By Dr. Nina Radcliff
From sneezing, a dry cough, nausea, digestive problems to trouble swallowing, turning blue, a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness and more – food allergies can range greatly from mild to severe and be a potentially life-threatening medical condition.
Complicating matters, reactions can be unpredictable. You may live all your life with no food allergies and then after a meal, show symptoms you have never experienced before. And too, the first signs of a reaction can be mild, but symptoms can worsen quickly – or over time. What caused a mild reaction one time can lead to a severe reaction the next time. Add to this, the facts are that children have been found to communicate their symptoms differently than adults.
Research tells us that either you – or someone close to you – has food allergies, as it affects almost 15 million Americans (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) with one in every 16 children having a food allergy. Statistically, this averages to one or two students in every classroom. And over the last two decades, its prevalence amongst our children has skyrocketed—there has been an 18% increase between the years 1997-2007. While there are a number of theories and research is ongoing, no one is sure why food allergies are being diagnosed more frequently.
Food allergies send more Americans to emergency rooms each year than commonly known. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, it occurs every three minutes! It is important for all of us to understand food allergies – and that they can pose serious health challenges. Any suspected food allergies should always be evaluated, diagnosed and treated by a qualified medical professional.
Dr. Nina’s What You Need To Know: About Food Allergies