Love can drive you nuts: Teens, dating and food allergies

Written by Joshua Feblowitz, a Thriving contributor who has lived with severe food allergies his whole life. As food-allergic children reach their teens, they face many new challenges in allergy management, including a first date and even a first kiss, both of which hold hidden dangers. For parents, these romantic milestones can be especially stressful because they happen outside of their watchful, protective view. Unfortunately for food-allergic teens, dating frequently involves dining out and all the potential allergens that come with it. In addition, research and personal anecdote has shown that kissing can sometimes cause a cross-contact reaction. On top of these dangers, teens are generally known to take more risks when it comes to their allergies or feel self-conscious about them. As a result they may resist previously established rules around exposure, or be shy explaining their dietary needs, which can lead to trouble. The simple truth is, as teens start dating and being more socially independent in general , they must also start learning how to manage food allergies on their own. Here are a few things you can do as a parent to help navigate this transition safely, smoothly and with minimal conflict:.

Dating with Food Allergies

Make sure you carry your auto-injector with you all the time. Make sure you have them on your person: they should be within your arms length whether you carry them on your person or in a bag. It could go something like this:. I could get really sick — even die — if I eat any of food that has it. When you make the problem sound serious, your date will take it seriously. Just kidding.

Stage One: Handling the First-Date Jitters. If You Have Food Allergies. I’m anaphylactic to tree nuts and shellfish, and have lesser allergies to a.

Food Allergies and Marriage Search this site. How to stop arguing with my husband about our kids food allergies. Stress in Marriage due to Food Allergies. Wanting to share a meal is not simple at all. Going out to enjoy a meal prepared by someone else and being vigilantly about avoiding the offending foods doesn’t take away the fear and anxiety food allergic individuals feel every time they walk into a restaurant. When someone with food allergies begins dating it’s hard, and unfortunately it doesn’t go away even after getting married.

When you are married to someone with food allergies, no matter how much you try, you will often feel like you are stuck with someone whose company is unpleasant until the check comes. No danger foods for you, no kissing if you ingested a danger food. Airborne particles of food will also keep you on your toes.

Single with Food Allergies: Advice on Dating and Relationships

Having an allergy sucks. Having multiple food allergies that prevent you from having a normal dating life is the most horrible thing I could imagine. That’s me. Yep, I am deathly allergic anaphylactic to all nuts and shellfish. This means, I can’t eat at ANY seafood restaurant, have ANY desserts ever because of cross contamination , or make out with a guy who has recently used a lip balm made up of unknown oils.

Kissing, love, drinking, oh my! How does a young adult navigate this and more when they have food allergies?

Navigating through the early stages of dating can produce its share of awkward and tension-filled moments, but Erika Ladouceur had an added reason to feel a bit anxious. While some may give little thought to sharing a post-dinner dessert or a peck on the lips at the end of the evening, the year-old simply can’t afford the luxury of spontaneity surrounding food.

She lives with anaphylactic allergies to peanuts, nuts, soy and legumes, as well as having intolerances to wheat and dairy. Anaphylaxis is an extreme, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur within seconds or minutes after exposure to an allergen. Ladouceur works as a research assistant with the University of Alberta offering online social support for youth and teens living with allergies and asthma.

The decision to dine out — even on a periodic basis — requires planning on her part. Consuming meals served at many fast-food chains is out of the question. If she’s out with friends, she’ll usually buy a drink while others nosh on their menu choices. Ladouceur will phone eateries in advance to find out what’s on the menu and whether there are a lot of nuts present in the kitchen. If she feels they don’t understand her needs, she won’t chance the visit.

Some of her initial concerns around dating centred on being with someone who may not realize the severity of her food allergies. New York-based food allergy coach and advocate Sloane Miller counsels clients on both sides of the border and abroad. Living with anaphylactic allergies to tree nuts and salmon, she has penned several posts on her blog, Please Don’t Pass The Nuts, about her past dating experiences. Miller recalled one memorable makeout session when she kissed a guy hours after he had eaten salmon.

My Girlfriend Has a Peanut Allergy. Do We Have to Worry About Kissing?

Your dinner date went great. You’re catching vibes. That mental connection quickly turns physical, but how exactly do you go from zero to sixty when your date had dairy, and you’re lactose intolerant? I leaned over the kitchen sink and spit out the strawberry sangria. My girlfriend had passed me the sangria, and I, being slightly drunk off whatever cheap liquor we were drinking that night, mindlessly took a sip. In this case, she was wrong, but I got her point—my allergies are numerous and serious enough that such a scenario was not implausible.

