I was lucky enough to speak with the founder of Allergy Amulet, Abi Barnes, a lifelong food allergy sufferer who dreamt of creating a fast and portable food allergen detection device which would allow individuals to feel safer about the foods they eat.
When I talk about food allergies to others, a question that comes up again and again is if there’s a cure for food allergies. Sadly, there currently isn’t a cure, however I was excited to learn about the non-profit E.A.T. (End Allergies Together), which is the only independent organization solely focused on raising money for a cure. 100% of their focus is on raising money for food allergy research.
We’ve all been gluten-ed, it unfortunately happens to the best of us. Once the gluten-ing has occurred I have a few favorite remedies that don’t cure the symptoms, but do help to make the situation less painful. My go-to combination is ginger tea, hot lemon water, and my new favorite item: tummydrops. tummydrops were developed by Gastroenterologist Dr. Dustin James in partnership with his wife after hearing the frustration his patients expressed to him about the lack of effectiveness of over-the-counter stomach ache remedies.
Intrommune Therapeutics is a new biopharmaceutical company based out of NYC that is working to simplify treatment for food allergies by providing convenient new options for food allergy sufferers through their Oral Mucosal Immunotherapy. Essentially, they are working to create an allergy immunotherapy toothpaste which contains peanut allergens
If you’re not familiar with Oral Immunotherapy, it’s when patients are fed small incremental amounts of protein to which they are allergic in a carefully controlled manner over a period of time.
Food Allergy Awareness Week kicks off on Sunday, May 8th with the theme React with Respect. As I began thinking about this theme, it reminded me that respect ultimately requires understanding. I feel incredibly strongly that there isnâ€™t enough knowledge or education about what it means to have and live with a food allergy. Did you know that a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER every three minutes? Did you also know that more than 15 Million Americans have a food allergy, and the rate of food allergies has increased 50% among children since 1997?
One of the most irritating questions that we’re asked by waiters, restaurant owners, friends, etc. is “How allergic are you?” While I know that there are many people claim allergies in order to avoid a food they don’t want to eat, it’s an awkward when we have to respond that we’re talking deathly allergic. The whole tone of the conversation changes, and it becomes very negative and scary, in addition to having to quantify that we’re serious and not trying to be high maintenance.
While I love the security that having an EpiPen provides, it’s pretty bulky to carry around. I typically have a purse, so it’s not a huge deal for me, but for my husband who often attends concerts and bars without a bag, carrying a giant sharpie sized pen isn’t exactly easy, especially when it’s too big to fit in his pocket. We’re thankful that this medication exists, but I wish there was more innovation in the design of the autoinjector. There was hope with the Avui-Q which was much smaller than the EpiPen, however that came to a grinding halt when it was recalled last year due to incorrect dosages being deployed.
Prior to having a gluten-intolerance, or being married to someone with a nut allergy, I only read the labels of my food to determine if what I was eating was healthy or not. Now, reading the labels has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It’s literally what helps determine if the food my husband eats will kill him or not. Serious stuff!