Food Allergies & Intolerances: How Can We Manage Them?
Carrying on with our spotlight on allergies and intolerances, we delve deeper with Caron Pollard, co-founder of the food allergy tracker app Teal, to find out how we can manage allergies and intolerances effectively
In our previous post, we learnt that food allergies are immune system responses that can potentially be fatal. Whilst food intolerances are digestive system reactions that can leave us feeling uncomfortable but are not harmful.
So, is there a cure?
As much as we’d love to say that there is, Caron explains that currently, there isn’t a cure: “This is an area which needs so much more investment into research, clinical healthcare and proactive and preventative treatment, especially with an increase in both allergens and allergies within the population.”
She continues: “There is a window of opportunity that children up to the age of six may grow out of their allergies, but this is not always certain. The good news is that studies into peanut allergies have looked at treatments like oral immunotherapy and desensitization which could reduce, if not eliminate allergens.”
How can we best manage our allergies and intolerances?
It can feel like a minefield to navigate grocery shopping and eating out when you have to avoid particular foods. Here are Caron’s top three pieces of advice to help you in your day-to-day life:
Always check the ingredients list, even if it is a product you have previously purchased or a meal you have eaten before. This is because recipes can always be changed, so it is important to ensure that you have the latest most up-to-date version as a consumer.
When eating out, always communicate your allergies and intolerances with the establishment and your server. If possible, call the eatery ahead of time to discuss your needs and help them prepare a more enjoyable experience for you.
When shopping in person or eating out, always ensure you have your emergency medication with you, as you never know when you will come into contact with an allergen. For some people, their reactions could be as a result of airborne allergens or on contact so it is important to always be prepared. I am a strong believer in #alwayscarrytwo (that is, if you carry auto-injector adrenaline pens, ensure you always have two on you, in case you need the second pen).
Caron emphasises: “Remember you are an important consumer and you deserve to be protected and kept safe, whether it is grocery shopping or eating out. You are not a burden and so speak up if you feel you are not being treated safely, inclusively and respectfully as a consumer.”
Where can we find out more?
Caron Pollard co-founded the food allergy tracker app, Teal, to help protect others: “When you sign up, you receive access to so many resources and ways to protect you and keep you and your family safe; so that you don’t have to miss out on life’s best moments.”
The Teal App provides a wealth of information on food allergies and intolerances through podcasts and blogs, shares recipes and sells allergy-friendly products through their online store, EpiCenter. The app also notifies users of food recall alerts from the Food Standards Agency, provides immediate emergency assistance in the event of a severe reaction, and can locate the nearest hospital no matter where you are in the world.
Whether or not you suffer from food allergies, here at Mama Dolce, we believe that everyone should be able to share in the joy of food. That’s why all of our products are free from the main six allergens found in ice cream, and we have labelled our ingredients clearly on our packaging so you can have confidence when buying our product.
What are your go-to strategies for managing your allergies or intolerances? We would love to hear from you!
free-from, with love x