Outside of the doctor’s office, when you’re in need of some additional food allergy support and advice from people who can relate to your situation, there are several patient groups in Switzerland that can help. I’m highlighting three of them below—and each represents a different language—French, English or German.
|Group’s name:||Founded in:||Primary language:||How to find them:|
|Switzerland Food Allergy Network||2015||English||
|Verein Erdnussallergie und Anaphylaxie||2011||German||
*For Facebook’s closed groups, you can search for the group name while logged into Facebook and request permission to join the group.
Allergissima was started by Anita Fossaluzza Schopfer, who you may already know from the allergy-friendly cookbook she published in 2012: Recettes pour faire la nique aux allergies. Her son was originally diagnosed with 13 different food allergies. This organization is working to improve the quality of life for people living with food allergies and intolerances. Some example activities include organizing or participating in conferences and preparing articles or other written materials on food allergies.
Switzerland Food Allergy Network
Of these three support groups, Switzerland Food Allergy Network is the newest one. Using a closed group on Facebook, it allows members to join and share information privately about current research, allergy-friendly restaurants and allergist recommendations, for example. Ali, an American who lives in the canton of Vaud, started the group to help connect with other English-speakers living with food allergies in Switzerland. She has a 4-year old son who was diagnosed with 18 different food allergies at 10 months of age.
To request membership to the Switzerland Food Allergy Network, you can do so by searching for the group’s name via Facebook.
Verein Erdnussallergie und Anaphylaxie
I’ve written about Verein Erdnussallergie und Anaphylaxie (i.e., “Peanut allergy and anaphylaxis club“) before, as this group’s founder, Angelica Dünner earned an aha! award in October 2014 from the Centre d’Allergie Suisse. Like the other group’s founders mentioned above, she is also the mother of a child with food allergies. This group provides information for and about food allergy sufferers—primarily individuals with peanut allergy and those who experience anaphylaxis—and for parents of children with such allergies.
For more information about this group, you can visit their website, request membership to their closed group via Facebook (“Forum Erdnussallergie und Anaphylaxie”) or contact them directly with your questions.
- In Switzerland, if you would like to start your own food allergy support group or locate existing groups, you can contact La Fondation Info-Entraide Suisse, which helps people who want to start self-help groups for a variety of health-related topics.
- In the United Kingdom, Allergy UK maintains a support contact network of individuals who can provide support and advice to people living with food allergies.
- In the United States, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) has information to help people start their own support groups or you can use its online search tool to identify existing support groups in your area.
If you know of any other food allergy support groups in Switzerland, please let us know by leaving a comment below.
Finally, you may have seen that I’m raising funds for Allergy UK by running in the Royal Parks Foundation Half-Marathon in October 2015. Is there any chance you would consider sponsoring me? If so, I would really appreciate it if you would make an online donation via my JustGiving page. Thanks in advance for your help!