8 Tips to Prevent Severe Anaphylaxis

by James Thompson, M.D. Health Professional, Medical Reviewer

Go to the doctor

Start with a comprehensive evaluation with your doctor to confirm what your allergy triggers are and how to avoid them.

Talk to waiters and waitresses

When going out to eat inform the waiter/waitress about your food allergy and ask them to prepare your food separately in order to avoid cross-contamination with cooking utensils, pots or grills. Sometimes it may be prudent to ask to speak to the chef if the person waiting on your table seems unclear about your request.

Plan ahead

Plan ahead when eating at a relative or friend’s home. Let them know well ahead of time about your food allergy. Remind them again within a day or two before the event. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they remembered one more time just before eating.

Carry your epinephrine

Always carry your epinephrine with you when eating out. Check the expiration date periodically and avoid leaving them in cars or exposed to extreme weather temperatures.

Review epinephrine use

At least once a year, review how to use your epinephrine and share the steps with friends or relatives that are most often around you.

Get an alert bracelet

Get an alert bracelet that has an inscription which tells the reader what you have and what to do in case of emergency.

Review warning signs of anaphylaxis

Periodically review the warning signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and the criteria for using your epinephrine device. Clarify any uncertainties about this with your doctor. Be very clear about the next step after injecting epinephrine which almost invariably is to call 911 (if not already done).

Don’t delay

The two most common reasons people with established food allergy may not survive a severe reaction are failure to have epinephrine available, and delay in getting the injection of epinephrine. In other words, sometimes people wait too long to self-inject or give the injection to their child.

James Thompson, M.D.
Meet Our Writer
James Thompson, M.D.

Dr. Thompson completed medical school and specialty training in allergy and immunology at Washington University in Saint Louis. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Allergy and Immunology. He sees adults and children in Chicago and greater Chicago area. He is also certified in Integrative Nutrition Coaching. Dr. Thompson is dedicated to incorporating holistic nutrition concepts into the treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases in order to achieve better health and reduce the need for medications.