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 Post subject: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 9:00 pm
Posts: 4
Hello everyone

First I want to say thanks...

I'm posting here to see of I can get some advise for my daughter who has very high allergy to peanuts and some tree nuts.

The topic is called new fear of foods because my daughter how is 16 years old just started to fear all foods a few weeks ago. She was in a restaurant with my wife and some friends when it all started. Although she was reasured that the food was completely safe, a spicy hot sensation on the food gave her a good scare and she's been getting more and more affraid of all foods ever since. Even affraid of a piece of gum that she said made her lips numb.

She has now limited herself to eating at home only and only a few select foods that she trusts. Even if we have succefully taken good care of her in the last 16 years, she doesn't trust the foods we prepare if we use any "prepared food" or spices that come form a "no name source". Our house is peanut and nut free and all our foods safe but she still has a huge fear that their could be some cross contamination. I understand it's hard for her but I would like to hear from others that have gone through this and find out if there is good advise.

Concerned dad,
Paul


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
I've been through a similar experience, but not as a parent.

I developed my food allergies as an adult. even after I finally figured put the specific foods I'm allergic to (peanuts and sesame seeds) if I had a reaction to a food that I thought was safe, I would get paranoid of almost all foods.

~~~~

with a teen, my biggest concern would be to avoid her developing an eating disorder. Fruits and veggies shouldn't be a problem for her. But things like a "real" dinner, and even just cooking meats, often include some processed products, spices from a jar, etc.

Is she involved in the cooking? Is she involved in finding out if a product is safe? she's old enough to start doing that....and it's something she will eventually need to know.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
also wanted to mention there is a site for teens


www.whyriskit.ca You might want to take a look and see if it's something you might want to recommend to your daughter.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:58 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Hi Paul,

I think AM has some great advice! Let your daughtger take over more responsibility around the food.

Maybe make a list of all the things that you/she can do about food allergies. Show her how to call companies. Do her friends like to eat out? Where do they go? Kids aren't always taken seriously in restaurants when they question staff about the food. Food allergy cards are small and discreet. They give credibility to the teens statements.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 919
Location: Oakville, Ontario
First of all, just wanted to add something regarding spices... McCormick and Club House brand (they are actually the same parent company) have very good allergy awareness. We have switched to using only McCormick or Club House brand spices in our household. If you or your daughter call the 1-800 number listed on the bottle, and let them know you wish to discuss food allergies, the customer service representatives are very knowledgeable.

In fact, the customer service reps are very good at most of the large companies and are very knowledgeable regarding food allergens. Many of the large companies are very well aware of food allergies: just to name a few (there are many others!): Kraft, Christie, Nestle, Dare, Lipton, Presidents Choice, Heinz, Bicks, Smuckers, etc. etc. This should help your daughter feel more comfortable if there is information coming directly from the food manufacturer.

Your daughter may be going through a period of anxiety based on a recent event. Many of the parents and individuals on this board have gone through periods of this, but, gaining knowledge through various means (including this forum!) is very empowering. Also, if your daughter is always prepared and has her Epipen(s) with her, she can take comfort in knowing that she knows what to do if she's having a reaction. We've needed to give our son the Epipen 3 times, and it was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be to actually give the Epipen. Within 5 minutes, he appeared to have no symptoms; however, we still went to the hospital and hung out for 4-5 hours with his heart & blood oxygen levels being monitored. We tell him that there is nowhere else more important to be than the hospital if he's having an allergic reaction, and then life gets right back to normal (for him) the next day. This takes some of the "scare" out of the reaction. It was not scary to give the Epipen, it was much scarier to see him reacting for hours within having received the appropriate medicine (this was when we still had a fear of the Epipen and did not use it when we should have). The Epipen is only a needle, it's easy to use, and my son said it didn't even hurt that much - there was only a very tiny mark where he received the injection. If your daughter carries her life-saving medication, and she takes all the necessary precautions, she should feel less anxiety over time when she becomes more comfortable with knowing what to do, and knowing that she will do what she needs to do if she's having a reaction. Has she ever needed to use the Epipen?

