I had my first allergy attack at the age of six. I returned from school with an ugly black rash covering most of my right forearm. As a doctor, my father instantly recognized it as a sulfa drug allergy. That was just the beginning. What has followed has been a struggle with a range of allergies over the decades. Some as annoying as nickel allergy and some as dangerous as nut allergy.
I have always been frustrated with the absolute lack of awareness about allergies in India. Sometimes with life-threatening consequences. Blogchatter’s Blogging With A Purpose #CauseAChatter 2020 campaign gave me an opportunity to help raise awareness about something close to my heart.
Although I am primarily a book blogger, I have also used my blog as a platform to discuss topics I feel strongly about. Today, I am discussing the nine things you need to know about allergies. A summarization of the Cause A Chatter Allergy Awareness series. Although this is not a comprehensive source about allergies, it can be helpful for someone recently diagnosed with one. Or one looking to be more aware.
We Indians love being dramatic! Feeling low is termed “depression” and intense dislike for certain items is termed “allergy”. No wonder, there is a lot of misinformation about allergies in India. Before I discussed how to cope with allergies, I began with the basics. Being aware of the types of allergies and their symptoms goes a long way in managing them.
What is an allergy attack? What is Anaphylaxis? Why is it that something completely harmless for one individual can be life-threatening for another? Triggers are often blamed, but it is the immune system that causes an allergic reaction. Understanding allergy attacks helps create a safer place for people struggling with them.
Allergies are a result of bad lifestyle choices. All allergies are curable. Organic foods do not cause allergies. There are more myths about allergies than any other. People continue to believe common misconceptions about them. It was time to separate fact from fiction. And also debunk myths people need to stop believing.
Food allergy, sensitivity, and intolerance are often used interchangeably. With overlapping symptoms, it is confusing to differentiate between the three. It is imperative to know the difference to manage them better. Also, self-diagnosis is extremely risky. Some of the symptoms may be associated with other illnesses.
Allergies do not just affect physical well-being but also mental health. Over-the-counter drugs may provide temporary relief. To take back control of your life, it is imperative to get tested. I discussed how allergies are diagnosed and the various types of allergy tests.
Drug allergies are perhaps the most dangerous of allergies. It is often understood that doctors are more empathetic and aware of allergies than a common man. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. I received quite a few brickbats but it was high time we talked about awareness among health professionals.
In a perfect world, all packaged food items would have comprehensive allergy warnings. But the world is far from perfect for people struggling with food allergies. Until there is more awareness among the manufacturers, the onus is upon us. Reading labels can appear to be daunting. I shared tips on how to read them to avoid allergy attacks. Tips that I swear by.
Dealing with allergies as an adult is difficult enough. But it gets more heartbreaking as a child. There is also the psychological and social impact of food allergies. Books are a great way of introducing new concepts to kids. I shared a compilation of five children’s books for families with food allergies. Books that not only help educate children but also comfort and reassure those with food allergies.
Traveling with food allergies can be extremely risky without the necessary precautions. Particularly air travel. Confined space and obvious lack of emergency facility could be a virtual metal coffin. The pandemic may have put a pause on our travel plans. Don’t let allergies define your life. I shared top tips for traveling with food allergies. Tips that have often been a life-saver.9 Things You Need To Know About Allergies #CauseAChatter @blogchatter #FoodAllergies #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
As the year-long campaign draws to a close, it has indeed been a fulfilling journey. Hope my attempt at raising awareness about allergies has been fruitful. Whether you are someone who suffers from an allergy, or one looking to be more aware, it is always best to be informed. As an advocate of CauseAChatter, I plan to continue to raise awareness.
“Every cause needs an advocate to keep going”. Do have a cause close to your heart and one you feel strongly about? Join Blogchatter as a Cause A Chatter advocate. Registrations open in January. Sign up at Blogchatter to stay updated.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. The purpose of this series was to bring about awareness. Please consult an allergist/immunologist for queries and overall management of allergies.
As a part of Blogchatter’s Blogging with a Purpose campaign, I am using my voice to highlight something I care about.