Common Food Allergy Myths
Just about any thing else, there are grave misconceptions about the food allergies also.
We aim to help you steer clear these myths and facilitate better awareness. Awareness, not panic is the real mantra when it comes to food allergies. This article is only meant to facilitate better awareness not to cause panic.
Common Food Allergy Myths
Myth 1: Food Allergies are Uncommon.
Around 12 million people in the U.S. have food allergies. That is nearly one fourth of the total population. Younger population is more susceptible to food allergies.
Myth 2: Food Allergies are not Life-threatening.
While most of the time food allergies are mild to moderate, the instances of anaphylactic shock ( life-threatening whole body adverse reaction) also took place.
Myth 3 : The Manifestation of Symptoms is not Immediate.
No. Many of the symptomatic manifestations occur almost immediately after the food intake. Some may even occur even within minutes.
Myth 4 : One Little Bite is Fine.
No. Not at all. At times even less than a bite can lead to allergies. There are many instance where in even traces of the allergen lead to adverse reactions.
Myth 5: Peanuts are the only Allergy Causing Foods.
Peanuts though till now seem to be the popular allergy causing foods others foods such as tree nuts, fish, shell fish, milk have also been reported to cause adverse reactions.
Myth 6: Adults are Immune to Food Allergy.
Though empirical observation till now suggests that the food allergy is witness more among children, cases of adult food allergies are not that uncommon.
Myth 7: Cooking Reduces the Allergy by Eliminating the Allergy Causing Abilities of the Food.
Yes and No. Some times while cooking, the allergy causing protein gets denatured (nullified by altering the shape and quality of the protein). The denaturation leads to allergy free state of the causative protein. Some people with egg and milk allergy are able to consume them in small amounts, mostly in the form of baked goods. Raw vegetable allergy can also be considerably reduced when the vegetables are consumed after they were steam cooked. Consult your doctor before trying these methods.
Myth 8: Positive Skin Prick Test to a Particular Food Means One Will React to it When One Consumes it .
Yes and No. By all means positive skin prick test seems to be valid and the most effective test for predicting the food allergy. However there are some instances where in the skin prick test led to “False positive” reactions. Empirical observation till date suggests that rather than the skin prick test it is the oral challenge that offers a more reliable indicator, regarding the food allergy.
Myth 9: Reactions Become Increasingly Severe Whenever they Recur.
Reaction can be mild, moderate and sever. There is no evidence till now that the reaction becomes more severe each time it recurs. It depends more on the does of the allergic agent at that particular instance rather than the number of times of exposure.