Study Finds Doubling of Adult Food Allergy

Link: Study Finds Doubling of Adult Food Allergy: 5 Important Takeaways

It’s not just that the kids with food allergies measured a decade ago are growing up. Apparently there’s a lot more adult-onset allergies than anyone expected to find.



10.8% of American adults (26 million) are estimated to have a food allergy, up from 5% in 2014. It’s not just the kids from old studies growing up. Half of us developed at least one allergy after age 18.

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Extended expiration dates for EpiPen after stability review

Extended expiration dates for EpiPen after stability review – you might be able to hang onto the one you’ve got longer than originally thought. Lot numbers & new dates here:

#allergies #epipen #foodallergy #foodallergies

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Morbid wondering: food allergy death stats

An article on a recent incident where a college student died from peanut allergy got me thinking: most news stories about people dying from #anaphylaxis are about kids or teens. You rarely hear about a 40-year old or even 30-year-old dying from a #foodallergy. It happens (which is why I still carry an EpiPen everywhere), just not as often.

I couldn’t find any solid numbers, but wrote up some speculation in my blog:



It occurs to me that the impending start of #SDCC is probably another factor in why I started thinking about this, as it’s coming up on 5 years since my “adventure” leaving Comic Con in an ambulance due to a peanut-laced mocha from a nearby cafe. I could’ve been one of those rare cases in my late 30s.


Preventable Death. From Grilled Cheese.

Preventable Death: Grilled Cheese

If you are told a child in your care has a severe food allergy, believe them. Don’t kill a three-year-old with a grilled cheese sandwich.

According to his parents, staff at the preschool knew about his severe dairy allergy, but an adult gave him the cheese sandwich anyway. He ate it, went into anaphylactic shock, and died in the emergency room. No word on whether they gave him epinephrine. (New…

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Why would you risk eating out with a food allergy?

Why would you risk eating out with a food allergy?

On every news story about someone who experienced a severe allergic reaction outside the home, there will be someone who says, “If it’s that dangerous, why would you even risk it? Keep your kid at home and make all their food yourself from scratch all the time!”*

Let’s think about this.

A car could kill your child.Today, tomorrow, years down the line. This is not a hypothetical. This is a fact…

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Food allergies are a real medical problem for millions of people.

Food allergies are a real medical problem for millions of people. For some it’s mild. For others it’s literally a matter of life and death.

When we ask about ingredients, when we turn down that homemade cookie, when we decline plans or ask to change them based on the kind of food available, we’re not being picky or looking for attention. We just want to live a normal life – like you – without worrying that our next meal is going to send us to the hospital (or worse).

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Epi-Pen: Fist. Flick. Fire.







1. Fist: Make a fist around the epi-pen, don’t place your thumb/fingers over either end

2. Flick the blue cap off

3. Fire. Press down into the outer thigh (the big muscle in there), hold for 10 seconds before removing (the orange cap will cover the needle). Bare skin is best but the epi-pen will go through clothing. Avoid pockets and seams.

– Ring an ambulance even if everything seems to be fine!

Oh my god.
So as someone who has to carry an epipen EVERYWHERE I am so happy to see that there’s an info post about them.
Like in the extreme case that I can’t inject myself, somebody else would have to do it, but nobody knows how to do it! Thank you, this may just save my life some day.

Don’t be wimpy about it, either. I know friends who are like, “but idk if I could stab you with a needle!” Please stab me with the needle, don’t be hesitant about it.

In my case (I can’t speak for all allergies), an epi buys me 20 minutes of breathing to get to the hospital. It is not a magic bullet, it’s a few critical minutes to help get me where I need to go.

For those who don’t know, people with serious food allergies carry epinephrine which is an adrenaline shot just in case they have anaphylaxis, which is a life threatening allergic attack. This shot is life-saving and must be administered to someone who is having an anaphylactic attack as SOON AS POSSIBLE, because an extra waited minute could mean their life.

It doesn’t hurt much at all to use this needle. The first time I used mine, I didn’t even feel it. But be sure to stab it IN THE OUTER THIGH. Do not stick it anywhere else or you could seriously hurt or kill someone. Just right to the outside of the thigh and then call the ambulance – even if your friend starts doing better, they could have a biphasic reaction, meaning a reaction that comes back (or they may need a second dose, be on the look out). If your friend has an epipen, then they have an epipen trainer that doesn’t have a needle and you can try it out just to be sure you know how to use the real thing if you have to. I’d also advise holding it a few more seconds then 10, maybe go for 14 just to be sure all the medicine is administered and that you didn’t count too fast – that’s what I did.

Here’s a graphic of where to stick it:

THANK YOU FOR THE GRAPHIC I was about to ask because my mom carries one around and so do some of my friends and I wanted to make sure I would do it right if I ever needed to!

Learn about this or get a refresher, if you’re not already familiar.

Absolutely don’t be squeamish if someone needs you to do this for them. Once I accidentally bounced the epi-pen off my leg when I jabbed myself with it during a severe reaction. You need to jab and hold it. Basically none of the medicine actually went in. Fortunately I carry a two-pack and was able to use the second injector, and I’m still around to tell the story.

