If you have been diagnosed with a food allergy, life can become more difficult, especially when eating at restaurants and other people’s homes. You have to be very careful about what you eat or else you could suffer a severe reaction. However, if you’re willing to make certain lifestyle adjustments, it’s still possible to live a normal life with a food allergy.

Be Cautious When Cooking

If you live with other people who don’t suffer from the same food allergy, it’s important to take extra care when cooking. Avoid using the same cooking utensils as other household members so that you don’t cross-contaminate. 

Don’t Forget to Read Food Labels

While it’s a good idea for everyone to know the ingredients in the foods they eat, it’s especially important for those with food allergies. Before you buy any food at the grocery store, carefully read the label to make sure it doesn’t include ingredients that you’re allergic to. Even if you have purchased a product numerous times, you should still read the ingredients every time, as manufacturers can change ingredients.

If it’s not clear whether or not a food contains the ingredient you’re allergic to, don’t purchase it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Eat at Restaurants

Some people with food allergies are apprehensive about eating out at restaurants because they can’t prepare the food themselves. However, even if you suffer from a food allergy, you don’t have to deprive yourself of a fun night out occasionally. You just have to prepare ahead of time. When you order your food, let the server or chef know about your food allergy. It may be helpful to carry a chef card, which includes all the ingredients you’re allergic to.

Never Share Your Food

It’s not uncommon for family and friends to share food at restaurants and home get-togethers. However, when you suffer from a food allergy, you don’t have the luxury of doing this. Cross-contact may occur and you could have a reaction.

Know the Signs of an Allergic Reaction

Even if you’re very cautious, there’s still a possibility that you may have an allergic reaction at some point. It’s critical to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction so that you can get medical attention faster. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, runny nose, stomach pain, dry cough, itching and chest tightness.

If you have additional questions about food allergies, an allergist, like one from Black & Kletz Allergy, can help.