Advice from allergists for a safe Christmas – CVBJ

12/25/2021 at 8:00 p.m. CET

Whether we decide to meet our families, or choose to spend them in our coexistence group because of the pandemic, we are sure to enjoy dinners and meals specials.

In any case, these are difficult days for all those who suffer food allergy.

You may be interested in: Is allergy the same as a food intolerance?

In fact, in Christmas The cases of allergic reactions to food are increasing, either because of voluntary or involuntary food transgressions, or because of the appearance of new cases of food allergies.

Nowadays, seven out of ten serious allergic reactions occur in restaurants, and precisely on these dates family meals are frequent, at someone else’s or in a restaurant.

And while the good news is that in most cases the clinical manifestations of food allergy are mild – itchy mouth and / or throat, itchy skin with or without hives on the skin – sometimes have more severe symptoms.

We are talking about digestive problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), respiratory (shortness of breath, breathing sounds or wheezing), dizziness, loss of consciousness and even anaphylaxis, a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions to food are immediate

Allergic reactions to food usually appear within minutes contact or ingestion of the allergen, and a small amount may be enough to trigger a serious reaction.

Indeed, in some people there may be aggravating circumstances, such as asthma, physical exercise or the consumption of pain relievers and / or alcohol.

More specifically, in the pediatric population, main responsible allergenic foods are: milk, egg, fish or nuts.

While in adults it is more common to find allergies to nuts, fish, seafood and some fruit.

Experts advise

For all this, one more year, the Food Allergy Committee of the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC) shares a series of recommendations to enjoy these Christmas meetings in a safe environment for allergy sufferers:

Contact the restaurant where you are going for lunch or dinner in advance to tell them the foods to which you are allergic in order to identify dishes to avoid and offer alternatives. Check the foods that are eaten for the first time, especially in children.

Nowadays, many people are trying potentially allergenic foods for the first time and consuming Christmas sweets, sauces or very elaborate preparations that have hidden ingredients such as milk, eggs or nuts among their components. .

At home celebrations, ask in advance if any of the guests are allergic to a food.

If possible, it is best to avoid this food, but if this is not possible: it is recommended to clearly and easily identify which dishes you can eat and which you should avoid.

Check the labeling of all products that are going to be used in the kitchen.

It is very common to consume homemade sweets that contain many of the most common allergens: milk, egg, or nuts, so all of its ingredients should be known in advance.

Prepare allergen-free foods first and keep them properly separated and protected. In this way, we will avoid cross-contamination with other preparations, whether through the hands or through the use of cutlery and cooking utensils.

Also, let’s not forget that certain foods, such as shellfish, can cause symptoms when inhaling the cooking fumes.

For this reason, it is necessary to avoid that the allergic person is present during its preparation and at the end, to clean all the surfaces well and to ventilate the kitchen.

Comply with allergy treatment. Holidays and vacations break our routine and schedules change.

Experts have observed that nowadays cases of asthma or rhinitis exacerbations are preceded by poor adherence to treatment, which can promote the onset of respiratory crises.

Poorly controlled asthma can make an allergic reaction to foods worse.

Always carry the reliever medication recommended by the allergist with you. The epinephrine auto-injector is a simple device to use and is the only treatment of choice for anaphylaxis.

Remember to check the expiration date and always make sure it is taken out before you leave the house.

It is important that the allergic person and his environment know how to identify an allergic reaction, know how to act, in addition to knowing how to use the epinephrine auto-injector in an emergency.

If an allergic reaction occurs for the first time, it is important to carefully write down any foods or medications that have been consumed in the previous hours to facilitate further study by the allergist. Do not confuse intolerance and allergy. Although the SEAIC recommends that people suffering from food intolerances also monitor their diet, allergists point out that these are different pathologies, with different causes.

Unlike an intolerance, a food allergic reaction can have immediate or short-term fatal consequences.

Therefore, experts warn about the importance of not confusing allergies with food intolerances.

And still preventive measures against the Covid

Concerned about the daily number of infections caused by this sixth wave of the pandemic, “from the Company, we want to remind you of the importance of monitoring and maintaining all safety measures due to COVID-19, as well as the guidelines vaccination to avoid new contagions ”.

Finally, the SEAIC recalls that the allergist is the only specialist with formal training and officially recognized qualification to care for children and adults with allergic diseases.

Therefore, it would be desirable that all Spanish Autonomous Communities have a sufficient number of public health allergology services to serve this population group.


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