Food Allergies

It is believed that food allergies affect an estimated 15 million Americans. One in every 13 children suffers from a food allergy. Someone goes to the emergency room every three minutes because of a food allergy. Those are some alarming statistics that have grabbed Ira Riklis‘ attention. What some don’t realize is that food allergies are serious and can cause severe illness and even death.

The Causes

The job of your immune system is to identify threats, such as bacteria and germs, attack and destroy them. In those who have a food allergy, the immune system goes into overdrive and attacks a harmless food protein, also referred to as the allergen. The most common food allergies are dairy products, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, eggs, wheat, fish and shellfish. Studies have shown that food allergies are related to family history. Also, if you suffer allergic reactions that result in eczema or hayfever, you are at a higher risk of developing allergies to certain foods. Those who suffer from asthma have also been shown to be at a higher risk of developing a food allergy.

The Dangers

Most people do not realize how serious a food allergy can be. They may think that someone who claims to be allergic to certain foods is just being picky or wanting attention. However, any time you hear someone say they have a food allergy, you need to take it seriously. Food allergies vary in their degree of severity. When exposed to such allergens, some people will have mild symptoms, such as hives or minor abdominal pain. However, others are so sensitive to the allergen that even trace amounts can send them into anaphylactic shock, where their throat closes up and they can’t breathe. If they are not treated promptly, this condition is potentially fatal.

A Kiss Is Not Just A Kiss

When you go on a date, the last thing you want to think about is your food allergy. However, your health and well-being are important and this makes it necessary for you to bring up your food allergy to your date. Keep in mind that your date may want to give you a goodnight kiss. You need to remember that a kiss is not just a kiss when you are dealing with a food allergy. Pediatric allergist, Dr. Scott Sicherer, stated that between five and 12 percent of those who have a food allergy will suffer ill-effects of such just from kissing. This tells us reactions from kissing are quite common and can be serious. So, you might want to rethink that goodnight kiss if you haven’t disclosed your food allergy.

Food Allergy In The Movies

There’s been a lot of media attention focused on Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit. This is a movie for kids that you wouldn’t think would be controversial. However, many parents who took their children to see it were upset after doing so. It turns out there is a scene in the movie where Peter Rabbit leads a group of rabbits to pelt their nemesis, Mr. McGregor, with blackberries. This scene would be rather innocent if Mr. McGregor wasn’t allergic to blackberries. It turns out, Mr. McGregor is so severely allergic to blackberries that he suffers anaphylactic shock. To those parents who deal with their child’s food allergies on a daily basis, this is no laughing matter. It turns out many parents were offended that the movie appeared to be making fun of food allergies.

The takeaway is that food allergies, no matter how minor or severe, should always be taken seriously. If you have a food allergy, it’s important to speak up and let others know so you do not inadvertently ingest something that will cause you harm.