Food allergies among children


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Food allergies among children

  1. 1. Food Allergy Dr. Martin Siu
  2. 2. Food Allergies Among Children Dramatically on the Rise <ul><li>Childhood food allergies are apparently much more common in America than previously believed. </li></ul><ul><li>A clinical study, recently published in the journal Pediatrics, found that about eight percent of children under the age of 18, almost 6 million, suffer from one or more food allergies. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Centre for Disease Control <ul><li>The numbers are twice as high as the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2007, which showed a rate of just under four percent, or about three million kids. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Online Interview <ul><li>The new findings came from online interviews that included 40,000 households all over the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants were recruited through random telephone calls. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the information gathered from the survey, experts now believe that allergies among the young, including food allergies, are dramatically on the rise. </li></ul>
  5. 5. More Problems <ul><li>What’s more, nearly two out of every five affected children suffer from a severe food allergy. </li></ul><ul><li>For these children, accidental ingestion of an allergenic food may lead to difficulty breathing, a sharp drop in blood pressure, and even death. </li></ul>
  6. 6. 8 Types of Food with Problems <ul><li>The CDC estimates that eight types of foods are responsible for 90 percent of all food allergies in children. </li></ul><ul><li>They are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What’s Allergy ? <ul><li>Allergy is a condition that occurs when a person’s immune system is hypersensitive or over-reactive. </li></ul><ul><li>Ordinarily, the human immune system has the ability to distinguish between harmless substances in the environment and potentially harmful agents, such as viruses and bacteria. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Immune Response <ul><li>For a person with allergies, however, the immune system reacts swiftly and with great intensity to substances that are not dangerous as if they were. </li></ul><ul><li>So, when an individual who has certain allergies eats, touches or inhales an allergen (a foreign substance he or she is allergic to), the immune system mistakenly responds with an all-out counterattack. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Causes of Allergy <ul><li>Many experts believe that the tendency to develop allergies is primarily hereditary. </li></ul><ul><li>However, in addition to genetic traits, long-term exposure to certain health hazards in the environment, such as tobacco smoke, pesticides and other pollutants, can provoke allergic reactions. </li></ul><ul><li>So can emotional factors and other stressors. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Food Intolerances and Allergy-1 <ul><li>People who suffer from food intolerances are not necessarily allergic to these foods. </li></ul><ul><li>The symptoms can be similar, but with intolerance the physical reactions are usually due to problems with digestion. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, people with lactose intolerance are unable to produce enough of a digestive enzyme needed to break down milk sugar. </li></ul><ul><li>They are lactose intolerant, but the immune system is not involved in the resulting digestive distress. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Food Intolerances and Allergy-2 <ul><li>There can be conditions, however, where food intolerances and allergies sort of overlap. </li></ul><ul><li>Celiac disease, for example, generates an abnormal immune response to foods containing gluten, like wheat and some grain products. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite of this, celiac disease is classified as a food intolerance, although it is triggered by autoimmune activity. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Symptom Differentiation <ul><li>Another difference between food intolerances and allergies is that the symptoms of intolerances generally intensify with age, while those of allergies get worse with exposure. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Possible Reactions of Allergy <ul><li>Allergies should not be taken lightly, especially when children are affected. </li></ul><ul><li>Possible reactions range from mild to severe. </li></ul><ul><li>They include swelling of lips and face, hives, itching, flushing or eczema flare. </li></ul><ul><li>The severest cases, known as anaphylaxis, are potentially life-threatening. </li></ul><ul><li>Symptoms include wheezing, trouble breathing, vomiting, persistent coughing and dangerous swelling of the airways. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Multiple Food Allergies <ul><li>Especially for kids with multiple food allergies, it complicates their lives and makes it really tough on these kids to avoid multiple foods to stay healthy and stay alive. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Most Effective Measure <ul><li>Parents of children with serious food allergies are urged to always carry antihistamine as well as an epinephrine shot (EpiPen) with them. </li></ul><ul><li>The most effective measure people can take against allergic reactions is avoidance. </li></ul><ul><li>That means paying close attention to ingredient labels, taking precautions when eating at restaurants and bringing along one’s own food if safe alternatives are unavailable. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Summary <ul><li>Many children outgrow their allergies or tolerate them better as they grow older, including those against milk, eggs and wheat, while peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish often remain a lifetime threat. </li></ul><ul><li>For more information, click </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
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