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Old 06-21-2011, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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The largest food allergy study to date finds food allergies are increasingly prevalent and severe, in fact twice as common as previously thought.

Quote:
According to a national survey of 38,480 families, 8 percent of children in the United States suffer from a food allergy – a considerably higher number than reported in previous studies. In addition to estimating that 5.9 million children under age 18 now have a food allergy, the new study, published in the July 2011 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides a wealth of important new information.

“This is the largest study ever conducted on the prevalence of food allergy in U.S. children and it differs from previous studies in important ways,” said the principal investigator, Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at Children’s Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Our goal was to paint a comprehensive picture of childhood food allergy in America. We began by surveying a representative sample of children in the U.S. and collected extensive information on each and every food allergy reported – including date of onset, method of diagnosis, and reaction history.” Data on race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and geographic region were also collected.
Food Allergy Initiative

The Prevalence, Severity, and Distribution of Childhood Food Allergy in the United States

Kids' Food Allergies Twice As Common As We Thought
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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I think the awareness of it has grown as well. I was first tested for allergies in about 1961. (Standard scratch tests.) I can remember my parents asking about testing for food allergies and they were told it wasn't done. The attitude then was "people have to eat". One boy I knew had a wheat allergy and his parents severely restricted his diet. Everyone thought this was incredible. Totally different attitudes towards food allergies today.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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I agree that awareness has grown, but honestly I am tired of people telling me that "kids have always had food allergies and now everyone is just testing for it." Then they go on to imply that I and other parents like me are just paranoid or overprotective of our children who have food allergies. One thing this new study pointed out is that about 39% of kids with allergies have a history of severe reactions. Severe reactions are the kind that threaten children's lives and send them to the hospital. Growing up, I never recall a child having a severe reaction to any food. Now however, in just one year, my kids' school has had to call an ambulance twice for two different kids having severe breathing difficulties because of food. Something is messing up this new generation of kids, causing an increase in all kinds of problems, and I wish there were more studies trying to find the cause!
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:52 AM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,340,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellar View Post
I wish there were more studies trying to find the cause!
As someone with a SEVERE allergy to shellfish, no one wishes for this more than me. I know exactly what a food allergy can do to you.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,794,980 times
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There are many hypothesis on the root causes of food allergies, and there are many ongoing studies in that regard, but nothing conclusive to date.

The major players are thought to be:

- Genetically modified food
- Hygiene hypothesis
- Vaccinations
- Pregnancy Diet
- Genetics

They are well explained in this article:
Possible Causes of Food Allergy

What puts a dent in any of these theories is the fact that one sibling can have severe food allergies.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:30 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
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Our 5 yr old has milk, egg, peanut and tree nut allergies.. We visit a clinic in La Crosse Wisconsin each year and we have done food drops (immunothology treatment) 3 x a day for about 4 years. I asked our allergist doctor the same question, just why so many kids with allergies nowadays. She is a very respected and authored doctor and involved with studies at Duke and Johns Hopkins, as she said really no one knows.

I am excited about the newer tests on blood work available. Up to know all that was tested using our kids bloodwork was the amount of allergens in his system (Ige totals). They have been increasing each year....so we asked her does that mean all our work in these food drops have had no affect. She said no, because up to know there has been no real blood tests available to measure the amount of anti-allergens (if you will) in thet blood. It was in research phase at our last year's visit and it is hoped they will test blood on our next visit in August to tell us among other things, how much protection his body has. The tests can also know breakdown the individual protiens, as it seems that is what he is allergic too in cow's milk, eggs and peanuts, and give an overall better idea on what is going on.

There was one hopeful study reported last year that 60 pct of those who was allergic to milk were able to tolerate milk products in foods that were heated to more than 250 degrees, such as pizza, lasagna, etc. That would be great and help our meal planning immensely if that is the case with him.

Our son just finished kindergarten and our school is peanut safe.....not free...kids can still bring in PB sandwiches, etc but just not sit at his table. Other kids sit at his table, so no problem with him being alone. The school does great. We provide the lunch lady with the milk free pizza's he can eat and the lunch people at the school heat one up and serve him that on days when the school menu says pizza. Otherwise he brings his own food. On special days when the kids get cupcakes, etc the lunch people keep a stash of non-dairy cupcakes frozen at the school that we send and thaw them out for him. He is the only one with a food allergy (that we know of) at his school, which is kindergarten through second grade.

--Dan
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,087,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
There are many hypothesis on the root causes of food allergies, and there are many ongoing studies in that regard, but nothing conclusive to date.

The major players are thought to be:

- Genetically modified food
- Hygiene hypothesis
- Vaccinations
- Pregnancy Diet
- Genetics

They are well explained in this article:
Possible Causes of Food Allergy

What puts a dent in any of these theories is the fact that one sibling can have severe food allergies.
As you stated above....our oldest kid has the severe food allergies but we have 2 1/2 yr old twin boys....and no allergies at all. My wife did nothing different during the second pregnancy.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:52 PM
 
530 posts, read 959,554 times
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DANinEGF: Do you know the name of the new blood test(s)? We have done the RAST blood test several times (along with some skin tests), but it would be helpful to have a test that could detect some of the things you are talking about.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:16 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,636,559 times
Reputation: 20198
I thought there was a -general- consensus that allergies hit, or don't hit, depending on a variety of factors *plus* a random factor. In other words - one sibling could be allergic to something the other sibling isn't allergic to.

Both of them share the same RISK of becoming allergic to something, as long as they have the same exposure to it, and share the same habits. But both might get it, both might not, or just one might, depending on that random factor.

I think it's primarily environmental. Parents are growing up in more polluted air, everything is anti-bacterial, kids are not allowed *as often* to play in the mud/get dirty, hygeine has gone to extremes, there are more parents who took all kinds of substances - recommended and otherwise, while pregnant, that didn't exist 20 or 30 years ago.

The whole peanutbutter allergy thing isn't new, but the frequency of severe reactions is new. There are more kids with severe reactions to it, than there were 30 years ago, proportionally given the increase in overall population.

Either that, or there are more parents exaggerating it, proportionately, OR, the media has blown it totally out of proportion.

Honestly, I think it's a combination of all of the above. There are more kids with severe reactions, there are also more mothers who exaggerate, and the media has blown it out of proportion. It's ALL of these things.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,087,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellar View Post
DANinEGF: Do you know the name of the new blood test(s)? We have done the RAST blood test several times (along with some skin tests), but it would be helpful to have a test that could detect some of the things you are talking about.
Hi there.....I am sorry but I dont know attm. We havent seen our doctor since last August when she mentioned some trial research that was going on and that they were ready to go more full scale with this type of test. I will ask our doctor and see what she says or see if I can come up with more info.

Our oldest was tested for food allergies around age 1.....we tried mac and cheese and his face swelled and eyes swelled shut and got severe hives. Benadryl calmed it down. He always had bad eczema when a baby and severe acid reflux. That all calmed down before age 1. We are at stage 6 for peanut and 5 for milk and egg and tree nuts.

We go to Allergy Associates in LaCrosse WI
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