The Positive Side of Being Allergic
Robin Bayley, Victoria, British Columbia
It is so easy to focus on the challenges of being allergic, because one has to be constantly vigilant and one is constantly reminded by the pain and symptoms. However, it is useful to occasionally take stock of the good things about having allergies.
Here are some that may apply to you.
- Food allergies may force you to eat simpler, more natural foods that have not been prepared or processed. These foods are often lower in calories, fat, sugar and salt and have higher fiber content. Thus, what could be seen as a health restriction leads to enforced better eating habits and can stave off other conditions and diseases such as high blood pressure.
- Individuals with allergies are different, and in social settings, this can become obvious. There is a certain freedom in knowing you will never be “normal”. It can liberate one from peer pressure and make it easier to march to your own drummer.
- The constant need to plan ahead for food intake, be aware of triggers in the environment and determine if any action is required, leads to the improvement of skills that can benefit other areas of life. Such skills include: organization, planning, observation, and risk assessment and mitigation. Allergic individuals are also forced to be more assertive than they might otherwise be and learn to ask probing questions.
- Allergies are essentially a heightened immune response. There are indications that this may lead to lower cancer rates among people with allergies (see the article by Dr. Waserman).
from Allergy & Asthma News, Issue 4 2006