Food allergies impact us both psychologically and emotionally, and this can take a toll on relationships.
View a recording of our webinar, "Safe and Sound: Relationships, Dating and Intimacy Challenges Associated with Having Severe Food Allergies" to learn more about how to maintain a healthy relationship and have essential conversations regarding your food allergy. This webinar reviews the foundations on which healthy relationships are built and explores the communications needed to stay safe while managing food allergy. While the webinar focuses primarily on adult relationships, challenges facing teens and young adults are also addressed.
Check out this video, "Food Allergies and Dating," from Anaphylaxis Canada.
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 found that peanut residue gradually disappeared from the mouth, reaching undetectable levels if participants waited a few hours and had a peanut-free meal. 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.
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.