Today's the Day: Blog
Posted: Monday, June 8th, 2009
Good Monday Morning!
I am wearing platform shoes today in an effort to have as little fabric as possible touching my foot! I fear any friction over the blisters and you may hear screams coming through your TVs. We had a wonderful day walking with the one thousand other walkers during the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. It was as I expected it to beâ€¦ Emotional and Inspirational.
On the segment this morning we talked again about Food Allergies and the proper way to use an Epipen. Dr. Allison Geffen joined us and also offered this additional information.
1. WHAT ARE FOOD ALLERGIES AND HOW COMMON ARE THEY?
- A "Food allergy" is a hypersensitivity reaction, an immune system reaction to a food protien, that occurs after eating a certain food.
- In a true food allergy the immune system mistakenly identifies a specific food as a harmful substance and mounts an immune response (an attack) by releasing histamines and other chemicals into your blood stream.
- It is estimated that about 6-8% of children under 3, and about 4% of adults have true food allergies and the prevalence is rising.
- There is no cure for it but some kids will Outgrow it (50% kids will outgrow milk, soy, egg, 20% outgrow peanut ad 9% will outgrow tree nuts)
2. WHAT ARE FOOD ALLERGY SYMPTOMS?
- Common symptoms include tingling in the mouth, hives, itchiness in the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, (angioedema) swelling in the lips, face, tongue and throat, wheezing or breathing difficulties, nasal congestion, dizziness or fainting, or in some digestive problems (abd cramps, n+v, or diarrhea).
- The most feared reaction is â€śanaphylaxisâ€ť which is a severe, whole- body reaction that can be life threatening and results in death
3. WHAT ARE THE TOP 8 FOODS THAT CAUSE 90% OF FOOD ALLERGIES?
- the 8 most common food allergies are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.
HOW ARE FOOD ALLERGIES DIAGNOSED?
- It's important to distinguish food allergies from food intolerance. With true food allergies eating even the tiniest amount of the food can trigger a serious allergic reaction.
- By contrast, a food intolerance does not involve the immune system, and you usually can eat small amounts of the food without a reaction
- If you suspect a food allergy you should speak to your doctor. Testing is usually done by an allegist specialists often using skin prick and or blood tests.
WHAT ARE SOME RISK FACTORS FOR FOOD ALLERGIES?
- Food allergies are more common in those who have a history of, or a family history of the â€śatopic symdromeâ€ť, which includes eczema, asthma and environmental allergies.
HOW DO YOU TREAT THEM AND WHO SHOULD CARRY AN EPIPEN?
- Mainstay of treatment is: "VOIDANCE" diets â€“ people avoid what they are allergic to.
- Carrying an autoinjector of epinephrine, ex EpiPen (which treats the severe low blood pressure that occurs in anaphylactic reactions)
- Wearing a medical alert jewelry
- Developing an emergency plan with your doctor
- If you suspect someone is having an allergic reaction call 911, check if that person is carrying an EpiPen, (administer is by pressing the auto-injector against the personâ€™s thigh and holding it in place for __ seconds. The if available (and person able) give an antihistamine pill, and look for a medical bracelet or necklacd. Lay person down on the back, elevate the legs, if vomiting turn to side, if no signs of circulation (stropped breathing, coughing or moving) start CPR.
WHY ARE FOOD ALLERGIES INCREASING IN PREVALENCE?
- hygiene hypothesisâ€“ because less in 3rd world â€“ due to lack or early exposure toin dirt and germs (overuse antibiotics and antibiotic cleaners, and not play in the dirt) and the idle immune system turns on itself and attacks food proteins as if they were foreign invaders
- diet, and early exposure to allergens, and lack of breastfeeding
( There's some evidence that breast feeding for at least 4 month may be protective)
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