Dealing With Food Allergies Is Exhausting
Last updated: June 2022
Dealing with food allergies is exhausting. The constant planning and anxiety that comes with having a list of foods you need to avoid can be debilitating. For me, it becomes overwhelming and, quite frankly, depressing. Am I being a bit dramatic here? I don't think so.
From no allergies to many allergies
Growing up, I had zero food allergies - food was fun. It was exciting. It was a way to socialize and participate in events and functions. I loved eating and trying new things. The idea of being anxious around food or stressed around food would have seemed silly to me. However, at 21 years old, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, and everything changed.
My relationship with food changed drastically, and I was soon diagnosed with many food allergies. Suddenly, I feared food. Yes, this once carefree "foodie" now feared food. And it has been a journey to find ways to cope.
The many aspects of living with food allergies
So yes, it's been a hard journey, but at least by sharing, you know you aren't alone. If you live with food allergies, I'm sure you can relate to the following.
Say goodbye to being spontaneous. If you plan to eat out, you must always have a plan. Will the restaurant be accommodating to your needs? What if there is nothing you can safely eat? To help, you need to see the menu in advance. You can't eat at certain places that you know will not offer you options, like a Mexican spot or a Sushi place. The endless list of things you think of before you can go out for a bite to eat can be daunting.
Scary social outings
Dealing with fear of social outings comes with food allergies. Being invited to a wedding, dinner party, birthday party, honestly any social gathering can be crippling because you know all types of food will be there. So here goes the vicious cycle again, needing to plan or find a way to ensure you don't need to eat while you're there. It just becomes a lot to deal with.
Always feeling hungry
You know the famous word: hangry. Hangry describes when you get angry or irritable because you are hungry. I seem to be hangry all the time since my list of foods I can tolerate seems to get smaller and smaller. There comes the point where you just almost give up on eating! And then the small list of foods you can eat becomes incredibly dull. So you just walk around feeling irritable all the time.
Grieving your pre-allergy life
Thinking about how easy food used to be for you before allergies can be so upsetting. Sometimes I just reminisce on the good old days when I could stuff my face with whatever I wanted, and I would just enjoy the pleasure of food.
You're not alone
Okay, okay. I know this list can seem a bit depressing, but it's helpful to share with others and know that if you go through these things, you aren't alone. On the bright side, keep your chin up. Things do get better.
At least you know you aren't alone and that sometimes it's okay to feel down about your situation. Yes, food allergies are exhausting, but we are resilient, and in today's world, so many food options are being discovered each day to help get us through!
Can you relate to the above?
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?