All Allergies Are Equal!

Whether it’s peanuts, dairy, lobster or strawberries, all allergies are equal to me. I understand that for example nut allergies are more commonly talked about because they are known to cause anaphylaxis in most cases, but I don’t think it is right or logical for someone to feel that nut allergies are superior. The severity of a reaction should not be judged by what allergen caused it, because I know by experience that my “not so common fruit allergies” have caused me to be on the edge of life. Nut allergies should not be all that we talk about, because anaphylaxis can be caused by anything and all allergies are equal. Last night I witnessed some twitter action that really upset me. A fellow tweeter simply asked a question to open discussion and eye open. She asked whether people thought dairy allergies were equal in severity to nut allergies. Another tweeter replied by saying that it was “Not equal. Peanut Wins!”. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it is people like this that I deal with every day. My classmates continue to eat strawberries next to me and put my life at risk, because they only believe in allergies caused by nuts and other common allergens. Rarely are people educated and informed that anaphylaxis can be caused by other things, like strawberries and coconut! We as the “allergy community” need to be informing people that anaphylaxis can be caused by anything and a reaction can be life threatening whether it is caused by hazelnuts or lettuce! When I began driving lessons my mother and I tried to inform my instructor of my allergies but she barely listened. When I got in the car she said she had nothing to worry about because anaphylaxis was only caused by nuts… Why have people been led to believe this. When we are talking about something as serious as anaphylaxis, there is no time for misconceptions. No one deserves to have their life at risk because people believe that their allergies are not as severe as others. There needs to be a change for the safety and life of myself and many others. To me, all allergies are equal.

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16 thoughts on “All Allergies Are Equal!

  1. This is like saying who is sicker me or you. A mere bite of banana will send me into anaphylaxis and I couldn’t even be near someone who had a banana or worse peeled it and started to eat it because it would set of a reaction. A smidgeon of sulfites will send me into anaphylaxis. Peanuts will make me sick but I haven’t experienced anaphylaxis with them. No one can compare which is worse because while a little peanut may cause anaphylaxis to one, it may not bother the other – just like my banana anaphylaxis and someone else having no problems with bananas.

    I suffer from chemical sensitivities and severe mold allergies and sensitivities as well and I have friends that also suffer. However, our varying degrees of sensitivity set us miles apart and I would never consider saying my sensitivity is worse than theirs.

    • Oh wow! Don’t take this wrong but it is so nice to hear of someone else with a banana allergy! Mine goes along with a light latex allergy! Numbers wise I have learn that 50% of people with latex allergy will have a reaction to bananas and or kiwi! 50%!!!!!!! My allergy started 3 years ago( bananas)- it has escalated to I can’t even be in the same room as the fruit or heaven forbid I come into contact with someone who has eaten one . Even banana bread, banana pudding and or cake cause a full reaction😞 can’t even go in a grocery store anymore! Then there are cross reactions – cause other fruits have the same protiens in them. So I now have issues with kiwi, passion fruit, dragon fruit, melons and more😞 my worse reaction yet was while I was in ER and a nurse came in the room after eating a banana!

  2. Amen sister! It doesn’t matter what the allergy n is because it is a danger to the well being of that person. Haveing heard many comments in my own personal journey in the allergy zone, that I was “faking it” makes me angry ! You hear so many people who think you can only be allergic to only a few things! It make me think that each school should have an allergy awareness program for each district, too inform people what exactly anaphylaxis is and what the many components are that can cause an allergic reaction, as well as not all allergies can occur only by eating them……… Many can occur by touch or by breathing the allergyn!
    Not to mention there are so many people both adults and kids who can have a full blown anaphylaxis reaction without ever being diagnosed to have that allergy! Without that knowledge and medical supplies that are needed……… I shudder at the complications!!!!!!
    We in this allergy community need to spread the word and make our communities aware .
    Thank you

  3. Well said Sydney! I agree, there is lack of public education when it comes to all causes of anaphylaxis, or anaphylaxis in general actually. I think there needs to be more government driven public awareness campaigns both in Canada and the United States. I feel there is more concern and attention given to other illnesses and medical conditions, and little is understood about the severity and risk posed for those with severe allergies other than the common allergens such as nuts. We have even met people who do not even know what anaphylaxis is let alone what may cause it. With social media and bloggers such as you and Sydney, public education and awareness can be reached.

    Leslie (Sydney’s mother)

    • New job- congrats😃 talk to boss about allergy- have him or her put out a written notice and or make a announcement . Inform those around you about allergy, put out reminders every week , have 3-4 backup buddies you you can count on to help you when an attack occurs. Send out a lookout- before I go to lunch duty in elementary where I work, I send a kid to see if there are a bananas from home, if so, I don’t go in.
      Donnalou

  4. I have a severe peanut allergy, so I know how serious allergies are. And I totally see where you’re coming from with people taking other allergies more seriously than others. I have a very close friend who is allergic to apples, something I had honestly never heard of before. She can’t be near apples at all otherwise she will get a very bad rash, feel dizzy, etc. We were in a show choir together, and one of the younger members (maybe 6-7?) had an apple. When our director of the program told the girl she couldn’t have the apple in the room because of my friend’s severe allergy the girl said “my mommy said that that’s not real.” so ya this girl’s mom told her that my friend’s apple allergy wasn’t real, probably because apple allergies aren’t as commonly spoken of. We were shocked that a mother would tell their child that someone’s allergy “wasn’t real” and then had her bring the food. Anyway when the mother came to pick her daughter up we gave her quite the earful on how important it was to take allergies seriously. You are very right, all allergies are equal.

  5. Well said!Wow reading this is so relieving. Some people just don’t understand that it’s not the allergen itself but rather the severity of the reaction one has to something. I’m allergic to a not so common fruit as well! I’m deathly and I mean deathly allergic to figs. Nobody thinks that’s as severe as my tree nut allergy but figs are considered the “killer” for me.

    Reading your blog has really enlightened my thoughts and made me realize that I should bring my Epi EVERYWHERE. Even if it’s in a kayak like you said in your other post.

    I’m 19 and living in a dorm at a university, I can’t tell you how scared I always feel wondering if someone touched my door handle with a trace of figs or nuts. Living with allergies is difficult but we can all get through it!

    I love this blog! It’s the one blog I’ve read in my life and can actually relate too. Thank you!

  6. Pingback: My Top 10! | A Tale Of Anaphylaxis

  7. Love your post. I don’t have to worry about life-threatening allergies (so far), but I suspect that’s coming soon as my symptoms are getting worse and worse. This weekend a young waiter seemed to be taking my food allergies seriously until he stopped by after I was halfway through my meal and asked, “So no reaction yet?” Ugh! I literally choked on my food!

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