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Food Allergy Chronicles: Things I Wish Non-Allergic People Wouldn’t Do

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Just venting a little this week because I had one of those weeks where so many of these things happened! Here’s my list of things I wish non-allergic people would stop doing or saying! Sounds snotty doesn’t it. But in reality non-allergic people have no clue what it’s like to live everyday in a state of worry.

food-allergy-fun “Oh, You shouldn’t really eat that anyway” or “so, just don’t eat it”

Every person who has ever told me I shouldn’t eat gluten anyway, eats gluten regularly. I’m not allergic to gluten, I’m allergic to wheat. Don’t minimize someone else’s problems because you don’t have an understanding of what is happening. As for the just don’t eat it comments, it’s just not always that simple. In some cases it can be, if you are only allergic to one thing then it’s pretty simple. If you have multiple allergies, doing anything becomes a game of Russian roulette. One mistake on your part or someone else’s can have tragic consequences. Cross contamination is a nightmare!

Using the words “can’t” and “allergy” when neither are true

With the influx of fad diets removing things from people’s diets, “dairy” and “gluten” being the most common, there are a lot of people saying they can’t eat things. Let’s be clear – can’t means you are unable to eat it. With these diets you are able to eat these things but you are choosing not to and the mistake in verbiage creates a cry wolf situation. Restaurants don’t take allergies of diners as seriously as they once did because everyone “can’t” have gluten. What’s worse than that though is the people who say they are allergic when they are not. A little education note: gluten is not a recognized allergen, wheat is. No one is allergic to gluten. Yes, there are gluten intolerances but not gluten allergies. I remember a couple of years ago some friends were doing a 30 day challenge of sorts and someone had commented on a Facebook post that they could get a gluten free bun at Red Robin – “just tell your server you have an allergy.” Celiac is not an allergy. Although Celiac is real, most recent studies prove that non-Celiac gluten intolerance is not.

compassion

People Who Just Don’t Care

I sat next to a grown women in class last week who was eating mixed nuts. She was not careful at all and was less than classy in how she was eating them, so they were getting everywhere. I started to have a reaction and politely asked her if she could put them away since there were no free seat for me to move to. She told me it wasn’t her problem. She is right – it’s not. She has absolutely no requirement to maintain my safety, or to even be a decent person for that matter.

The easiest way for me to describe having chronic allergies (this is a little dramatic but you’ll get the point) is walking around with a bomb strapped to you. You spend everyday being extra careful not to set the bomb off, but one little mistake and BOOM!

Things that don’t directly effect you are hard to understand so ask questions if you are unsure, and be kind.

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