FABlogCon was Fab-ulous!

What is the FABlogCon?  I’m glad you asked! fab

FABlogCon stand for the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference which was held in Las Vegas Nevada at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa November 2-4th, 2013.

The conference was the brain child of Jenny Sprague founder of Multiple Food Allergy Help who, as I found out this weekend, is a very caring, loving and exceptional woman.

With the help of Homa Woodrum ,another remarkable woman and founder of Oh Mah Deehness , the FABlogCon was thoughtfully planned over many months and successfully delivered this past weekend.

They didn’t do just a great job, they knocked it out of the park!

From the venue to the overstuffed swag bags ( yes plural), to the exceptional food prepared by Chef Keith Norman (who knew gluten free could be so delish? ), to the exceptional speakers to the author signing reception, to the amazing door prizes…it was a lovely event.

In addition to the more tangible perks, the excitement in the air was palpable. There was laughter, conversation and genuine interest.  Smiles and hugs filled the room.

It felt like a reunion of new friends.  Now I know that sounds strange but let me explain. I met so many people for the first time, face to face, that I have known over the years via social media.  Now, I can finally put a face to a name.

I also met many new friends with exceptional stories, exceptional ideas, doing exceptional things.

I feel truly grateful to have been part of this experience and appreciate all of the people who helped to make it such a great success.

Here are some takeaways-

  • There are no absolute contraindications for epinephrine use in anaphylaxis
  • Of the people having allergic reactions, only 30-40%  of the time was epinephrine used in those who required it!
  • Nevada’s mandatory stock epinephrine law for schools has already saved 6 lives
  • Antihistamines do nothing for anaphylaxis
  • Corticosteroids have little role in acute anaphylaxis
  • Epinephrine works best when used within 1-5 minutes from the start of a reaction
  • Work with your school nurse re: food allergies
  • If speaking to legislators, have talking points.  Bring the kids to tell their stories!
  • Consider age appropriate peer education in schools
  • Case studies are always helpful to get people to understand food allergies
  • Possibly incorporate food allergy policy with wellness program at your school
  • Tap into other communities such as diabetic, celiac, food intolerance
  • Present information from reliable sources
  • Identify your circle of influence and form a coalition of friends, educators, health care professionals etc
  • Ask physicians to speak with school nurses
  • Now that we have national food allergy guidelines, we need to encourage schools to follow them since they are voluntary!
  • Food Allergy Related Fatal and near fatal reactions – risk factors (PN/TN allergies, Prior Ana, relying on antihistamines, adolescence, delayed or no epi)
  • Educate the classroom and entire school community
  • Work with PTA
  • Speak on behalf of those who may not be able to

With the help of my new FAB family, I would like to share with you some of the great products and services that I learned about during the conference.

From physical products such as beautifully written and illustrated children’s books to cookbooks, safe food stickers, parent guide books, gluten and allergen free products, to services and consultation, there were many wonderful ideas to share.

FAB family, whether you have a blog or not, please stop by and say” hello”.   Share a take home tip. If you have a website/blog or product/services, please post a link and tell us about your passion or simply say “hi”.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Thanks again for an awesome weekend and I hope everyone returned home safely!

Be Safe!

Donna
Supporting the Food Allergy Circle

Donna DeCosta, MD ( @foodallermomdoc ) is founder of FoodAllergyMomDoc an online community dedicated to supporting the Food Allergy Circle with tips, ideas and resources.

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14 Responses to FABlogCon was Fab-ulous!

  1. Cecelia Jones says:

    Er, excuse me but WHAT??? Antihistamines do nothing for anaphalaxis??? I thought Benedryl would help save my son? No??? Wow, cant wait to find out more! Thanks for the blog post!

    • donna says:

      Cece, that is a common misconception. Here’s a quote from Living Confidently with Food Allergy, a great handbook written by one of the speakers, Dr. Michael Pistiner.

      “Keep in mind that antihistamines are slow to act and have not been proven to stop anaphylaxis.”

      You can download the entire handbook for free from http://www.allergyhome.org, a wonderful website created by Dr. Pistiner and Dr. John Lee!

  2. “Beautifully written post! You captured the takeaways perfectly! The FAB conference rocked! Looking forward with anticipation for next year. It was so nice to meet you Donna.
    Let’s stayed connected.
    Lisa

  3. Karen says:

    Wonderful!

  4. Thank you for sharing. I wasn’t able to make it this year but I am sure going to make it a goal for next year. I am learning so much.

  5. Brynn says:

    Wonderful recap, Donna. Love your list of key takeaways.

    I have my fingers crossed for your book launch, too!

  6. Thank you for the invitation to share. :) It was so great to finally get to meet you in person. I think you covered so many of the great takeaways from the conference!

    My blog is AmazingandAtopic.com. I started my blog a couple of years ago, to cover the things I was learning about food allergies, eczema, and asthma, in the hopes of helping others. I feel that many times we are left on our own after a food allergy diagnosis. My goal is to help where I can, to cover things that might be helpful to those dealing with these “atopic” conditions.

    Here is a link to some of my favorite posts: http://www.amazingandatopic.com/p/favorite-posts.html

    • donna says:

      Selena, it was great meeting you at the conference! Thank you so much for your support and for bringing my book to sign which was very sweet of you. I’m so glad that you shared your wonderful site with us as well as your favorite posts. Yes, sometimes it can feel isolating but we are all here for each other. Look forward to reading more of your posts and seeing you again!

  7. Awesome recap!!! It was soooo wonderful to meet you face to face!!!!

    • donna says:

      Thanks Caroline a.k.a Gratefullfoodie! You were one of the smiling faces that I saw at registration. I so enjoyed meeting you as well as your wonderful talk on advocacy. Look forward to our next meet up! Take care.

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