To recognize Food Allergy Awareness Week, we had a conversation with the Kaléo Medical Affairs team on supporting those who care for someone with food allergies
The Medical Affairs team leverages their scientific and clinical expertise to facilitate the flow of accurate and unbiased medical information to patients, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders. Kaléo Medical Affairs cultivates relationships with healthcare providers, researchers, and key thought leaders to support Kaléo’s mission to develop products that empower patients and families to live fuller, bolder lives.
NOTE: The responses to the following questions are provided for informational purposes only and do not substitute for proper medical advice from patients’ healthcare providers.
What is the best advice you can offer someone who has just learned that someone they care for has a food allergy?
Kaléo Medical Affairs: When caring for someone with a food allergy, we always recommend speaking with their healthcare provider and establishing an open dialogue. It is important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. Always remember to carry with you any medication that their healthcare provider has prescribed and make sure you understand how to use it, so you are ready to respond in an emergency situation. Having a better understanding of their food allergy and how to manage it will help both you and the ones you care for live fuller, bolder lives.
Family members and caregivers of people with food allergies can often feel anxious and stressed. Are there steps you can suggest that can help alleviate these feelings?
Kaléo Medical Affairs: We understand patients, their family members, and caregivers may all potentially play roles in managing food allergies and that can sometimes feel like a big responsibility.
Consulting with a healthcare provider and learning as much as possible about managing and treating food allergies can often go a long way to helping to alleviate concerns and reducing anxiety. Also, familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and having an action plan in place can help you feel more confident in your ability to navigate an emergency situation.
In addition, there are several patient advocacy groups in the U.S. that can offer support and resources to caregivers to help them navigate caring for someone with a food allergy. These include Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), Allergy & Asthma Network (AAN) and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
Finally, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) are professional organizations that offer medically reviewed information about living with food allergies.
Connecting with others who have or care for those with food allergies and building a support network can also be a positive experience. But ultimately, you need to find what works best for you and your family.
Caregivers may want to communicate the details of their loved one’s food allergy to others who might temporarily be responsible for them (babysitter, parent at a birthday party, sports coach). What information should always be shared to help support those in charge?
Kaléo Medical Affairs: Your healthcare provider should always be your primary resource for advising you on how to properly convey to others the details around someone’s food allergy. It is important to communicate the specific food allergy and explain how to avoid unnecessary exposure to that allergen, such as learning how to read food labels. It is also important to help temporary caregivers understand how they can recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. Be sure that the person in charge has access to the patient’s epinephrine and understands what steps to take. The first-line emergency treatment of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, is administration of epinephrine, followed by immediate medical care.