1. If you’re allergic to a food or substance, then any amount of that food or substance will cause allergy symptoms. Also, anaphylaxis is more than just your face swelling up and or your throat closing up. (TV shows are very bad at presenting food allergies.)
2. It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to food but not be allergic to that food. For example, if you’re (very) allergic to ragweed, you might not be able to eat bananas. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy.
3. Antihistamines work better if you take them before your symptoms start. Some allergy meds might also need a few days before you really feel the full affect.
4. Some supplements or vitamins might help alleviate your allergy symptoms but remember that supplements are not as well regulated as medicine. Vitamin B and vitamin C are some supplements that might help.
5. Antihistamines are safe and there are multiple kinds. If one kind of (OTC) antihistamine doesn’t work for you, try another. If OTC antihistamines don’t help, then see your doctor. If antihistamines make you sleepy, try taking one at bedtime.
6. Your house or apartment might be making your allergies worse. Curtains, carpets, pillows, and beds are all places that can accumulate dust. Even something as simple as changing bed sheets regularly and vacuuming regularly can help ease symptoms. If you think you are allergic to dust, try taking your antihistamine at bedtime.
7. Zantac and other similar medicines are antihistamines. (Prilosec and Nexium are not.)
8. Allergy doctors and immunologist doctors can help you with allergy symptoms. Expect to answer a lot of questions and possibly go through a skin test. The skin test isn’t scary at all. Technology has improved and it’s quick and handled in the doctor’s office.
9. When taking antihistamines remember to stay sufficiently hydrated, especially if you are using decongestants.
10. There are multiple kinds of OTC allergy eye drops. Try to find one that doesn’t not advertise “getting the red out.” Also, see if lubricating eye drops alleviate any of your symptoms.
11. Saving the most important thing for last. If you have ever had trouble breathing after eating a specific food you should go to your doctor. You might need to carry epi-pens. Food allergies are serious business and what you’ve “learned” about food allergies on TV is probably very wrong. Side note: Step 1: Use Epi-pen. Step 2: Go to the ER. Step 3: Don’t die.
Note: This is not medical advice. This includes information that I have learned through years of dealing with allergies and treating my symptoms. I have food allergies, food sensitivities, problems with chemicals, pollen allergies, and sensitivities to other environmental triggers. I am the type of person who carries antihistamines and epi-pens just in case.