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Allergies

When will they be taken seriously

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Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 5-Oct-2018 10:39 Message #4726432
Another person has died due to an allergy according to a piece in todays Guardian, a teenager with a nut and shellfish allergy who told the restaurant about these, this follows the inquest into the death of another teenager on a plane after eating a sandwich from a well known chain. What worries me even more was the conclusion that the needles in epi pens is about 10mm shorter than recomended, I carry an epi pen, now I'm wondering if its really going to help if I need it, the epinephrine is supposed to be injected deep into the muscle, the thigh is usually the recomended place, even if you don't have fat legs this is a big muscle and 16mm dosen't seem very deep.

Another thing that worries me is the attitude of many people towards those of us with allergies, I've been presecribed penicillin numerous times by doctors who are to lazy to read my notes or don't believe a penicillin allergy is serious. I've had spats with doctors and pharmacists over the use of anti biotic and steroid creams with base products I'm allergic to, what really bugs me is the attitude that I somehow want a massive great list of things that I'm allergic too or that I react badly too. Allergies, intollerance to certain foods and uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous side effects from medications are often treated like you're attention seeking, some people think its "fun" to give people food they've stated an intolerance too or they're to arrogant to take the needs of others into consideration. Often people are ignorant too, if you're allergic to nuts then that includes nut oils, oiking the meat out of a curry dosen't make it vegetarian.

I wonder how any more people are going to have to die before allergies are taken seriously.
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 5-Oct-2018 10:59 Message #4726435
There is a lot of ignorance surrounding allergies. It sometimes seems that only cancer or something degeneterive is taken seriously. Other problems which can be extremely serious and even life threatening, such as allergies, asthma and diabetes and sciatica (to name a few) are taken with a pinch of salt. It's probably because these have varying degrees of seriousness.
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 5-Oct-2018 11:49 Message #4726438
I count myself lucky that I don;t have any known allergies that can kill me. There are probably minor ones that I haven't investigated, I think most of us probably have minor ones, but luckily not any serious ones. For instance, a minor one could be that I come out in a sweat sometimes after eating chocolate, but I haven't looked into it.

Epi pens seem to help some people, but maybe not others.

The nut allergy has always intrigued me, although, because I don't have it, I don't know all the ins and outs of it. I once read a 'trivia' thing that if everyone in the world developed a lethal peanut allergy, then a small bag of peanuts would be capable of killing the whole worlds population. But I suppose you could say that about anything.

The food people do seem to be taking it all seriously though, from what I can see. Of course, more can be done, but 'health and Safety' or whatever it comes under, has meant that allergy information is appearing on many things, and many a 'joke' is often made of it. 'Oh look, this bag of nuts has a message on it saying 'may contain nuts', how amusing, ha ha'

It seems some info was missing from the Pret one though, and sadly the girl died. I haven't read all the case, but did she already know she had a sesame allergy, and if so, did she or her parents take enough precautions for such a tragic eventuality? It seems to me that you would have to be extremely careful, even more than extremely, if you already knew that sesame seeds could kill you. Ordering things from takeaways does not seem the right action, whether they are labelled or not.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 5-Oct-2018 19:01 Message #4726443
The girl who died of a sesame allergy did know she had the allergy it was why she carried two epi pens, the sandwich company didn't lable the sanwiches with allergy advice just had notices around the store about allergens, the seame was baked into the bread and wasn't visible. Allergy Uk have been saying for a long time that the needles in epi pens need to be longer, but have been ignored.

Why should someone with an allergy be unable to eat out or have a takeaway? Things most of us take for granted, just imagine for a minute not being able to go and buy something as simple as a sandwich because it might kill you, it means that any overnight trip is out of the question let alone a holiday. There are some types of restaurant that I don't trust not to give stuff that my body cannot digest, fish sauce in Chinese and Thai restaurants, if I have chips in any restaurant I have to ask what they're cooked in because if its beef fat then I can't eat them, not just because I choose to be veggie, but because I will have a painfully upset stomach for days, sometimes as long as a fortnight after. People who don't have an allergy/intollerance to meat products will think, chips thats ok, they're just fried potatoes, often they don't put any allergy advice on a menu. It impacts on your social life too and potentially your work life too, you can't go to works do's, if you have to have food as part of your business dealings with others then its a huge impact on your ability to be effective in your role. If you're someone with food allergies/intollerances then its like you're not allowed to not like anything else because its asking to much of others to accomodate not just your medical stuff, but any preferences you have, I've been told its not fair for me to say I don't like a food when theres so many things I cannot eat, I want to ask fair for who and often followed by words begining and ending with F. I'm really wary about going on holiday, especially abroad as I might not be able to find things I can safely eat. Obviously a bag of nuts saying it may contain nuts is daft, but theres lots of things that contain nuts where its not obvious.

