It’s been a while since I’ve talked a lot about food. My original intention was to use this blog to discuss the difficulties of having food allergies and traveling; however, since I moved to South Korea, something has changed.
I started to notice 4-5 months after being here that when I would accidentally eat something with soy or wheat, I was not affected as violently by them as I used to be. Which is quite a relief. I don’t have to worry about cross-contamination as much as I usually do, and with some food, mainly rice, I just have to watch and limit my intake, so I don’t have to deal with the effects on my stomach or you know thee whole breathing thin.
I’m not sure what’s causing this. It could be a change in environment, pesticides, stress, or maybe my sensitivities are naturally changing as my body finds them less hostile. Whatever it is, I am incredibly grateful for lifting the burden of eating out off my shoulders to some extent. I’m no longer worried that one bite of an allergen will land me in bed for the night or, worse, the hospital.
For those concerned, I’m not going to go hog wild and eat everything, and yes, I plan on seeing an immunologist and allergist. The only reason why I haven’t already is, as far as I can tell, I would have to use a sick day or vacation day to see one of the 5 in Gwangju an hour away or to travel 4 and a half hours up to Seoul. Allergies are not a thing Koreans seem to be aware of or concerned about outside of seasonal allergies. Maybe it’s the lack of testing or the way foods and products are processed here who is to tell. The downside of it is it makes accessing medical care for allergies issues outside a significant city although at the end of the day, treatment is a lot cheaper.
For now, I’m going to always error on the side of caution and continue to carry my epi-pen. I’ll write again when I finally see the doctor and find out if my allergies have changed.
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