Resources for Adults
Whether you have just been diagnosed with a food allergy or have been managing one your whole life, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to keep yourself safe and to live well.
If you’re newly diagnosed, start here for important information on food allergy basics, managing and treating reactions, living with food allergies and more.
If you have been managing food allergies for a while, check out our Living with Food Allergies section for tips on managing food allergies at work, at home, while traveling and while dining out. You can also check out some of the hot topics below.
Do you have suggestions about additional resources you’d like to see us add to the site? Please use the Contact Us form to tell us your suggestions.
Is Your Epinephrine Auto-Injector Up-to-Date?
So you’ve been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector, but when was the last time you checked the expiration date? Your epinephrine auto-injector is the first line of defense if you go into anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that comes on quickly and can be life-threatening. It’s important to carry your prescribed epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times, and to ensure it isn’t expired. To help you remember to refill your prescription, try picking a day once a year that you always remember (e.g., your birthday, your anniversary, your favorite holiday) and use it as a reminder to check your expiration date and refill your prescription, if needed.
The Kissing Study
Your food allergy may seem like an uncomfortable topic to bring up, but it's definitely much more comfortable to talk about it than to have a reaction. Be upfront with people you are interested in. If they care about you, they will understand and want to learn about how they can help keep you safe.
A study was published in 2006 to understand how long peanut allergen stays in the saliva after a person eats. The results of the study gave the scientists confidence that the allergen would become undetectable for the majority of people several hours after they had eaten peanuts or peanut products. The scientists advised people to brush their teeth as well as wait at least a few hours before kissing someone with a peanut allergy. Many adults tell us that their significant others avoid the allergy-causing food on days when they will be hanging out together. Others say their significant others have cut the allergen out of their diets entirely. Talk to your doctor and your date about what makes the most sense for your situation.
Alcohol and Epinephrine: Do They Mix?
We are often asked about the effects that alcohol might have when combined with epinephrine. According to Dr. Clifton T. Furukawa, an allergist and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, W.A., alcohol may increase the rate at which a food allergen is absorbed, therefore resulting in a quicker onset of symptoms. He also explained a few additional risks to consider:
“If a person has had alcoholic drinks and then needs epinephrine, the epinephrine will still be effective. However, alcohol use does present a risk to food-allergic individuals. When alcohol is consumed, judgment, timing, and muscle coordination are adversely affected. Thus, people may take chances they should not, may misjudge what is occurring, and may allow food contamination to occur just by mishandling. Additionally, their ability to recognize a reaction, give themselves medications, and summon help may be affected.