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Sports with Food Allergies

How does one deal with food allergies and sports? Preventing allergic reactions while playing sports is very simple. Taking precautions and letting others know are crucial steps for an athlete's safety.

How do athletes manage their food allergies? The first step is to be aware by taking extra precautions before their game. Sports can make food allergy reactions worse because blood pressure dramatically increases while exercising. An athlete doesn't want their performance to be hindered because of anaphylaxis and gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, an athlete needs to question what ingredients are in the foods brought by others. If the food does not contain one’s allergen, then it would be okay to eat. But one should always bring a “safe snack” from home to eat, just in case. While athletes are responsible for their health, they should also inform their teammates and coaches.

The athlete must advocate for themselves by letting their coach know about their allergy. The athlete can provide an allergy action plan that is signed by their physician. They must also let their teammates and other coaches know so that in case of an emergency, they would know how to assist the athlete. The athlete should also provide them with their EpiPen in case of a medical crisis and demonstrate the proper use of the EpiPen should the need for use ever arise. Informing team parents is also important so that “safe snacks” are provided in between or after games for athletes with food allergies. Furthermore, if they made homemade treats, they should tell you the ingredients. Knowledge may save a trip to the ER or even an athlete’s life.

Playing sports with food allergies is complicated to deal with. But with a few precautions, allergic reactions can be prevented.


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