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The annual Walk for Food Allergy is coming up, and I need your help to raise funds…

The annual Walk for Food Allergy is coming up, and I need your help to raise funds for Food Allergy Research and Education, an organization dedicated to, well, research and education about food allergies.

Food allergies can vary in severity from mild discomfort to immediately life-threatening. We’re still trying to nail down exactly what causes them to develop, why they’re on the rise (current estimates are 15 million people in the US alone), and what can be done to stop allergic reactions from happening.

Until then, the best we can do is:

  • Avoid the foods we’re allergic to as best as we can. (This depends on industry and food preparers labeling properly and trying to avoid cross-contamination.)
  • Always carry epinephrine injectors and always plan for the possibility of a trip to the emergency room.

FARE funds research, provides educational resources for everyone from allergic patients to the food industry, promotes awareness of the problem, and pursues advocacy for people living with food allergies.

I’ll be walking in the September 21 event near Los Angeles. You can help by donating here. Every bit helps. Thank you!

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when did he find out he wasn’t allergic/start eating normal foods?


I guess I should start from the beginning for the benefit of everyone.

When I was a kid, my little brother had allergies.  He was allergic to basically everything.  Milk, wheat, sugar, corn (specifically corn syrup) , mold, you name it.  He was seriously down to eating rice bread and water for a duration during his childhood.  We stopped celebrating Halloween and the candy parts of Easter and Christmas.

We would often travel downstate to Indianapolis to doctor specialists to get his arm full of shots to determine what all he was allergic to.  Just welts up and down his arms, trial and error.  It was excruciating for all involved (but proooobably moreso for my brother.)

When he hit his teenage years, suddenly these things were no longer a concern. He ate what he wanted, and things seemed to be fine.  The end, right?

My brother told me tonight, casually in conversation while driving around, I guess for the benefit of my wife but assuming I knew, that all that was a lie.  My brother was not really allergic to all those things. He was a little lactose intolerant and he did have a problem with mold, but my mom decided that he was allergic to everything, and constructed this world centered around finding more and more things he was allergic to.  But my brother eventually rebelled and ate what he wanted and OH HEY i guess it was all bullshit.

So that was a shock of a thing to learn.  It makes so much sense now that I think about things.  My mom fakes her own allergies all the time, and what she can and can’t eat depends on when you ask her and it never lines up with what she actually eats.  And once in my early twenties I told her that I had a bad reaction to eating bananas and she lit up like I’d given her this amazing gift.  I thought it was odd then but now oh my lord.


Jesus Christ.


Yeah, I couldn’t watch He-Man, but my brother fucking ate rice bread and water for a few years.

Holy crap. Not only is that seriously awful for your brother, but actions like this actually harm those of us who do have severe food allergies. People who encounter this type of faking and see it exposed are that much less likely to take us seriously.

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A study has estimated the economic cost of food allergies at $24.8 billion/year in the US

A study has estimated the economic cost of food allergies at $24.8 billion/year in the US, about 17% of it being borne by the health care industry and the rest by families. The cost to families includes both out-of-pocket costs (medication, doctor’s visits, specialized food, etc.) and opportunity costs in lost work productivity and, in some cases, lost job opportunities where a parent has to alter or give up a job to provide extra care.

Short article: Food Allergy’s Economic Burden on Families: $3,500 a Year (Allergic Living)

Longer article for those less familiar with what it takes to manage a severe allergy: What Food Allergies Are Costing Families and the Economy (Time)

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Going to the ER at Comic-Con: Not the Peanuts I was Expecting

Wristband vs. Heart MonitorI’ve been attending San Diego Comic-Con for more than 20 years, but this was the first time I left the con in an ambulance.

I’m OK now. Though I might not be when I see the bill.

It started at lunchtime. We went to New Break, an independent coffee shop near Ralphs, which we’d been to before. They were offering samples of a blended peanut butter banana coffee drink, and while I really wanted to try their blended mint mocha, it was safer to skip something made on the same equipment.

What I decided on was a Mexican Mocha. Generally, these add cinnamon, maybe nutmeg or chili powder. I’ve had drinks with that and similar names, and Mexican hot chocolate, plenty of times. I didn’t ask what was in it, but I had just told them I was allergic to peanuts when I decided to skip the blended drink.

I considered getting it iced, but there was some confusion as to what was included in the lunch deal, so I got it hot instead. That turned out to be a wise decision, since I probably would have started out chugging a few ounces of a cold drink.

Two sips in, the back of my throat and my lips started tingling — a bad sign. I stopped, flagged over one of the baristas, and asked whether there were any nuts in the drink. She didn’t think so, but said she’d check.

I pulled out my emergency kit, took my Benadryl and Pepcid, and set my Epi-Pen on the table in case it progressed. I probably should have just taken it right then, but who wants to spend the afternoon in the emergency room instead of Comic-Con?

Meanwhile, the coffee shop staff had been unable to find ingredients for the mix, and had to call the owner to confirm that yes, there were peanuts in it.


