Spotlight of the Month – @whatallergy

This month we have the amazing Ruth Holroyd. Ruth has multiple food allergies and helps bring awareness to allergies, anaphylaxis, asthma, topical steroid with drawl and eczema! Make sure to give Ruth’s blog a read and follow her over on Instagram (handles can be found at the end of the blog).

What food allergies do you have?

I’m allergic to nuts, dairy, wheat and soya. Also latex, nickel, grass, weeds, mould, dust and tree pollen.

You are a great role model in the Eczema community, what is your main advice for those that have been newly diagnosed?

 I would say remember your skin is the largest organ in your body and it’s the easiest way your body has of telling you there is a problem. Just like IBS and gut problems are a sign something is now right, listen to your skin and start to discover what your triggers are. These could be anything from food, to everything you put on your skin and bring into your house. I also always underestimated how much stress affected my skin – not easy to just not be stressed but you can really help your skin if you become more self aware, take care of your emotional health and get good rest.

What are you top tips for people travelling abroad with allergies this summer? 

I have a few holidays planned, a cruise and a week in the Lake District. I go prepared with so much safe food and I also always make sure I have contacted the holiday company and prepared them and myself as far as is possible. Set healthy boundaries – get translation cards, learn about the local cuisine and try to find first hand recommendations from others if you can. Self catered holidays are my preferred kind of holiday because it gives me control. There is never a holiday from allergies, but you CAN plan well to give yourself time off the endless food prep and planning. If you can take a cool box with pre-made meals, treat yourself to your favourite snacks and treats and plan lots of non food related adventures.

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the topics that you cover?

 The blog is now over 13 years old. I write about so many things related to allergies, asthma, anaphylaxis, eczema and topical steroid withdrawal. Future blogs will be about new findings on my ever changing allergies and lots of things I’m learning about how manage my asthma, which has got worse this year. Pollen and allergies seem to be building so I’d like to explore immunotherapy – watch this space! I just want to help others when I learn helpful and useful things. Navigating allergies and eczema can be lonely and frustrating but you are never alone!

What is something that you wish you had been told when first being diagnosed with food allergies? 

When I was first diagnosed with anaphylaxis I didn’t know anyone else with allergies. I didn’t have an epipen and not even google for research! I learnt from newspaper articles and first hand experience. So I would tell my younger self, you’re not the only one, but you will find great comfort in helping others and in the community and support you will find from a whole tribe of people just like you! Younger me would have laughed in your face if you’d told her she’d be writing books and speaking at conferences!

What is your guilty pleasure?

MAGIBLES from Creative Nature!

Make sure to follow Ruth on Instagram here at @whatallergy and read some of her amazing blogs on her website