It’s not just wheat-how to explain multiple food intolerances and allergies



Most of my family and friends understand that I have an intolerance to both gluten and dairy.  But when I try to explain my other food intolerances and allergies, I lose them quickly.  I try to explain that it’s easier for me to bring my own food than for them to worry about finding traces of the multiple foods I can’t eat.  Especially when those foods can come in many disguises.

My list goes something like this:

Wheat, rye, barley, rye, soy sauce, malt, dairy, honey, tree nuts, peanuts, honey and agave.  I have added soy recently, but not because I am allergic.  I believe it messed up my thyroid so I am limiting it for now.  

How can you ask your loved ones to shop for you when you have such a long list of foods you can’t eat?   Or how do you explain to a server or chef in a restaurant about the long list of foods that are off limits.  The easiest way is to carry a card listing those foods.

I tried to find a card that was not only free, but that was customizable.  I could not find such a card online.  There are many websites that offer free and for a fee food allergy cards, but they can’t be customized.  It’s either wheat and milk, or eggs and milk, etc.  I do not have allergies except to nuts and peanuts.  If you want a gluten intolerance card, you can’t add other food intolerances.  Hmmm, I thought, I might have to take things into my own hands and make one.

I fired up my word program and selected a business card template.  I came up with this:


I don’t have any blank business cards at the moment, but I printed these out and will carry them in my purse.  Next time I go out to eat I can just hand one of these to the server and ask them to give it to the chef.   I also wanted to mention that I carry an EpiPen.  My husband knows I carry it and knows how to use it.  But in case he is not with me, I am covered.

Allergen alert cards are a great idea, but I hope that in the future they will not only be free, but customizable for all food allergens and intolerances.  There is an app, but the reviews are not good.  I am hoping that one that actually works will be developed.

Having one of these will give peace of mind and the ability to have a safe dining experience.


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