Food Allergy Awareness Week
15 million Americans suffer with food allergies. If you suffer from food allergies or someone in your family does you understand the lifestyle impact that such an allergy causes. There are restaurants that are off limits and shopping turns into a long and laborious process.
A food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific food protein.
90% of all food allergies are caused by 7 foods:
Fish / Shellfish
Food Allergy Symptoms Mild: rashes, hives, itching, swelling
Food Allergy Symptoms Severe: trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness
Peanut allergies are very common. Peanuts are legumes and grow under the ground. Other legumes are beans, peas, lentils, and soybeans. If a child has a sibling who is allergic to peanuts their risk for a peanut allergy increases. Of those allergic to peanuts 25-40% will also be allergic to tree nuts. The good news is that 20% of children who are allergic to peanuts will outgrow their allergy. The bad news is that the number of children with a peanut allergy tripled between 1997 and 2008.
This category contains all of the nuts that grow on trees such as: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, and Brazil nuts. A sibling with this allergy also increases the risk for other children in the family to be allergic. Unfortunately only 9% of children with this allergy every outgrow it. Beware of products that aren”t food but can cause an allergic reaction. For example, tree nut oils are sometimes found in lotions and will contain the tree nut protein that causes the allergic reaction.
Cow”s milk is the most common allergy in infants and young children. 2.5% of all children under the age of three are affected. The good news is most children outgrow this allergy. The bad news is avoiding cow”s milk is the only option. You need to be cautious of goat”s milk because the offending protein is very similar to the cow”s milk protein.
A milk allergy is not lactose intolerance. People who a