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Food Allergy Chronicles: Perspective

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Food Allergy Perspective

Perspective is an important thing. My favorite saying is that the glass isn’t half empty or half full. The glass is is refillable.

Food allergies are real. Food allergies deserve respect and research. Stretching the truth about food allergy deaths creates unnecessary anxiety and fear for everyone. Especially those of us with food allergies.

I think it is important that we start to live in the now. Raising funds for research is an awesome thing but we need to live as though there is no cure. Because, when it comes to allergies, there is no cure and most likely there may never be one. The majority of people who suffer from allergies have survived with allergies. Long before allergies were discussed daily or created banning of snacks in schools, most allergy sufferers survived, led long lives. Very few died from their allergies. When it comes to statistics, you will see a number in the 150 to 200 range of deaths per year due to food allergies. Those numbers will be from the manufacturers of medications. The real numbers, according to the Centers for Disease Control are actually around 11. The flawed food allergy death statistic has been questioned, investigated and debunked for years. We need to understand why the inflated number persists: 200 annual deaths make food allergies seem like a terrifying potential health crisis. Health crises attract research dollars. Pharmaceutical firms can profit substantially from health crises: concerned parents are happy to buy a device like an EpiPen (and renew the prescription every six months for the next twenty years) if it means preventing a child coming to harm.

Our world is already terrifying enough. Do we really need to exaggerate the threat of a health condition as manageable as food allergies? Time and finances should be spent on managing food allergies. The sooner we worry about how we manage our allergies in our everyday lives, the longer, happier and safer our lives will be. 

Usually when I pray to cure something it’s pediatric cancer or a disease equally as awful. Is having allergies rough? Yes. Do I wish I didn’t have them? Yes. Are they as bad as cancer? Never.