The eight most common allergens are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, fish, wheat, and shellfish. Some people though, believe it or not, are allergic to sugar.
Yes. There is a rare sugar allergy that some people may suffer from. You might be familiar with other, more common food allergies as mentioned above and the effects they can have on the body.
Having sugar allergies as opposed to a sugar intolerance will impact the body more severely, which we will discuss below.
So if you think you have a sugar allergy, I want to make sure you know some important facts about the allergy and learn a few things on how to manage it.
So let’s dive right in.
1. Understand The Differences Between A Food Intolerance And A Food Allergy
There is sugar in everything these days. If you read the full labels on every food item you buy in the grocery store, you will know that it’s almost impossible to find foods with 0 sugar unless you go to a specific section in the store with all the foods for people who are diabetic.
With that said, I want to make sure you understand the difference between food intolerance and having a food allergy.
Being intolerant to certain foods is much more common than having food allergies and aren’t as serious. Food intolerance typically occurs within the digestive system. According to the MayoClinic, you can still get away with eating small amounts of food without having any problems.
The MayoClinic also says the following are causes of food intolerance:
- The absence of an enzyme needed to fully digest food
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Sensitivity to food additives
- Recurring stress
- Celiac Disease
According to Food Allergy Research And Education, a food allergy happens when your immune system overreacts to a harmless protein.
Food allergies, according to FARE, can be very serious and can include the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea and cramping
- Trouble Breathing
2. Be Aware Of The Different Types Of Sugar
There are four different types of sugar that can cause food intolerance or allergies:
- Sugar Alcohols
When living with a sugar allergy, make sure you understand which type of sugar you are allergic to. You may be allergic to one of the above types, or more than one.
Make sure you visit your doctor to determine what type of sugar you are allergic to so you know exactly which foods to avoid.
3. Anaphylaxis Shock Can Be A Real Threat
As mentioned above, food allergies can range from mild to severe symptoms. Know that anaphylaxis shock is a real possibility that can happen. Make sure you know exactly what needs to happen if you have one of these severe allergic reactions.
Basic things such as having an epinephrine injectable pen with you at all times can save your life. Be smart and know your risks. If it ever gets to that point, you should call 911 immediately as well.
4. Symptoms Of Sugar Allergies Will Vary From Person To Person
Don’t try and read advice online if you think you have had a sugar allergy. Symptoms of sugar allergies will vary from person to person. The only real way to determine if you have a true sugar allergy is to go to your doctor and confirm how severe your allergy is.
5. Special Foods And Sugar Replacements
One thing you probably did when you first found out about your sugar allergy is you wanted to scream right? You probably thought your life was over because you can’t technically have sugar anymore.
As you’ve found out, you don’t completely have to give up the sweet taste; you just have to learn the alternatives. According to an article by Healthline on sugar allergies, you can use any sugar alternative such as Sweet N’ Low, Splenda, Equal or Nutrasweet, or Stevia to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Also, make sure the foods you eat are made with this type of sugar alternative instead of the real thing.
How To Manage Your Sugar Allergy
Plan Ahead Of Time
Know what you are getting yourself into before you go.
If you know you are going to be at a party that serves alcohol, offer to be the designated driver, so it forces you not to have wine. Before you go to the party, eat something at home, so you aren’t tempted by sugary foods.
Understand What Foods You Can And Can’t Eat
As mentioned above, there are certain types of sugars that you can have an allergy to. Make sure you understand exactly what you can eat and not eat.
It will make your life so much easier as you go through life.
Read Food Labels
Reading food labels is going to become your new hobby. It will be necessary for you to know exactly what is in those foods you love so much. Try picking antioxidant foods. Not only they are healthy but away from synthetic components.
After a while, you will learn your limits and know what you can and can’t have.
Carry An Epinephrine Injection Pen
Not only should you carry an epinephrine pen everywhere you go, if you live close to your friends and family ’s house and visit there often, make sure there is a backup epinephrine injector there just in case you forget yours.
Wear A Medical ID Bracelet
It may seem a little embarrassing at first, but wearing a medical ID bracelet could save your life. Make sure to ask your doctor about how to get one.
Make Sure All Of Your Friends And Family Know
The people who are closest to you need to know how to handle a situation if you get into trouble with your sugar allergy. It can be the difference between life and death in certain situations.
Having a sugar allergy or any other food allergy can be range from slight to very serious. The key is knowing how to manage it and educating yourself about your sugar allergy. Plan ahead of time if you are going to an event or a party.
You can live with the allergy and get very good at managing it so that you live a productive and active lifestyle without any of the sugar allergy risks.
About the author
Jenny is a creative writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She has long been associated with Superfoodsliving.