Hello & welcome! My name is Zoë, I’m the food allergic individual behind the blog & website Invisibly Allergic. I’m so glad you’re here! To give some back story, I have a life-threatening peanut allergy causing anaphylaxis. I’m cross-contact reactive & airborne reactive to peanut. I’ve known about my life-threatening peanut allergy since the age of 2, and I am now well into my thirties and thriving. A little more to know about me related to allergies, I have eczema and a couple dozen other environmental & chemical allergies, so I’ll be discussing those here on my website and blog as well.
What Is Invisibly Allergic?
Invisibly Allergic is a resource for everyone, food allergic or not. You read that right! If you’re here I assume you are impacted in some way by a food allergy or would like to learn more about life with a food allergy. Food allergies vary and fall across a large spectrum, so there’s no generalizing them, and each food allergy is individual. This can make discussing food allergies and conditions complex since no two are alike. But there is some overlap in food allergy experiences! There are likely many common denominators and shared experiences you’ll find among food allergic individuals & this blog was started as a place to connect with others across this food allergy spectrum or caring for someone on the food allergy spectrum.
My Food Allergy Blog Mission
With my food allergy website and as a food allergy blogger, I hope to act as an authoritative point of contact for anyone looking to connect with someone navigating the world through a food allergy lens. My aim is to spread food allergy awareness, peanut allergy awareness, and food allergy anaphylaxis awareness far and wide. I love sharing what I do to stay safe, ways I’ve successfully lessened my food allergy anxiety, and how I’ve been able to complete life milestones in ways that work for me and my body. I also want to share what fires me up and makes me passionate about advocating for positive improvements in areas such as disability accommodation and more food labeling laws in the United States.
Right now, there are 32 million+ Americans with food allergies, and that’s just people who have been formally diagnosed. While it’s true we’re in the middle of a global food allergy epidemic, and that there’s currently no known cause or cure for food allergies, I’m happy to report between diagnostic research and new technologies, the field is evolving in ways to support individuals with food allergies each year. Does this mean I feel enough is being done to support the food allergy community? Absolutely not, and that’s another reason I started the Invisibly Allergic Blog- to share my own perspective as a person with a food allergy on what societal and policy changes I want to see and help make happen.
Invisibly Allergic’s Top 3 Food Allergy Priorities
- Big Pharma Price Gouging Needs To End
- Spreading awareness around greedy big pharma companies like Mylan (epi-pen) and kaléo Cares (Auvi-Q) is vital, people need to know pharmaceutical companies are making it harder for people to get life-saving drugs, and these large pharmaceutical corporations are profiting greatly by the growing number of food allergies and illnesses occurring globally. Check out my 2022 blog post dedicated to raising awareness about big pharma exploiting us here.
- Universal Healthcare
- Volunteering my time with organizations working towards universal healthcare in the U.S., because I believe healthcare is a human right. I live in Kentucky so I specifically support KYHealthcare – Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care & also Medicare For All. Each time epinephrine is used, a hospital visit is necessary to monitor oxygen levels and a possible secondary reaction. People in the U.S. shouldn’t be having to decide not to seek medical care due to financial reasons. I strongly believe it’s morally wrong that people are going bankrupt and struggling to pay for ER visits, doctors visits, cancer treatments, etc. in the only industrialized nation without universal health insurance.
- Transparent Food Labeling Laws
- The U.S. is decades behind the E.U. in terms of food allergy transparency and labeling laws and this is a problem because it impacts overall quality of life, not to mention, people are dying due to a lack of food allergen transparency and are more reliant than they need to be on life-saving medications. My priority with Invisibly Allergic is to create a collective interest to help pass a bill to get the FDA to update our food labeling laws to protect consumers, labeling for not suitable for/may contain so the public knows what allergens are in facilities and can be empowered to make educated decisions around what they’re ingesting. I do not have a policy background, but am working with FARE on how this would look in the U.S. right this moment.
The Food Allergy Content Boom
As a teen in the 2000s and growing up as a young adult in the 2010s, for years I searched for basic information validating my experience living with a severe food allergy, specifically a peanut allergy blog, and struggled to find anything that at all. This caused me to go through a tough period where I questioned myself, my own food allergy, and my own daily experiences, and that’s ultimately why I started this food allergy website. I thought if I can help even just one person feel less guilty, isolated, and like there’s something wrong with them, then I’ll be happy I started this website. Not to mention, it turns out that sharing my story and spreading peanut allergy awareness has been incredibly healing and therapeutic for me. With the support of friends and family and a lack of support from medical professionals in my city and online, I finally began trusting my own food allergy experience and stopped searching outward. This is how I began telling my own story, and food allergy knowledge and found my inner food allergy wisdom that was inside of me. Now in 2022-2023, there are many incredible food allergy bloggers, food allergy websites, and even food allergy books that are from first-person perspectives. I no longer struggle to find content and food allergy information that resonates, and that’s an amazing shift that I witnessed happen (between the rise of food allergies, technological advances, and societal shifts) within the food allergy community in just one decade’s time!
Follow Along With Invisibly Allergic
My aim here is to empower others with food allergies and/or food conditions to feel the same way, and harness their own inner wisdom on how to best live their life to the fullest with healthy boundaries around their food restrictions. Since no two allergies look the same, it’s going to be customizable and personalized. I do occasionally write allergy-related content for other sites & organizations, such as the incredible Food Equality Initiative (FEI), and am always interested in doing more partnerships and custom content with other bloggers and meaningful organizations interested in helping improve the lives of food allergic individuals.
I’m passionate about living life safely with what I call an “invisible allergy” because as you may know, food allergy symptoms only present themselves outwardly when an immune-based reaction to a certain food is involved. I look forward to providing assistance here both practically and emotionally. I hugely appreciate physicians and those dedicating their lives to meaningful food allergy research, and I want to be clear, I’m not a doctor or researcher and am not claiming to be. There’s a place for experts of all kinds, and my area of expertise is from my real-life experience of having a food allergy. While I’m not giving medical advice to follow here (unless I’m citing a board-certified doctor or study) you’ll find many trustworthy sites, food allergy book recommendations, and more in my Resources tab & linked throughout my blog, because I do like to share statistics from reputable sources as often as possible for context and, you know, science!
Let’s Make The World A Better Place For All
If you have a child, friend, colleague, or relative avoiding food(s), I hope Invisibly Allergic will serve as a great resource to better understand their own life experience, individual needs, and preferences. Feel free to e-mail me any topics you’d like to see discussed on my blog or reach out with questions or comments! I’m truly honored to run Invisibly Allergic and be here as a resource & I love connecting with others. Lastly, you will see that I refer to my food allergy as a food allergy disability, and that’s because it is a disability for me. As I mentioned initially, it is a food allergy spectrum, so not everyone will feel their food allergy is a disability. Let’s celebrate our differences and similarities & do some advocating in a way that feels healthy and true to ourselves to help make the world better for all, shall we?
Continue Becoming Food Allergy Aware
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