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I thought with Easter upon us I would clear up a few common misunderstandings around Food Allergies. I say with Easter as in my house it’s Dairy that is the danger.
I don’t like to judge people on not knowing or fully understanding what an allergy is, as before this became our world I’m sure I was in the same boat. But it does get a little frustrating when you hear people tell you they are Allergic to wheat but they can eat a little bit. Or they are Allergic to something and then they order/buy food containing the product because they don’t realise it’s in it.
It’s like the world has gone mad with the latest health fads so it’s cool to say you can’t eat that. Not only this but when someone says just give him a little bit this once, a special treat.
My Son is Anaphylactic to Dairy, not many people know that Dairy is something you can be allergic to. And one of the first things I’m asked is, “Is it the Lactose?” The answer is no, if you are allergic to Dairy it’s The whole thing. The next thing I am asked is,”oh but he can have Goats Milk?” The truth is Dairy is the milk produced by any animal, including Humans.
Even once this is explained it’s quite common for people to say, “what about Cheese, Yoghurt, Chocolate?” And the answer is if it’s made from the product your Allergic to, then you can’t have it.
The other one that does make me laugh is Oh no theres eggs in this. It’s amazing how many people have eggs in the dairy section in their minds. To which I reply with a giggle, “Do cows lay eggs?”
To better explain an Allergy V’s Intolerance it all comes down to the reaction. If you are Allergic to something then it will affect you organs. This includes your skin (being your largest organ).
Everyone will react slightly differently and with different severities and that is why an epipen must be on hand at all times.
Intolerance affects the tummy/bowels, and why people will be bloated or get the runs ect. It is the body not coping with the food.
It wasn’t till I took my son to an Allergist that i had this explained to me, and realised how important it is to use the correct words when explaining whats wrong. I still have much to learn and am constantly on my toes when it comes to my son, and his surroundings especially if we go out for dinner. But this is my world and keeping him safe is my responsibility.


Posted by channiib, 19th April 2014


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  • It’s so nice to see people still reading this. Thank you

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  • Wow i just learnt a lot thanks

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  • kool

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  • Welcome to the world of being a allergy mum you spend half your time clearing up what people believe lol

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  • Allergy and intolerance, you’re right, I thought they basically meant the same thing.

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  • thats quite a funny read,

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  • thank you, I never realised there was a difference, I thought intolerance and allergy was the same thing,

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  • Allergy Week. One in Ten children born in Australia will have a food Allergy. Thats huge and yet it wasn’t until 2003 that you could get an epipen on PBS. And even now you can only get 2 EpiPen’s on PBS every 12mth, regardless of if you’ve had to use them or not.

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  • Reminds me of a friend who said they were vegetarian. We were having a bbq so I made sure to get some veggie burgers and cook them on a separate part of the grill so they were not in contact with the meat. Everything was served up and I noticed that she was having a sausage in bread! You are not vegetarian if you eat me. You are not allergic to foods if you can have it. And true, eggs do not come from cows but I think we tend to group everything in the ‘dairy’ isle as being ‘dairy’.

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  • Fantastic read I have family members that deal with this as well as my own all different to your sons ones but have the same struggle. It is hard and I know when I cook for them I have to be so careful otherwise I will put them in hospital or could be much worse. I also think your right, if you have not been though it, you just don’t know, this happens with sicknesses diseases all kind of things but by sharing you are opining the eyes of others.


    • Thankyou for the positive words, I was a bit nervous to write something that can cause a stir. But it is so important to me.

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  • A very good explanation! And yes people just don’t seem to understand that even a little bit can cause a huge allergic reaction! For some reason they feel if you give a child who can’t eat chocolate because of a dairy allergy some chocolate, it’s called a treat! Ummmm.. NO!

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  • YES! I have lost count of friend telling me that they’re allergic to something now when it simply ‘gives them the runs’. Allergy seems to be synonymous with ‘Intolerance’ nowadays because it SOUNDS so much more serious (kind of like my husband saying that he has the flu everytime he gets a sniffle), but allergies can be life threatening. A little girl went into an anaphylaxis at the local park last year because another child had eaten peanut butter toast for breakfast and smeared his fingers on the play equipment. It must be really challenging for parents with small children with allergies. Stories like these educate us and I like the idea of addressing it in the ‘Healthy Harold’ van.

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  • if you type dairy into google images you will be surprised how most of the photos have eggs in them!

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  • You are right eggs are often classified as Dairy in the supermarket or on shopping lists.

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  • Yes exactly the more contact they have, the larger the next reaction can be, sometimes occasioning a life threatening situation. It is a little sad that people don’t realise that just by touching things it can be bad. I’ve had good friends say “but surely if he touched one I bet nothing would happen.” I’m sure if that persons child was in the same situation they wouldn’t risk it either. The same friend even suggested I put egg shells on my garden with my compost, saying that if it’s just on the garden it wouldn’t hurt him. I feel for you with the latex allergy as it is in a lot of things. I would like to see more awareness in the community. I think some sort of allergy education like when they have the Healthy Harold life vans at school with a section dedicated to allergy would be great. There are some great books I seen for small children at the Paediatricians for sale titled things like “Nut free for me.” Just to make people aware. I’ve heard many parents complain about not being able to take peanut butter sandwiches to school etc and argue passionately about it. It does make you feel a bit sad that if it was their child they wouldn’t want something that was potentially life threatening around. We have educated our boy about his allergies and he is so good. He is now 8 and I’ve never asked him to do so but he often picks up the back of packets to make sure it is ok for him. I only have the one child and I feel so blessed. The positive side is I guess we never had junk food early on because of his allergies a lot of things were homemade. The first time you do a shop it takes forever reading labels. We now breeze through, knowing what products we can and can’t buy. All the best to all of you going through an allergy.

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