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Psychosocial Impact of Food Allergies

Inadequate treatment options create a heavy burden for individuals with food allergy and their families.

Inadequate treatment options create a heavy burden for individuals with food allergy and their families. Current standards of care advise patients to avoid their problem foods, carry epinephrine auto-injectors to halt reaction symptoms that are severe or affect multiple organ systems, and seek emergency medical care if epinephrine is used. Every bite, spill and crumb must be managed, and a single mistake can be deadly. Caring for children with food allergies also creates financial strain, costing U.S. families nearly $25 billion annually. FARE research has revealed some of the social and emotional challenges faced by individuals with food allergies and their families.

90% Report Anxiety

More than 90 percent of food allergy clinics in the FARE Clinical Network treat patients and parents who have anxiety related to food allergy

70% Report Panic Attacks

Nearly 70 percent of the Centers treat patients who suffer food allergy-related panic attacks.

70% Report Bullying

More than 70 percent of the Centers treat patients who report food allergy bullying.

A survey of more than 500 patients and caregivers participating in the FARE Patient Registry® also highlights the psychosocial toll of this disease.

  • About two-thirds of respondents reported mental health concerns relating to food allergy
  • Only one in six patients and one in seven caregivers had received mental health services addressing those concerns.
  • More than half of respondents wanted resources to help them cope with food allergy anxiety and stress

FARE is taking steps to strengthen and expand the mental health safety net for individuals and families managing food allergy by participating in the No Appetite for Bullying initiative, promoting a patient-centered approach to food allergy research that incorporates support services for patients and families participating in clinical trials and sponsoring innovations in food allergy diagnostics to replace oral food challenges with equally accurate but less stressful forms of food allergy testing. 

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