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How to Adjust to a Food Allergy

How to Adjust to a Food Allergy

A food allergy diagnosis means making changes to your diet to completely avoid the food or food substance you’re allergic to. Doing so takes some adjustment, and it’s more challenging to adapt if it’s an ingredient found in many foods, such as wheat. It’s important to work with an allergy specialist to ensure that you’re eliminating all allergens from your diet. 

The team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut helps newly diagnosed allergy patients transition to an appropriate diet to treat their allergy. Our allergy and immunology specialist, Reinhard Kage, MD, has extensive experience diagnosing and helping patients manage allergies of all types, including food allergies

What foods are most likely to cause allergies?

Any food or food substance can cause allergies, but just eight foods are responsible for most food allergies:

Avoiding the food you’re allergic to means knowing what foods you shouldn’t consume and which foods are safe as well as learning to carefully check food labels and menus. 

Learn about your food allergy

Taking the time to learn which foods contain the substance you’re allergic to is one of the best ways to prepare for transitioning to a diet that excludes your allergens. Your Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut provider gives you dietary information to follow, and there are also many excellent allergy resources available online. 

Because even trace amounts of an allergen can cause a reaction, it’s important to completely avoid the food you’re allergic to. A nutritionist can create an individualized meal plan to help you manage your food allergy. A meal plan created by a dietitian can help you navigate your allergy, make a smoother transition, and avoid pitfalls. 

Have a green-light, red-light list handy

It’s easier to manage your food allergy when at home, and it can be a challenge to adhere to your diet when away from home. Having a handy sheet available of safe foods and red-flag foods allows you to quickly and easily navigate eating at a friend’s or family member’s home, dining out at restaurants, and enjoying foods at other places such as festivals. 

Prepare for possible discomfort

It doesn’t happen all the time, but transitioning to a new diet, even one that’s medically necessary, can sometimes cause some discomfort. Avoiding one food may mean introducing other foods with a similar nutrient makeup to compensate so that you ensure that you’re still eating a balanced diet. Introducing beans, for example, may cause flatulence and cramps. 

Just know that any physical distress from a change in diet is temporary. As your body adjusts, the discomfort passes. 

Take advantage of technology

Many mobile apps and online platforms are available to help people with allergies navigate their diet. Convenient apps make it easy to avoid foods that you’re allergic to. Common features include offering the ability to scan labels and alert you to any red-flag substances, tracking foods you eat, and providing a list of safe foods at popular restaurants. 

Work with a allergy specialist

It’s wise to work closely with an allergy specialist to manage your food allergies. As you transition to a new diet, it’s important to keep follow-up appointments so your doctor can track your progress. Making dietary changes can take some time to adjust to, but it’s necessary for people dealing with food allergies.

If you have food allergies, you’re in good hands with the team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut. Our full service immunology and rheumatology clinic provides top quality care. Call our office to speak with our knowledgeable team and schedule a visit, or use our online booking tool to send your request online.

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