I think it's probably normal to go through periods in your life when you're living with a life threatening condition to feel anxiety. But she wants to have quality of life and experience all that life has to offer, while remaing safe. Many people with food allergies eat in restaurants and travel. Having said that, our son has so many food allergies, we find eating out is not something we can easily include in our lives, so we don't eat out (however, others on this board are doing it successfully!). Maybe your daughter would feel more comfortable speaking directly to the chef or calling the restaurant ahead of time. There is good awareness of peanut and tree nut allergies in many restaurant.

I could go on & on, but I will let others chime in as well. So glad you came to us and hopefully we can help.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Fear of food seems to be common for those with sever allergies. Even as a baby our son was terrified of food. He had so many severe reactions while in his high chair (we discovered many of his allergies the hard way) that he would cry, scream, flail and absolutely panic if you even tried to make him sit in his high chair. So we bought a tiny picnic table and would help him sit there (until he was old enough to sit on his own) and we even moved the picnic table out of the kitchen when he ate so it was a totally different eating environment. He also for about a year straight at this time would only eat the same 4 foods and would freak if you even changed the plate or colour of kiddie fork etc.. If he didn't recognize it as familiar he wouldn't go near it. He is very aware and nervous of food and to this day with sniff his food, then stick his tongue on it before actually tasting it. Like a built in safety mechanism I guess.

I realize your daughter is 16 and has totally different issues. Just wanted you to know that it seems to be something allergic children and adults go through alike.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Barrie Ontario Canada
AnnaMarie wrote:
also wanted to mention there is a site for teens


http://www.whyriskit.ca You might want to take a look and see if it's something you might want to recommend to your daughter.


Thank you for posting this site. I have been taking a Family Studies course for the last few weeks so that I am able to teach intermediate students. I have been having trouble explaining the risks of allergies to the instructor and my follow students. They insist that anyone with an allergy can still make the food and just not eat it. I have explained to them over and over that someone with a severe allergy to a food they are using to cook would not be able to do this and even is it is a sensitivity it is not fair to have the student make the meal and then not be able to eat it. I have sent my class the link to the site and I hope the stories on there will help them understand. I specifically suggested they read the home ec story!

_________________
Sarah
Outgrew: Wheat, corn, egg, chicken, to name a few
Sensitive to Milk/Dairy products
Allergic to: Tree nuts, percocet, toradol, environmental allergies and chemical allergies
Migraines caused by scented products, barometric pressure


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 9:00 pm
Posts: 4
Hello again
I very much appreciate all the replies in the post and to be honest I’m amazed at the effectiveness… I didn’t expect so many in such little time.

I have read all the replies and I will spend some time reading them again, but for now I want to thank you all and will attempt to answer some of the questions that came up.

We have been letting my daughter (Steph) get involved in the research and calling companies for answers on their allergy policies, but I agree that it’s time she gets more involved.

Steph has never had a reaction, thus never had to inject, and I think that the fear of the unknown is what is getting to her. She is under a bit of stress and is getting stress related symptoms such as sensitivity of the mouth, then sometimes associates this with possible reactions. So, the stress, the sensations and the unknown are all contributing to the fear.

That’s about all the time I have for now but I will be back later, I will also have her read some of the replies.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
Hi Paul! Welcome. This place is great! I see you even figured out how to get those little thingies on the side....(post icon)......I've tried with no luck. Good on ya!

I'm trying again the green smilie

Oh yeah! he's there. :happydance (I think if I were to post 1st with one of those it would show on the VIEW ACTIVE TOPICS).

My Dd has had a few reactions and has no fear of the epi pen. She remembers, very much so, and knows how great that epi is. I have to say, I have always thought that it was a blessing in disquise :freak That may sound weird but I get what you mean about the fear of the unknown.

