Today's society is discovering newer ways to ensure safety in the home, car, garden, community and school, but there are some dangers that cannot be entirely avoided. Food allergies are a cloud of worry for a parent. As couples watch their infant grow they are alert watching for signs of allergies: skin rashes, inflammation or life threatening anaphylaxis.
The USA division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology sates that only 2-8% of children have true food allergies that will last a lifetime. Most children will develop immunity to the allergens that previously challenged their immune system. U. S. Food and Drug Administration site quote's Dean Metcalfe, M.D., head of the Mast Cell and Physiology Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, "Many people who have a complaint, an illness, or some discomfort attribute it to something they have eaten. Because in this country we eat almost all the time, people tend to draw false associations between food and illness."
It's essential to understand the difference between food intolerances and food allergies. A food allergy is a dysfunction in the immune system where as a food intolerance, which is more common, refers to the relationship between the allergen and one's metabolism. For example a person who doesn't digest milk easily (lactose intolerant) is deficient in specific enzymes, this can lead to discomfort such as cramps and diarrhea (U. S. Food and Drug Administration).
Food allergens most commonly seem among children include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree-nuts, seafood and seeds. Most infants that show intolerance to milk and eggs often show a clinical tolerance within a couple years. ON the contrary allergic reactions to peanuts, tree-nuts, seafood and seeds are often for life and can lead to life threatening anaphylaxis.
Strict avoidance of food allergens is an obvious answer but not always therapeutic. Scientist from Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Duke University Medical Center are exploring several different therapies in hope one might help cure peanut allergies. Other than skin tests performed at local medical centers there are alternatives to determining allergies such as acupuncture, Chinese medicine, reflexology and homeopathy.
Remember allergies are rare but highly risky.
By Worldwide Health Editor
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