‘Tis The Season for Caution & Reason: Helpful Hints for Serious Food Allergies at the Winter Holidays

Dec 11, 2017 | News

Below are a few winter-time tips and suggestions for people with serious food allergies. If you have any questions, you should always consult with your healthcare provider.

Peace on earth, unity and joy, lovely lights, a winter wonderland… and food-related anxiety? Uh-oh. Serious food allergies can definitely be a challenge during the winter holidays.

It’s important to be prepared: ALWAYS carry your epinephrine auto-injector with you. Even with careful planning, you can’t always predict or prevent allergic emergencies (Type I, including anaphylaxis), so it’s best to have the devices you need to respond. If you experience signs of this type of potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, use your epinephrine auto-injector right away, and then call 911.

But aside from being prepared with your epinephrine auto-injectors, how can you manage serious food allergies and help prevent reactions over the winter holidays?

Whatever holiday traditions you participate in, they most likely contain food allergens.

Some holiday dinners or treats can include fish, seafood, wheat, gluten, eggs, milk, soy, nuts, and/or other potential allergens.

What are Serious Food Allergies?

Serious food allergies means having severe allergic reactions to certain foods, which may include nuts, milk, eggs, soy, and/or other foods. A potentially life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. At the first sign of anaphylaxis epinephrine is the recommended first step at treating it, followed by immediate medical attention. Being prepared for anaphylaxis means having access to an epinephrine auto-injector.

Here are some tips to handle serious food allergies during the winter holidays:

It’s important to communicate with your family, friends, hosts, and other guests at a holiday gathering – to make sure they know about your allergies and understand how serious it is. For example, some people may confuse food allergies with food intolerances, like lactose intolerance – which is also real and causes many problems, but doesn’t involve the immune system. [Anaphylaxis campaign] So your social circle’s awareness is important!

If you have serious allergies, you might want to bring your own food, if you are worried about the food at your destination. Consider preparing alternative recipes for your holiday’s traditional foods, so you can celebrate with your group. And it’s a good idea to always check food labels or ask about ingredients, whenever possible.

Rich and tempting foods may be present. As someone with serious food allergies, you need to be aware of the contents of these foods.

Occupational Hazard? Navigating the Workplace With Serious Food Allergies

The workplace can be another challenging hurdle. Offices and professional settings can be flooded with food this time of year. Allergic surprises may literally lurk around every corner! For your own well-being, think about communicating your food issues to your colleagues as much as you feel comfortable, to build their awareness. This can help you avoid the peer pressure to eat, and maybe even inspire your coworkers to clear the area of food. Keep the lines of communication open, but also keep your guard up. 

The bottom line for people with serious food allergies requiring epinephrine auto-injection: During the winter holidays, be even more careful about food than usual, because so much unlabeled food is available and around… Alert your friends, family, and coworkers to your serious allergies so they can be helpful… Check labels and ask about ingredients whenever possible… Prepare alternative recipes if you wish… Bring your own food if you are concerned about food at parties… Avoid food-related peer pressure… And always be prepared by carrying your epinephrine auto-injector! Getting through the holidays with severe food allergies can be a real challenge, but there are also many measures you can take, and everyone’s experience is unique. Find out ways that work for you. And happy holidays!

Sources:

Epinephrine for First-aid Management of Anaphylaxis,” Sicherer et al, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Food Intolerance,” Anaphylaxis Campaign

Food Allergy,” American College of Asthma, Allergy, & Immunology (ACAAI)

Links to external websites are provided for your convenience, and should not be viewed as an endorsement of Impax Laboratories or its products.  Impax has no control over the content on these websites.

PP-PAT-EAI-US-0007 12/2017

‘Tis The Season for Caution & Reason: Helpful Hints for Serious Food Allergies at the Winter Holidays

Dec 11, 2017 | News

What are Serious Food Allergies?

Serious food allergies means having severe allergic reactions to certain foods, which may include nuts, milk, eggs, soy, and/or other foods. A potentially life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. At the first sign of anaphylaxis epinephrine is the recommended first step at treating it, followed by immediate medical attention. Being prepared for anaphylaxis means having access to an epinephrine auto-injector.