:huggy to your Dd and if she's prepared (packing epi) she is. Also, does she have a trainer? All of our friends are very special. They can save a life.

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Hi Paul, glad some of the advice helped. Julie had a great post also.

I think the more your daughter becomes involved in allergy chat and reading comments articles the more comfortable and empowered she will become. :huggy She is very lucky to have such a wonderful dad to help her through this.

There is a thread on this forum also for parenting school age and teens. You as well as your daughter are welcome to post any concerns or question. I'm sure other parents of teens and their teens themselves would be glad to chat and give advice/support.
Here's an article from the Allergic Living Magazine home page about allergies and anxiety. some is directed at younger children but the emotion of anxiety is the same at any age. .http://allergicliving.com/index.php/201 ... rgy-fears/

The link Anna Marie gave you for Why Risk It is supposed to be wonderful, here's Kyle Dine's blog link (also check out his face book page) as he does talk about being a teen, dating etc.. http://foodallergiesrock.com/page/3/?archives-list=1
Kyle also does a lot of work with teens. He was there with Anaphylaxis Canada doing a teen workshop (not sure exactly what sorry) at May's Anaphylaxis conference in Toronto. Maybe the next time there is a similar event near where you live have your daughter would like to attend.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:11 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
If she has an expired auto-injector, why not practice on an orange? This is what nurses use to help patients practice to give themselves an injection. Using the real thing, can open up a discussion.

Many people are of the mistaken belief that the medicine is dangerous. "Give the epipen and call 911" can translate into "Call 911 because you've given the epipen". In fact, the epipen/twinject will help to reduce the symptoms and give you as much as 20 minutes (maybe less) to get medical attention. Many emergency response services will be able to give medical attention while en route to the hospital but it depends on your region. It is wise to investigate this prior to an emergency. (some merely transfer patients to the hosptital! :frightened )

Some see the length of the needle and think it will hurt. It is long so that it goes through the skin and fat layers and into the muscle large of the leg. It is the diameter or the needle that counts and it is quite thin. My daughter (9 1/2) has had several reactions requiring the auto-injector (epipen) and she will tell your daughter that it isn't that painful. In fact, it isn't as bad as the over whelming feeling of dread that many people experience during an attack.

If your daughter is 16, she's probably in exam mode at school. Right now she has a lot of pressure with school. I would suggest she just stick with comfort food which for her might mean simple foods with few ingredients and little processed foods. "Meat and potatos" and veggies. When other stresses lift, she can explore other known foods and later, become more adventurous.

Teens are self-focused, it's part of being a teen. She mioght want to think of where she and her friends like to hang out and how they socialize. She can problem solve solutions in advance and investigate safe choices prior to encountering the situations.

My dd knows that she can have:
McDonalds: fries, apple slices and apple juice.
Made in Japan's Teriyaki Experience: rice, noodles, meats, veggies and sauce.
So far, this is enough for her.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject: Re: New fear of foods
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Quote:
Steph has never had a reaction, thus never had to inject, and I think that the fear of the unknown is what is getting to her. She is under a bit of stress and is getting stress related symptoms such as sensitivity of the mouth, then sometimes associates this with possible reactions. So, the stress, the sensations and the unknown are all contributing to the fear.


Stress can cause panic attacks which can very closely resemble allergic reactions. They can also make a minor reaction mimic anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing, tightness of chest, can be caused by panic). I was having panic attacks a lot for a while, shortly after having an anaphylactic reaction.

I wouldn't recommend this with a small child, but it might help with a 16 year old......when I would feel what I thought was a reaction, I would close my eyes and concentrate on relaxing...breath in-breath out-breath in...and I would realize that I actually could breath. This way I could tell the difference between "real" allergy and panic. If I couldn't control it quickly, I would assume it was a real reaction.
~~~

I may be misunderstanding, but I don't think her big fear is the epi-pen. I think it's having a reaction. I'm not afraid of the epi, and I'm not afraid to use it on my son. But I'm terrified of either of us needing it.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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