How NOT to React When Someone Says They’re Anaphylactic

The struggle is real. And whether you’re anaphylactic or just severely allergic, you’re going to have to explain it to people, and you’ve probably run into some challenges in the process.

ME: Sorry, I have food allergies.

OTHER PERSON: *insert most common response* I think it’s safe.

ME: I shouldn’t take the chance. I have anaphylaxis.


There are a few different responses to that statement. “Food allergies” and “anaphylaxis” (or any other severe reaction) are two very different things in most people’s minds. So you often have to expound on “I have food allergies” by explaining your reaction.

When this happens, I often get the worst response you can: a person reeling back, stunned.

If you don’t struggle with food allergies and you’ve given this body language to someone who does, it was probably intended to convey concern or sympathy. That’s just not how it comes across. When someone hears the word anaphylaxis and they pull back, it can bring to mind a physical barrier, or simply a strong sense of isolation. Neither is what we’re aiming for.

So, is it just me? Or have you gotten this response, too?

Concern and sympathy are fine to convey to someone with severe allergies, but do it in a way that builds up rather than isolates that person. Let them know you’re aware and concerned, but you’re there for them, even if they caught you off guard.

I get it. “Anaphylaxis” is a scary word. But they know their allergy. If you’re in a situation where you need to be alert against such an eventuality, don’t be afraid to ask, even two or three times, exactly what to look for/do.


My brain took a vacation starting June 30th. So suddenly it’s July 11th and I remember I have a blog tour coming up.

Yep. The Canine Heroes Blog Tour starts on the fifteenth. πŸ˜€  🐩

So the schedule is done (and will be announced with each tour post).

Also, my newsletter suffered as a result of my brain’s vacation, so if you’ve been sitting and staring at your inbox, sweating in nervousness and wondering why you haven’t gotten July’s newsletter (because all my awesome followers are like that, you know.Β πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜‹), it. is. coming. Soon. Probably during or after the blog tour.

Never fear. πŸ™‚

If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, NOW is the time to do it. Don’t miss our July edition!!

Okay, people, life update is done. Your turn! What’s new with you this summer???


  1. […] This may be intimidating for you, but you’ve got this. πŸ™‚ And let me just say, I’m super proud of you for stepping up to be a friend to a person with food allergies. You don’t need to know exactly what to do – ask them. Show them you care about their well-being by simply asking, “What should I do? What should I be aware of?” Trust me, there is nothing more reassuring. […]


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