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Food Allergy Basics

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Helpful facts about food allergies!

A few common facts about food allergies.

Illustration: Fast food restaurant

Eight foods account for 90% of all reactions in the U.S.: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, etc.) wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

Estimated 9 million, or 4%, of adults have food allergies

Every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room, that is about 200,000 emergency department visits per year, and every 6 minutes the reaction is one of the anaphylaxis.

More than 200 deaths occur each year due to food allergies

Only 0.6 - 1.3% of the population suffer from peanut and 0.4 - 0.6% tree nut allergies.  The increase cannot be contributed to genetics alone because the population has not turned over a new generation enough times for that significant of an increase.  It’s felt that we are too clean.  We spend a lot of money and time killing endotoxins in our environment.  Our bodies are now looking for other things to fight and are attacking proteins from our food.

If one parent has allergies of any type, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have an allergy.  If both parents have allergies, it is most likely (7 in 10) that their children will have their allergies.

7% of siblings of peanut allergy sufferers develop a peanut allergy.

Those who suffer from tree nut or seafood allergies seldom develop a tolerance to those food.

About 20% outgrow a peanut allergy.

Those who suffer from tree nut or seafood allergies seldom develop a tolerance to those food.

85% - 95% of people with allergies to egg, milk, wheat, and soy outgrow the allergy by age 5.

Vaccines such as MMR and Influenza contain egg.  MMR has been reported to contain an insignificant amount of egg and those with egg allergy should be vaccinated.  Influenza contains variable amount of egg and should not be given to a person with an egg allergy.

Those allergic to pollens such as birch may have an allergic reaction to fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, and apricots.  Those with allergies to ragweed could suffer when eating watermelon or other melons.

Cosmetics, soaps (including laundry detergent) and cleaners may contain allergens.

The majority of patients don't have written plans from their doctors for preventing and treating reactions.