Unfortunately, the best treatment options to help manage food allergies would be to completely avoid the substance that you are allergic to. There is currently no cure for these types of allergies, nor any drugs that can help you stop experiencing an allergy altogether. That said, there are still a number of things that you can do. As soon as you receive your diagnosis, in fact, you need to have a conversation with your physician on how to deal with an allergic reaction. Your doctor should work with you to create your "Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan", which guarantees that, should you have a reaction, you and those around you would know how to respond. So what can you do?
Understanding the Best Treatment Options to Help Manage Food Allergies:
As previously indicated, there is no treatment for the allergies themselves, only for the reactions. If you have mild to moderate symptoms, such as rashes, hives, sneezing, or itching, then you will be able to get rid of them by taking antihistamines. You may also be prescribed topical or oral steroids.
Should you have a severe reaction known as 'anaphylaxis', then the best treatment options to help manage food allergies would be primarily the use of epinephrine. This is currently the only thing that can reverse anaphylaxis. Those with allergies are prescribed an auto-injector, which they must carry with them at all times. If they experience a reaction, they should call 911 immediately and tell the dispatcher that the auto-injector for epinephrine was used. They must go to the emergency room, even if they find that their symptoms have disappeared after the injection.
Epinephrine is classed as a safe drug. While it can have side effects, not administering the drug could lead to anaphylaxis, with much more severe consequences, including death. Only the elderly and those with a diagnosed heart problem are at risk if they use epinephrine. Yet, even they should treat anaphylaxis with an auto-injector. Because a reaction is possible, either because the allergic reaction is stronger than the effects of the epinephrine or because of the side effects of the drug, a visit to the emergency room is essential.
Once in the emergency room, other drugs may be used. Typically, cortisone or other steroids will be administered to reduce inflammation. They are used as secondary treatment, however, as they are not fast-acting. H1 blockers (antihistamines) may also be prescribed, although not as an epinephrine substitute.
Sometimes, asthma medication is provided as a 'rescue inhaler', particularly if people have difficulty breathing. However, this is not effective against the breathing problems associated with anaphylaxis, which should still be treated with ephinephrine.
What matters most is that you are prepared and have a treatment plan. This will include:
– A list of foods to strictly avoid.
– Crafting a Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan.
– Always wearing clear an emergency medical identification, such as a bracelet.
– Always carrying the auto-injector.
– Using the auto-injector once you experience a reaction.
– Phoning 911 and getting to an emergency room as soon as you have a reaction.
– If you have food allergies, all you can really do is avoid those substances.