Food Allergies in College 101: Tips to Cope
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Food Allergies in College 101: Tips to Cope

Food allergies are difficult to manage at any age, but college students face complex challenges when it comes to navigating the dangers posed by the possibility of life-threatening anaphylaxis.

A recent review published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, examines recent evidence and addresses hurdles facing college students with food allergies, along with possible strategies to overcome those challenges.

1. Confirm your college student still has an allergy

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If your prospective college student hasn’t been evaluated for his or her food allergy in the past few years, it’s worth talking to your allergist about getting re-evaluated. Meeting with your child’s allergy team provides an opportunity to review practical strategies to safely navigate their condition, as well as helping cultivate the confidence and resilience to do so.

2. Plan in advance

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Advance planning can help with unsettled feelings about managing a food allergy. Knowing exactly how to use your epinephrine auto injector during a severe reaction is a vital skill to master.

3. Make sure to communicate needs

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A college student with a food allergy should be able to communicate their needs to others, whether it is to peers or strangers, keeping in mind that the phenomenon of “disclosure fatigue” is real. Young people get tired of constantly having to explain their food allergy needs to others, so they sometimes skip it because it feels like a heavy burden.

4. College students may be more at risk

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College students are generally thought to be at increased risk for severe food reactions. Possible reasons include poor perception of their risk and vulnerability, and increased risk-taking behavior. 

5. Source and more information

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