Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How much do you know about Food Allergies?

     This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week.  With this in mind, I decided to show some support by writing some interesting information on this topic.  Though it was estimated that at least 15 Million Americans have food allergies, (more are still undiagnosed), it is sad to realize that many are still clueless on this health concern. I confess I was one of those people until my children were diagnosed and I had a long conversation with their allergist.      

     Just a little reminder.  I am not a doctor or  medical practitioner.  Yours truly is a food allergy mom to 4 kids with multiple food allergies.  The things I will mention below are some of the common facts concerning the topic. If you think, you or your child is experiencing any of the symptoms below, please talk to your doctor about your concern and ask for a blood or prick testing.           

Did you know?

 - Hives and rashes aren't the only indications of a food allergy.

 - Eczema, though not always, is often a result of a food allergy or sensitivity.

 - Wheat allergy and Celiac Disorder though both requires a gluten free diet, are not the same.  

-  Asthma can be triggered by a food allergy.

- Food allergies can be outgrown or experienced later in life.

- Stomach pain, diarrhea and even vomiting can be symptoms of a food allergy reaction.

- Not all food allergy reactions are readily visible.  Sometimes, it can be as simple as a child complaining over a very itchy ear canal or saying "There are bugs in my ears." or the food is too hot or spicy even if it's not.

- Some food allergies can be airborne.  The smell of food cooking can cause sneezing, runny nose or even congestion.

- There is no exact cure for food allergies.  Symptoms can be prevented by avoidance.

- Allergic reactions are not the same all the time.  Sometimes, it will trigger eczema after 24 hours or so of exposure.  In severe cases, difficulty breathing (almost like choking) immediately after consumption.

- Food allergy reaction can be life threatening. 

- The 8 most common food allergens are wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, and fish.  However a person can be allergic to other common foods like beans, corn, strawberries, apple etc.

- For severe allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, one will need immediate medication call Epinephrine or commonly known as Epi-pen.  Usually a child or a food allergy mom has one all the time. 

         I hope I was able to give you some basic knowledge about food allergies. You'll never know when these will come handy.   Please help me spread the word too.  You might even save a life in the process. 


- Roz

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