Allergy specialists and other doctors across the country are seeing a rise in food allergies in children. Is this because more children are being tested for allergies or could something else be contributing to the problem? While there are many kinds of allergies children suffer from, food allergies seem to be escalating. Other forms of allergies include skin allergies, eye allergies, hay fever, drug allergies, sinus problems, insect allergies, asthma, hives, immunodeficiency, latex, contact, and cosmetic allergies.
While all these allergies can cause problems in childhood, food allergies are the most prevalent and hardest to avoid. Children with peanut allergies may be put in harms way with something as simple as snacks brought into a classroom. Children can be severely allergic to fish, wheat, nuts, soy, eggs, red dye #5, and pineapple among others. Food allergies in children are not only on the rise in quantity but also in severity. One in twelve kids in the United States have food allergies, and one in three of those children have severe allergies.
There are conflicting opinions as to why the increase but one theory believes that the Western diet with chemical enhanced foods is making more children susceptible to developing allergies. The Western diet may be too rich in sugar, animal fat, and calories. Children in developing countries with mostly plant-based diets grown locally have almost no food allergies, obesity, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, or autoimmune disease.
Another theory is that our culture is simply too clean. Our children aren't exposed to enough bacteria. Dr. Susan Rudders, lead author and pediatric allergist-immunologist in Providence, Rhode Island says, “Our immune system is skewed away from fighting infections, and toward fighting things that it is not supposed to be fighting, like things in the environment or foods." While many opinions and theories can be argued, one fact remains in that food allergies in children are on the rise in the Western world. Austin allergists along with allergist from across the country are concerned about the issue. For more information, visit AustinAllergist.com.
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