Jack has food allergies and is out on a first date with Lisa. But let’s say that Jack had discussed his food allergy with his new date Lisa, and.

Dating is hard, especially in Houston. Add in some food allergies and other dietary restrictions and you may feel like it is almost impossible. According to your Houston allergist , the only way for someone with a food allergy to be completely safe is to know exactly what you are allergic to. Food allergies can be diagnosed through a blood test, which is able to measure the amount of allergen-specific IgE antibodies present in your blood.

If blood testing is negative, an oral food challenge can also be performed in order to rule out a food allergy. This test takes place in the Houston clinic where you will be under constant medical supervision. This ensures if you experience an allergic reaction it can be treated immediately. The food in question is ingested in small amounts and the challenge is stopped at the first sign of a reaction.

After a few hours, if no reaction has occurred, you are no longer allergic. If the cause of the allergy symptoms cannot be determined, an elimination diet is recommended. Potential trigger foods are eliminated from your diet for a few weeks.

How to Date Someone with Food Allergies

I leaned over the kitchen sink and spit out the strawberry sangria. My girlfriend had passed me the sangria, and I, being slightly drunk off whatever cheap liquor we were drinking that night, mindlessly took a sip. In this case, she was wrong, but I got her point—my allergies are numerous and serious enough that such a scenario was not implausible. There are roughly 15 million food-allergy sufferers in the United States alone. We each handle our business differently.

However, there are a few universal truths about how we incorporate allergies into our relationships with other people, a feat that can be particularly tricky when it comes to dating.

Studies show that food allergens are most prevalent in a person’s saliva immediately after eating. But the presence of allergens gradually decreases over time.

Whether it is a severe allergy to nuts and shellfish with risk of anaphylactic shock, or an embarrassing and uncomfortable run to the restroom after accidently consuming some gluten, allergies are a very real and important issue when it comes to dating. The butterflies in your stomach should be from anticipating that first brush of hands, not from what you or your date ate for dinner. And when tragic stories of kisses that actually kill are heard every week, we realize that the consequences of being upfront about your allergies can truly be a matter of life or death.

However, for many people who suffer from allergies and Celiac disease, food or certain ingredients may very well be a primary concern. Being straightforward and upfront about your allergies is your best bet. You hopefully will keep your date night from ending in the emergency room. But when it comes to dating, allergy sufferers must worry not only about what they themselves are eating, but what their date is eating — or has eaten earlier that day.

The Winter issue of Allergic Living also highlights the stories of allergic women coping with food allergies on dates. Another tricky thing about having a first date with allergies is trying a new restaurant. Depending on the severity of your allergy, you may even want to call the restaurant ahead of time and talk to a manager about your concerns and some possible food choices.

Using Food Allergy Restaurant Cards can save you from lengthy and convoluted conversations with your server when you are with your date. If your condition is less dire and you are comfortable asking your waiter which foods you would be able to enjoy, this could also open the way to telling your date about your allergies.

Dating With Allergies: Here’s What You Need to Know

My first date with Patrick, my now hubby, is one to remember. It was a night that changed my life in multiple ways, I had met my soul mate, and living with allergies would never mean the same thing to me. Not the most romantic venue, but we were college students, and the concept was so fun to us. Neither of us being American and the place feels so American, eh! It was also a good venue because I had eaten there once before, so it seemed like a natural choice for managing my allergies with ease.

Dating in Carlsbad is hard enough. Adding food allergies into the mix only complicates the process. You could spend the whole date on high alert, constantly.

When I was single and in college, I occasionally found myself at a party wanting to kiss a boy. While other girls might debate the romantic implications of this choice—Should I really kiss him after a few drinks? Does he like me? What if he ate a Snickers before he went out that night? Or what if he took a shot of Amaretto at the bar? Peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, cashews…all nuts. Food allergies suck to begin with. And when it comes to first kisses, allergies make things awkward and complicated.

I have spent most of my life since high school with one boyfriend or another. It just feels safer that way.

Dating and partying

Tips for teens and young adults with food allergy on staying safe and handling different situations. You absolutely must let people know about your allergies before you engage in a physical relationship. Learn about how others have handled similar situations, scroll down to the end of this page to read their stories. Using illegal or recreational drugs can be very dangerous for anyone, but especially those with food allergies.

