Food sensitivities/allergies

10:20 a.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I have a friend who's son has very strict dietary needs, he gets very sick on things that almost everyone can eat. It seems like its a multi-allergy thing, I really don't know if it has a name, his poor mother tries really hard to find things he can tolerate. 

Its things he wishes he could eat like eggs, wheat and dairy so I am possitive its not a show to get out of eating things he doesn't like.  Recently I found a treat for him from Cliff Bar company: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/clif/kits-organic-fruit-nut/#review25636

What I wonder is this:

It seems like lots of people pretend to have Celliacs or some other food allergy as a passive-agressive means of making everyone jump to fit their needs; they say they can't eat dairy or wheat or some such thing when they really can but just don't want to.  It seems like the fakers hurt the credibility of those who really suffer from these things but at the same time they are so loud that food companies have really upped their dairy/egg/wheat/etc-free offerings-thereby helping true suffers. 

Are the fakers good or bad for the true food-sensitive/allergic people?

10:31 a.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I don't necessarily think it is so much a bad thing. I mean how could a push to get companies to provide other options to those that need it be bad?

I personally am allergic to shrimp. Here is the kicker, I can eat any other shellfish out there w/o a reaction. 

If I eat shrimp I break out in hives, swell, get itchy... basically just plain old miserable. I even had an episode where I ate a few(prior to knowledge of my allergy) and I noticed it was getting harder for me to breathe(off to the er I went.)

I LOVE shrimp. I ate them quite a bit growing up and had no trouble whatsoever.

I don't feel any "love" for those that claim to have a allergy when they don't. Allergies can be life threatening so this is somewhat irritating to me.

At the same time though as I stated above I am happy that companies are providing options for those that truly need them.   

11:59 a.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Bad maybe the new good. It seems because allergy's seem to be on the upturn.. Many people have them and we are starting to understand alot more about our bodies due to science. I find resturants are including food class's to their staffs to help allergen's. I would have to agree with Rick are the Fakers bringing more light to food allegy's? I don't know but it has helped to get more people to understand it.

 

5:54 p.m. on September 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Similar to Rick-Pittsburgh, I too developed an acute allergy to shrimp though I also had bad experiences with lobster and crab as well (all my favorite foods). With a nurse for a mom, I was well aware that feigning illness or injury would get me more attention amongst five other siblings. But my reaction (anaphylaxis) to food allergies was not something one can self induce.

As luck would have it I was able to work through this and bring myself out of being sensitive to crustaceans all on my own so that now it is very rare for me to have an adverse reaction to my favorite foods. It wasn't easy... but (at least for me) it was possible. Now if there was anything that could be done about having to wear eye glasses with out lasic surgery it would be a miracle!

10:06 a.m. on September 9, 2012 (EDT)
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My roommate has taken several nutrition classes for his major, and he told me that we are all allergic to cow's milk. Its just that some people are a lot more allergic than others... so as denis daly said, we are starting to understand alot more about our bodies!

On a side note, I was supposed to help on a backpacking trip last week but we were one short of going. So this week I took a look at the files to make the refunds, one girl was Gluten-free and a vegetarian... I thought what a miserable trip that could have been! haha

11:18 a.m. on September 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I don't necessarily see the issue as that of an abundance of "fakers," so much as society being cyclically obsessed with a number of food fads.  We've had low-fat, Atkins, Pritkin, gluten-free, vegan, etc...With the volume of publicity about each one and the vague symptoms ascribed to intolerance of the moments "evil" macronutrient (Are you tired? It's the gluten!), it doesn't surprise me that folks insist on food sensitivities they may or may not truly suffer from. 

I've personally experimented with a few of these, with varying degrees of success: I end-to-ended the long trail on a vegan, raw diet once, and felt great, but lost so much weight that I could stay warm! Have any of you folks dabbled with any of these "food philosophies?"

9:10 a.m. on September 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Seth, I think you said it more accurately than I could:

I don't necessarily see the issue as that of an abundance of "fakers," so much as society being cyclically obsessed with a number of food fads.

 

9:47 a.m. on September 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Let's not forget that for those who really have them these allergies are all too real. The family that came to visit for my recent western Norway TR included a 9 year old with severe allergies to all kinds of nuts. One of the big problems is that there is a huge category of other items that area in the "better safe than sorry" category, i.e. sesame seeds were out not because she had a known allergy, but only because they are oily seeds and just might provoke a reaction. And any processed food has be vetted lest it contain traces of allergens. Sometimes it can seem over the top, but imagine if it was your daughter. For these people this is no fad.

1:06 p.m. on September 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I agree with both Sage and Red.  I see an increase in both real food allergies and the cyclical obsession with different food trends. For those with real sensitivities, this is no joke.  I've brought two friends to the ER for epinephrine after reactions to soy in products that were supposed to not contain soy.

10:42 a.m. on September 18, 2012 (EDT)
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This is an interesting discussion. For those with true food allergies or intolerances, it's good to have more options and awareness. I know a friend who's an avid amateur baker and brewer who was diagnosed with gluten intolerance last year. It seemed rather unfair. 

For those who have gluten sensitivities, here's a roundup of gluten-free energy and protein bars available for outdoor athletes:

Gluten-Free Energy Bars for Outdoor Athletes

If you follow a GF diet (due to medical need or choice), consider reviewing outdoor foods (bars, backpacking meals, etc) for the benefit of others. Or share a recipe in the recipes forum.

Also, I'll note that there's not any FDA regulation on "gluten-free" labeling yet, just proposals.

December 20, 2014
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