Food allergies suck. Whether you suffer from a severe allergy or a mild one, the fact of the matter is that they're really frustrating and often times scary. It's stressful to constantly have to double-check ingredients and to make sure you don't ingest something that could be harmful to your body. It's scary when you break out in hives or your throat closes up or you feel nauseated.

But one woman's story of a horrific allergic reaction has left the internet feeling shaken this week ...

Peanut allergies are also getting more and more common in America.

A recent study suggested that there has been a 21 percent increase in peanut allergies since 2010.

And the effects of an allergic reaction can vary wildly.

Making sufferers' lives very frightening.

So why exactly is a peanut allergy so stressful?

Well, for one, it's not just that you have to worry about eating peanuts. You have to be careful with products like soap, makeup, and deodorant.

You also have to diligently read every single label.

Who wants to spend their time reading labels? Besides being afraid for your life, you have to read everything before ingesting it.

Having to ask your waiter about ingredients is also tiresome.

It's hard to not feel bad about it, either. It's easy to feel like you're annoying them, even though you have to be diligent.

Packaging can make a huge difference.

Most of us don't think twice about the packaging on candy. For those with severe allergies, it can be the difference between life and death.

Targeted advertising isn't always the most accurate...

How about the option where there are zero peanuts? That sounds great.

The most random things can contain peanuts.

Treats and snacks you would never think have peanuts in them can contain the ingredient.

Having a severe allergy makes you hyper-aware of what you're putting into your body.

Which is ultimately a good thing, as annoying as it is to read ingredients over and over again.

It's important to be really careful when reading ingredient lists as well.

Most of us take for granted the fact that if we don't have a food allergy, we never have to stress about something being incorrectly labeled. It can be a very stressful situation.

It's also super hard to be vegan or vegetarian with a nut allergy.

For those with meatless diets, nuts are an excellent source of protein. Nuts are used in tons of vegan and vegetarian recipes.

It's also so annoying for people to look at you and say, "Can I eat this near you?"

Nobody wants to have that question constantly asked. It puts you on the spot and makes you feel like you're being a total inconvenience.

Living with a peanut allergy requires constant vigilance.

It can feel impossible to know where one can go to safely eat.

There's nothing fun about a peanut allergy.

It can be really stressful and scary - as today's story proves.

Back in 2013, Chantel Giacalone was an aspiring actress.


She'd had roles in "The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations" and "Hollow Walls."

She was attending a convention at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center in Vegas when tragedy struck.


She accidentally ate a peanut butter pretzel and fell into anaphylactic shock.

Paramedics from MedicWest Ambulance were on-site, but did not have the IV epinephrine, an adrenaline treatment required by law.


This meant Giacalone was without oxygen for a long period of time which eventually left her quadriplegic.

​She now required round-the-clock care, must be fed through a tube and can communicate only with her eyes. 


This week, the family received a $29.5 million verdict, after it was found that she didn't get proper care from paramedics.

Chantel's mom said: "at least my daughter will be taken care of. I'm happy about that."


Her dad added, "All the anguish that we've been through for the last eight years, I'm not happy about. I just hope MedicWest changes their ways."