Another thing people without allergies don't realise is the expense involved, I can't use "normal" toothpaste because I get mouth ulcers, toothpastes with no mineral derived SLF's cost about two or three times as much. The same with washing up and laundry products, they're expensive and difficult to get hold of, I can't wear rubber gloves either as I'm allergic to them and you know you can't get latex free washing up gloves, or not that I've been able to find, you can get vinyl gloves but they don't go far enough up the wrist for washing up.
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 5-Oct-2018 19:23 Message #4726444
I get what you are saying regarding allergy things costing more, and not easy to get hold of some things, but I have just google 'non latex washing up gloves' and plenty of places do them. The first 2 I noticed were Wilko and Sainsburys, and there are loads more.

I now people with allergies, so am not oblivious or unsympathetic to the hardships, but unfortunately a lot of it comes down to taking responsibility if you are able to. I know it can be hard, but I am damn sure that if I or anyone I cared for had a 'deadly' allergy, I would be ultra careful, and would have to make sacrifices if necessary. Going to places where sesame seeds are in or on a lot of items is probably not advisable for someone with a deadly sesame allergy, and at least some of the responsibility, would be mine, at least in asking questions to the staff etc.

As usual, we have different views though.
Male
TheSarcasticOne  Male  Essex 6-Oct-2018 03:45 Message #4726449
My mother is allergic to Fish and fish products now, a food which she loves.

It can turn up in places you do not expect, like a burger sauce.

Some of the "fancy" names that are given to ingredients can also hide a dangerous protein or enzyme.

It is a mine field and small print nightmare.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 6-Oct-2018 11:31 Message #4726458
I agree SO, its one of the reasons I cook nearly everything from scratch.

A lot of the time staff don't know, you ask questions and they end up running around trying to find someone who does know, I asked a waiter once what the chips were cooked in, he looked confused and said 'a deep fat fryer?', he had to go and ask the chef what was used to fry them in. Chefs can actually be some of the worst offenders for people with allergies, they believe their food is more important than someones health and get fed up with people asking for special dishes. Hospitals can be bad too, I asked for vegan food when I was in hospital as I thought it would be easier, than explaining the detail of what how I can eat things like eggs and cheese and being veggie, I was told I wasn't allowed to be vegan without permission from a dietician and I'd have to wait weeks for an appointment with one. Consequently all the veggie food was loaded with cheese and it all made me sick, the vegetable soup had meat in and I was eventually discharged by an Indian doctor who said she saw lots of patients who couldn't eat hospital food and that to get better I needed to go home and eat my food.

Another difficult one is going to someones house for a meal, you can't turn down every invitation, I've been in a situation where I've gone to a new partners parents house for sunday lunch. They've taken great care to buy me some sort of veggie thing and tell me about in detail, whilst piling on potatoes that have been cooked with the meat and gravy thats been made from meat juices. What do I do? Should I be polite and eat it knowing that will most likely be ill for some days or should I refuse and insult my hosts and potential new in-laws? If you get invited to an event like a wedding the venue have usually asked if anyone has any allergies the people booking the venue say theres someone who's coeliac and several vegetarians, its all noted down and you think its ok. But on the day the waiting staff are in a bit of a panic because they didn't expect so many vegetarians and the person who coeliac is given wheat bread and other things with gluten in. Do we sit there and starve, do we kick up a fuss, or what? The trouble with events like this is the kitchen often think that only the main course has to be veggie and theres often someone at your table who if you refuse to eat something starts having a go at you, so even if you've decided to be discrete and not make a fuss and potentially spoil someones big day, someone else does it for you, inevitably you are the person that gets blamed for attention seeking and making a scene. Many venues won't allow people to take thier own food so breakfast can also be a problem, as theres no non dairy milk, spread and the cooked breakfast isn't an option. The above happened at my sons wedding so its not a theoretical thing.

