Hello & welcome! My name is Zoë and 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, and I’m cross-contact reactive & airborne reactive. I’ve known about my severe peanut allergy since the age of 2, and am now well into my thirties and thriving. A little more to know about me related to allergies, I have a couple dozen other environmental & chemical allergies, so I’ll be discussing those here on my website and blog, too.
Invisibly Allergic is a resource for everyone, food allergic or not. You read that right! If you’re here I assume you either 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 unique. That’s completely normal and to be expected, however, this can make discussing food allergies and food conditions complex since no two are the same. 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 spectrum or caring for someone on the food allergy spectrum.
With this site, 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. 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. 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 Invisibly Allergic- 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.
As a teen in the 2000’s and growing up as a young adult in the 2010’s, for years I searched for basic information validating my experience living with a severe food allergy, specifically peanut, and struggled to find anything that resonated. This caused me to go through a tough period where I questioned my own food allergy, and my own daily experiences, and that’s ultimately why I started this blog. 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 sharing my story has been incredibly healing and therapeutic for me as well. With the support of friends and family, and a lack of support from medical professionals in my city, I finally began trusting my own food allergy experience and stopped searching outward. This is how I began telling my own story, food allergy knowledge, and found my inner food allergy wisdom that was inside of me.
My aim 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. As much as I hugely appreciate physicians and those dedicating their lives to meaningful food allergy research, 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 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 in my Resources tab & linked throughout my blog, because I do like to share statistics from reputable sources as often as possible for context.
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 may see that I refer to my food allergy as a “food allergy disability” here, and that’s because it is a disability for me. Like I mentioned initially, it is a 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?