The Frustration of Ever-Changing Food Allergies
Last updated: April 2023
Growing up, I never had food allergies. I had the luxury of eating whatever I wanted at the drop of a hat. I never thought twice about food, and I was a foodie. I loved all kinds of food--Mexican, Asian, Italian, Latin. My favorite foods were high in carbs, like bread and pasta. In other words, I used to be carefree when it came to food. Food was fun, an opportunity to socialize, and a way to indulge and enjoy!
Developing food allergies
The enjoyment of food quickly came to a halt in my early twenties when I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Along with this diagnosis came a slew of new and strange allergies to food. Wheat and dairy became huge "no's" for me. And this was devasting. I grew up eating all the bread and drinking all the cow's milk without a care in the world.
Food was starting to become a nuisance. What do I eat now? All the foods I grew up on I can't have anymore!
Food allergies changing over time
The first food allergies I developed were to wheat and dairy. And then, as time went on, more food allergies decided to join the party. My food allergies were changing. Rice, spices, garlic, and almonds, to name a few new foods that I was now allergic to. It was incredibly frustrating to sit down and eat food that I once could have and suddenly become horribly ill by taking a bite of it.
What are my safe foods?
To complicate things, my food allergies were ever-changing. I finally would get into a place where I had my safe food. Chicken, salad, grain-free pasta, and potatoes became my "safe" foods to eat. Then with time, those same foods would begin to turn on me!
I'll never forget when potatoes suddenly made me sick. It was shocking, and I felt like there would be a time when I wouldn't be able to eat anything except for breathing air and drinking water. The lack of consistency was maddening.
Tips for dealing with changing food allergies
So with time, I have come up with some tips that have worked for me when dealing with ever-changing food allergies. Some of these may even be able to help you:
1. Stay flexible
When a sudden safe food turns on you, stay flexible. Expect the change and don't dwell on it. Find an alternative and remain hopeful that with time, that food may not give you a reaction if you avoid it for a while.
2. Stay positive
No, there won't be a time when you will be allergic to all foods on the planet. This can be hard. But try your best to stay positive and know you will have other food options. It just takes time and effort to navigate a new change.
3. Keep alternating foods
This tip is crucial. I found that if I repeatedly ate safe food, it soon became a food I would react to. Therefore, it is essential to create a meal plan or menu for yourself without repeating foods too much. Create a nice variety of food for the week and repeat the next. But don't get stuck in indulging a food day after day.
Do you get frustrated when food allergies seem to be ever-changing? How do you manage?
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?