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Allergy Answers Are in the Cards
Nutrition Notebook
Canadian Living magazine

August 2002

If you have anaphylaxis, a life-threatening hypersensitivity to certain foods (also triggered by insect stings, medications, exercise or latex), eating safely can be a challenge unless you know what ingredients to beware of in packaged foods.

Anaphylaxis Canada has made grocery shopping easier with Allergen Information Cards for people with allergies to eggs, fish, shellfish, soybeans, wheat, milk, peanuts, sulphites, tree nuts, latex or sesame seeds. The cards, which can be ordered from Anaphylaxis Canada, are designed to be taken along to the supermarket. Each one tells which foods to avoid for a particular allergy, alternative names to look for on labels, possible sources to question and suggestions for eating safely; for example, if you�re allergic to milk, the milk-allergy card will tell you to look for casein or whey on labels and to call the manufacturer about products such as caramel flavouring and egg substitutes.

Anaphylaxis affects one to two per cent of Canadians, and its prevalence is increasing, especially among children.

Individual cards cost $1.50 for members of Anaphylaxis Canada and $2.50 for nonmembers. A set of 11 cards costs $14 for members and $24 for nonmembers.

You can order the cards by writing to Anaphylaxis Canada, 416 Moore Ave., Suite 306, Toronto M4G 1C9; by phoning (416) 785-5666 or 1-866-785-5660; or by e-mailing [email protected].

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I Enjoy a Great Life
To look at me, I am a perfectly normal kid. I enjoy rock climbing, horseback riding and I play the drums, but I suffer from anaphylaxis.

This is a life-threatening allergic reaction. In my case it is an allergy to nuts, seeds and coconut.

I'd like everybody who reads this to take allergies seriously. Any kid who has trouble coping should just remember that we're all special and that my allergies don't stop me from participating and enjoying life.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis (anna - fill -axis) is a serious allergic reaction. It can be life-threatening. Food is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, but insect stings, medicine, latex, or exercise can also cause a reaction. The commonest food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, egg and milk products.