Advice for carmine allergy? : FoodAllergies

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I finally got officially diagnosed (via blood test) with a carmine allergy after two allergist visits. I figured it out after two reactions in several months, but now I have an EpiPen in case it happens again.

In both reactions, I became flushed and had hives down my arms, down my legs, on my scalp, on my head, on my feet, on my stomach and on my crotch. Somewhat on my face. The first time I was at the doctor (for something else) and they gave me a steroid shot and prescription for that and antihistamine. The second time I was at home and took Benadryl.

I’m looking for advice on day to day living. I’ve learned that carmine, since it’s insect-based, is not halal or kosher, so that’s helpful in finding food in grocery stores and at restaurants. And with vegetarian/vegan food, although I’m more cautious with prepared food/restaurants because it seems sometimes people don’t always realize what is/isn’t considered vegan.

I do feel sometimes that I’m destined to mostly cook my own food from here on out if I want to be safe. Even if I don’t have the worst worst reaction, the hives last for hours and are miserable, so I want to avoid those, too.

Does anyone with a similar allergy have any advice?

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