My life with allergies


Gabrielle Moore, Writer

When you grow up having allergies, a lot of people have a lot of questions. Honestly, it’s kind of weird to think that a miniscule amount of a certain food could kill me. Most people only think about dying of old age, or a severe accident, or maybe an underlying disease that shows up when they’re entering retirement, but I also have the privilege of knowing that eating the wrong thing could be the end of me. 

A food allergen is caused by your body overreacting to a harmless food. Science is yet to find a clear explanation as to why people have food allergens. There are also different ways your body reacts to these “harmless” foods. These reactions can range from simply throwing up and having severe migraine headaches, to having your lungs fill up with fluid, which is called anaphylaxis. I have anaphylactic reactions when I consume the foods I’m allergic to; my lungs fill with fluid, I have bumps called hives appear on my skin, and my lips start swelling. 

Now, I was diagnosed with severe food allergies at 11 months old, but a couple months after I was born we knew something wasn’t right. I was at the park with my family when my lungs started filling up with fluid and I looked like I had been bitten by tons of mosquitos because I had eaten pudding instead of regular baby food. Once I was tested it became apparent that I was allergic to milk, egg, beef, and pork. Or as all of my friends would say, “I’m allergic to everything.” I will admit I am allergic to some of the most common foods which makes it a little more tough to find things that don’t have my allergens in it or haven’t been cross contaminated. 

Throughout my life I haven’t had very many severe allergic reactions; however, having allergies has affected me mentally. I used to get embarrassed every time someone would tell me that I was, “missing out.” I was ashamed of my allergies and hated talking about them with others. I felt insufficient, and I really struggled when I would make a new friend. I never wanted them to find out I had allergies because I was scared they would think I was too high-maintenance and not want to deal with me. I know now that having allergies doesn’t have an affect of what others think about me, if anything, it serves as an interesting topic of conversation. 

Allergies are able to change as you get older. It’s actually quite common to “outgrow” your allergies in time. Doctors have told me that I will likely never outgrow my allergies, but the intensity of my allergies has changed a lot since I was first diagnosed. For example, when I was younger I couldn’t touch a surface that had been previously touched by one of my allergens. Thankfully, I am no longer that sensitive to my allergens. I also used to be more severely allergic to beef and pork, but the last time I got tested I found out that my milk and egg allergies intensified. In my last test I also found that I was allergic to all types of molds which affects my respiratory.  

As of right now, there aren’t many cures for food allergens, but there are ways to help minimize the effects environmental allergens have on your respiratory. There are breathing treatments, inhalers, and pills that can help control inflammation of the lungs. There are drops that you can take once a day that help you build an immunity to your environmental allergens over time. You can also get a shot every so often that works the same as the drops. 

Overall, having food allergies is an adventure, and sometimes it’s exhausting having to pay extreme attention to what I am putting in my body. Having allergies is not only a physical restraint, but it can also be a mental restraint. However, my testimony is that I’ve lived 16 years with severe food allergies and God has kept me safe all throughout; I am blessed enough to say that I have never had to use my epi-pen or stay overnight in a hospital because of an allergic reaction. God has provided for me and my family whether it be money to afford medication and food I can eat or healing when I have an allergic reaction. God has never failed me, he’s always blessed me, he’s always healed me, and he has always kept me safe.