Over the next hour, it felt like the reaction was under control, so I figured we could return to the convention center. Unfortunately, anaphylaxis can take several hours to run its course, and medication can wear off before it does.

The Walk

It started out fine. We walked past the outdoor Axe Cop display. I took a photo of the Despicable Me Minion blimp. We crossed the tracks, pushed through the crowds, and made our way inside to the nearest elevator.

But somewhere along the line my stomach started cramping up, and I started feeling light-headed. As we crossed Sails Pavilion, I started really hoping we’d make it across before I passed out so that I could fall on carpet instead of concrete.

Outside Ballroom 20 we stopped and asked one of the staff if there was a place I could lie down because I wasn’t feeling well. A lot of that hallway is set aside for lines, or has sitting/standing banned for fire reasons. She directed me to the stroller parking enclosure. Katie took J off to the day care (conveniently, we’d already scheduled it for the afternoon) while I tried — and failed — to relax.

View from the Floor


At this point the timeline gets a little fuzzy. I remember staring up at the glass roof, watching the minion blimp float overhead. I remember my hands and feet going numb, and asking Katie to jab me with the Epi-Pen because I wasn’t sure I had the grip strength. I remember my ears going numb at one point, which really scared me, and shortly after the shot, my ribs.

I don’t recall being afraid I’d stop breathing per se. I was afraid I’d pass out, and I was afraid something would get worse while I was unconscious.

The first responder asked me all the diagnostic questions, like “What’s your name,” “Do you know what day it is,” “Do you know where you are?” “Yeah, outside Ballroom 20!”

I remember convention staff, onsite first aid, and paramedics. I remember giving my name and symptoms repeatedly, trying to correct the overall timeline in a couple of cases. I distinctly remember one of the paramedics looking like Terry O’Quinn (Locke from Lost). They gave me oxygen and a tube with asthma medication to breathe through.

Once they’d determined I was stable enough, one of the paramedics asked about an anxiety case that had also been reported, and got the response “Right over there.”

It turned out at least some of the numbness wasn’t from the blood pressure spikes & troughs of anaphylaxis, but from hyperventilating. Now I wonder if, had I managed to control my breathing early on, I might have been able to just spend a few hours at the onsite first aid station instead.

Eventually they helped me into a wheelchair and wheeled me out through the service corridors that only staff and celebrities normally see. Katie remarked that one of the actors she’d seen had talked about the big freight elevator they took us down. Then we were out in the back of the convention center, where they loaded me onto an ambulance and took me to the hospital.


The last time I went to the ER for an allergic reaction, they interviewed me and sent me back to the waiting room. But that time, I walked in under my own power after a co-worker drove me there. This time, I was carried in on a stretcher from an ambulance.

I ended up spending the next few hours under observation, hooked up to various monitors, repeating the story to each new category of staff, tech, nurse, and doctor. The ambulance drivers offered Katie a ride back to the convention center so she could pick up J, though after a while we decided that it would be simpler if they stayed at the con and I met them there.

I was allowed to use my phone and tablet, so I did a round of “I’m OK” texting and figured out plans with Katie, then got some reading in. (Mira Grant’s new Newsflesh novella, which is a better choice for hospital reading than, say, Blackout.)

For a while, I hoped I could make it back while the convention floor was still open, especially when the doctor declared at 4:30 that it looked like they’d only need to keep me for another hour. Unfortunately I didn’t walk out until 6:20, and by the time I’d called a cab, waited for it, and taken the ride back to the convention center, it was just after 7:00, the floor was closed, and people were streaming into the Gaslamp District for dinner.

I seriously thought about going to see the Flashpoint Paradox premiere. Not because I desperately wanted to see the movie a week early, but because they were going to have a discussion afterward, and because damn it, I’d missed the entire afternoon of the con (including the pickup time for the DC exclusive for which I’d gotten one of the last wristbands that morning). But 15 minutes usually isn’t early enough to get into line for a Ballroom 20 presentation, I was exhausted from the allergic reaction and medication, I hadn’t seen J since before going to the hospital or Katie since shortly after check-in, and I basically hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast.

We ended up going out for a simple dinner and heading back to the hotel, where I went to bed early and got the best night of sleep of the whole trip.

If you’d like to help prevent situations like this from happening, please consider supporting Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). We’re participating in this year’s Walk for Food Allergy, and you can donate to the organization through our sponsorship page. Thank you!

The post Going to the ER at Comic-Con: Not the Peanuts I was Expecting appeared first on K-Squared Ramblings.

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My local Subway puts the nutty cookies on the bottom shelf to minimize cross-contamination.

The local Subway keeps the cookies with peanut butter or nuts on the bottom shelf to reduce cross-contamination. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than mixing them up or putting them on top where crumbs will fall on the other cookies.

The local Subway keeps the cookies with peanut butter or nuts on the bottom shelf to reduce cross-contamination. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than mixing them up or putting them on top where crumbs will fall on the other cookies.
#cookies #lunch #foodallergy #allergies #foodallergywk #peanuts #maycontainnuts @FoodAllergy