day do…

Embrace life. Next time you think to yourself that you wish you didn’t have allergies and that life is unfair, think of those that have even more allergies… There are a few people that instead of being allergic to 4 things, can only eat 4 things.  I can’t even imagine.

At the end of the day, what matters the most is not the food you can or cannot eat. There is sooo much more to life. Allergies do feel unfair. Sometimes I’ve wished they’d just disappear on me. Reality is that my life-threatening allergies to peanuts, nuts, lentils and soy are likely here to stay. And I’m ok with that. Are you?

The story of an 11 year old girl who survived

The holidays can often prove to be a challenging time for most of us with food allergies. Especially when it comes to dinner parties and such.

Please listen to this young girls’ story and share. It is a great story of survival and strength and shows that it doesn’t take much for some of us with life-threatening allergies to react severely.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/20342823/atwater-girl-raises-awareness-of-food-allergies-after-holiday-party-scare

During this holiday season, be sure to ask lots of questions and when in doubt, go without. If you are not sure about the food that will be served, eat before the party, and only snack on a few things you feel safe with and are not worried about cross-contamination.

 

 

Earthquake kit and food allergies

I’ve recently been thinking more about what foods I can pack in an earthquake kit. Living with multiple food allergies, there are not many food we buy that have a long shelf life. Finding products that are soy free and gluten free can often be tough. A few things I have come up with are canned tuna (only a few brands and types that I can have), gluten free crackers, dried fruit, fruit bars and applesauce and perhaps clean oatmeal (I have found individual servings). What have you come up with? If you have had to evacuate for an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane or other, how have you been able to manage your food allergies? Were you prepared for the circumstances?

I’d be interested to hear your take on the matter, perhaps you have other food ideas to share. :)

 

Victoria Allergy and Asthma Fair! A success.

Today was the Allergy and Asthma Fair organized by “Protecting Anaphylactic Children Today“. There was a great turnout to this event held at the Esquimalt Recreation Center this afternoon. There were speakers as well as several booths set up with resources and treats. Sara Shannon spoke as well as a Ministry of Health 811 Dietician and an Ambulance Paramedic.

Some of the local companies included Crumsby’s Cupcake Cafe, The Market on Millstream and The Market on Yates, Dare Foods, Epicure Selections.

Many of us challenged each other with our spirometry results which was great fun, all thanks to the VIHA Respiratory Health team!

The information booths included:

Allergies Abroad
Health Canada
Asthma Society of Canada & National Asthma Patient Alliance
Allergic Living Magazine
Anaphylaxis Canada
Allergy/Asthma Information Association (AAIA)

If you joined us today, what did you think? Did you return home with some new resources and perhaps new ideas on how to manage either your allergies and/or a loved ones?

Feel free to share comments here!

Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA)

How much have you read or heard about food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA)? Perhaps this is the first time you hear about this condition. This is one of the reasons I always keep my Epipen on me. One would not want to find themselves without it in a time of need.

With FDEIA; “the patient may go through life eating the food they are allergic to without any reaction, and it’s only when they exercise afterwards that the anaphylaxis strikes.”

I highly recommend having a read through the article below, to hear about a young mans’ reaction.

To read more, go to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2197842/Going-jog-Dancing-Or-just-doing-gardening–How-taking-exercise-trigger-deadly-food-allergy.html#ixzz261SAazOm