So my question remains when will people take allergies seriously? When you do due dilligence on your own and others behalf, you contract with a place to provide what you've asked for, the venue makes a point of catering for people like you on request and yet on the day, the kitchen claim not to know, what are you supposed to do? The contract is with the people who booked the venue, rather than the individual guest, the evidence of your instructions not being followed is long gone and as these things have to paid for upfront its very hard to get any sort of refund or to refuse payment. Often the bride and groom who booked the venue won't know about any problems for some days or weeks after the event anyway which makes a complaint even harder.

Thanks for the tip about the gloves I'll look out for some.
Male
TheSarcasticOne  Male  Essex 6-Oct-2018 15:44 Message #4726469
Being polite can cause confusion and misunderstanding.

It is far easier to be blunt and honest, it then makes it more of a conversation starter.

It works for me, and a good chef likes the challenge.
Female
eurostar  Female  Merseyside 6-Oct-2018 17:15 Message #4726476
I agree with the sarcastic one, stand your ground open your mouth and insist...…...its you dead if you eat wrong stuff...…….
my daughter is allergic to gluten fish and chocolate…….always has been from birth, my mate is vegan,,,they are both social creatures...…...eat out a lot, and not one has ever had a problem...….communication communication...lol
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 6-Oct-2018 17:25 Message #4726482
I tend not to be polite for the sake of it, but sometimes its hard as whatever you do you're in the wrong. Good chefs do like a challenge, unfortunately you often find out that they don't when you're sat down with others and they've all ordered, I've sat in a restaurant with no food because the only veggie option was inedible and had to be sent back.

As SO's mother has probably found allergens get hidden in things that you'd never think of, like isinglas made from fish bellies in beer and wine.
Female
eurostar  Female  Merseyside 6-Oct-2018 17:27 Message #4726484
I,m a gobby loud scouser, maybe that's the trick...lol...
Female
Victoriana11  Female  Buckinghamshire 6-Oct-2018 20:58 Message #4726512
I am allergic to various things, one of which is nickel. Door handles and supermarket baskets and trolley handles - oh dear me, they bring me up in huge hives almost immediately and I scratch for hours after, I have to carry antihistamine cream and pills with me all the time, and I always carry plastic gloves (like the freebie ones in the petrol stations). Then there's Surf washing powder and Comfort. The smell makes me feel quite ill and affects my asthma. Certain types of bleach too.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Oct-2018 10:49 Message #4726535
Euro and SO, I think one of the points I'm trying to make that you're missing is the effect it has on your social and proffessional life, if you're in an established group who all know you then its easier to be insistent than when you're not in an established group or you're in a group where hierarchies are involved. In professional situations and many family ones too, there are layers of hierarchies, status and things that should be conformed too, those at the upper end of the social tree should be looking out for those below in a caring and protective way, but as we know they often don't, they seek to show their dominence by how much they control the activites, appetites and appearance of those of lower status.

VIc, I have so many of the same problems, mum and I have to have different hand soaps as we can't use each others as they bring us out in a rash, the same with shower gels. I find the smell of lots of cleaning products make me wheeze as well as itch, I use BioD washing up liquid which is unperfumed and their other products except the laundry liquid are good too. I can't routinely take anti-histamines as I react badly to them.
Male
mancers  Male  Greater Manchester 7-Oct-2018 20:31 Message #4726565
I feel really sorry for anybody especially a parent who’s child dies because of an allergy, but can’t help saying if I had such an allergy that I knew about I wouldn’t be buying a sandwich from a deli or a curry whilst out.

Female
eurostar  Female  Merseyside 7-Oct-2018 20:44 Message #4726567
but mancers that's the whole point, they should be able to,,

if you want a bag of chips whilst out you should be able to ask about the ingredients in the cooking oil and get an informed answer...so you take responsibility for your own actions,,,if the cooking oil has anything you don't recognise in you walk away from it.

like a vegan wouldn't eat chips cooked in same oil as fish,
Male
mancers  Male  Greater Manchester 7-Oct-2018 20:50 Message #4726568
I do understand that Euro, but a recent case In Lancashire goes to show some people in this case restaraunt bosses take chances and lie, and we all know what may happen.
Female
eurostar  Female  Merseyside 7-Oct-2018 20:53 Message #4726569
I agree its a deadly thing and depending where you live depends on the way you live, Liverpool has many eating places to choose from and so maybe easier to eat and live...as we have choice...
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 7-Oct-2018 21:13 Message #4726570
If it was just coming out in a few spots, or something bringing a headache on, then that's one thing, or two actually, but something that takes your life, that is something else.

