Food allergies are a serious concern and one that is smart to consider when thinking about going to rehab. The number one thing to remember, when entering rehab, is that the staff is there to help you get well. They will accommodate any food allergies or restrictions in an effort to help you get well and back to living a full and happy life.
Here are some things to consider when entering rehab if you have food allergies:
- Speak Up
You are your number one advocate! At times, you may need to speak up about your food allergies. If another resident sits next to you as they are eating a snack you are allergic to, be polite and tell them about your allergy as you move away.
- Enlist Support
If you have friends or family members that you trust, ask them to speak to the rehab staff on your behalf or join you in a talk with them. They can help to provide information and ensure that the rehab facility is a safe place for you to be with your food allergies. If it is allowed, friends and family members may be able to visit you at rehab to make sure that your food allergies are being monitored and the staff is taking your condition seriously. If you feel uncomfortable during your stay or worried about having an allergic reaction, find someone on the rehab staff to talk to and share your concerns.
- Be Prepared to Educate
If the rehab staff is unfamiliar with food allergies, you will be able to educate them. Prepare yourself before arrival so you can share your knowledge of food allergies. Ask your doctor or go online and print out common facts about food allergies and how the rehab staff can keep you safe. Provide the staff with a list of the foods that you are allergic to and ask that the dietary team be given the list and information as well.
- Protect Yourself
If you think that you may have been served food that you are allergic to, do not eat it. Keep your eating area clean of foods that may cause an allergy attack. You may need to sit at a different table than you would like, but your safety and health are your top concerns. Do what it takes to keep you safe. If you have been prescribed an epi pen or other medication for your food allergies, make sure that it is up-to-date and in your possession at all times.
Taking the above precautions will ensure that your time in rehab will be a safe time of healing. Your counselors and fellow patients will be proud of you for taking control of your health and learning how to overcome your addictions while staying in charge of your food allergies. Remember to be aware of the food you eat and speak up about your food allergies. Your rehab support team is there to support you and will work to keep you safe and healthy during your stay.