BioQuakes

AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Your child isn’t nuts, he just can’t eat them!

Have you ever been immunized? If you are reading this, live in the United States, and attended any form of schooling of course the answer is yes! You have taken precautions to ensure that you do not get sick from things like the Flu or Chicken Pox. Just like you wouldn’t want to get sick from the flu, you shouldn’t want to get sick from allergies!  As a young woman who has intolerances to gluten, corn, soy, lactose and a tree nut allergy, I know allergies should not be taken lightly. Parents are beginning to diagnose food allergies and do not bother to inform their child’s physician.

Photo by Hannah W.

According to a study done by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the official publication of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

  • 70 percent report receiving a physician’s diagnosis for their child’s food allergy
  • Lower income and minority households were more likely to have a child with an undiagnosed food allergy.
  • Of the physician-diagnosed children, 32 percent did not receive diagnostic testing — such as a blood, skin or oral food challenge test.
  • A skin test was the most popular diagnostic test with 46 percent. A blood test was second with 39 percent.
  • Only 1 in 5 of reported that their child received an oral food challenge test — the gold standard of food allergy diagnose

Parents, for the most part, do not have the degrees or the smarts to fully treat their children’s allergies and keep their children safe without knowing the gravity of the allergies.

Here are key findings on the kind of reactions children had to the top nine food allergies, which are: egg, finfish, milk, peanut, sesame, shellfish, soy, tree nut and wheat:

  • Cutaneous symptoms, such as hives, puffy eyes or lips, and eczema occurred in 80 percent of food-induced anaphylactic reactions.
  • During severe, life-threatening reactions, hives only occurred in 40 percent of the cases and puffy eyes or lips in 34 percent of the cases
The findings show us that 20% of the time, it is not obvious that a child is in a life threatening situation due to food. That is why you need to 20% of the time anaphylaxis occurs.  If you have a young child, they also may not be able to communicate how they are feeling so it is important to be informed and stay safe. If you, or someone you know have discovered any food allergy or have had hives, puffy eyes, puffy lips, or eczema but don’t know the reason visit a doctor! There is no reason to not be safe and informed about your allergies.
To learn more about food allergies please visit this website.
Help yourself and your loved ones- get tested for food allergies!
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5 Comments

  1. arthenice

    Great research and article! Allergies are very interesting according to the a study when a child eats an egg baked at 350 degrees who has an egg allergy, they will not have a reaction, its cool stuff check it out here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121109083748.htm

  2. henroids

    Suffering from pollen and sulfa allergies myself I know how bad it can get. But there is good news for people with food allergies. There has been research done with people allergic to cows milk, and a new form of treatment. This treatment involves giving the children that are effected a small amount of milk everyday. This helps these children build an immunity to the milk. At the end of the year some of the children were able to consume milk products, and continue to do so for up to a year after treatment stopped. This shows that this new treatment may have some grounds for helping children with allergies, although the research is still in its infancy. Read more about this new treatment at: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/05/experimental-treatment-may-help-food-allergies/

  3. jk1234

    Diagnosing allergies is extremely important in order to prevent any incidents of anaphylaxis. But there is also a chance of developing allergies later in life so testing at all ages is important.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-allergy/AN00179

  4. evolucious

    I know that when spring comes around, I start sneezing and wheezing. But I don’t know exactly why I do so. So what exactly causes an allergy? Turns out that allergies are an effect of one’s immune system not being able to distinguish between harmful and innocuous substances. It creates specific antibodies for allergens, releasing histamine, which results in symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and itchiness. I wish my immune system wouldn’t overreact like this – inhaling pollen may be annoying, but it isn’t harmful. Read more at:

    http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/allergy-basics/what-causes-allergic-reactions.html

  5. dwil

    Thanks! That is all very useful information and on a very important topic. I am lucky to never have been diagnosed with an allergy, so this doesn’t relate to me personally, but we all know someone who is affected by allergies. Be them dangerous or not, they still affect billions of people everyday and need to be addressed. Its surprising how many children have allergies and how few parents do anything about them. I agree with you in that more parents need to get legitimate diagnoses on their children before they take measures on their own; but i also think that parents being aware of the possible allergies is also very important. Overall, allergies can be dangerous and treatments and safety from those who have them should be looked into further in the future.

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