The holiday season always means celebrations, family gatherings and plenty of food. This can be challenging to navigate if you or your loved ones have been diagnosed with food allergies or sensitivities. More and more people are being diagnosed with these food-related illnesses so chances are you won’t be alone. It is estimated by researchers 15 million Americans have food allergies.
A food allergy is an immediate, harmful, immune response that occurs within minutes to a few hours of ingesting a food allergen. Symptoms of an allergic reaction could be anything from hives to anaphylaxis.
Food sensitivities are also growing in prevalence. These are difficult to identify given the reactions tend to be milder and don’t occur for 24-72 hour after ingesting the food. Common food sensitivity symptoms include bloating, acne, joint pain and headaches.
Food allergies and sensitivities can be tested through a simple blood draw with delayed food allergy testing in Springfield Missouri. Many common foods can be tested by looking at the IgE antibodies to determine food allergies and IgA and IgG antibodies to determine food sensitivities. In our office we do our delayed food allergy testing through Vibrant America.
Our delayed food allergy test panel includes 96 of the most common allergens that are consumed, including peanut, milk, egg, shellfish, tree nuts, fish, corn, soy, lectin, wheat, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nightshades. The same 96 foods can also be tested for food sensitivities with Vibrant America in addition to 113 other specialty foods and 57 food additives.
It is always astounding to see the number of food allergies and sensitivities that our patients have. If you haven’t had your food allergies tested, we would highly recommend getting them drawn so you know exactly what foods or additives are affecting your health.
How exactly do you handle these challenging food issues during the holidays?
You may want to start by offering to host so that you can incorporate food allergies and sensitivities into your meal plan. You will likely prepare more dishes when hosting and know they are safe to consume. There are many resources available now that provide good recipes for those with food allergies/sensitivities. If you have others with food allergies attending your holiday party and you don’t know how to work around them, simply ask them to bring their own dish they know will be safe.
But, if you are going to be a guest, it can feel awkward to ask someone to accommodate. Most people do not understand the real difficulty of eating with food allergies. It is best to contact the host ahead of time to inquire about the menu and provide substitution ideas where needed. If substitutions cannot be made you can prepare your own dish to bring and perhaps bring your own condiments, spices and sauces.
If your main concern is your child’s allergies/sensitivities then go over the rules with them. Explain again why it is so important for them to avoid certain foods. Have them check with you before eating anything. Establish a team to watch over the little ones. Whether it’s you and your partner or another adult. Have designated time that someone is watching over the kiddos so that way they are always supervised and not sneaking their hands into anything sitting out.
Don’t let your food allergies or sensitivities keep you from gathering with your family and friends this holiday season. Always be prepared and assume there will be limited food you can safely consume. Consider eating a meal before you go and pack your pockets full of snacks. You never know when those snacks will come in handy!
Here at Kare Health & Wellness we offer some natural supplements that can help protect you when you don’t have full control over the food preparation. Natural D-Hist can help with the histamine response from exposures to allergens and Wheat Rescue can be taken just before eating if there is a concern of eating foods that may contain gluten. If you want to be fully prepared this holiday season, stop by and pick up these amazing products to make sure your Christmas stays Merry and your New Years Happy!