Below are a few winter-time tips and suggestions for people with serious food allergies. If you have any questions, you should always consult with your healthcare provider.

Peace on earth, unity and joy, lovely lights, a winter wonderland… and food-related anxiety? Uh-oh. Serious food allergies can definitely be a challenge during the winter holidays.

It’s important to be prepared: ALWAYS carry your epinephrine auto-injector with you. Even with careful planning, you can’t always predict or prevent allergic emergencies (Type I, including anaphylaxis), so it’s best to have the devices you need to respond. If you experience signs of this type of potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, use your epinephrine auto-injector right away, and then call 911.

But aside from being prepared with your epinephrine auto-injectors, how can you manage serious food allergies and help prevent reactions over the winter holidays?

Whatever holiday traditions you participate in, they most likely contain food allergens.

Some holiday dinners or treats can include fish, seafood, wheat, gluten, eggs, milk, soy, nuts, and/or other potential allergens.

Here are some tips to handle serious food allergies during the winter holidays:

It’s important to communicate with your family, friends, hosts, and other guests at a holiday gathering – to make sure they know about your allergies and understand how serious it is. For example, some people may confuse food allergies with food intolerances, like lactose intolerance – which is also real and causes many problems, but doesn’t involve the immune system. [Anaphylaxis campaign] So your social circle’s awareness is important!

If you have serious allergies, you might want to bring your own food, if you are worried about the food at your destination. Consider preparing alternative recipes for your holiday’s traditional foods, so you can celebrate with your group. And it’s a good idea to always check food labels or ask about ingredients, whenever possible.

Rich and tempting foods may be present. As someone with serious food allergies, you need to be aware of the contents of these foods.

Occupational Hazard? Navigating the Workplace With Serious Food Allergies

The workplace can be another challenging hurdle. Offices and professional settings can be flooded with food this time of year. Allergic surprises may literally lurk around every corner! For your own well-being, think about communicating your food issues to your colleagues as much as you feel comfortable, to build their awareness. This can help you avoid the peer pressure to eat, and maybe even inspire your coworkers to clear the area of food. Keep the lines of communication open, but also keep your guard up. 

The bottom line for people with serious food allergies requiring epinephrine auto-injection: During the winter holidays, be even more careful about food than usual, because so much unlabeled food is available and around… Alert your friends, family, and coworkers to your serious allergies so they can be helpful… Check labels and ask about ingredients whenever possible… Prepare alternative recipes if you wish… Bring your own food if you are concerned about food at parties… Avoid food-related peer pressure… And always be prepared by carrying your epinephrine auto-injector! Getting through the holidays with severe food allergies can be a real challenge, but there are also many measures you can take, and everyone’s experience is unique. Find out ways that work for you. And happy holidays!

Sources:

Epinephrine for First-aid Management of Anaphylaxis,” Sicherer et al, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Food Intolerance,” Anaphylaxis Campaign

Food Allergy,” American College of Asthma, Allergy, & Immunology (ACAAI)

Links to external websites are provided for your convenience, and should not be viewed as an endorsement of Impax Laboratories or its products.  Impax has no control over the content on these websites.

PP-PAT-EAI-US-0007 12/2017

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector?


  1. Epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector contains epinephrine, a medicine used to treat allergic emergencies (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, can happen within minutes, and can be caused by stinging and biting insects, allergy injections, foods, medicines, exercise or other unknown causes. Symptoms of an anaphylaxis may include:
    • trouble breathing
    • wheezing
    • hoarseness (changes in the way your voice sounds)
    • hives (raised reddened rash that may itch)
    • severe itching
    • swelling of your face, lips, mouth, or tongue
    • skin rash, redness, or swelling
    • fast heartbeat
    • weak pulse
    • feeling very anxious
    • confusion
    • stomach pain
    • losing control of urine or bowel movements (incontinence)
    • diarrhea or stomach cramps
    • dizziness, fainting, or “passing out” (unconsciousness).
  2. Always carry your epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector with you because you may not know when anaphylaxis may happen. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need additional units to keep at work, school, or other locations. Tell your family members, caregivers, and others where you keep your epinephrine injection, USP auto-injector and how to use it before you need it. You may be unable to speak in an allergic emergency.
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