Food allergies can be life altering. Those with food allergies must make life style changes. They must change their eating habits and how they shop for food. They also must change how they consume food prepared by other people. This change in lifestyle can be difficult and it can lead to anxiety.

What Is It?

Anxiety is defined by The American Psychology Association as, “An emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure”. It is a natural emotion and can be helpful in healthy doses. This emotion allows one to be more cautious and aware, something that is helpful when dealing with food allergies.

While a certain amount of anxiety is normal and helpful, sometimes too much tension can cause problems. An anxiety disorder causes stress and tension to persist and get worse over time. This can begin to interfere with daily activities.

Related Anxiety

While anxiety can be an asset for remaining cautious, those with food allergies are at higher risk for anxiety disorders. It is important to reading nutrition labels, always ask questions and inform others of the allergy, and always carry epinephrine in case of emergency, and a healthy amount of stress can assist in remembering to take these steps. However, it is more likely that this stress and tension will snowball into something unmanageable.

It is important to help ease anxiety when it becomes unmanageable. Normalizing mental health issues and promoting self-care can make a huge difference. Validation and reminders of prior safe experiences can also help ease tension and stress. For example, when feeling anxious about eating at a restaurant, reminders of past positive experiences at the same restaurant can help soothe the nerves.

While anxiety can be helpful when remembering the necessary precautions that come with living with food allergies, too much anxiety can cause mental health issues. Those with food allergies are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders, so it is important to take steps to soothe the nerves. For more steps in soothing anxiety for those with food allergies, visit the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) website. If you are struggling to control your food allergies, you can schedule an appointment with an allergist at National Allergy & ENT by calling (843) 797-8162 or scheduling online.