by Steph Weber, contributor
When you’re first diagnosed with food allergies, it really can be a shock to the system. And it doesn’t just affect the person receiving the diagnosis.
Since food is so ingrained in social situations, it commonly trickles over into all relationships, including those with spouses, children, parents, friends, coworkers, etc.
So where can you turn when you need the support and insight of people who’ve already been down that road? Here are four places to consider.
Lean on Local Support
Perhaps the best place to look first is locally. With food allergies on the rise, more support groups are forming, even in smaller towns and cities.
Begin by asking the doctor who diagnosed you. And don’t stop with just them. Also seek the input of any other physicians, such as your family doctor, allergist, pediatrician, or gastroenterologist.
It doesn’t hurt to tap into additional resources within the doctor’s office either: Mainly, nurses and administrative staff. They’re used to fielding patient questions and often have more of an inside scoop than the physicians.
And don’t forget to reach out to your local hospital or community center too, as these are common places where support groups meet.
If you’re not having luck finding local groups or the meeting times just don’t work with your schedule, try online support.
There are tons of forums offering support for food allergies. Forums that originally were created to focus on Autism or new parents, for example, now have dedicated threads solely to food allergies. So consider the online forums you already belong to – there may be support options right there.
If you don’t belong to any online groups currently, remember that registration is required in order to post. But, you can typically read the forums without creating an account.
Here’s a quick list to get you started. Simply follow the link and then search for “food allergies,” “gluten free,” “dairy free,” etc.
FoodAllergy.org is another fantastic resource. On their support directory page, you can actually search for virtual groups. Here, you’re also able to filter down to groups in just your state.
And let’s not forget Facebook! Closed groups are popping up all over the place, and odds are, you can find one that pertains to your specific food allergy.
Other Websites and Blogs
Between various foundations and individual blogs, there’s a huge range of places wanting to connect with you.
Just for Celiac Disease alone, you’ll find the following:
- Celiac Disease Foundation
- National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
- Gluten Free Girl
- Gluten Free is Life
- Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom
- Gluten Free Help
- Mom Advice
- Gluten Free on a Shoestring
- Mommy Hates Cooking
- Thriving Gluten Free
- Gluten Free Works
- Gluten Free Gigi
- Vegetarian Mamma
- Angela’s Kitchen
Better Batter Resources
Last, but not least, those who are struggling to follow a gluten free lifestyle can turn to the resources at Better Batter.
Let’s say you’re making a recipe with our flour and the recipe just won’t turn out? Let us know and we’ll walk you through the process.
Where else have you found support? Please tell us in the comments below!
Steph Weber is freelance writer-for-hire hailing from the Midwest, who also happens to love food – minus the gluten, dairy, and eggs. To see more of her work, please visit stephweber.com.