Posts from ‘Food Allergies’

May
22

I’ve been hearing news reports about an EpiPen shortage over the last couple of weeks. Even FARE, the national food allergy advocacy group, appealed to the FDA to take action, citing multiple reports of patients having difficulty getting their hands on Mylan’s EpiPens and generic EpiPens.

We aren’t in need of renewing ours anytime soon, so I haven’t panicked over it yet. However, I’ve been hearing stories from parents in Facebook food allergy groups having difficulty getting EpiPens from their pharmacies, or the ones they are given expire within 6 months, rather than the usual 12 months we all expect.

If you are trying to figure out your best game plan, here are some options:

  1. Call Mylan customer relations at 800-796-9526 for assistance. This CNN article included a quote from Mylan encouraging people to call and that they’ve been able to successfully locate alternative pharmacies for patients who are having trouble finding EpiPens.
  2. Consider other epinephrine devices. The other main competitor product is called Auvi-Q, featuring voice directions and a compact size. This includes the same epinephrine drug that is in the EpiPen, but uses a different delivery system. If your have commercial insurance and it doesn’t cover Auvi-Q, they have an Auvi-Q affordability program which may help. We had good luck using this program in the past. You can also explore a prescription for the Adrenaclick, which is most well-known for being sold at CVS as an alternative to the EpiPen. This epinephrine product gained popularity as a less expensive option compared to EpiPens when they were under scrutiny for pricing last year. Some parents have reported confusion in using the product because it has an extra step than the typical EpiPen, however they generally get the hang of it. Unfortunately, I’ve heard the Adrenaclick trainer does not automatically come with the medicine. You can find instructions on how to get a free trainer on the Adrenaclick FAQ page. It is the 10th question on the page.
  3. Hang onto your EpiPens a bit longer. I am not a doctor and cannot give medical advice, however, I encourage you to read about the Expired EpiPen Safety Study testing the medicine’s efficacy after expiring at 12 months. They reported that 29 months after expiration, the pens contained at least 90% of their stated amount of epinephrine. Pens 50 months — more than four years — past the printed expiration date had more than 84% of the medication. Link to study abstract.

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May
13

** Updated May 2018 to remove outdated options and feature our favorite brand.

Friends, it’s amazing how far dairy-free yogurt has come. When we first entered the allergy world, there were very different options available and none of them very good. Now there is only on brand I will recommend to other people with food allergies – So Delicious. Their non-dairy yogurts are made with a coconut milk base, and come in all of these flavors below.

 

My husband cannot eat dairy and really loves the blueberry, key lime and raspberry flavors. We mostly buy these from Whole Foods, but occasionally buy them at general grocery stores as well. With all specialty foods, it’s important to double check the expiration date before buying. I’ve noticed these don’t move as quickly in the regular store and can expire more quickly than I’d prefer.

We also love the So Delicious ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches and non-dairy whipping cream in the freezer section. All staples in our house.

 

You can read more about our family’s experiences with food allergies by clicking on the “On Food Allergies” tab at the top of this page. Want to stay in touch? Join me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

 

Jan
28

It’s pretty amazing after avoiding a food for years for fear of getting sick, or even dying, to be able to eat that food. I remember at Avery’s first allergist appointment at 12 months old, when we first realized how severe his allergies were, the allergist said that most kids outgrow milk allergies and Avery “won’t be going to kindergarten” with that one.

Fast forward to kindergarten and Avery was still very much allergic. At age 9, about a year ago in 3rd grade, Avery’s tests finally showed a chance the milk could be outgrown and we had a baked milk challenge in the allergist’s clinic and has been eating baked milk each day since then. It opened up a few new foods, like goldfish crackers and Cheez-its. But it wasn’t really life changing…

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Sep
05

In July 2017, Lisa Chan, a Minnesota mom to a child with food allergies, was planning to approach her local city, Shoreview, to ask if they would help educate people about food allergies and (hopefully) prevent allergic reactions at the parks. As part of the process, Lisa researched if signs like this exist and asked other parents in the Minnesota Food Allergy Support Group Facebook group, which is where I first heard about this initiative. No one in the group had seen signs like this before, but that didn’t stop Lisa.

She shares her story below in this Q&A interview on the new signs she requested and were successfully installed. Thank you Lisa for sharing your story and inspiring so many families.

What do the new signs say?

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Nov
05

trunk or treatBy now you’ve likely heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project – a food allergy mom came up with the idea to help be inclusive of kiddos with food allergies. A teal pumpkin on a doorstep signifies the homeowner has either non-food treats or allergy-friendly treats. It’s a great idea and we’ve been keeping a teal pumpkin on our doorstep for the last three years.

This year our local food allergy group held an allergy-friendly trunk-or-treat event. A member of our group found a church parking lot who was willing to let us use their space. All of the participants agreed to only give out candy that was free of the top 8 allergens or non-food items.

I had never been a part of a trunk-or-treat before and needed to figure out how to decorate the trunk of my car. I had seen an example of a teal-pumpkin themed car on Oriental Trading website and was inspired. So I ordered supplies from them and the car turned out really great. I also used some of the FARE posters explaining the Teal Pumpkin Project.

toysThe week before the event, I actually heard from the folks at Oriental Trading company about their Halloween toy packages, which are perfect for handing out to trick-or-treaters. They offered to send some my way to use on Halloween or donate to our food allergy group. I loved that they had so many options and chose the Mega Deluxe Toy Assortment and Halloween bracelets. We used these to give out at the trunk-or-treat event and donated some to school for the kid’s Halloween party. Thank you to Oriental Trading for helping make it easy to support kids with food allergies and for being generous to share with our family and community.

Disclosure: I paid for all the vehicle decorations from Oriental Trading. The giveaway toys were provided for free in exchange for sharing information about them on my blog. My opinions, as always, are my own.

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