This week I’ve been focused on making connections, establishing contacts, and jotting down some ideas for a local food allergy support group that I am working on establishing in my area. I often times feel alone and haven’t met many parents locally going through what we are so I am really excited to get this group off the ground over the next month or so. I am really trying to learn more about food allergies and ways I can help make the life of my daughter as normal as possible.
Since it is also food allergy awareness month for this weeks five things link-up with The World Around Her and Little Miss Mama I’d like to talk about five facts I never knew about food allergies until I became a Mom to a food allergy child:
1. 15 million Americans have a food allergy, including 1 in 13 children; so, chances are if you have children they could be affected or your child will be in a classroom or school with a child dealing with food allergies. This makes it ever so important to understand at least the basics of food allergies. Some great websites to learn more from include: Kids with Food Allergies and FARE. I will also be posting more information about food allergies on my blog too!
2. Statistics released last year by the federal Centers for Disease Control show there was a 50 percent increase in the number of children with food allergies between 1997 and 2011. The cause of the increase is still be researched, but some cite the environment, genetics, excessive cleanliness, and the delayed introduction of foods as some of the potential causes.
3. People can be allergic to any food but the following eight foods account for 90% of all food allergies: milk, eggs, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. When I thought about food allergies the first ones that come to mind were peanuts, fish, and wheat – the others were more of a surprise to me – and the fact that just 8 foods make up 90% of food allergies was really surprising to me.
4. Kiwi allergy (which my daughter has a life-threatening case of) was first reported fairly recently in 1981, and since then there has been an increase in kiwi allergies worldwide. One reason for the increase is that we’re simply eating more of it. I know I ate kiwi while I was pregnant and also while breastfeeding (before I knew my daughter was allergic to it of course.) People who have kiwi allergy also often react to substances which contain similar proteins – latex (natural rubber), avocado, papayas, pineapples, bananas, apples, and carrots – all of which my daughter has a sensitivity to.
5. There is a only a 20% chance of outgrowing allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish and a 75% chance of outgrowing allergies to milk, eggs, soy, fish, and wheat. The percentage for outgrowing allergies of other foods outside of the top 8 varies. I hope that my daughter will outgrow all of her allergies (who wouldn’t hope that,) but I know realistically that her peanut and kiwi allergies are here to stay.
I urge you to take the time to learn more about food allergies, chances are someone you know is faced with them on a daily basis. Thank you for stopping by!