Managing a Loved One’s Dairy Allergy
Last updated: February 2023
Having a dairy allergy can be complicated. In the case of caring for a loved one with a dairy allergy, sometimes it can become complex, especially if your loved one can handle small amounts of dairy and constantly wants to have some because their allergic reaction is not life-threatening. So let's explore how I manage caring for a loved one with a dairy allergy.
Caring for someone with severe allergy symptoms
I have a loved one that enjoys eating dairy products, especially ice cream. But ice cream has caused them a serious allergic reaction, involving severe stomach cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, and an intense feeling of unwell. And this has happened many times whenever they ate ice cream.
How to mitigate ingestion of allergens
But what do you do if your loved one can't shake the fact that avoiding dairy-based ice cream altogether is the only way to prevent a reaction? How do you handle someone who constantly wants to "play with fire?"
Control the home environment
Honestly, it isn't very easy; you can't control people's behaviors. However, you can help control the environment at home to lessen the ease of being tempted by dairy products or other foods that can lead to reactions.
Purchase dairy-free products
I keep dairy-free popsicles, sorbet, and ice cream in the house. These products are made with coconut or almond milk. These substitutes can help to satisfy the ice cream craving without eating certain allergens.
Encourage other food options
However, when we aren't home, and my loved one is inclined to push for dairy ice cream, I try my best to offer other allergen-free dessert options. Perhaps I can find other desserts at the store without dairy. If you are close to home, you can suggest waiting to have dairy-free alternatives at home. Again, it can be hard to control someone else's behavior, but remaining positive and offering other options may sway them against eating something they're allergic to.
Offer support if an allergic reaction occurs
If my loved one does experience an allergic reaction, I make sure not to reprimand them or try to get them to see why eating food they're allergic to is a poor decision. Living with food allergies is hard and stressful. I always want to offer support and help them feel better. I'll try to offer them remedies to mitigate symptoms.
Being supportive for someone while they are experiencing allergy symptoms is all you can do. Later once they feel better, you can kindly remind your loved one that they ate their trigger food and that they can avoid feeling so sick if they try a substitute food instead. We are so lucky to live in the time we live in now because the options and substitutes are improving!
How about you? Do you care for someone with a food allergy? How do you manage to care for them?
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?