Today's post is going to be about the severity of allergies.
My oldest daughter has life threatening allergies to milk/dairy products, peas, beans and all legumes.
I am focusing on the milk today because that is the one that she comes in contact with on a daily bases... at school, parties, restaurants, etc.
Milk is in almost everything!
If she ate the other items her reaction would be just as deadly.
It is so easy for someone with allergies to be in a life and death situation!
Today we were in the hospital all morning and afternoon because my daughter had a cookie... not knowing it had whey powder in it.
She is only six and knows not to eat anything with out checking with us first. But in this case she had had this cookie before and the label was not checked first.
Me being me I picked up the package and read it, I noticed that now it had whey powder in it, but it was too late. She had eaten it all.
Manufacturers can and do change recipes all the time... sometimes on a month to month basis without warning.
She is OK now, but she was a very sick little girl.
Some people thing that I am crazy when I tell them that she is allergic to milk... no she is not lactose intolerance... really she has a life threatening allergy to milk.
They smile and roll there eyes thinking I am just over reacting.
It is not a joke and it is very serious!
To read more and the severity of allergies you can read the story of Sabrina.
This is a very sad and tragic story... I cried for hours, it scared me!
Milk - One of the nine most common food allergens
Allergic reactions are severe adverse reactions that occur when the body's immune system overreacts to a particular allergen. These reactions may be caused by food, insect stings, latex, medications and other substances. In Canada, the nine priority food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, seafood (fish, crustaceans and shellfish), soy, wheat and sulphites (a food additive).
What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?When someone comes in contact with an allergen, the symptoms of a reaction may develop quickly and rapidly progress from mild to severe. The most severe form of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure or shock, which may result in loss of consciousness and even death. A person experiencing an allergic reaction may have any of the following symptoms:
- Flushed face, hives or a rash, red and itchy skin
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat and tongue
- Trouble breathing, speaking or swallowing
- Anxiety, distress, faintness, paleness, sense of doom, weakness
- Cramps, diarrhea, vomiting
- A drop in blood pressure, rapid heart beat, loss of consciousness
How are food allergies and severe allergic reactions treated?
Currently there is no cure for food allergies. The only option is complete avoidance of the specific allergen. Appropriate emergency treatment for anaphylaxis (a severe food allergy reaction) includes an injection of adrenaline, which is available in an auto-injector device. Adrenaline must be administered as soon as symptoms of a severe allergic reaction appear. The injection must be followed by further treatment and observation in a hospital emergency room. If your allergist has diagnosed you with a food allergy and prescribed adrenaline, carry it with you all the time and know how to use it. Follow your allergist's advice on how to use an auto-injector device.
What is the difference between milk allergy and lactose intolerance?
When someone has a milk allergy his/her immune system has an abnormal reaction to milk proteins, which may be life-threatening. When a person is lactose intolerant, his/her body does not have enough of the enzyme lactase, needed by the digestive system, to break down the milk sugar lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea after milk ingestion. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy.
Other names for milk
Dry milk/milk/sour cream/sour milk solids
Hydrolyzed casein, hydrolyzed milk protein
Modified milk ingredients
Opta™, Simplesse ® (fat replacers)
Whey, whey protein concentrate
Possible sources of milk
Artificial butter, butter fat/flavour/oil, ghee, margarine
Baked goods and baking mixes e.g., breads, cakes, doughnuts
Brown sugar, high-protein flour
Buttermilk, cream, dips, salad dressings, sour cream, spreads
Casein in wax, e.g., fresh fruits and vegetables
Casseroles, frozen prepared foods
Cereals, cookies, crackers
Cheese, cheese curds, cottage/soy cheese
Desserts, e.g., custard, frozen yogurt, ice cream, pudding, sherbet, yogurt
Flavoured coffee, coffee whitener, non-dairy creamer
Kefir (milk drink), kumiss (fermented milk drink), malt drink mixes
Meats, e.g., canned tuna, deli/processed meats, hot dogs, pâtés, sausages
Potatoes, e.g., instant/mashed/scalloped potatoes, seasoned french fries/potato chips
Snack foods, e.g., candy, fruit bars, granola bars
Soups, soup mixes
Wax coated fruits and vegetables
Non-food sources of milk
Ingredients that do not contain milk protein
Calcium/sodium stearoyl lactylate
Cream of tartar
Watch out for allergen cross contamination!
Cross contamination is the transfer of an ingredient (food allergen) to a product that does not normally have that ingredient in it. Through cross contamination, a food that should not contain the allergen could become dangerous to eat for those who are allergic.
Cross contamination can happen:
- during food manufacturing through shared production and packaging equipment;
- at retail through shared equipment, e.g., cheese and deli meats sliced on the same slicer; and through bulk display of food products, e.g., bins of baked goods, bulk nuts; and
- during food preparation at home or in restaurants through equipment, utensils and hands.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on:
- food allergies;
- ordering free copies of this pamphlet; and
- subscribing to the free "Food Recalls and Allergy Alerts" e-mail notification service, visit the CFIA Website at www.inspection.gc.ca or call 1 800 442-2342/TTY 1 800 465-7735 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).
Below are some organizations that can provide additional allergy information:
- Allergy/Asthma Information Association www.aaia.ca
- Anaphylaxis Canada www.anaphylaxis.ca
- Association Québécoise Des Allergies Alimentaires www.aqaa.qc.ca (French only)
- Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunologywww.csaci.medical.org (English only)
- Health Canada www.hc-sc.gc.ca