In the brain, drugs may intensify, dull, or alter your sense of alertness, limiting your ability to recognize and treat an allergic reaction. Be aware that cross-contamination of allergens can occur when drugs are shared.

How our first date was interrupted by my food allergies. My first date with Patrick, my now hubby, is one to remember. It was a night that changed my life in.

With an enticing promise to wine-lovers everywhere, this website aims to connect those who love vino and are ready to build their relationship over a glass of wine. The site is very easy to navigate and set up a profile, with no approval wait-time. You can fill out and view a fairly thorough questionnaire that allows you to get to know potential dates on a very basic level quickly. Though Wine Dating Club advertises itself as a free website, the access to all account features is limited.

As a free member, you have the ability to view profiles, view main user photos, and send flirts. To be able to actually send private messages you will need to upgrade your membership. If you are looking for a vegetarian, fruitarian or even someone with Celiac disease, My Vegetarian Dating poses an interesting opportunity.

Communication, planning can help ease dating anxiety for people with food allergies

By Gary Fitzgerald. Often they become advocates for me, too. You have to know what the symptoms are of an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.

Sep 15, – Sporting the almost contradictory name of “,” the site is aimed towards singles who are looking to find a partner who can.

From the Allergic Living archives. First published in the magazine in Their second date was supposed to be a lovely evening in, complete with takeout vegetarian sushi that he was to buy at a place she trusted with her life. The first time they ever met, Lori Medoff, a Montreal optometrist and divorced mother of two, told Kenny Webber, the new man in her life, about her severe allergy to fish.

The entrepreneur accepted it as just another facet in what he hoped would become a relationship. So what did these two lovebirds do? Simple: they skipped the food and went straight to kissing. Ah , the kiss. Because if you have food allergies or celiac disease, some of these sensations may indicate a less than romantic physical response.

Consider this story from Sloane Miller, who last August brought a new guy and an allergy-safe restaurant dinner to her New York apartment. After dinner, as the pair held and kissed, Miller got itchy. When she looked in the mirror, she was alarmed to see hives on her skin, like a red, bumpy map of where his lips had been, around her mouth, on her cheeks, and along her neck, clavicle and right shoulder. Now Miller is no novice when it comes to dating and food allergies.

She is allergic to salmon, tree nuts, eggplant, melons, most tropical fruits and lemongrass.

Dating Decisions: Ways Teens with Food Allergies Can Stay Safe | Kids With Food Allergies

While some items on the menu may not contain your specific allergens, you can never be entirely guaranteed of that. My friend Brian is allergic to just about everything nuts, eggs, beans and often planned dates way, way in advance, he said:. Once, for a blind date, I went to the restaurant the day before, picked out what I was going to eat, and then actually ate it to make sure it was safe. If so, ask if they have separate areas, cutting boards, and utensils to prepare your food with and if you could take a look at some label ingredients.

Yes, it can feel like a little much, but a lot of restaurants are equipped to handle allergy inquiries.

Demonstrate the epinephrine auto-injector in-person.

There are a lot of misconceptions about food allergies in our culture, and many people actually act hostile to those who suffer from them due to their own ignorance and malice. This can make dating as someone with food allergies or trying to date someone with food allergies a challenge. Before I met my husband, I had a few young men who were interested in me make jokes about food allergies, only for me to inform them seconds later that I suffered from food allergies myself.

They usually turned bright red and apologized, but I had one sarcastically tell me that I must be a pretty horrible date. I never asked to have anaphylactic reactions to common foods and fillers or hives from simple side dishes like rice, it just happened. The truth is, most people who have food allergies know it is our responsibility and will readily tell you as much to take care of ourselves and manage our health. I have only had a life-saving dose of epinephrine once, and I hope it never has to happen again.

In light of that, here are some of the bits of information that you might find helpful if you are thinking about dating someone with food allergies. The confusion of these two conditions is perhaps the biggest reason those who suffer from food allergies are ignored, put in danger, and verbally harassed and abused. Many people who suffer from food allergies also suffer from food intolerances, but they are not the same thing.

Exposure to allergens often produces problems like hives, rashes and other life-threatening symptoms, while exposure to intolerances causes problems that, while they can be severe debilitating stomach aches, migraines, joint pain, etc , are not life-threatening. In both cases, the person suffering from allergies or intolerances should avoid the foods that cause their issues, but they should not conflate the conditions.

The difference is that if your date with food allergies gets something they are allergic to, the date might end in a medical emergency.

Dating With Food Allergies