Medic Alert Method

I was just reading an interesting post from Ruth at What Allergy this morning where she is discussing the current trend for having an allergy tattoo instead of wearing medic alert jewellery. A new one on me, I must say. If I listed my allergens, the tattoo would have to be up one leg and down the other ;).

I really must sort this medic alert thing out though and Ruth kindly gives a brief run-down of some of the medical jewellery you can get. When I looked, I wondered how I would get all the info on them though as most are tiny.

How would someone know what not to give you if you ended up in hospital? Of course, we hope it never happens, but what if it did? What strategies have you got in place to make sure they don’t stick you on a dextrose (corn?) drip and pump you full of your allergens? How would you be able to eat?

See here where I wrote about Skyguard, an assistance service for travellers and they have a UK service too. Might be too much for most of us, but I thought it could be a good way of listing all the things we would want medics to know. Alternatively, we could have a big sheet of paper somewhere!

What do you do? I’d like to shove the thought under the carpet, but I suppose I need to think about it a bit more!

2 Replies to “Medic Alert Method”

  1. Morning Micki,

    Like you, this is something that I have been avoiding thinking about, and in a large part because, without an official medical diagnoses, will anyone really pay any attention to what is on any card/bracelet/etc.? Or will it even be found? A tattoo sounds like sense, but even that could be obscured by injury………… so, where to go from here? Also, what guarantee is there that the tattoo inks will not cause a reaction? Possibly this is all excessive pessimism. Would just putting multiple allergies esp. gluten and grains protect from the most likely problem of being put on a drip whilst unconcious, alert the medics to have adrenaline available, and leave room for explaining the long list later?

    I have been reading your gluten illness information, and want to share a realisation that is new to me. You may think that I have been very slow on the uptake! One of my children started on what I thought was a gluten free diet over 25 years ago, he recovered, but the real problem had been mine.

    How many people are off all grains just because of cross contamination in the milling process? The appearance of gluten free oats on the market made me think about it, and made clear why a new habit of eating ground rice porridge had coincided with deteriorating health. The big problem is how to get enough calories, especially on a low income. Looking back it seems that this is what has caused problems with cornmeal, that this family used to eat without any trouble. I can even eat wheat free rye, if so, why such a difficult and restricted diet for too many? Is there any way of calling for more careful milling processes? I have requested that Doves Farm consider producing ground rice, as they already prepare gluten free rice flour.

    A quick glance at an old Scientific American, (1973, at a relatives home), showed the deliberate irradiating of wheat and other crops in order to ‘speed up’ the process of creating mutations, believed by those scientists to be the driving force of evolution, and proudly announcing that this was how the new wheat types behind the Green Revolution had been developed. As these have caused severe impoverishment of soils this was not such a good long term plan. I have to suppose this was how the grain types with extra gluten were created. This makes me wonder how many of the F1 types are fueling the appalling increase of every kind of allergic reactions that have been appearing since the early ’70’s. My experience as a child in rural Britain in the ’50’s and 60’s, when hay fever and athsma were so rare, we only had one child in the village school with athsma, and only one in our secondary year (of 200 children) with hay fever. What will genetic modification bring us?

    1. Good thoughts, thanks Jane. I am convinced GM has a lot to answer for, as does cross-contamination. The difficulty is finding out whether you are grain-sensitive per se or whether you are reacting to a cross-contamination or even a cross-reactivity. It’s literally difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, isn’t it?! All we really know is that some people feel better off all grains and that could be the gluten, other fractions, the lectins, the starches, the cross-contamination etc etc etc. As research in this area evolves, I hope we will be able to clarify. The likelihood could be, though, that there are different grain problems going on simultaneously in a body. The other thing you have to think is that some people don’t get obvious symptoms from eating a food that is actually doing them immune or inflammatory damage, hence the late showing of inflammatory and auto-immune disorders from mid thirties onwards.No-one thinks it is what they are eating but, for some, it could well be. It’s a difficult and complex question and, without the full research to go on yet, educated guesses. Basically, if a person feels better off grains, they have a problem with them and ultimately that’s what they need to know, even if we don’t fully know why. Certainly better and safer processing is going to help for those whom cross-contamination is exacerbating or the primary cause of suffering, but, in reality, I can’t see that happening anytime soon sadly.

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