Men, Food Allergies

Headline: Bristol doc saves nut allergy sufferer on plane

Read the story here, paying close attention to this last line: "He has been advised that he should carry a 'pen' with adrenalin to inject himself. He doesn't carry one – but he will do now."

OK, so I’m asking this in all seriousness: is this a guy thing?

My empirical data suggests that men often do NOT carry their life saving medications for food allergies. But why? Aside from the obvious (men don't want to been seen as weak or ask for assistance) what's going on guys? We want you to be safe...

PS The dude in this new video by the FDA about food allergies puts the auto-injector of epi in his pocket.

Food allergic guys who are reading this, and I know you're out there, let me know what you think either in comments or privately at


Diana said…
I'm not a man, but I'm going to put out a guess: Men don't generally carry purses. Those epi-pens are NOT small. You can't stuff it in a pocket (without incurring snickers) and you can't stuff it in a wallet. And you certainly can't carry a fanny pack under your tuxedo to a formal event.
Unknown said…
Because they do not have purses.
Allergic Girl® said…
yes but many men carry briefcases, back packs, and shoulder messenger type bags.
allergenius said…
Agreed, but certain cultural norms don't necessarily allow (i.e. Middle East?) so I think things are changing. My brother just throws his in his baggy jeans/back pack/coat pocket.
Ok, so my son is only 7, but we have an epi holder that clips to a belt/belt loop. We teach him that it's important to have it--we'll deal with the "uncool" part later.
I can totally relate to the young man in the story. When I was younger I trusted people to give me the correct information about whether food items I was purchasing contained nuts. After a few bad experiences, I trust noone. It sounds like he has had to learn the same lesson I did.

I never carry an epi pen either. Why? You have to go to the doctor to get one, they are very expensive, they are quite bulky (I don't always carry a handbag) and frankly I would be very frightened to inject myself. Since I live in NYC I have always just relied on the fact that there will be a hospital (or EMT) nearby. I know I am totally crazy but there you have it.
Unknown said…
I'm a 25-year old male with a severe peanut and nut allergy, and when I was younger, I guess I just felt I was invincible. I had such a protective family growing up and had never a reaction to peanuts, I didn't really think it was possible, and certainly it was a pain to carry around an epi-pen/inhaler everywhere you went. I guess I just wasn't scared. I used to use the rule "As long as I'm 15-30 minutes away from one or a hospital, I'm fine since nothing is going to happen anyway." When I was 23, I had a close call with nuts in a dish I ordered, and while I didn't need my epi-pen (I had actually carried it on me that day), I decided from there on out that I'm not invincible, mistakes do happen even when I try to avoid them at all costs, and I need to be more careful. That definitely scared me, and I make an effort to take them with me no matter where I am now.
This is a great topic!! And one that needs talked about. It seems to happen too frequently. I linked to you on this one:

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