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christine215's avatar

What's your opinion of the rise in food allergies?

Asked by christine215 (3173points) July 19th, 2010

Seems to me these days that you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone (adult or kid) that’s allergic to SOME kind of food.
Do you think that these allergies have been around all along and are just being discovered/reported more?

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25 Answers

NaturallyMe's avatar

I wouldn’t be surprised if it has something to do with the general state of health today, combined with, and probably caused by, unhealthy living and eating habits, including eating chemical filled foods.

christine215's avatar

@NaturallyMe I wish I could give you more than 1 GA for that response

josie's avatar

An allergy is something specific- Release of IgE antibody which causes hyperactivety of mast cells and basophils with a predictable inflammatory response.
I know a lot of people who say they are allergic to something when in fact once it upset their stomach or gave them a headache. If we made a proper diagnosis of allergy in every case, I suspect the numbers would go down. No way to prove that easily however. But you are correct. These days lots of people seem to be allergic (or easily offended).

christine215's avatar

how can we explain that there are at least five kids in my daughters’ elementary school that are allergic to tree nuts, when back in 19XX when I was in elementary school, NOT ONE kid had a nut allergy?

Celiac Disease and/or gluten sensitivity (I guess not really an “allergy”) is another set of problems I see more and more of which were nearly unheard of 20 years ago.

tranquilsea's avatar

My oldest son has allergies to tree nuts. My husband’s father had food allergies as well, his to eggs.

We are in the process of having more food allergies diagnosed in my son. He has had problems swallowing food since he was 2. I thought, at the time, that he needed to chew better and that he would grow out of it. He never did. Now the doctors think that he has EE. He is going for an endoscopy in September to confirm the tentative diagnosis. The next step is going back to the allergy doctor for a complete allergy workup.

I highly suspect the seemingly increasing prevalence of food allergies is due to all the chemicals in food today. Too many chemicals were grandfathered in the 70s and 80s.

Cruiser's avatar

Could it be we are simply better at diagnosing these allergies and or parents are more aware and “looking” at their child’s sniffles and sneezes more closely? When I grew up I went to the doctor hardly ever and we toughed it out at home with most minor injuries and illnesses.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I really don’t believe that the rise in food allergies, autism, adhd, etc etc… is because we are better at diagnosing any of these afflictions.

We are in constant chemical overload. Not to mention the amount of processed food we eat is insanely high compared to any other time in human history. Unrivaled.. and in a very short period of time, evolutionarily speaking.

Life in the fast lane is hurting our future generations. We think we our hurting ourselves now, but I genuinely believe the worst is yet to come. I think it will be our children and grandchildren that suffer the true cost of our constant need to consume and have what we want- when we want it, regardless of the TRUE cost.


jaytkay's avatar

My brother-in-law has a real allergy to nuts, I’ve seen his (scary) reaction when there was absolutely no way he could have known that a caterer carelessly put peanut-something in appetizers at a party.

But usually I’m a skeptic. Most people I know who say their kids have food allergies are generally uptight parents raising the next generation of neurotic worriers.

And many adults I know are suggestible hypochondriacs who think they have every malady they see on TV.

Yes, that is anecdotal and maybe harsh, but that’s my opinion.

christine215's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie Since my “food epiphany” in the last year, I’ve begun to wonder about our bodies and evolution. Evolutionary changes take thousands of thousands of years… yet we’ve changed the food which we ingest so quickly, so harshly, over such a short amount of time, that maybe these increased incidences of maladies related to food is our bodies basically rejecting this “new” way of eating

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

People who used to die as a consequence of severe reactions to allergens now live to reproduce, increasing the frequency of those allergies in the population. Where such allergic people produce children together, those children could be at even greater risk.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Nutritionist and food scientists should work harder in order to create allergic-free commercial food. People should be more aware and should be socialized about ‘food allergy’. I have an allergy for anchovy and people around me accuse me for wasting food with worthless jokes/excuses just because they don’t know or haven’t experienced the ‘real’ food allergy.

Actually,ancient people are allergic-free when it’s about edible food,but since more and more development(including some new diseases and abnormalities) in this world many people suffer from their disability to consume certain food,or what they called as “food allergy”. I blame them for that since allergy can be transmitted from one generation to the next generation,so it’s somehow contagious.

mrentropy's avatar

When I was growing up all I ever heard about was people being allergic to strawberries. I never knew anyone who actually was allergic to them.

Oh, but there was my sister who suddenly became allergic to anything she didn’t like.

Frankly, I have to go with the chemicals in food route.

YARNLADY's avatar

In my opinion, it is 100% due to an equal increase in pollution.

wangers76's avatar

Pesticides in our food cause allergic reactions.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I totally agree with naturallyme on this. Food these days is so much more unhealthy than the same exact foods years and years ago. It’s just that now, everything is covered with pesticides, injected with hormones and other chemicals, and that triggers internal reactions. My kids can drink raw milk without any problems, but give them a straight glass of storebought milk, and they’re sick for a week. There weren’t really any dairy allergies in my grandmother’s time because they drank untouched milk. The cows weren’t pumped full of hormones/steroids and the milk was not pasteurized. They drank it and cooked with it without incident.

Same with eggs. Salmonella is so much more common these days because store bought eggs come from chickens who are sickly from being penned up. My kids and I drink protein shakes with raw eggs in them, and have been doing so for quite some time. Not one single problem from these eggs. They come fresh from the farm, and the chickens are healthy, free range, cage free chickens.

Now, I’m no purist when it comes to food, and I do buy some prepackaged products for the simplicity and time factor, but all of my milk, cheese and eggs come straight from the farm, fresh as nature intended. And my kids are so much healthier now because of it. No allergies.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate – that is so true! People don’t realize how unhealthy factory farming is, not only for the poor animals, but for those who eat them too.
I wish i could get my dairy fresh from a farm too!!! I still have to find one nearby….

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Factory farming is atrocious :\

christine215's avatar

Two books which I tell everyone to read: Omnivore’s dilemma and The Food Revolution
(and now I know the people who raise the cows, chickens and pigs which we get our meat and dairy from.. and those animals are eating what nature intends for them to eat)

mattbrowne's avatar

Excessive hygiene isn’t good for our kids.

YARNLADY's avatar

@mattbrowne There’s a cute new show on TV for kids called Dirt Girl World. I don’t like the type of animation they have chosen (big disjointed heads) but the idea is a good one.

christine215's avatar

my 11 year old daughter agrees with @mattbrowne completely! Showers are totally over-rated
heck, swimming in the pool HAS to make you cleaner than taking a shower right?

mattbrowne's avatar

@YARNLADY – Thanks for the tip!

@christine215 – Must be an innate instinct ;-)

Seaminglysew's avatar

My son has a peanut allergy, I believe that it is the chemicals in our foods now.

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