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Dear Easter Bunny, I Am Allergic To..

One minute it’s Christmas, now suddenly it’s already the Easter holidays. Hot cross buns, Easter eggs and simnel cake. For some it is a quiet peaceful time to relax and recharge. For others it includes the Easter bunny &  Easter egg hunts with family and friends, and/or long walks with the dogs. At the FGIH we always consider those living with allergies. I cannot imagine Easter without chocolate, hot cross buns and plenty of marzipan on a simnel cake.  I can also walk in the Spring air (if it’s not raining) without suffering hay fever from all the new pollens in the air. I am lucky.

Whilst rabbit and chocolate allergies are much less common than springtime allergies to new pollens in the air, living with a food or animal allergy effects sufferers all year round and not just Easter in the Spring.

Rabbit allergies are rarer than cat and dog allergies but with more and more people keeping rabbits in the home these days they maybe exposed to additional triggers. Specific unique components found in rabbit fur, urine and saliva can result in symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watering eyes, and skin rashes in allergic people. Severe reactions may lead to difficulty breathing or asthma attacks.

A true chocolate allergy is very rare, when it comes to the cocoa bean itself. Those who find themselves with chocolate and cocoa allergies are most likely linked to Cross-reactivity with other allergens often found in chocolate, such as peanut, tree nuts, and milk. These people usually have to avoid chocolate all year round, not just at Easter.


Allergies to nuts however are far more common, and marzipan is full of almonds. Peanuts and tree nuts (such as almonds) can both cause serious allergic reactions which can be treated in the same way. If you think you or your child are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, visit your GP to find out which nuts you need to avoid and how to manage your allergies. For more information on nut allergies visit Anaphylaxis UK 

Those who don’t have food or animal allergies may well be able to enjoy the tasty treats or spend time with their pets over Easter. However, Easter falls in the Spring, a time of year notoriously unpleasant for those allergic to particular pollens, and so it is now that symptoms of hay fever may start to appear. Tree pollen occurs first, typically from late March to mid-May, and affects around 25% of people. Up to 95% people are allergic to grass pollen and the season lasts from mid-May until July. Weed pollen can be released at any time but the season typically covers the end of June to September. Grass, weed and tree pollen is a common cause of hay fever symptoms and asthma. For more information on hay fever visit Allergy UK.

Anyone suffering symptoms similar to those described here may benefit from an allergy test. For more information on allergy tests click here.


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