By Raquel Durban, RD.
When you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with a food allergy, it may feel overwhelming. This is completely normal! Our physicians and support team at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center (CAAC) are here to provide complete care from diagnosis to individualized management.
Our physicians can provide you with which food(s) need to be avoided and how it relates to the diagnosis. From there, the question becomes, well, what can I eat? Or, if I take out these foods, will my body still have all the nutrients it needs? This is where I come in. As a registered dietitian, I can step in to answer these questions and many more! What is also great is that I work in collaboration with our physicians to ensure excellent patient care is achieved.
A registered dietitian can customize recommendations that meet your individual needs and preferences. Often, a dietary intake and nutrient assessment is performed to know where to start your education and create personalized recommendations. When specific foods or groups of foods are eliminated from an individual’s diet because of food allergies, there is concern for nutrient deficiencies. For example, peanuts are a source of manganese, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and folate. You can certainly get these nutrients from other foods, but which foods and how much? Or let’s consider milk. Milk is an important source of nutrition in children and adults, providing fat, protein, vitamins D, A, B12, B2, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Again, there are other sources of these nutrients, but which foods and how much do you need to eat to meet your body’s requirements? A registered dietitian will create an eating plan that helps you understand what changes in your diet need to be made to stay healthy. If after discussing the alternate nutrient-dense foods, I may also recommend specific vitamin supplements.
While improving your quality of life with tips and tricks to ensure adequate nutrition and alternative food options, I will also provide food allergen labeling and safety education. Our goal at CAAC is to give you all the tools you need to understand your food allergy and instill confidence in your family to return to your normal activities and routines. We know living with food allergies can be challenging, but we also want to empower each patient to be confident and enjoy their life to the fullest.
New parents also have many questions about the introduction of foods. We provide services for allergic and non-allergic patients. Sometimes this looks like understanding which formula to select for those infants with food allergies. Other times, this looks like helping the patient navigate starting foods for their infants.
To learn more about CAAC’s food allergy support, call our main office number. 704-372-7900. We can provide you with additional information and also get you scheduled for an appointment with me, Raquel Durban, registered dietitian.