Written by: Tamara Hubbard, MA, LCPC
Many have heard the term food allergy, but not everyone knows what that diagnosis actually means.
Often confused with food intolerances, an IgE-mediated food allergy causes one's immune system to overreact to a particular food protein. This then triggers an allergic reaction, which involves various bodily systems and typically occurs within minutes or up to a few hours after ingestion. Allergic reaction symptoms can include, but are not limited to hives, sneezing, itching, nausea/stomach cramping, vomiting and swelling. In some cases, food allergies can even cause a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
As you can imagine, living with a potentially life-threatening food allergy (and related allergic diseases) tends to trigger increased anxiety and stress. After all, we eat food multiple times each day! That’s why The Food Allergy Counselor, Inc. exists. It’s there to help those managing their own and/or parenting children with food allergies and related allergic diseases navigate the psychosocial aspects of life with these diagnoses.
The Food Allergy Counselor (FAC) is an evidence-based food allergy and allergic disease-specific psychosocial resource hub offering practical and relatable content. Its resources aim to help the allergy community find a workable approach to life with these diagnoses that includes a balance between the anxiety and fear and a meaningful quality of life. The FAC’s resources include:
● The Food Allergy Counselor Directory - a growing list of allergy-informed clinical behavioral healthcare providers
● The Food Allergy Counselor Blog - practical insights and tips for managing anxiety, stress, relationships, mindset, and life impacted by allergies
● Exploring Food Allergy Families podcast - currently on hiatus, but offers two seasons worth of episodes and interviews sharing tips for navigating life with food allergies
● Allergy-Specific Therapeutic Worksheets - tools to help manage food allergy anxiety, stress, mindset, and oral food challenge appointments
● Psychosocial Resource Links - a growing list of links to articles, research and books focused on psychosocial aspects of life with allergic diseases
In addition to providing content and resources for the allergy community, The FAC is also committed to helping the Food Allergy and Allergic Disease Counseling Niche develop and expand. With a growing professional network known as the Food Allergy Counselor Behavioral Health Network welcoming allergy-informed therapists all the time, The FAC is also developing educational content for clinical behavioral healthcare providers interested in learning more about this in-demand niche and how to effectively support allergic individuals and families.
So, whether you’re managing allergies or working with those that do, The Food Allergy Counselor has content and resources you’ll find helpful!
[And want practical allergy life tips and/or allergic counseling insights delivered right to your email inbox? Subscribe to receive The FAC’s emails here. No spam, only useful content]
The FAC’s socials: ● Instagram: www.Instagram.com/FoodAllergyCounselor
● Facebook: www.Facebook.com/FoodAllergyCounselor
Tamara’s socials: ● Instagram: www.Instagram.com/TherapistTamara
● Twitter: www.Twitter.com/TherapistTamara