Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Get the Facts on Food Allergies

Have you heard the words, “food allergy” and “food intolerance” but are unsure what the difference between them is? A food allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly targets a harmless food protein, also known as an allergen, as a threat and attacks it. However, food intolerances do not involve the immune system, and result gastrointestinal distress. An example of a food intolerance is lactose intolerance, which occurs when a person does not produce enough of the lactase enzyme to digest the lactose found in dairy products.

According to the Food Allergy Research and Education organization, every 3 minutes a food allergy sends an individual to the emergency room. Most importantly, this statistic shows the increased need for our generation to be aware of the signs and symptoms of food allergies and food intolerances. So what are they?

Signs and Symptoms
Food Allergy
Food Intolerance
·         Hives (reddish, itchy areas on the skin)
·         Redness of the skin or around the eyes
·         Itchy mouth or ear canal
·         Nausea or vomiting
·         Stomach pain
·         Nasal congestion
·         Obstructive swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat
·         Trouble swallowing
·         Shortness of breath or wheezing
·         Turning blue
·         Feeling faint or confused
·         Loss of consciousness
·         Chest pain
·         Anaphylaxis
·         Gas, cramps, or bloating
·         Heartburn
·         Headaches
·         Irritability or nervousness
·         Nausea
·         Stomach pain
·         Diarrhea
·         Vomiting

A potentially life-threating condition that can be caused by a food allergic reaction is anaphylaxis. During anaphylaxis, allergic symptoms can affect several areas of the body and may threaten breathing and blood circulation. To reverse the symptoms, a medication called epinephrine (adrenaline) must be injected. A delay in providing the epinephrine can result in death in as little as 30 minutes.

Did you know that over the last 15 years, food allergies have increased by 50%, with unknown causes? The top 8 food allergens, which cause about 90% of reactions, are peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, soy, and wheat. The only treatment for food allergies is strict avoidance, or elimination, of the problem foods from the diet.

Unfortunately, teens and young adults with food allergies are at the highest risk for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis. During college, individuals are likely to be living on their own for the first time, and are now responsible for making safe and nutritious food choices for themselves. Another concern for young adults with food allergies is dating. For some, it may be uncomfortable to discuss the food allergy with their significant other. But together, the couple will need to create a safe plan for the person with food allergy. For more information about food allergies and dating, watch this video about “The Kissing Study.” 

If you would like to learn more about food allergies and food intolerances, foods that may contain hidden allergen, or more food allergy resources on EIU’s campus, please contact the Nutrition Promotion Coordinator at herc-nutritioned@eiu.edu or 217-581-7786.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sex, Consent, & Pizza

Consent is defined as a freely given, clear, unambiguous agreement between the participants to engage in sexual activity.
Consent is NOT:
  • The absence of no: If someone doesn’t say no or remains quiet it does NOT mean “yes”. This includes a lack of verbal and/or physical resistance.
  • Unresponsiveness: If someone is unresponsive, consent cannot be given.
  • A one-time thing: consent must be given every time and during every step of sexual activity. Similarly, consent given on a prior occasion does not indicate future consent, and consent may be withheld at any time.
  • Given under the influence: consent cannot be given under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Whether if both parties are under the influence or if only one party is under the influence.
Asking for Consent:

When asking for consent, communicate what you are comfortable doing and what you are not. It is important to remember that you choose where to draw the line. Be sure your partner and you have the same wishes. Also, use respect, thoughtfulness, and understanding when asking for consent.
Be Comfortable with Consent

Consent can be hard to understand sometimes, so think of it like this; Sex is Like Pizza. “Hey, what do you want on it?” or “What size of pizza do you want?” they usually give you a clear answer on what they want or say, “anything BUT (insert nasty pizza topping here).” They, FREELY, give you a CLEAR answer of what they want and what they don’t want. So, together, you come up with a pizza that you both agree on. Just like that you have asked for consent in a respectful, communicative, and thoughtful way.

Consent looks similar to deciding on a pizza with someone. You ask what they want, what they like, what they don’t like, etc. Just like sex, you want to ask the other person, what they like, what they don’t like, if they want to have sex or if they don’t want to have sex. What makes sex so much fun and beautiful is that BOTH people are participating and wanting it.
Sex is Like Pizza

The Health Education Resource Center will be holding one more open session on Sex is Like Pizza. Join us on April 20th at 7pm in the Casey Room on the MLK Union 3rd floor to learn more!
On-Campus Resources
Health Service
Human Services Building
(217) 581-3013
Housing & Dining
MLK Jr. University Union
(217) 581-5111
Counseling Center
Contact: Lindsay Wilson
Human Services Building
(217) 581-3413
Title IX/Student Standards
MLK Jr. University Union
(217) 581-3827
Title IX/Civil Rights & Diversity
Old Main, Room 1011
(217) 581-5020
University Police Department
7th Street & Grant Avenue
Office: (217) 581-5416
Dispatch: (217) 581-3213
*If reporting to Student Standards, UPD will not be called unless the student wishes to press charges.
Off-Campus Resources

1505 18th Street
Charleston, IL
Office: (217) 348-5033
Hotline: 1 (888) 345-2846

750 Broadway Avenue East
Mattoon, IL
Office: (217) 238-5700
Hotline: 1 (866) 567-2400

Charleston Police Department
614 6th Street
Charleston, IL
Nonemergency: (217) 348-5221
Emergency: 911

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center
1000 Health Center Drive
Mattoon, IL
(217) 348-2525

*If reporting to the Charleston Police, the offices of Students Standards and Civil Rights & Diversity will be contacted.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Staying Safe Over Spring Break

Spring break is less than one week away! We have a few reminders for you, whether you are traveling somewhere warm or heading back home to family and friends, we want you to stay safe.

Tip 1: Keep in mind the five steps of bystander intervention over break and continue to look out for one another.  Don’t be afraid to enlist others to help out when you see a problem situation or call 911 if it is an emergency. 

5 Steps for bystander intervention:

1.      Notice the event

2.      Interpret the event as a problem or emergency

3.      Assume personal responsibility

4.      Know how to help

5.      Implement the help

Tip 2: Stay safe. We always want our fellow Panthers to stay safe whether they are in Charleston or elsewhere.  For all of you who have iPhones, Find my Friends is already on your phone for you!  You can share you location so your friends know where you are at, especially if you are traveling to someplace new.  For all of you who have an Android (or don’t want to use the app on the iPhone), consider downloading the Circle of 6 or bSafe app to share your location, request a ride from a friend, or let your friends you know you are home safe. 

Tip 3: Limit your alcohol. The realities of alcohol can sometimes be scary.  By pacing your drinks and alternating between alcohol and water, you can continue to keep yourself better hydrated (this is also important if you are sitting outside in the sun all day).  It is also important to be aware of the signs of alcohol poisoning so everyone remains safe over spring break.  If you see someone who is experiencing the symptoms listed below, call 911 immediately and stay with the individual until the paramedics arrive.

Common signs of alcohol poisoning:

• Bluish in color

• Clammy skin

• Confusion or cannot be woken

• Slow breathing

• Vomiting       

For more information, check out our last tabling event tomorrow, March 8th in Thomas Hall from 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. If you can’t make it, but have some questions before you head out for spring break, feel free to call the HERC at 217-581-7786 or visit our website at www.eiu.edu/herc.

Safe travels, Panthers!