On TV shows and in books, it’s not uncommon for a realization of food allergies to be a shiny new detail that makes a character more interesting. It’s led to much the same thing when it comes to a recent diagnosis in a real person, too. However, those with food allergies to everyday foods or food ingredients often have a different opinion. A confirmed discovery means that their lives have to change and adapt in order to make sure that they don’t have a reaction to something that someone else may not think twice about. There’s no better way to understand this common frustration other than to give some of the most common examples.

Common grievances when living with food allergies

This list features some of the most common and hard to explain frustrations that come with living with a food allergy as a kid, teen, adult and beyond.

  • Bringing your own snacks: From birthday parties to hangouts at friends’ homes, there’s often a tendency to pack your own emergency snacks just in case you are unable to eat something there and you don’t want to get hungry. It can often be embarrassing, especially since a lot of people will make jokes about it.
  • The fallout when you can’t have something homemade: When someone realizes that you can’t have something they made because of an allergy, they always apologize and then you have to start explaining it’s fine, etc. It creates a stressful and emotional fallout for everyone involved.
  • Going out to bars or cafes and disclosing your allergy: When you go somewhere new to eat, most places will ask about any allergies before dining. It can be awkward and frustrating to disclose allergies publicly, especially if you’ve got a few of them that you need to tell to those around you.
  • Feeling nervous about new foods: Trying something new is always an adventure, and not always in a good way. Most people with food allergies tend to feel nervous about trying something different, even if it shouldn’t have any of their known allergens.
  • Having a partner who has to miss out on certain foods: If you’ve got a partner that loves, say, peanut butter and you’re allergic, that partner may cut out peanut butter in order to make sure that there’s never a disconnect between what they can have and what you can’t. This can be frustrating for the allergy sufferer even if the partner is genuinely okay with it.

You didn’t choose a life with food allergies. It chose you. It means changes, shifts and frustrations for the sufferer as well as those around that need to make similar adaptations to accommodate it. There is arguably nothing mysterious or interesting about living with food allergies, despite what the media outlets may want you to think. This is the reality of living with food allergies. Is it the end of the world? No, of course not. But it does mean a lot of frustrations that can have a serious impact on daily life for the person with the allergy as well as those around them.