I said in another thread earlier, or it could have been this one, that we are all dealt the hand we have, and we all have to adapt to that, and act accordingly. So you can't eat the same as others, if you do, you die. It seems as simple as that, even though it is obviously complicated. But if I had that particular allergy, I wouldn't be risking it. My life would have to be fairly drastically different to 'normal' people.

People say we should all be equal, but we aren't. We are all humans, well, some more than others, but we are certainly not all equal. We have to adapt to our own illnesses, allergies etc, or in these type of cases, it is kick the bucket time, and not just a KFC bucket either.
Female
eurostar  Female  Merseyside 7-Oct-2018 21:15 Message #4726571
we will never all be equal.cos we are all different...……..we have twins in the family...….……..so different……..similar yes,,,equal no
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 7-Oct-2018 21:36 Message #4726574
Yeah, we are all different.

A plus side is that you don't hear of people dropping dead of these allergies every few minutes. Oh dear, there's another one. And there are quite a few people with these deadly allergies, so most are surviving. Some of that would be due to the food labelling etc that is already in place and has been getting more in place over the last few years. They still have more to do, and high profile cases, although tragic, are at least raising awareness. A lot of the allergy people who avoid meeting their maker are probably very careful.
Male
TheSarcasticOne  Male  Essex 8-Oct-2018 01:00 Message #4726587
wonderoushen, whilst I will sit back most of the time and take my place, I will speak up when needed and do not care if anyone is offended. Those that do get offended or show some sort of offence do not deserver the respect that their position my offer them.

Those that just take it in their stride are showing respect and it is returned.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 8-Oct-2018 10:58 Message #4726597
The trouble with allergies is that you can go from a few spots to anphalaxis with no warning, theres often no steady worsening. I agree with Euro, you ask and are trying to take responsibility and people are usually good about telling you whats in food, but some arn't, they either lie or get argumentative. Theres been a massive increase in hospital admissions for severe allergic reactions, so I think like many other illnesses we're saving more people who otherwise would of died. My GP thinks I may no longer be allergic to pennicilin because of the age I was when I developed it, but he said he wouldn't give it to me unless I was in hospital where theres a full emergency resus team. Sometimes theres not a lot you can do to avoid an allergen lots of perfumes set me off, I can go into a public loo or a dept store and suddenly find I've got a face full of perfume that makes my face itch and my lips start to swell, its why I carry an epi pen. Now do you suggest that I curtail my life to such an extent that I never go far enough from home to need to use a public toilet or use an adult diaper if for some reason I have to travel like to a hospital appointment? Do you think it should be a reason for me to get full disability benefits, because I wouldn't be able to work in case I came into contact with someones perfume or aftershave? Because those are the logical conclusions to total avoidance, living in a Michael Jackson style bubble.
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 8-Oct-2018 11:07 Message #4726598
Of course not, that's like someone being on Incapacity benefit because they get hayfever and sniffle a bit...
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 8-Oct-2018 11:35 Message #4726603
Exactly, so how do you suggest people manage their allergies and still live a normal life?
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 8-Oct-2018 11:41 Message #4726604
We are all going to have different ideas and different circumstances in our lives, that others may not understand. We are all responsible, if we are capable of being responsible, of trying to make sure that we stay safe and as healthy as we can, whether it be allergies or illnesses or whatever.

I am not very good at it. I eat a lot of the wrong things for instance, and have a bit of trouble adapting to a new eating regime. I won't go into all my issues, but a brief summary is 'Worked all my life, Drank and ate all sorts, fairly fit through the years although often up and down with weight, a couple of years ago Heart failure, still having treatment, currently on 9 lots of meds, various side effects, now not able to exercise as out of breath very quick, I want to do Boxing, not proper bouts, but Pads and Punchbags etc, but would only be able to do 5 mins before collapsing, and the age is probably a bit of an issue as well. Cardiologist says not a good idea, don't do it. Putting weight on again, trying to eat healthier, no alcohol at all since the heart failure, no fags for years, could go on'

I am sure people will have suggestions, and I may say 'Yeah, I will try that', or 'That won't work' or whatever, but ultimately it is down to me to deal with the issues I have.

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